The emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant has again meant that certain restrictions are being put back in place.
One of these is masks in secondary schools, an environment which is conducive to the spread of germs as there are many older children together and teenagers are more likely to socialise outside of school also.
As of Tuesday, 30 November 2021, wearing masks in the corridors and communal areas of the school is again mandatory but for those who are reluctant to go back to how it was previously, as a parent how do we make them do what they do not want to do?
Teenage children are very aware of respect and are very keen for this to work both ways. As growing adults, they feel that their opinions and actions are worthy of respect and consideration even though adults may not agree with their viewpoint. The mutual respect element of growing up is key at this age, so let them know that they can have an opinion but need to respect that of other people and that involves following the rules that have been put in place. Listen to what they have to say and talk through why they feel the way they feel. A lot of learning in the curriculum at secondary school is about healthy debate so having differences in ideas does not necessarily mean that there has to be an argument.
Make sure that your child understands the statistics behind the wearing of masks and why the government is so keen for their reintroduction. It is a scenario when it is actually not only about them but about others also and giving them the responsibility for that is a good life lesson in itself. Make sure that they have a fresh mask daily as well as spare in their bag in order to minimise the spread of germs or better still, give them the job of making sure that that happens.