How to deal with your kid 'colleagues' during coronavirus shutdowns

It’s a challenging time for parents, but experts say that might be a good thing.

When Ashwin Rao suddenly found out that his 11-year-old daughter would be at home after her Seattle school closed in early March, he knew—like a lot of parents facing COVID-19 challenges—that his family was in for a big change.

Granted, Sophie is still taking morning online classes, and many other parents are practicing some form of distance learning, either through their schools or various websites. But with more than 38 million public school students home because of the coronavirus pandemic in 38 states, this unprecedented time in U.S. education has left parents wondering: Regardless of how much “class time” their children are getting, how do you keep kids from bouncing off the walls all day?

“Parenting already takes so much energy,” says Laura Gray, a clinical psychologist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. “For many of us who are going to be working and structuring our kids’ days at home, it’s adding a different layer of difficulty.”