The first step of everyone’s day is brushing your teeth – something that is related to personal hygiene. We would have all started this habit as kids and built it up over the years and now we automatically do it once our day commences. Our parents would have struggled for days, weeks, or months to inculcate this habit in us during our childhood. And now as parents, that hard task has fallen on us.
It is better to start early when it comes to teaching our young ones about personal hygiene and we can impart the knowledge by setting a good example to them. Here we show you simple and easy methods how to teach this life-essential habit to them.
1. Start Brushing Teeth Along With Them:
When your little one starts sprouting teeth, start teaching them the brushing teeth part. You can go along with them to the wash basin/restroom, and brush along with them. Show them the amount of paste that they need, kids tend to just swallow up their paste as it is deliciously flavored.
Tell them not to swallow and demonstrate how you use the paste on your brush. You can show them how far your brush reaches and the back-and-forth movements of the brush. Make this a morning and nightly routine together so that they get the hang of it gradually.
2. Books On Hygiene:
Get a few children’s books on personal hygiene. When put forward in a more appealing form such as reading it in a book, kids tend to pick up these habits eagerly. Get books on brushing teeth, bathing, hand washing, toilet hygiene, and wearing clean and fresh underwear/clothes daily. You can also show them animated videos about the importance of personal hygiene.
3. Explain Each And Everything To Them:
Explain to them the importance of personal hygiene and all the steps involved. Tell them that they need to brush twice a day and also rinse and floss their mouth whenever necessary(flossing is to be done once they are teens). Tell them that after using the restroom for either of the nature calls, they need to immediately wash their hands with hand wash and water.
Explain to them that they need to wash every part of their body while having a bath. Warn them that missing to wash certain parts like their underarms, behind their ears, bottom of their feet, or their private areas, would lead to them getting dirty by the day and accumulating germs. They may get itchiness and rashes, if not washed for long. So tell them the consequences of missing anything in their personal hygiene routine, but put it across in a mild way. We must take care not to frighten them too much also.
4. Make A Chart/Checklist:
This can be followed for many things related to them. Prepare a checklist or a chart and hang it in their room or a common room like the kitchen/hall. List all items as follows and more, whatever you can think of:
1. Brush your teeth
2. Go to the toilet and wash your hands
3. Fold your blanket and make your bed
4. Take a bath
5. Put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket
6. Put on fresh clean underwear and clothes
7. Comb hair
8. Polish/wipe your sandals or shoes and wear them
9. Let parents know nails/hair needs trimming
10. Let parents know when the bed linen needs to be changed
11. Let parents know when school bag needs a wash
12. Let parents know when the laundry basket is getting full.
Either you or they should tick off whatever has already been completed for that day or as and when it happens.
When they are young, you can do the last three steps for them. But, when they are older you should start making them remove their bed linen and put it in for wash. They must be able to put their clothes wash and iron them for the day/week. They must wash/wipe their school bag and other dirty items whenever necessary.
5. Be Their Role Model:
Kids these days are so sharp. They notice everything we do and don’t. So one day, if you skip a bath perchance, then they will take it as an example that they too can skip it on some days. Sick days are an exception, of course. You also cannot go around with dirty nails and expect them to have prim and proper nails. So, make sure you set them an example by being proper in your hygiene so that they will follow in your footsteps.
Hope this article discourses a few methods to kick-start your tiny tot’s personal hygiene journey. Stay clean and happy parenting.