Help Your Child Create a Safety Space
by Deb Mugno, Ed.D.
Director of Education
Lucy Daniels Center
To a young child the term social distancing has little meaning but we can assist children in creating their own safety space. Parents can help their child count out the number of steps backward they need to take to create their own safety space with the understanding that parents will also let children know when they need to use their safety space. They might not need it at home, but they might need it if they go out for a walk. Parents can also explain that the size of one’s safety space may be different for different people and families.
Children may also be curious to see more people wearing masks. An easy explanation can be that helping people (like doctors and nurses) wear masks because they can’t stay in their safety space to help sick people. How could they listen to someone’s heart or look at their throat if they stand or sit far away? Other people may wear masks if they have big worries about getting sick or if they are not feeling well and do not want to make others sick. Children should always be assured that their moms/dads/caregivers are looking out for them, will listen to their worries, and will keep them safe.