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Embrace the Masks; Kids Do

by Brenda Mahler 10 months ago in advice
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Masks do not leave scars; people do

Photo by Charles Parker from Pexels

My kids love Halloween; most children do. They love to dress up and pretend to be somebody else. In fact, we have a basket of play clothes just so they can pretend. Sometimes, they become royalty by wearing a crown. An apron has the ability to transport them to a fancy restaurant as they play the part of a chef and make pretend meals to serve us. Many of their favorite costumes include masks that transform them into villians, super heroes, and cartoon characters.

Kids love masks

With Halloween just around the corner, children are already donning masks and playing pretend. Soon they will gather in the streets, walk door-to door and be given candy for their clever costumes.

Parents dress their kids in masks to go trick-or-treating and make the experience positive. The opposite occurs when children are asked to wear a mask to protect society from a pandemic. Many adults fear masks will scar children emotionally.

Many adults fear masks will scar children emotionally. This is not necessarily true. When we dress them up for play, they giggle and love reinventing themselves. The difference is presentation. The adults are encouraging the behaviors and often participate. The behavior is positive and part of the game.

Seize the Opportunity

Kids’ emotions feed off adults. When an a parent shows fear, anger, or happiness it flows to the child. As parents, we all remember times we camouflaged our feelings to protect children. We provide assurances while holding back the tears until we are alone, refuse to respond violently to model appropriate behavior, swallow insulting, disrespectful laughter to be respectful, and put on our own masks to reflect peace and patience.

Encouraging children to wear masks can be an opportunity to teach social responsibility. By approaching the discussion with knowledge, children can be empowered to gain knowledge, learn to empathize, and understand the importance of compassion for their neighbors.

What if we provide kids masks designed with images of their favorite super hero and allow them to take part in saving the world. At our Bi-Mart store they have every design imaginable: unicorns, dogs, dinosaurs, inspirational sayings. I stocked up on several, so the masks can be a fun part of the morning routine.

Or better yet, let kids create their own masks so they can personify a super hero to protect the people they love. Make masks a positive experience instead of negative.

Talking points

Masks have always been accepted in social situations and religious ceremonies in different cultures. Discuss with children how masks have been used and evolved over time. By discussing the history of masks in society, children will gain understanding and acceptance.

Not only do children dress up, adults love masquerade parties and Mardi Gras is a favorite time of year for many. Religious ceremonies and cultural events don masks for traditional attire and for rituals. Even in our current day, holiday characters wear masks. Kids love the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap or play with the Easter Bunny.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Photo by Roxanne Shewchuk from Pexels

Photo by Asiama Junior from Pexels

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

In many occupations, professionals wear masks daily. Children respect and love their doctors. Firefighters are a favorite Halloween costume every year and what little boy or girl would not love to build and create as they forge with fire. Share the power behind the mask.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Photo by Kateryna Babaieva from Pexels

Debunk the arguments

Masks don’t have to be negative. When people complain and protest against masks, they are allowing others to control their perceptions and emotions. It seems one of the biggest arguments against masks is that individuals resent others telling them what to do. I understand. Rebellion still bubbles in my core when I am told I are required to do a task. However, given the opportunity to protect others and make the world a better place, I am willing to wear a mask.

Dang! Even if you do not agree that a pandemic exists, would it not be better to create peace than war? Make a positive impact instead of conflict? Inspire citizenship instead of rebellion? Encourage acts of kindness instead of hostility?


About the author

Brenda Mahler

Stories about life that inspire emotions - mostly humor.

Lessons about writing based on my textbook, Strategies for Teaching Writing.

Poetry and essays about the of art of being human.

I write therefore, I am.

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