We now live in a time where we are either required to wear masks in public, or it is recommended to. Adults and teens have more ability to cope with wearing masks than kids, who may not understand what is happening in the world right now and why all of a sudden people around them are wearing masks constantly. Here are some ways you can keep your kids masks on.
Explain to them why face masks are important.
Use age appropriate language to describe to your kids why wearing a face mask is important. For younger children, using simple words like, “wearing a mask keeps us safe and others around us safe,” or “wearing a mask can help protect us and others from germs.” According to Dr. Kahn, it is important to let your children know that putting on a mask can save someone’s life.
Normalize face masks through play.
Children learn through play. Have them play with masks, make masks,and put masks on their stuffed animals. These methods can help them understand that wearing a mask has to be a common occurrence. This is also a way for them to process their feelings. Having you make them practice putting masks on their toys can help them normalize the situation. It is important to listen to your children when they play. This is a great way to understand how they are feeling about a situation.
Provide fun and colorful mask options.
Treat your mask like a piece of clothing. Maybe let your kids pick which mask they want to wear with their outfit. Also, having a lot of different masks for your child is a good idea. You can let them decide which mask they want to wear that day. This can help prevent any battles they may have against wearing a mask that day.
When picking out a mask, make sure that the cloth is washable and fits your child’s face correctly. This can help ensure that they won’t fidget with it as much. A face covering should go over the nose, cover the mouth, and under the chin. Most importantly, always make sure that your child is breathing easily.
Give them a job.
Giving your child a job or responsibility can help them feel more in control of a situation. You can give your child jobs like mask mandator, where they are in charge of making sure everyone has their mask on. Or, have older siblings remind the younger ones to put on a mask. It can also help to keep your child's hands busy by asking them to carry something for you. This can ensure that they don’t fidget with their mask at all.
Model healthy behavior
Wear your own mask! One of the best ways to teach someone something is to do it yourself. Kids are always watching and listening to what you do. How you talk and react with a facemask will affect how they do too. While wearing a mask can be difficult, try to use positive language and keep telling them why wearing a face mask is important.