Dr. Rivera

Dr. Karla Rivera is a district-wide psychologist here in Irvington. She is here to provide support for children and families as we face these challenging times.

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Back to School? Help your child get ready!

We will welcome students back in school very soon! You may feel excited at the thought of having your kids back in in-person school; you may feel nervous, or both. All of these are normal reactions after being virtual for a year! Your children may have mixed feelings too Here are some tips to ease the transition for both of you!

Talk about it. Your child may feel anxious about returning to school, or they may be eager for it. Either way, it’s important to discuss with your child what they can expect. Reassure your child by letting them know it’s ok to feel nervous, and give them the message that you are excited for them to return.

Get Prepared: Now is the time to begin getting ready. Does your child have everything he or she needs to get off to a good start? Does your child have needed supplies and devices for school? If you aren’t sure, check in with your child’s teachers to see what is needed. Also, your child may be out of practice when it comes to the structure of school- remind them how important it will be to follow their teachers directions and the rules of the classroom. Let them know how proud you will be when they do.

Set a Routine: It’s time to set a back to school routine. Maybe your routine changed a lot while your child was virtual. For example, now your child may need to go to bed and wake up earlier than they have been. If so, it’s a good idea to start having them do that now. What will your before and after school plan look like? Put it in place ahead of time, so your child can adjust more easily when school returns.

Help Your Child Stay Safe: If you have a young child, it’s important to have them practice wearing a mask, and remind them to wash their hands often. There will be enough changes for your child the first day back to in- person school. It can add stress if that is also the first day he or she has to wear a mask for several hours. Have your child begin practice wearing a mask at home, start with half an hour and work your way up to two or three hours over the course of a few days. Remind your child that the mask needs to cover their nose and mouth, and they can’t remove it.

Have Patience: Expect there to be a period of adjustment as all of you get used to returning to school. You may find your child is more tired or cranky at the end of the day than they have been, or maybe they may show behaviors you didn’t expect. This is a major change in their lives that they will need to get used to. You may find you have to adjust to things as well. Have patience with your children and yourself during this time.

Use these tips to help your child get off to a great start! Go to your school’s web page or reach out to staff for any specific information about reopening and how to get ready, and welcome back Irvington families!