Right now we are living in a completely different, and scary, reality. No matter the age of your child, they are probably feeling the effects of this pandemic, and are struggling to cope. Your child’s mental health is important. The biggest thing that you can do for them is to be honest with them. They figure out how to deal with everything by watching you deal with your fear, anxiety, frustration, etc. While there is nothing unusual about that, everything is elevated right now as our patience may be wearing a little thin at times. Have you seen the journal I created to help kids process their feelings? Check it out HERE.
A lot of times, people forget how hard this has hit our children. They have been essentially locked inside their homes, away from any form of “normal” and probably do not fully understand why or what is happening right now. I’ve seen this quote floating around, I’m not sure where it came from but I don’t think it could have been more true. It says:
“Everyone is applauding everyone but our children. These little heroes have stayed indoors more than they’ve ever known in their lives. Their whole little worlds have been turned upside down and they don’t know why. All these rules they’ve never known. Not being able to see family or give hugs. Vacations, sports, and activities, playdates and school cancelled. Adults talking about others becoming unwell, news reporting death after death. Our poor children’s minds must be racing. Every day their resilient little bodies get up and carry on despite all that’s going on. So here’s to our little heroes: Today, tomorrow, and forever.”
Much has shut down, we haven’t been able to visit friends or family in what feels like forever, and now that the warm weather has finally arrived we are looking at the possibility of changing our habits to keep our family safe. One such reality is the use of masks anytime that we are out in public. These are meant to help prevent us from breathing germs on others, as well as trying to keep us from breathing them in. While masks may become a reality for many, they are uncomfortable and we may need to get creative in order to encourage children to wear them. So I have put together this printable. Print the page that you feel most applies to your child, or print multiple, and allow them to design and decorate the ultimate mask. I mean who says that they have to only be for protection purposes – why not also make them fashionable as well!
If you do choose to wear masks, please wear them appropriately and responsibly and remember that they can pose a suffocation hazard to young children who are not able to breath through them.
For more information, resources or additional support, I encourage you to check out the Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s Webpage.