Tuesday, June 15, 2021
HomeCOVID-19Put children first, and bin the mask

Put children first, and bin the mask

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PLEASE stop and think about the message young children and teens absorb when you comply blindly with authority and wear a mask.

Government and their advisers know how psychology works. They know many of you don’t believe masks will protect you or anyone else, but they know you will wear them anyway. They’re aware that a very powerful tool in compliance is ensuring people will feel targeted and excluded if they do not obey. To stand out with mask non-compliance brings with it the concern that you will be shunned and thought of as ‘bad’.

There is another powerful aspect of psychology that the government know, but should not be able to override: a parent’s instinct to protect their child.

Recently my four-year-old daughter told me she was going to wear a mask when she was older so she would not die of Covid. I told her I had worn one only because of the rules and that I would no longer do so. She was worried if I stopped I would die. This cemented my decision; I would stop teaching my child fear, and I would lead by example.

Babies and young children learn so much from faces. They learn emotions and vital skills (such as the ability to empathise) by mirroring and mimicking other faces. Empathy is the fundamental cornerstone of a compassionate human civilisation. Acquiring empathy and other such traits happens in early childhood during our formative years. Studies show that children can grow up to have intra and interpersonal difficulties and may experience struggles with healthy attachment to the self and others when they do not regularly see smiling happy faces at a young age. The more of them they see the better. It can be hard to find this information so easily in this new age of censorship, but it is there if you look (use DuckDuckGo as a search engine).

Studies also show that as humans we rely on non-verbal communication to interact well at a social level. In this regard seeing the bottom half of the face is pivotal. Being consistently presented with covered faces can negatively affect a child’s social skills, not to mention their language development. It simply is not natural and detracts from normal development to be masked and be presented consistently with other masked faces (and please if you put a mask on a small child you must seriously assess your judgment). Teens already struggle in today’s world with their communication and relationship skills due to an overexposure to technology. Anyone with a teenager can attest to this. Now they have masks as an added complication to communicating effectively in their already hard-to-navigate existence.

Furthermore, it is not right to overburden any child or young person with all these excessive responsibilities. It adds layers of anxiety to their world. Please consider how growing up this way will affect them for years to come. Knowing you did the right thing by your child is what will matter to you when you look back on how you fared through this time. And please, if you have any child in school, make a stand. Now. While you still can, because that window is closing.

It takes just one person, and then another and another to set an example. If you feel it is too confrontational to take off your face covering in shops, etc, then please at least do not wear it walking outside. Ask yourself; did you feel the need to wear a face covering before, or did you do it because they forced you? Even if you do feel that masks are effective, know that doing so outside makes no difference to anyone – except the young children and teens who see you doing it.

It is not ‘just a mask’. Your bravery will be rewarded. You will never regret putting your children first. Do not listen to a government that does not care about you or your children. They will be gone someday but your child will always be by your side: make sure you can tell them they always came before oppressive rules.

If I can do it, believe me, so can you.

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Susanne Delaney
I am a proud stay-at-home mother, with a keen interest in politics, current affairs and deepening my understanding of the world around me.

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