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Melanie Barnett
BY Melanie Barnett

6 Tricks to Help Your Child Wear a Mask and Social Distance

It can be difficult to reinforce positive behaviors in your child when they may not understand or have the motivation to do so. For parents of children with special needs, getting your child to practice healthy behaviors like hand-washing, not touching others and wearing a mask can be even more of a struggle. 

As you continue to work with your child on improving COVID-19-preventative behaviors, consider the following strategies.

  1. Model Positive Behavior

Start with what you are most likely already doing. Give your child a real-life example of how you are staying safe when you leave the house. Clearly act-out the behavior and also say out-loud what actions you are taking.

  1. Use Visual Indicators

Some kids are better at social distancing than others. One trick Friendship Circle of Michigan staff have found to work is using visuals to indicate where kids should stand during activities like chalk and beach towels. Next time your child participates in a socially distanced gathering, bring visual indicators to show your child where it is safe to be.

  1. Plan Ahead

One of the most important skills for changing your child’s behavior is to plan ahead. Have a plan prepared for the next time you need to correct your child’s misbehavior. Be proactive and make a plan to prevent misbehavior in the first place.

  1. Be Consistent

Having a plan in place can help you to be consistent in how you react to your child’s behavior. By increasing your consistency, you can discover what methods are most effective for your child.

  1. Keep a Journal

In addition to keeping consistent with your child, keeping a journal can help you to track your methods of intervention with your child to find out what is working or not.

  1. Behavior Tracker Apps

For tracking your child’s behavior on the go, check out these apps which you can use to help track your child’s behavior by inputting information each time the behavior is displayed.

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