Parents have always found back to school time challenging with trying to get everyone back to their routines, school shopping and now we can add mask wearing to their daunting list.
Whether you are a parent who laments the end of summer or you are a parent who is doing the happy dance… we all have a new challenge this fall.
How can parents help get our children prepared to wear a mask?
It is important to know your child. Their age and tolerance level. Parents of younger children face challenges of keeping that mask on as little ones constantly pull at them or let them fall down beneath their noses… which defeats the entire mask wearing purpose as we all know.
Small children also may not grasp the importance of mask wearing and avoiding touching their face when explained. Smaller children may also find masks frightening.
Success depends upon getting everyone on board!
And getting everyone on board requires good communication. Good communication is targeted to the audience.
Gear your pandemic explanation to the age of your child. Younger children might need to think of the virus as something bad as their viewpoint is often simplistic. Older children may require a more sophisticated explanation.
It is important to emphasize to your children that by wearing a mask we are protecting others as well as themselves.
That this is a selfless act.
A small thing that they can do to keep our community safe.
It is the ultimate act of kindness!
This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to our children that we are all interconnected and to approach the world from a perspective of ‘we’ instead of ‘me’.
Express empathy for those who have died because of this Pandemic to older children. Express thanks and sympathy to front line workers so that your children will understand the sacrifices others are making for them.
Consider engaging your children in the selection, decorating or making of their own masks. You may wish to recommend a logo of a team older children are fans of. Smaller children may have a favourite colour. Also consider how soft the mask is on the inside to avoid chafing.
You may wish to begin practicing your mask wearing with your children now after all, practice makes perfect. This includes trying them on and seeing what they look like in their masks which will help some children acclimate. Start with short trips to the store. Praise your children for a job well done and thank older ones for doing their part to keep our community safe.
Don’t forget, your children pick up their cues from you and watch what you are doing closely. If you are complaining about mask wearing… so shall they.
Perhaps if you approach mask wearing as just one of the SUPER HERO things that we can all do… the odds that they will adopt your thinking is greatly increased.
After all, you are a SUPER HERO…
YOU ARE A PARENT!
Thinking about you at RE/MAX!
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