How Do I Persuade My Child to Wear a Mask?

How Do I Persuade My Child to Wear a Mask?
How do I persuade my child to wear a mask?

How Do I Persuade My Child to Wear a Mask?

Wearing a mask when heading out of our homes is the new normal for everyone but it can take some persuasion and getting used to, especially for young children. Now that preschools are reopening, children aged 2 years and up are required to put on their masks. So how do we help them comply?

In the beginning, only doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and people who are sick had to wear masks. Now, due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), mask-wearing in public spaces is essential and compulsory for individuals around the world.

 

While many of us do find it uncomfortable to do so, we put it on to protect ourselves and others and can bear with the discomfort every time we have to head out for a grocery run or to work (for essential workers). But what about young children?

How Do Young Children React to Masks?

 

Some kids may be eager to wear a mask as they see people around them donning this new look. They see themselves as superheroes and are happy to be putting them on.

Some others are cooperative and will put on the masks when parents tell them to. Yet, they will continually adjust them, touch their faces, or pull them down whenever they feel like it is difficult to breathe.

 

Many children may feel afraid or even upset. They cry whenever parents put the masks on them, desperately trying to pull it off, or even run away.

 

As masks hide a portion of a person’s face, children are unable to see the friendly smile or recognise the familiar look of their parents or caretakers. When they head back to school, seeing all their teachers donning a mask, they may not be able to recognise them at first and start to cry. It takes time, but slowly, and gently, children will get to feel more comfortable with their masks and with the people around them wearing masks.

Creative Ways to Teach Your Child to Put On A Mask

Explain the Wearing of Masks in an Age-Appropriate Way

 

Parents can start by relating past experiences, “How did you feel the last time you felt sick? Do you like falling ill?”

 

Since most children will say no, we can explain to children that there is a germ going around and everyone needs to be very careful when we are not at home. “We are all going to do a cool thing, be a superhero and wear masks so that none of us will get sick! Do you want to do it too?”

Help Children Get Used to Masks

 

Kids need a lot of practice. Before they wear them outside their home or when they head to their preschool, they will need to be familiar and comfortable with it.

 

With two more weeks to go, start getting your little ones to be comfortable wearing them at home. Teach them how they should put on and take off their masks and how they should try not to touch the masks because the exterior carries germs…

Make Mask-Wearing Fun!

 

When children return to Mulberry Learning, our early childhood educators will be using fun activities, rhymes and songs, and dances to make mask-wearing fun for the little ones!

 

At home, parents could do colouring activities with characters wearing masks, watch videos on mask-wearing, or even challenge children to find out how long they can refrain from touching their faces. There are also reusable masks in the market with printed dinosaurs or animals that make the wearing of masks more fun for kids!

Show Them How Their Peers Do it Too!

 

It also helps that when they are in child care centres, everyone around them will wear masks. Children enjoy being part of a group, and when they see their friends doing it, they will want to do it too.

 

At home, parents can also help encourage the wearing of masks by putting masks on their favourite stuffed toy or draw masks on their favourite book character or animals. Kids learn by emulating, and when they see their stuffed toys and characters donning masks (which look cool!), they will start doing so too!

Face Shields – An Alternative to Face Masks

With all these efforts, wearing masks for prolonged periods of time may still be challenging for young children. A good alternative that is more comfortable, while still protecting little ones, is the use of face shields.

Our Safety Management Officers assigned at each child care centre will also help to monitor and look out for any signs of discomfort when wearing masks or face shields.

With these tips to help you persuade your child to don that new normal look, you can be assured of your child’s safety when you return to work after the circuitbreaker!

About Mulberry Learning

Established in 2006, Mulberry Learning is an award-winning Reggio-inspired preschool with 11 locations around Singapore. Mulberry Learning is the world’s first and only preschool network certified by the USA for the Habits of MindTM framework, and its curriculum has been voted as “Singapore’s Best Holistic Learning Programme” for 3 years running by leading parenting publications.

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