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How one local family is coping with change brought by the coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 7:40 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 20:40:31-04

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Many people are trying to get used to a new normal, working from home, helping their children with remote learning, and trying to stay at home as much as possible, but these adjustments can be stressful.

Sara Smith and her family have been adapting to the changes. She said their lives have been turned upside down with all that's developed in the last couple weeks, having to explain to their three children what is happening in our world in a way they could understand.

"You don't want them to be scared. You want to provide a comfort for them, that loving place for them so, you know, they can get through this alright, as best as they can," added Smith.

She has also been helping two of her children with remote learning. She said her 9-year-old son loves school. He chose to write about his disliking of "home-school" for an assignment, ending it with, "I hope this never happens again, and I hope the coronavirus does not last long. I do not like it one bit."

"Taking things away from them that they really love has been really hard. For everyone, you know, all of us are going through that. A lot of stuff we love has been taken away from us," added Smith.

She said they've been doing a lot of other things together like art, baking, nature hikes, and other activities to help the children learn and have fun.

"They're looking at us, seeing us with those little eyes, so we have to try to be positive, make the best of it," said Smith.

Lisa Tuskey, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Prevea Health said it's important people give themselves a little grace during this time.

"I think we put so many expectations on ourselves. This idea that we're going to do this, we're going to do it well, you know. We want our kids to be learning. We want to do our jobs well. We want to parent well. We want to teach well," added Tutskey.

She also said it's important for parents to accept that some things cannot be done perfectly right now, and that everyone should focus on the things they can control. She added that this could be a great time for families to really connect with each other, and allow children to have fun and explore new things.

For more information from Tutskey on how to cope during this time, click here and select "COVID-19 - Guidance for Our Kids, Ourselves in a Time of Uncertainty."