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How to Teach Kids With All Abilities to Wear Face Masks

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Going outside has changed. The world is changed.

Cue Galadriel from “Lord of the Rings:” “I feel it in the Earth…Much that once was is lost.”

When I Google “accepting change,” a wiki pops up saying to embrace change, know its inevitability, put it in perspective and look on the bright side.

Great. Now, how do I do that?

And how does my kid do that?

The second I step into a public place, on comes the face mask. I’m distracted with how it sticks to my lipstick (OK, chapstick, because seriously what’s the point of wearing lipstick with these things on?). I tell myself to just breathe, reminding myself I can breathe as my subconscious brings up memories of asthma.

Embrace change. Know it’s inevitable. Yes, check. Intellectually, I get that. Putting it in perspective sounds simple enough. This is what helps keep others safe, keeps me safe.

I remind myself of that as I look at others walk by, unable to greet them with a smile or read their emotions. People watching has changed.

Now, look on the bright side.

I have to change the story I’m telling myself. While acknowledging the losses, I need a new story to help inspire me to look on the bright side.

I need a new story to help my son see the bright side.

Channeling the kid in me, I try to recall what inspiring story about using a mask can touch the heart of a kid. As I fold the laundry, I see the t-shirts my son loves to wear: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, The Avengers. Heroes.

And I found the story.

Going outside has changed. When we go outside, we put on the mask.

Why? Because that’s what heroes do.

There’s the bright side.

In our own way, we get to be heroes.

Introducing our latest How-To video:

Let’s Wear Face Masks

A step-by-step guide on the why and how to wear face masks for toddlers, preschoolers, kids and people of all abilities to promote safety and prevention of the coronavirus (COVID-19)!

For more on parenting during quarantine, check out the following stories from our community:

Originally published: June 30, 2020
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