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Q:

How do I handle my toddler's resistance to wearing a mask during the pandemic?

Hi everyone,

I am a mom of a 2-year-old toddler and I am finding it extremely difficult to make her wear a mask during this pandemic. It is important for us to go out for grocery shopping and other essentials, but my daughter completely resists wearing a mask. She pulls it off every time I put it on her and throws a tantrum. I am really worried about her safety and the safety of others around us.

I have tried explaining to her that we need to wear a mask to stay safe and healthy, but she doesn't seem to understand. I have also tried making it a game and using positive reinforcement, but it doesn't seem to work. I don't want to force her, as I don't want her to develop negative associations with wearing a mask.

I would really appreciate it if some other parents or experts could share their experiences or tips on how to handle this situation. I am sure there are many other parents out there who are facing the same issue. Thank you in advance for your help.

All Replies

orn.reymundo

Hello,

I am a mother of a 4-year-old who has been wearing a mask consistently for the past few months. One thing that worked for us was allowing our child to pick out their own mask.

We purchased a few different designs and let our child choose which one they wanted to wear that day. Our child felt like they had some control over the situation, and it made the experience more enjoyable for them.

Additionally, we talked to our child about the importance of staying safe and healthy during the pandemic. We explained that wearing a mask was one way to help stop the spread of germs, and that it was important for us to protect ourselves and others around us.

We also made it a point to wear masks as a family, so our child could see that we were all doing it together. This helped to normalise mask-wearing in our household.

Lastly, we found it helpful to gradually increase the amount of time our child wore the mask. We started with shorter periods of time and worked our way up to longer periods.

Patience and understanding with your child's resistance are key. Keep trying different methods until you find one that works for your child. Good luck!

rkuhn

Hi everyone,

My son is also 2 years old and I faced the same problem of getting him to wear a mask when we go outside. One thing that has worked for us is letting him decorate the mask with stickers.

We purchased a plain mask and lots of stickers of his favourite animals, shapes and colours. My son enthusiastically put stickers all over his mask, and he was excited to wear it out.

We also try to make humorous faces and silly sounds or sing a favourite song while putting on the mask. This helps to distract him so that he doesn't suddenly pull off the mask.

As parents, we make sure that we wear masks ourselves and lead by example, reinforcing that wearing a mask is a part of everyday life now. We also share with him videos and books on why and how to wear a mask.

Lastly, keeping the mask washable and clean is crucial for our child's comfort and health. We let him choose a few different designs for the masks so that he has plenty of clean masks to wear, and we encourage him to tell us if he needs a new one.

These are just a few ways that really helped us to get our son to wear a mask. I hope it works for you too!

byost

Hello everyone,

I am also a mother of a 3-year-old who struggled with wearing a mask initially. What has worked for us is practicing wearing masks at home first.

We started with short periods, about 5-10 minutes, and then gradually increased the duration over time. We made it into a game where we pretended to be doctors or nurses and wore masks together to check up on each other's health. This helped to make it less daunting and more familiar for our child.

When we started to venture outdoors, we chose quiet and less crowded areas initially so that our child wouldn't feel overwhelmed. We also explained beforehand where we were going and what we were doing so that our child was prepared.

We also found it helpful to bring other distractions such as snacks or toys to keep our child entertained while wearing the mask.

It takes time and patience, but with a little creativity and practice, it is possible to get your child comfortable with wearing a mask. Good luck!

rosenbaum.deven

Hi there,

I understand the struggle of trying to get a toddler to wear a mask. My daughter is also 2 years old, and she initially refused to wear a mask as well.

What worked for us was introducing the idea of "mask buddies". We let our daughter choose a soft toy that she would like to be her mask buddy. Anytime we needed to go outside, we would tell her that her mask buddy needs to wear a mask too to stay safe from germs.

We would then place a tiny mask on the toy's face and also put one on our daughter's face. This made it fun and engaging for her and also helped her understand why wearing a mask is important.

Another thing that worked for us was involving our daughter in the process of getting ready to go outside. We let her choose her own mask design and would praise her for wearing the mask properly.

These tips have worked well for us, and my daughter is now comfortable wearing a mask. I hope you find them helpful too!

savanna65

Hi there,

I completely understand your situation as I have gone through the same thing with my nephew who is also 2 years old. It can be really frustrating and stressful to make them wear a mask, but it is necessary in the current situation.

What worked for us was using a mask that had a cartoon character or superhero design that my nephew loved. He was fascinated by it and would watch himself in the mirror and keep trying to touch the mask. We made it a habit to show him the mask and ask him if he needed to wear it every time before stepping outside.

I also involved him in the process of choosing his own masks. We went online and looked for masks that had his favourite characters on them. This made him feel like he had some control over the situation and he was happy to wear the mask.

Additionally, we made it a point to wear the mask ourselves while at home to set an example. Children learn by imitating the behaviour of adults, so this worked well for us.

I hope these tips help you to some extent. Remember to be patient and understanding with your toddler, as this is a new and strange situation for them as well. Good luck!

kerluke.taryn

Hi everyone,

I am a dad of a 2-year-old, who at first was also resistant to wearing a mask. Firstly, we introduced the idea of wearing masks to him by using books, videos and also songs about mask-wearing. This helped to familiarise him with the concept and importance of wearing a mask.

Secondly, we made the mask-wearing a part of our daily routine, even when we are staying at home. For instance, we would put on our masks before leaving our room or when we have visitors at home. This helped our son get accustomed to the masks, and now he doesn't resist when we go outside, and he needs to wear one.

We also use positive reinforcement techniques, by praising and rewarding him for keeping his mask on for extended periods of time. We would play games or read his favourite books to distract him along the way, which also helps to reduce fussiness.

Lastly, we created a social story or visual reminder using pictures to show our son the reasons why we need to wear masks and the importance of keeping them on.

We understand that every child is different, we hope that you find one of these tips helpful in getting your child to wear a mask during this pandemic.

wava67

Hello there,

I completely relate to your situation as I also have a 2-year-old who finds it difficult to wear a mask. What has worked for us is making a game out of it.

We pretend that we are superheroes and that the mask is our superhero mask. I play along with my child and we put on our superhero capes and masks together. This has worked really well for us, and my child loves wearing the mask now.

It is important to keep it positive and fun and explain to your child in a way that they understand why we need to wear masks. You can also use props and toys to make it more interactive and engaging for your child.

I hope these tips help you with getting your toddler to wear a mask during this pandemic. It can be stressful, but with patience and creativity, it is possible to make them understand the importance of wearing a mask.

kmckenzie

Hello,

I completely understand your frustration as I have a 3-year-old at home who also initially resisted wearing a mask. However, what worked for us is that we made it into a fun activity where we got him to design his own mask!

We purchased plain white masks and fabric markers that are safe to use for children. We then let our son draw and colour his mask in his favourite colours, shapes and designs. He was so excited about the activity that he willingly wore the mask and keeps asking to wear his self-designed mask whenever we have to go out.

We also make it a point to explain to him why we need to wear a mask and how it can protect himself and others from germs. At an early age, they may not fully understand the concept of viruses or airborne transmission, but it is important to talk to them in a way that they can understand.

I hope these tips help with your toddler's resistance to wearing a mask. It may take some time and patience, but it is important to instil this habit for their safety and well-being. Stay safe!

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