How Do I get My Child To Wear A Face Mask?
Getting a child of any age to actually wear a Face Mask can present a whole new set of challenges for parents. So if you have a necessary errand or appointment coming up where the kids won’t be able to realistically stay more than six feet away from others, here are some ideas that can help them follow the CDC’s recommendation.
Make it a point to talk about wearing Face Masks as a positive thing. We can all do our part to help and protect others - this also makes the whole Face Mask-wearing phenomenon seem much less scary. When your child puts on their Face Mask, be sure to compliment them on how awesome they look and what a great helper they’re being. You can even compare them to superheroes, if they’re into that—or to everyday heroes like medical workers.
To up the enthusiasm factor, you could pretend you’re a family of spies, ninjas, superheroes, or whatever would excite your kiddo. To gamify it even further, come up with a rules and rewards system—for example, whoever keeps their Face Mask on the longest without touching it gets to pick tonight’s movie.
Show kids photos of some of their beloved relatives and friends wearing Face Masks—or even better, have them video chat with someone who can demonstrate taking their Face Mask on and off so your kid will understand it’s really the same Grandpa under that Face Mask. Keep in mind that kids don’t have the same face-reading skills as adults do, so interacting with others who are wearing Face Masks can be difficult or even frightening for them.
To help young kids understand, you could try role-playing with a stuffed animal or doll. Have the doll avoid touching or taking off the Face Mask while going to the imaginary grocery store, doctor’s office, food donation drop-off, etc. Your child can then help compliment the doll for doing such a great job wearing the Face Mask.
It may seem like just another thing for parents to deal with right now, but at least wearing cloth Face Mask coverings is one way that the whole family can do something helpful for the community. Like social distancing, it’s another way to show that we care about others.