Because we can’t watch our children at every turn, we have to trust that they are learning good habits along the way such as personal hygiene. It’s up to us to lead them on the right track.
Lead by Example
You child looks up to you and wants you to teach them the right way to live. They are looking for guidance at every turn and if you don’t brush your teeth before you go to bed, they won’t know that is something they should be doing. Let them in on your good habits by inviting them into the bathroom when you wash your face before bed. Show them that you wash your hands after handling the pup and before preparing dinner. Doing these things together will instill in them good habits for when you aren’t together.
Be Sure They Understand the Basics
Hand washing isn’t a one-two-done action. The Center for Disease Control explains you should lather up and rub hands together for 20 seconds. Have your kid sing a song like “Happy Birthday” twice while washing hands. If your kids are a little more progressive, the chorus to a Bieber song might work more efficiently. Just get them used to a good, long hand wash every time to keep them healthy and germ free.
Have a runny nose you need to blow? Do your best “freight train coming through” impression. In the bath, get lots of laughter as shampoo suds turn little one’s hair into an unicorn horn and bath bubbles give your son chest hair and a beard. Practice making funny faces in the mirror when flossing and do a little dance when brushing your teeth.
Sometimes kids learn better by seeing rather than being told. Along with leading by example, there are countless books and videos on the subject of hygiene. And there are apps for that. Get your iPad and download the Pepi Bath app. Spend $1.99 and you’ll get an interactive resource that is fun and visually stimulating.
This role-play game allows kids to choose a boy or girl character who appears at the sink, washes clothes, goes to the bathroom and takes a bath. Your child can pop soap bubbles and play with colorful sprayers while learning to keep their character clean.
Sometimes, kids just want rewards for completing a task. A little incentive never hurt anyone and they’re fun to give. When starting your child on a routine dental cleaning schedule at Kool Smiles, give them a cool new “Cars” toothbrush to say you’re proud. When washing their underarms in the bathtub, give them a surprise new rubber duck.
Make a big “stink” out of proper hygiene. Early habits will be the foundation for their future and no one wants to be the smelly kid in class simply because they weren’t properly guided.
Author Bio: Tara Compton
Tara researches environmental sustainability, DIY home repair and holistic health and wellness practices. She wants her kids to grow up in a safe, beautiful world.
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