To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people are wearing masks and gloves. This is increasingly true in light of the CDC’s recent recommendation that individuals wear masks in public. For children, this can be both confusing and scary. This social story helps you answer questions and soothe anxiety related to masks and gloves.
Written by Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Abbi Kruse, this story explains why people are wearing masks and gloves in reassuring, age-appropriate language. The PDF also includes an activity to help children understand that masks are not scary.
When we feel worried ourselves, talking to children about complex and challenging situations is especially tough. This social story gives you the age-appropriate information and comforting language you need, along with helpful strategies to carry you through these unusual times.
What Are Social Stories?
Social stories are visual reminders typically used to teach children appropriate behavior. These behaviors can be related to procedures, like how to stay safe on the school bus or successfully follow a bedtime routine. They can also teach social behaviors, like how to manage anxiety when a parent goes to work or how to express frustration in a healthy manner. Social stories help children make sense of their own feelings and the world around them.
How to Use Social Stories
When a child is missing a skill or struggling to navigate a situation, social stories can help. If possible, it’s especially powerful to include pictures of the child or children in action throughout the story. Read social stories often to ensure children understand the message. Pause after each page to ask or answer questions, and even roleplay if it’s helpful. Remember, too, that reading a story can always represent a precious moment of connection. Be present as you read the story with your child, enjoying your time together. Connection translates into increased cooperation, willingness, and impulse control. During these unprecedented times, connection with our loved ones is more valuable than ever.
To learn more about social stories, read the article Teaching Missing Skills: The Power of Social Stories.