Let the Children Be Little

Can your appearance make someone’s day better?

I know! Don’t judge a person by the way they look has been my motto since my mother instilled it in me at a very young age. It was traumatic, please don’t ask me to share that horrifying memory…but to be fair I was  3 and curious about someone’s size.

Which brings me to the reason for the post. We are all wearing masks of some kind in public now. Some of you have been wearing them much longer than we have in the US so you’ve probably figured this stuff out.

We are new at this game. I’m seeing some fun possibilities here—saving money on lipstick and liner, who cares about those drooping jowls, or those marionette lines on the side of the face? And in the winter, how nice it will be not to have a frozen face before I get inside a store.it

While that is a positive there is a negative side.

I’ve seen some creative masks (mostly on Facebook because I don’t get out much) and many of them are scary—monster faces and skeletons. Right now, it’s not a big deal. Most parents are keeping their small children home.

Don’t do this please.

This week many of the states are relaxing some of the stay-at-home mandates. Parents will be taking their children out in public. Older children are used to video games and tv shows that have scary parts.

A small child will not know what to do with those feelings because none of us—parents, grandparents, teachers had the experience to teach them about the safety of masks. Consider the fact that in October in the US, we have fire safety week to teach the little ones not to be afraid of firefighters, fire alarms, and the sounds the fire trucks make.

Small children are always trying to make sense of what is happening around them. The 2’s, 3’s, and 4-year-olds have been in preschool or home where they have learned to read and understand facial cues and expressions. The first few times they go to a public place there will be no normal faces. Nothing will look the same to them as before.

In the preschool where I work, the children are asked to look at another child’s face after a toy is taken from them, someone knocks over a block tower or is hurt. This is how they learn what facial expressions mean. (We do make sure the child who is wronged is first asked if they are okay to validate their feelings of being hurt or wronged.)

Remember how you felt the first few times you went to the store with a mask and the shelves were empty of toilet paper? Unsettling, wasn’t it? For me, my anxiety rose to a level I have never experienced and I’m still fighting against it.

When they go into a family-friendly environment in the next few months what will they see on your face?

You have a choice to make them a little more comfortable or to increase their confusion and fear. I hope you choose to make them comfortable because there is going to be a lot of adults with issues when this is over. If we can let’s protect the children from having them too.

2 thoughts on “Let the Children Be Little

  1. Carol Nelson says:

    Loved your post. I’ve seen sad little faces in stores when harsh parents can’t be kind and loving as if their kids are a burden. Makes me sad. Thanks for your love toward the litle ones.

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