BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — Vocabulary may be the first lesson of this new school year. Remote and hybrid — these are terms not previously used when talking back to school. It’s not only a confusing time for parents and families but for kids as well.
According to child psychologists, these new words could play a big role not only in how kids learn, but how they feel.
For teachers, it will be a trying return. For parents, this upcoming school year will serve as a challenge, if not a logistical nightmare.
But for kids?
“This is all new! For them it’s like oh OK, this is how we do it,” said psychologist Dr. Robert J. Jann Sr.
Dr. Jann is a Newtown-based psychologist who spent about 30 years in classrooms specializing in school psychology.
“To be in the same room as someone else, there is something sort of intangible,” he said.
What happens to a child’s development if they miss long periods of traditional socialization, with new remote-only programs?
“If you are 14 and miss a year with your friends is that an end-all-be-all or can you make it up in other ways?” CBS3’s Alexandria Hoff asked.
“In about 15 minutes, absolutely,” said Dr. Jann.
Dr. Jann does not foresee mass social stunting. But he does say back to school mental health depends on the student feeling three things — lovable, trustworthy and competent.
“They can be positive contributors to everybody’s getting better,” said Dr. Jann.
Before sending your child back into a hybrid learning model, Dr. Jann suggests that caretakers can make sights, like plastic partitions and masks, seem less scary by letting students know that they play a role too.
“You have an important job. not only learning but being sure you do your part not to spread the disease to your parents, not to spread the disease to your friends and most of all, not to catch it for yourself,” said Dr. Jann.
For students who obtained mental health resources or counseling at their schools, experts say it’s important that parents see that those services continue. If not in person, then virtually.