So, here we are, school is only a couple of weeks away and you are probably stressing out about MANY things and now you have the added stress of your child wearing a face mask at school!
You are most likely panicking trying to figure out how on earth is my child going to wear a face mask at school, let alone wear it the ENTIRE day. We get it. This is not something we thought we would be sharing strategies in 2020. But here we are, let us share with you 5 strategies you can use at home to help prepare to wear a mask during school.
- Educate and Explain
Now more than ever, it is SO important to talk to your child. They are never too young to have an open conversation. Explain why they need to wear a mask. Share the importance of wearing a mask when they are in their classroom. Allow your child to ask questions. This is the time for you to listen.
- Lead By Example
Why would a child wear a face mask if you aren’t? Honestly, why? Letting them see you wearing a face mask will make them feel a little comfortable. Trust us, they need to see you wearing one!
- Child Choice
Let them pick out their masks. There are so many options out there. Let them pick! If they like superheroes, get a superhero mask. If they like princesses, let them wear princesses. You get the picture. If it doesn’t match their outfit, who cares? They are wearing a mask and that is all that matters!
- Build Up the Time
It is important that you start NOW! Build up the time that they wear it. We don’t believe in general schedules because one size does not fit all. You need to follow your child’s lead and do what is best for your family. Below is an EXAMPLE of a wearing schedule to build up the tolerance of wearing a mask. Change it to fit your family’s needs!
|Day 1||10 minutes|
|Day 2||15 minutes|
|Day 3||20 minutes|
|Day 4||25 minutes|
|Day 5||30 minutes and so on…|
Very easy and simple, right? This schedule is only a suggestion. We wish we could provide you a very detailed wearing schedule but to be honest, this will work if you build up the time. It is important that you take your child’s lead.
But what happens if your child FREAKS out and can’t wear it the first day for 10 minutes? Great question! We have the answer for you. Let’s start a the very beginning to educate and explain the mask to your child. If on Day 1 they attempt to put the face mask on, GREAT! Then try for Day 2 to put in on one ear. Then Day 3 have them put it on fully. Day 4 starts the timing. Even if you have to start at 30 seconds. It’s something! Don’t give up. From the words of our sophomore English teacher, “inch by inch it’s a sinch, yard by yard it is hard.” Little by little your child will be able to build up the tolerance for the mask.
More questions….what if my child can not move on for the time. That is ok as well. Hang there for a couple of days and see if you can add on moments, seconds, minutes.
What happens if your child has a meltdown when the mask is out because they are scared about wearing them? Leave them out for them to just see them and it becomes more of a normal thing…yes, we said that. Face masks are becoming a normal thing (at least right now).
- Make it Fun
Yes, you read that right. Make it fun! Your child will buy in a little more when it is fun for them. Have them dress up their favorite stuffed animal or toy. Take selfies of yourself with them wearing a mask. FaceTime with family and friends while wearing the face mask. Be creative and make it fun!
We know this is something that you don’t need to worry about right now. You are not alone. Let’s say that again, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Every parent in America is having to face this new reality of their child going to school wearing a face mask. Take a deep breath. You got this! It is going to be stressful and messy but we will get there together. We can’t wait to look back at this blog and think….wow did we really have to write a blog about wearing face masks?
By trying these strategies will help make the process of wearing a face mask easier for your child. Starting now is the key to success!
Bonus tip: Worried about the mask falling on the floor? There is a helpful tip in the video…..