If you are like many parents, you are starting to get anxious about how the upcoming start of the new school year will look during this time of a global pandemic. Many schools are requiring that students wear face masks in the building. Clearly, this is going to be a challenging transition for many families. Here are five ways that you can get your children used to wearing masks before the school year kicks off.
Keep It Positive
Kids will have an easier time navigating this new situation in life if they have positive role models to follow. Even if you do not agree with the mask policies at your school, it is important that you adopt a positive attitude for the sake of your children. If you are complaining about the mask requirements, your children will also approach the mandate with a negative attitude.
You can provide good modeling for your child by wearing your own mask without complaint. Making them feel good about how they are helping others to stay healthy when they wear the mask will provide good guidance and make this as easy as possible. You can also bring up how superheroes such as Spider-Man and Batman also wear masks.
Experiment with Different Styles and Materials
There is no shortage of masks styles and materials to choose from, making it easy to find the best type of masks to fit the needs of your child. Before sending them to school, be sure to experiment with a variety of styles.
Your child will most likely find that an ultra-light face mask is the most comfortable to them. This type of material delivers maximum breathability and comfort while still providing ample amounts of protection from virus particles.
Do Not Skimp on Quality
Not all face masks are created equal. The goal of facial coverings is two-fold. On one hand, the masks offer protection to the wearer. On the other hand, masks also help to keep others safe. You will be doing more harm than good if you skimp on the quality of the face mask.
Many parents may also be tempted to choose masks solely based on comfort. While it is understandably important to find masks that your children can tolerate, it is also vital that you find masks that are also effective in their intended purpose.
Let Them Express Their Personality
You can make this difficult time more fun by letting them express their personality and own sense of style through their facial coverings. Your child will be less likely to complain about the mask if they view it as a fun fashion accessory rather than a strict rule.
You can find masks in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing them to build up a wide array of coverings to match all of their favorite outfits. It is also a good idea to choose washable masks that can be used multiple times rather than costly disposable masks.
Practice Makes Perfect
The number one thing that you can do as a parent to help your children with this adjustment is to make them practice wearing the masks at home before sending them to school where they are mandated. Be sure to start slowly, limiting the use to just a few minutes at a time.
You can set a timer if you think that will help build your child up to wearing the mask for longer periods of time. Or consider having your child try to wear it for the length of their favorite song and then working up from there.
Consider making the practice more fun by taking selfies to make this seem more like a game than a task to complete. Be sure to also practice wearing the mask outside if your child will be required to use it during recess at school.
Even if your school district does not require the use of masks in the classroom, the CDC continues to recommend the usage of masks in public settings. Getting your children used to wearing these coverings on their faces is half of the battle in stopping the spread of the virus and in protecting your family.