As we move into August, we instinctively turn our attention to the school year - and more specifically, the challenges that this coming academic semester will bring. This is an unprecedented time, one during which families are not sure whether to send their children to school or to opt for at-home learning.
Regardless of what you have chosen, your children will need to understand the importance of wearing a face mask and staying safe - in a fun, reassuring way.
There are many online resources and articles created by child psychologists with the goal of teaching young, school-age children various pandemic safety measures while ensuring that children do not get too frightened or unsettled by the thought of masks and other procedures.
One technique that may work well is associating masks with familiarity. Just what does this mean? This means assigning masks to stuffed animals and toys that your child plays with, to associate a sense of comfort with the thought of wearing a mask.
In addition, personalization of a mask can work wonders! If you are worried that your child might not always be wearing a mask when in group settings at school, it’s important to instill a sense of ownership of the mask in your child.
Perhaps pick out a specific color for a mask that they like online and order it (always make sure that it’s an effective mask above all else!), or have your kids decorate their masks without damaging it to make mask-wearing seem more fun!
Most importantly, stay safe! We’re all doing our darned best to keep going through this pandemic, and we will get through this! Hopefully, sometime in the near future, we’ll be able to hug people again!