Finding a child who actually likes to care about its hygiene is a very difficult thing. We’ve all been kids once, and we definitely know how those extra 15 minutes of play can be more important than spending it on a shower or tooth brushing, and for that reason we cannot blame them. But our job, as parents, is to ensure that they know how to take proper care of themselves – and the sooner they start, the better. However, that endeavor can be quite a challenging one as it’s difficult to actually explain to them why hygiene is very important. On the other hand, teaching them good hygiene habits will not only be good for them, but also for you as bacteria and viruses will not run amok in your own house. This is how I managed to teach my children good hygiene habits, and hopefully, these tips will help you:
6 Ways to Teach Your Child Good Hygiene Habits
1. Brush Those Pearls
Brushing your child’s teeth is a thing that you should start at a very early age, so that once they start growing up, they realize it’s a thing they have to repeat two or three times a day. Once they create the routine of brushing and flossing by themselves, it’s going to be much easier. Since not many kids love brushing their teeth, you could encourage them by letting them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste – that way you will show them that they are mature enough to take care of themselves, and it’s definitely going to mean a lot to them (children love when they feel they’re mature for something). Since you also want to make sure that they brush their teeth for the appropriate amount of time, play a two-minute song while they’re brushing their teeth with you. That way they’ll start to realize how much time they have to spend while doing this.
2. Bubble Bath
There’s no age expectancy for when kids can have baths alone, so it’s up to you to teach them how to properly bathe themselves. I used my own personal experience from when I was a child (and asked my parents as well). Mind that this is the most important part of hygiene, so you really want to make sure that they learn everything. Since sometimes they might not be up for a bath, let them take control. Give them the option to bring whatever toys they want, and let them play for 10 minutes without you actually bathing them (never leave them unattended, though). Once they become a bit older, you can supervise them by telling them which part of the body they should wash and how.
3. When You Have No Time for a Bath
Sometimes it might happen that you don’t have time for a bath, but you need to clean them. The good thing is that nowadays, you don’t have to use your shower for that, as you can install a bidet where you will be able to wash your child’s legs, bottom and genitalia anytime you want. However, if you want the best of the best and still save some space in your bathroom, you can also opt for high-quality bidet toilet seats that are not only super user-friendly, but your child will find them very interesting (trust me, I know). By installing one in your home, you will also be encouraging them to use the toilet all by themselves, without your help, which is very helpful.
4. Clean Hands, Healthy Bodies
It’s OK to let your child get dirty once in a while – they’re children after all. However, mind that they know what to do after they’re finished with this –a bath (if they’re super dirty) and always washing their hands. Since washing hands is an imperative after using the toilet, playing outside or playing with pets, you should encourage them to do this as many times a day as you can. The best idea would be to use a soap that produces a lot of foam so that your children find it interesting. Teach them that they should scrub their hands for at least 15 seconds and rinse them properly.
5. Taking Care of Body Odor
Once your child becomes a teenager, you will encounter another villain in your home – the teenage body odor. And perhaps you don’t know this if your child is still a toddler, but having your way with a teenager is close to impossible. This is why you need to teach them about the “smelly dangers” of sweat beforehand, and encourage them to take showers every day. Not only that, but you should also introduce the use of a deodorant just before they hit puberty. Make sure to choose a good one, though, one which actually deals with bacteria while adding fragrance. The same goes with greasy hair – try to teach them to wash their hair at least a couple of times a week at an early age, so that the routine stays when they hit puberty.
6. Help with Games
If you find teaching these to your child challenging and difficult, you could always turn to different games that might help you achieve just that. Not only will the toddlers find them interesting, but it’s going to stay with them once they become teenagers.
After all, doing this with your child doesn’t have to be a chore, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring. Just make sure that you introduce all hygiene aspects at an early age, and make them understand and follow the routine. Good luck!
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About the Guest Author: Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.