JONESBORO, Ark- We are under a month away from the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
It’s been months since students have been in the classroom.
One psychologist says it is important to have conversations with your child; about the changes that will come with this school year.
“Share with them that all the adults in the school have been working all summer to make this the safest return possible,” says Dr. Dana Watson with Families Inc. “Begin to have conversations with your children about coronavirus in general. The ways it spreads and ways they can keep themselves safer. For instance, you can emphasize good hand washing.”
Dr. Watson says it’s important to remind children that teachers and parents are going to work together to keep students on track academically and most importantly, safe.
With many school districts requiring social distancing and face coverings, she says get creative to practice wearing on.
As well as explaining the importance of keeping distance in class, including how to act, and not sharing food or items with fellow students.
“Just like how we practice with children when they’re infants about wearing shoes for longer and longer periods of time, we can do that with wearing a mask,” says Dr. Watson. “I would suggest that we put masks on as a family for short activities and practice what that feels like. If you practice now, they should be much more comfortable and acclimated to wearing one by the time school starts.”
Dr. Watson says the more information we can give children about what classrooms will look like, what to expect can help ease their stress and anxiety.
It can also be helpful to get back in a school routine, even if your child is doing virtual classes.
“Starting to have earlier bedtimes and earlier wake times,” says Dr. Watson. “Just have a daily schedule that you begin to follow. It doesn’t have to be super strict and, every day. All of us benefit from a routine, so just starting the process of where to be, what they’ll be can be so beneficial."
Dr. Watson says it’s important for children and parents to have grace and leeway with their child’s school.
Information is changing daily, so they need to know what the protocol might be today, might change tomorrow.
She says it’s a good time to teach kids to be resilient and to go with the flow this fall.