Getting your child to wear a face mask can be a challenge. It isn’t the easiest task in the world. But masks can help keep everyone safe. We spoke with Dr. Brett Enneking, a clinical psychologist at Riley Hospital for Children, about some tips and tricks to help your child wear a mask.
5 tips to help your child wear a mask:
- Help them understand why they need to wear a mask.
Dr. Enneking suggested using a social story—a short illustrated story that explains a particular situation—to help your child understand why wearing a mask is important. Our updated social narrative discusses all of the changes you’ll see when you visit. You can download it here.
- Let them choose their mask.
When possible, your child might like to choose their mask’s fabric. They might even want to decorate their mask. Then they can wear it and know that it is the choice that they made. Check for comfort to make sure the straps aren’t too tight. If it’s comfortable, they are more likely to keep it on.
- Model mask-wearing.
Make sure you wear your mask correctly—both at home and in public.
- Practice wearing a mask with your child at home.
You could even make a game out of it! Be sure to keep your expectations reasonable and gradually increase expectations as your child gets used to the way the mask feels on their face.
- Give your child positive attention for wearing a mask.
Don’t wait for your child to take their mask off before saying something about their mask. If they’re doing a good job wearing their mask, tell them! You can say something like “I love when you wear your mask. You’re helping to keep everyone safe!” Children thrive on positive adult attention!
Even superheroes wear masks!
In addition to the social narrative, we’ve also created this fun video to help your child remember to stay healthy and safe when visiting The Children’s Museum or any other public space.
Let's mask up, Indy!
It’s important to wear your mask in public spaces, even when wearing one is a challenge. We hope these resources help equip you to encourage your child to mask up!