Much to the chagrin of many moms, little kids with the natural ability to get themselves dirty seem to lack the same talent when it’s time for soap and water. Teaching your child personal hygiene is vital to keep him or her healthy. To effectively teach this life lesson to your inexperienced kid–who just doesn’t know any better!–employ a multi-faceted approach. After teaching and reteaching, your son or daughter will finally get the hang of it and hygiene will become a part of daily life!
As your child enters her preteen years, a brand new flood of hormones cause physical changes, as well as a whole new set of problems — body odor, oily hair and acne, to name a few. Good personal hygiene is essential for the tween who’s socially engaged and self-assured. Personal hygiene isn’t simply about cleanliness or physical attractiveness; the tween who makes it a habit to bathe every day and use antiperspirant shows consideration for others who share the same space.
Maintaining good hygiene is habit forming; once kids have practice in taking care of their bodies, it will become automatic. Using little rhymes, sayings and games for encouragement works more effectively than nagging, and some kids will respond to using products like shampoo, soaps and toothbrushes they pick out themselves. Even toddlers can begin learning to care for themselves; by the time kids are in middle school they should be able to manage their own personal hygiene routines.
Healthy habits start from a young age, so teach your toddler the basics of personal hygiene early on. At first, help her perform the task of brushing her teeth and hair and soaping those hard-to-reach body parts and shampooing. Make personal hygiene a fun activity during the toddler years and she’ll keep those habits throughout her life.
Your child isn’t born with an understanding of why he needs to wash dirt and germs, even if they are invisible, from his skin. You need to explain to him how to stay clean and why doing so is important, not just for his appearance, but for the health of others around him. Good habits, such as good hygiene, need to start early in life. Set up a regular cleaning schedule for your child to follow every day.