As guardians and parents, it is normal to want to do as much as possible for our children. We pack their launch, fold their laundry, tell some nice bedtime stories, teach them things about life, and want to help them become self-sufficient in the future. Naturally, we also want to teach our children about personal hygiene. This is just one of the really important things for our kids.
Developing healthy personal hygiene is a vital lesson. It just keeps getting more and more important, especially when close to puberty. Why is that?
Personal hygiene is a fundamental part of overall health. When we properly take care of our bodies, even in very small ways and we do it every day, several health conditions can be prevented. Some that are connected to having poor hygiene are:
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Tooth decay
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
So how do we encourage our kids to have great hygiene habits? Fortunately, you do not need to do something really complicated. The following tips will help you do exactly that.
Start When The Child Is Young
It is never really too early to start. You can start by talking about how important grooming and hygiene are. Talk to your children about bathing, washing hands, brushing teeth, how to use the bathroom alone, and so on. This can be done from as early as toddler years.
By the time the child is aged 3 to 5, you have to allow your child to start doing the basic tasks highlighted alone. And follow up with encouragement whenever you see the child do well.
By the time the child is aged 6 to 9, it is time to push. You can show what the kid does wrong and how it could be done better. This is easy to do when you use positive reinforcement. Eventually, the child will start to do it alone, without you pressing them.
Act As A Role Model
Even from an early age, children learn by copying. You can thus easily teach new healthy habits when you respect your personal hygiene. Be completely open about this. When the child notices that adults slack off and do not shower, or maybe they do not brush their teeth, they end up thinking that such behavior is completely acceptable.
You, as the parent, need to set the standard. Do this and your kids are going to eventually catch on and see personal hygiene as a part of life.
Make Communication A Priority
As the child is growing, you need to have constant discussions about personal hygiene. And you have to keep the talks going. After masting brushing teeth alone, you can start discussing flossing. As the child is close to puberty, conversations can appear again and you have to keep them going.
Lines of communication have to be kept open since you want the child to know that they can talk absolutely everything with you whenever there is a wish. This includes uncomfortable topics like odor, body hair, or all the other changes that are going to appear. Changes have to be seen as normal and it is up to the parent to help the child embrace them. In fact, changes should be a huge positive part when growing up.
Make Personal Hygiene A Daily Responsibility
Discuss daily personal hygiene and why it is important with your child. The kid should know what happens when they do not brush teeth and when clothes are not changed as they are dirty.
By making this a daily responsibility, you can get the child used to personal hygiene. And you can even make a game out of it. You can create charts so children can simply check off tasks as they are done. This is a great idea since it inspires independence. Also, the child will become more responsible earlier than they would alone thanks to learning through games.
Encourage Personal Hygiene As Wellness
We all should know that personal hygiene is about so much more than physical health. This helps in making it easier to take care of our general wellness. It is also a big part of loving ourselves as we keep our bodies healthy and happy.
The thing I am trying to say is that you want to teach your children how self-love is an important part of life and how self-care is something that helps them. Do this when they are young since this will actually make them feel so much more comfortable at an early point in time with themselves.
Don’t Forget To Check In
After the child is able to take care of their personal care without your assistance, your job is not over. It does not matter how mature the child is or how mature you think they are. You have to check in from time to time so you monitor the hygiene habits. Also, this helps to make sure that they actually do what they should, like washing hands when they go to the bathroom.
Is your child cleaning themselves properly when showering? This is not an easy question to ask but it is important. And if your relationship with the child is a good one, they will not lie. They might end up rolling their eyes but you can surely go over it and you can instill more hygiene.
At the end of the day, as you can easily notice, communication is the most important part of teaching your child anything, including good personal hygiene habits. And you should expect some arguing and lack of willingness to do some things. But, you have to go through that since you are doing a lot for your child when you help them develop really healthy habits.
Personal habits can go a long way towards making the life of your child happier and healthier. This is what you want for sure. So, suck it up when it comes to your pride and just focus on helping your child.