Someday, when your child will become an adolescent, he will take care of the cleanliness of his body without the supervision of his mom and dad. You as a parent won’t be able to follow whether your child respects all the good personal hygiene habits. From there on, the cleanliness of his body will depend on what you taught him about personal hygiene and its importance.
Being conscious of the importance of personal hygiene will help him to live healthier, look more attractive, and be happier. On the other side, the lack of personal hygiene consciousness makes him vulnerable in front of many health-related problems, which hurts his self-image and self-confidence.
So, the question is:
How do you teach a toddler about body cleanliness, so that, when he becomes a college student, the personal hygiene habits are inculcated in his lifestyle?
Let’s be honest.
A child doesn’t know how to live healthily. So, he grasps this knowledge from his parents.
If you as a parent serve a good example for him, chances are that your child will follow the healthy lifestyle as well. As a result, he will join healthier communities of people where he is going to live a much safer life.
Your role as a parent is crucial when it comes to teaching your kids about personal hygiene.
Tips on teaching your kids about personal hygiene
Your main goal is to spark the interest in your child for personal hygiene. Don’t try to scare him.
First, don’t tell him how terrible diseases are. But, rather explain in simple words what microbes are and how good personal hygiene keeps his immunity strong and healthy.
Second, another way, to spark the interest of your kids for body cleanliness, is to be an example for your children. Children mimic most of the habits of their parents. You have to practice what you preach so that they have clarity on your message. Find more information
Here are some other ways to keep your child focused on learning personal hygiene habits:
- have them follow a personal hygiene routine
Routines help to get accustomed to a specific a habit, so that, it becomes part of your lifestyle.
The trick is to create a daily routine for your children to follow.
Why does this work?
A toddler, due to his very young age, isn’t able to realize the importance of personal hygiene, but a daily routine helps him to get accustomed with hand washing, showering, and teeth brushing, as early as possible. He’ll understand this later.
As a result, your child will learn the basics of personal care by practicing hygiene activities.
As a parent, you may create a weekly or a daily personal hygiene checklist and have your child follow it.
- lead them by example
You are an authority for your child. So, he will replicate most of the habits from you. Use your status to teach your child about personal care by being an example he will follow.
For example, when you brush your teeth or clean the house ask your kid to join you. They’ll appreciate the fun activity and he will try to replicate all your actions.
Don’t forget to compliment him if he does well.
- make it fun for them
Children are always into interesting and fun activities.
Try to involve your child in house cleaning, as if you were both characters of a fairy tale who are cleaning up their castle from the dust that gathered all over the place.
Or, buy them personal hygiene items in the form of a toy. For example, find a crocodile-like toothbrush or a toothpaste with a strawberry flavor.
This trick will transform the boring personal hygiene routines into fun activities. And children love having fun more than anything in the world.
- tell him that being healthy brings many benefits in life
Someday, your child will ask “Why do they need to maintain their body clean all the time?”
This is the moment when you need to explain to him that by maintaining a good personal hygiene he is building a strong foundation for good health and success in life. Tell him, that without good health it is much harder to earn good grades at school, attract the girl he likes, or simply have a lot of friends.
Let them know that personal hygiene is a small but important aspect in life that supports their desire to be a healthy and successful person.
Tip: find out more information in this hygiene guide.
3 stages children learn about personal hygiene
- Toddler Stage – at this stage of life a toddler can't take care of himself alone, so his parents are in charge of his personal hygiene. They wash the toddler, comb his hair, cut his tiny nails, and dress him up in clean clothing.
- Preschooler stage – as your child becomes a teenager he should be already accustomed to most personal hygiene activities. However, parents still need to keep an eye on how disciplined is their child in terms of personal hygiene. At this stage, puberty begins in boys and girls which causes all kinds of changes in a teenager’s body. Their body releases new odors, their hair becomes greasy, new hair grows in different places of the body, etc. All these changes in their body require new personal hygiene habits to be learned.
- Student Stage - at this stage your child is making the transition from an adolescent into an adult. As a student, your child should be able to take care of his personal hygiene alone.
The basic personal hygiene activities your child should learn
- Take care of oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is one of the most important aspects of personal hygiene and one of the first activities your child learns. Children may learn to brush their teeth as soon their teeth have shown up.
Teach your child about the 3 pillars of good oral hygiene.
- teeth brushing: this habit cleans their teeth and eliminates the remaining residues on the teeth
- floss: this removes the remaining food from between the teeth that teeth brushing couldn’t remove
- tongue brushing: this habit cleans the white coating off the tongue and maintains your fresh breath.
- Bath to maintain the skin fresh
Your child should be aware of the dust and dirty microorganisms deposited on his skin during the day. Along with sweat, this builds up an unhealthy layer that should be washed away to prevent skin diseases.
Teach your child how to bath and take showers. Explain to him that showering removes the sweat, bacteria, and odors from the skin and keeps it clean and fresh.
Show him how to clean the different parts of the body – the hands, the head, armpits, legs, feet, groin, etc.
After bathing, have them dry their body and wear clean underwear and clothing.
Have your children be used to wash their hands every time they use the bathroom, play outside, or before and after taking meals. Hand-washing with soap removes up to 95% of all the microbes.
Secondly, teach your child to keep their fingernails short and neat. This prevents mud accumulating under the nails which may easily get inside the body of your child.
- Keep a handkerchief
Teach your child to respect the comfort and safety of other people by following a behavior etiquette that keeps everybody healthy.
Keeping a handkerchief is a habit that prevents the spreading of the germs into the air.
- Dress clean
Kids need to understand that wearing clean clothes is important for their personal hygiene.
Teach them to keep their clothes in order. Let them throw any dirty garment into the washing bin. Have them keep their clothes in a wardrobe placed on a hanger.
Once your child enters the house, have them change into comfortable clothing for home.
- Keep house cleanliness
Once we've talked about the importance of maintaining the cleanliness in the children's wardrobe it's logical to make your children used to keep the house clean.
When your child is able to independently perform tasks that you assign to him you can involve him into house cleaning. Share all the cleaning tasks together. Let him wash the floor, clean the dust from the furniture or wash the windows.
If your kid doesn't do a good job, don't stop him from the process. Let him get used to the idea that the environment in which he is living must be kept clean.
The place where he will be living must provide comfort and safety.
Once your child grows up and becomes independent he should know how to take care of his own personal hygiene.
This knowledge forms the basis of living a healthy life, having a pleasant physical appearance and being self-confident.
As a parent, you should teach your child all the habits he needs to be able to take care of his personal hygiene independently.
When your child will become an adult he'll thank you for teaching him how to take care of his personal hygiene.