Parenting tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With K-12 schools closed indefinitely across Wisconsin, kids are at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Michael Axelrod is the director of the Human Development Center at UW-Eau Claire.

He says it's very important parents explain to their kids what exactly is going on.

"What people are trying to do to keep everybody safe, like what adults are doing to keep everybody safe I think that's a really important place to start for young children. I think parents of young children can also re-enforce proper hygiene and why it's important to wash your hands, why it's important that we maintain distance during this time," explained Axelrod.

He says for older kids, like teenagers, parents should separate fact from fiction.

While schools and many businesses are closed, Dr. Axelrod says it's also important to have continuity in your lives.

"It's most important during any time where there's a feeling of crisis to maintain routines as much as possible," he says. "Now that's very difficult at this time, it's certainly understood but at least trying to develop a routine is very important."

Nobody is sure how long it will take to flatten the curve in the United States, or how long these proactive measures will be in place.

But Dr. Axelrod stresses that it's important to continue to keep relationships and lines of communication open, especially for parents.

"I think what's most important for us at this point in time is to make sure that we maintain connections with others. I think as we are asked to physical distance, that doesn't necessarily mean social distance. We can still maintain social connections through many different things," said Axelrod.

He says that as important as it is to keep your child safe and calm, it's equally as important to do the same for yourself as the parent.