Help Kids Get Used to Wearing Masks

Posted by in No-Cry Parenting

This post is about preparing your child so they don’t have to adjust to a mask if they have to wear one. No matter your opinion on the topic, your kid may need to wear a mask at some point.

It’s a good idea to get your child prepared – even if you’re not sure they’ll be in a classroom, or if your school hasn’t made any mask rules yet. Perhaps they won’t be attending school, but they may need to wear one around town. It’s better to get your child used to wearing a mask at home now so it won’t be an upsetting battle later.

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Here are some tips to help your child adjust to wearing a mask:

1 Explain in simple terms, kids don’t need all the details.
You might say something like this: “We all have our own germs, but we can’t see them. Some germs can make other people sick. Masks prevent them from going over to another person so we can all stay healthy.” You can adjust the information depending on your child’s age and level of understanding.

2  Buy a few fun, kid-style masks.
Let your child select one, if possible. If you have solid-color masks allow your child to decorate theirs with markers or stickers.

3 Wear them at home for practice.
Short bursts daily would be best. Wear them during playtime as most children will become engrossed in play and forget about the mask.

4 Let your child see you wear one.
It’s best if you can do it without complaint or comment. Keep it unemotional and factual.  

5 Validate their feelings or concerns.
Let them express their thoughts and feelings about having to wear a mask, but don’t let it turn into a major issue. Stay level-headed and grounded.

6 Focus on the details of the actual rules.
No need to get into the debates about masks. Talk about specific rules: “In our city we have to wear a mask when we are in the store.”

7 Point out masks on others.
Make note of others wearing masks in your community. Point out medical workers, other kids they know, people they admire or superheros who wear masks. Find pictures or videos online of favorite characters wearing masks.

8 Let masks be a part of imaginary play.
Allow your child to put homemade masks on and off dolls or stuffed animals who may be on their way to the bank, the grocery store or school. Most children will become acclimated to wearing a mask quite easily, so don’t assume it will be a challenge! Hopefully these mask-wearing days will be over soon. But in the meantime, help your kids adjust to this new requirement so that they can focus on other things in their lives.

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