What do Kids think about Covid-19?
This virus is new to everyone and while we have yet to understand the full implications, children are well aware that something is wrong and they feel just as concerned as we do. Children are well attuned to adults emotional states; exposure to unexplained and unpredictable behavior is perceived by children as a threat, resulting in a state of anxiety. It is also understandable that Parents would do anything to protect their children from distress and might avoid talking about difficult feelings and events Watch the video from The Atlantic below to hear their points of view:
While children are aware something is wrong and aware that this virus makes them sick. Cognitively they are not at the stages to understand why wearing a mask is very important in protection. Kids have been told wearing masks is only during Halloween, they are not used to the idea of having to wear them every day. Kids associate feeling safe with others when seeing a smile, if they are unable to see reactions on a person’s face they could feel uncomfortable.
Tips to Help Kids Feel More Comfortable Having to Wear Masks
Normalize what it is like to wear a mask - kids have associated mask-wearing with Halloween, or their favorite superhero, it is a harder transition for them to remember to wear one every day than adults.
Model the mask-wearing - essentially "practice what you preach," kids will follow along with you if you are continuing to model positive behaviors.
Decorate the mask - even during this time when we can’t see smiles, decorating the masks allows them to express their personality.
Make a mask for a favorite toy - another way to normalize mask-wearing as kids play on their own.
Dalton, L., Rapa, E., & Stein, A. (2020). Protecting the psychological health of children through effective communication about COVID-19. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 4(5), 346-347. doi:10.1016/s2352-4642(20)30097-3
The Atlantic (2020, April 14). Kids Explain the Coronavirus. Retrieved October 03, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLOZ4KcEJtc
Poolman , A. (2020). 7 Tips for helping your child to wear a mask. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/7-tips-for-helping-your-child-wear-a-mask.