Unlike the regular activities like playing or hanging-out with friends, the matter of personal hygiene doesn’t fetch any immediate reward for the child. Thus younger your child is, the harder it is to make him/her understand the importance of personal hygiene. You need to put much more effort in making him/her understand that why your child needs to wash his/her hands after going to the shower or why it is important to comb the hair after shower. Considering the pain and struggle you must go through in order to introduce personal hygiene to your child, it sometime convenient to let go of things. However, it is important for you to introduce the same so that he/she can make friends and also stay healthy. An unhygienic child is never attractive and if you don’t make your child understand the need of personal hygiene then he/she might feel unloved in the social gatherings and consequently his/her level of self-confidence will also go down. In order to introduce personal hygiene to your child you must also set yourself as a role model of personal hygiene. You cannot make your child do things which you yourself are not following. These are few smart suggestions that will help your little one to grow good habits for life.
Smart Ways to Instil Hygiene in Your Kid
Modelling Hygiene at Home: The best and the most effective way of instilling personal hygiene, in your child is to model it, yourself. Like for instance, you can start brushing your teeth together at night while explaining to him/her that if you don’t brush then your tooth will decay and there will be cavities. You cannot simply order your child to be hygienic by not participating yourself. So you can clip your finger nails together and tell him/her about the importance of changing clothes and shoes often. There will be something that you will not be able to do together but nonetheless you can definitely talk about it to him/her. Like for instance changing clothes and bathing.
Let Your Child Know about Germs: The main motivation behind maintaining personal hygiene is to avoid getting infected with germs. You need to tell your kids the reason we wash our hands and our clothes and trip our nails. The consequences of getting infected with germs can be severe. You can also watch some cartoons together about germs and show your child that how germs can be dangerous for everyone including you. It is important to make your child understand that whatever can affect him/her can actually affect you as well so that they feel connected to you when the next night you tell him/her to come and brush his/her teeth with you.
Being Hygienic During Puberty: Researches show that puberty causes severe hormonal changes which actually triggers more sweat and odour, in your teenager. However, it is your responsibility as a parent to be with him/her throughout this phase thereby letting them know that everyone goes through this phase and there is nothing wrong with that. Make sure that he/she showers on a regular basis with mild soap and find a shampoo which suites their hair type. Due to the fact that they will sweat more, during this awkward phase, it is important that you inform about the higher probability of getting infected and the necessity of keeping clean, both due to social and hygienic reasons.
Talk About the Hygiene Sensitivity: Make sure that while you talk about personal hygiene you remain focus on the health related issues more than the social stigmas. Your child’s hygiene sense should be logical and framed on the aspects pertaining to the health issues. The classic example is that acne in teenagers is caused by hormonal changes and not hygienic factors and you should educate your child about that so that he/she does not suffer from the lack of self confidence.
Final Words of Advice
Since hygiene itself is such a tricky matter to deal with, conveying the right message is very critical. It is advised not to talk much about social stigmas related to hygiene like “no one will talk to you if you don’t brush your teeth on a regular basis” and instead tell that “if you don’t brush your teeth will decay and it will eventually get rot and cause pain and suffering”. Health related cues help the children to develop logical mindset about hygiene and in the future he/she won’t be over obsessed about that one wee pimple on his/her face but shall have the confidence to attend the party with it.