A few days ago a big moment arrived.
For the past two years we’ve been required to wear masks wherever we went and as of now that is no longer the case.
Regardless of the personal choice that you have made for you and your children in either deciding to remove your masks or continue to wear them, there is one thing that shines through.
The mere fact that it was possible to consider such a decision highlights that the situation out there generally speaking has improved and this is wonderful news.
At the same time, whether your children will or won’t be wearing masks going forward there is a lot to talk about.
We could technically break off this conversation into two camps and address those no longer wearing masks and those still wearing masks separately.
However, I don’t believe there is a need to do so as the aspects inherently involved are one and the same, as well as mask or no mask we are all one people.
For children out there two factors may be specifically weighing on their mind at this very moment.
The Fear Factor
With all that has gone on over the past couple of years children have been exposed to hearing about concepts that they may not have heard about previously, such as pandemic, sickness and unfortunately even death.
All of these can be scary for adults, let alone children.
As a result whether your children will or won’t be wearing a mask as we move forward these ideas may cause them to worry.
They may be wondering now that fewer people are wearing masks will they catch the virus and these are legitimate concerns which shouldn’t be ignored.
The Self-Image Factor
A key element of a child’s growth and development is having the self-confidence to be proud of how they look and who they are, as well as liking the image of themself that everyone gets to see.
For quite a while now when children have looked at their friends all they saw was a set of eyes, as the rest of each one’s face across from them was covered by a mask.
Upon looking in a mirror or seeing their reflection while in school or in public they haven’t seen their full face in so long that they may be questioning whether they are pretty or good looking and will others think that they are.
Additionally, they also haven’t seen a teacher give them a reassuring smile or a friend laugh at something funny that they’ve said as only their eyes were visible
In this climate, it would be easy to see how any child’s self-image may have suffered.
In fact, they may even be thinking that once they and everyone around them remove their masks, will they think that they’re attractive, will their teacher smile at them and will their friends laugh at their jokes.
These are the self-image aspects that in all likelihood children are thinking about now that mask requirements have ended and once again these are all legitimate concerns.
The Simple Solution
The good news for you as a parent is that you can be there for your children at this pivotal moment by reaching for a little good old-fashioned communication.
By sitting down with them to have a conversation you can mitigate both the fear they may be experiencing and how they view themselves by incorporating three aspects into your chat.
At the outset give them an opportunity and encourage them to express how they’re feeling.
Once they’ve shared their feelings, reassure and comfort them that they don’t need to be as worried as they are and that they are the same beautiful, interesting and fun person that they’ve always been.
Last but not least let them know that they can come to you anytime to continue the conversation and that you’ll always be open to hearing them out.
Although The Fear Factor and The Self-Image Factor are very real for children as masks begin to make an exit, by having a meaningful and open dialogue with them you can make their re-acclimation to a maskless society simpler and easier for them.
One more thing if I may, as part of your conversation with them you can also include another important aspect.
That is whether they are or aren’t wearing a mask is to be respectful, understanding and empathetic to the choices of others, as these are human qualities that we all can equally share, aspire to and practice.
Before I go, if I may be so bold please allow me to offer a suggestion.
Although the anxiety and diminished self-confidence that children may be experiencing at this time is completely within reason, if you’d like to accelerate your children’s ability to move forward with ease here’s a thought.
Here at Maxi Mind we have focus through fun brain training courses that actually can help to lessen anxiety as well as increase self-confidence.
You can learn more about the Maxi Mind Program here