Reminding a child daily to brush his teeth or to change his clothes bores him to death. You see him rolling his eyes over and doing without desire whatever you asked him to do.
Teaching your child about personal hygiene is not an easy task. It requires effort, creativity, and patience from you, as a parent.
As a loving parent, you understand the importance of personal hygiene for kids but, at the same time, you don’t want to make it feel like a burden for him and you, as well.
What if I told you that teaching your kids about personal hygiene could be fun? Would you be interested in finding out how?
Continue reading below.
Table of contents:
- How do you teach your child about personal hygiene?
- 1. Have your kid follow personal hygiene routines
- 2. Lead them by your example
- 3. Make hygiene activities fun
- 3 stages children learn about personal hygiene
- The basic personal hygiene activities for a child to learn
How do you teach your child about personal hygiene?
When teaching your kid about personal hygiene, your main goal is to spark an interest in him or her.
Don’t scare your child by telling him spooky stories about microbes eating his leg or arm.
Use simple words to explain what microbes are and how a strong immunity helps them to stay healthy.
The rest of the teaching comes from practicing different types of hygiene activities because kids learn better by doing it. And there are 3 ways to build personal hygiene habits in kids.
1. Have your kid follow personal hygiene routines
Routines help to learn a set of activities that maintain a certain type of personal hygiene much faster. For example, oral hygiene includes such activities as teeth brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping. Or showering includes such activities as hair washing, ear washing, and body washing. You get the idea.
Break any personal hygiene routine into repeatable hygiene tasks. In this way, the child will remember much easier the hygiene activities.
2. Lead them by your example
Children, especially at a young age, see their parents as role models.
Did you notice how they try to help you while you are cleaning the house or they repeat after you while brushing your teeth?
When you notice this desire in your child to repeat the things after you, get them involved. They might not do a good job but let them take part. This is the most important thing for them at this stage.
Lead them by your example.
Do all the hygiene activities by yourself. Clean the house. Do the laundry. Prepare food. Brush your teeth. Organize your clothes in the closet.
When doing this, you’ll see how your child will want to take part.
3. Make hygiene activities fun
Children love fun activities. So, make hygiene activities fun too.
While, involving your child in house cleaning activities, act as if both of you are fairy tale characters who clean the dust that gathered all other the castle.
Or, buy him or her hygiene items in the form of toys. For example, find a crocodile-like toothbrush or a toothpaste with a strawberry flavor.
This trick will transform boring personal hygiene routines into fun and interesting activities until your child is at a certain stage of development.
3 stages children learn about personal hygiene
- The Toddler Stage – at this stage, your child can't take care of body cleanliness alone that’s why parents are in charge of their kid’s hygiene. They wash the toddler's body, comb his hair, cut his nails, and dress him up in clean clothing. At this stage, reading some personal hygiene books for children helps as they are interested in its colorful illustration.
- The Preschooler stage – as your child grows into a teenager, he should already be accustomed to the most personal hygiene activities. However, parents still need to keep an eye on their kids to make sure that they follow their hygiene routine. At this stage, the child transitions into puberty. This transition causes all kinds of changes in the teenager’s body. As a result of that, their body starts releasing new body odors, the hair becomes greasy faster, hair starts growing in different places of the body, etc. All these changes in their body require maintenance.
- The Student Stage - at this stage, your child makes the transition from an adolescent into an adult. As a student, your child should be able to take care of his hygiene by himself.
So, as you see, the first two stages are where you, as a parent, can teach your kid to take care of personal hygiene very well.
The basic personal hygiene activities for a child to learn
1. Oral hygiene activities
Oral hygiene is a routine including such activities as teeth brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping.
From all these activities, the first that your child needs to learn is teeth brushing.
Buy a toothbrush for kids. Add some toothpaste to the bristles. And let them play with it in their mouth.
They’ll eat the toothpaste and bite the toothbrush instead of brushing as grown-ups do. That’s normal. This is the way to learn this habit.
As your child grows into puberty, teach him to flossing and tongue scraping.
2. Bathing activities
Your toddler might like to take baths or showers if you make this activity fun. Add shampoo to create bubbles above the water and add their toys so that they can play with them.
Playfully, wash their head, body, underarms, hands, genitals, legs, and feet.
As your toddler grows, explain to him that by showering he removes the sweat, bacteria, and odors, which keeps him clean and healthy.
After bathing, have them dry their body and wear clean underwear and clothing.
3. Hand washing activities
Teach your child the habit of washing their hands. Tell them when to wash their hands and show them how to do that correctly.
Have them use soap while handwashing and tell them that soap helps to wash away up to 95% of all microbes on their hands.
Once, they washed their hands, have them dry them with a towel.
4. Keep clothes clean and organized activities
Teach your kids to wear and maintain their clothes clean. Explain to them why wearing clean maintain good hygiene.
Teach them the activities of keeping their clothes in order.
Let them throw any dirty garment into the washing bin. Have them keep their clothes organized in a wardrobe or placed on a hanger.
Once your child enters the house, have him change into comfortable clothing for home.
5. Keep house cleanliness activities
As the child grows up he or she needs to know how to maintain their environment comfortable, safe, and healthy.
Start by having your child maintain the cleanliness in his room. Let him organize all his clothing. Make up his bed. Keep all his toys organized in buckets.
If your child manifests an interest to join you while you perform house cleaning activities, let him join. He might not do a good job but this is the way your kids can learn through practicing the habit.
These basic personal hygiene for kids are the first hygiene activities that your child must learn.
As a parent, you should teach your child all these habits so that he can take care of himself as he becomes independent.
When your child becomes an adult he'll be thankful for teaching him these important life skills.