A Mom on Trusting Kids to Wear Face Masks: "I Am Tired of These Blanket Assumptions"

As a mom of two, Gail Hoffer-Loibl knows better than anyone how grimy kids can be. Between the boogers and seemingly endless supply of mud that gets tracked through the house, Gail isn't arguing that fact for a second. Despite her kids' tendencies to be downright gross sometimes, she recently posted a gentle reminder to parents that kids can be trusted to wear face masks amid the pandemic.

"Kids are terrible about wearing masks," she wrote. "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."

According to Gail, parents need to make an effort to show their children a little more respect when it comes to their ability to wear a mask, especially given the number of temper tantrums full-on adults have had over having to wear one during a grocery run.

"Plenty of kids wear their masks when needed with little complaint," she explained. "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."

"As my own kids have shown me, children are often more capable of much more than we think."

Gail noted that her two boys have spent hours outside playing in the summer heat while wearing masks, and she's seen other kiddos do the same. So why are adults still complaining about how uncomfortable they 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," she shared. "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."

However, for now, Lori is giving her children the benefit of the doubt. "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."