At Ngala, we understand your child might have concerns about wearing face masks that are not linked to safety or COVID-19. While this response may not seem important to you or other adults, it is linked to your child’s development and how they relate to the world around them. A child of any age may have emotions attached to mask wearing.
Common reasons to resist mask wearing in this age group include:
- feeling silly
- not looking good
- concerns about their skin and the impact of mask wearing on their skin
- how the mask impacts their ability to be understood or understand others
- concerns about fitting in or standing out, for example, not having the same mask (type, colour) as friends
By taking the time to understand your child’s concerns, you can increase the likelihood of them correctly wearing their mask.
Here are some useful resources, which can help you when parenting through this new requirement of mask wearing, click on the links below:
For parents with younger children, here are some additional key points and strategies on how you can communicate with your young child when wearing a face mask when outside your home:
- Turn to face towards your child and use lots of eye contact.
- Try speaking more slowly and clearly so your child can hear you through the mask.
- Use more expression so that your smile or surprise shows in your eyes.
- Use body language and gestures like nodding and touching your child gently to show you’re listening.
- Play charades to give your younger child practice in understanding and using body language, hand gestures and movement to communicate.
- Give your child more attention and face time when you’re at home together and you’re not wearing a mask.
As you know, only children aged 12 or older will need to wear a mask at school. If you have younger children they may choose to copy their older siblings and wear a facemask as well. If you’re wondering whether your child should be wearing a face mask in addition to other physical distancing measures, it’s important to consider:
- your child’s age and developmental stage
- your child’s medical history
- your child’s ability to put on, wear and remove a face mask correctly and safely
- your ability to provide close supervision while your child is wearing a face mask.
For information about children and face masks at school – you can contact the COVID hotline at 13 COVID (13 268 43) you can also read more here at healthy.wa
Information from this article has been taken from https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/coronavirus-covid-19-guide/face-masks-coronavirus-children
If you have any parenting thoughts or queries, and would like one of our Practioners to contact you, please contact Ngala’s Parenting Line on 9368 9368.