Pencils? Check. Notebooks? Check. Backpack? Check and Masks??
The fact that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic is unbelievable for many of us – however, it is real. It is happening and it is not going anywhere, any time soon. So all we can do is prepare, and adjust to the new normal. This includes getting our kids ready for Back-To-School.
Here are some tips on getting your kids ready and yourself too.
Keep it positive: Our kids pick up on everything. I am sure you know that already. They pick up on our stress, our anxiety, our temperament and even our approach to things. So be honest with your kids, without scaring them. Talk to them why masks are needed to keep safe and to help prevent anyone from getting sick. Remind them about how people often wear masks in their jobs, like nurses or doctors and even firefighters. Depending on the age of your child, you can also remind them that often their favourite superheroes wear masks too.
Sharing is not always caring: You can imagine that many parents are trying to find masks for their kids, and ones that they will love. Some might have their favourite characters on it, some will be their absolute favourite colour and so on. However, remind them that the masks they own are special and are for only them. You don't want to send your kid to school with a batman mask, only to come home wearing their best friend's Spiderman mask because it looked 'cooler'.
Practice at home: Some kids might resist wearing masks. I know we all have had to get used to it and it often isn't the most comfortable (and we usually wear them for a short period of time in the grocery store, let alone all day at school). Therefore, try it out at home first. Have them wear it while playing at home for a few mins here and there. Perhaps play dress up or put on masks and take selfies around the house. Set a timer and extend that timer each time you try. This will also help you find out if there is anything about the mask that bothers them – if it is too tight, too small, loose and falls down under their noses etc. Share in ways to make masks work: Wearing a mask changes a lot of things. It isn't as easy to hear one another, or hear yourself sometimes. It often can be uncomfortable breathing in your own air and the way we look. Practice talking with your child with masks on. Help them understand how they might have to speak louder, or enunciate their words more, and take deep breaths. It is not easy for any of us, and we are all in this together. The new normal is here to stay for a while, so they best thing we can do is to help one another, and be there to support our children in the best way we can. Remember, stay safe and look out for each other.
You should not rely on this article as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk. For more information on the proper use of face coverings and masks, please consult the government of Ontario website.