Kids are terrible about wearing masks.
Kids don’t wash their hands.
Kids won’t keep their fingers out of their mouths and noses.
Kids are gross.
Yes, kids are gross.
As a mom of two boys, I know this well. And, one whiff of my house, you would know this, too.
Yes, kids are tiny germ machines, and I understand why many fear them as little vectors of illness.I also don’t underestimate their potential role in spreading COVID-19. However, I think we also need to show children a bit more respect.
While plenty of adults throw tantrums over having to wear a mask for a 20-minute grocery run, plenty of kids wear their masks when needed with little complaint.
Maybe it is because kids are often more caring than adults?
I am not saying it is easy for a child to wear a mask for extended periods of time, nor that every child puts one on without a fight, but I am tired of these blanket assumptions that children are terrible about protecting themselves and others.
Both of my kids have spent hours outside, in the summer heat, in masks. I have seen other children do the same, even while us adults complain about how uncomfortable we are.
For kids, like my oldest, they see a mask as a safe way to do the things he loves. A mask means getting back to school to see his friends. A mask means a chance at some “normalcy.”
We all worry about how our kids will handle the changes at school, and if they can/will be able to comply with all the new “rules.” And, there is plenty to suggest they won’t.
But, as my own kids have shown me, children are often more capable of much more than we think.As many of us prepare to send our kids back to the classroom, anxious about their safety, I offer up a bit of hope and encouragement that they will be OK.