Getting children to do anything involves time and patience, and if ever there was something that needs perseverance it’s good hygiene habits. The more you repeat patterns the easier it becomes and the more independent your child becomes. Over time things will become more and more automatic, just as long as you have a plan and stick to it. With that said, let’s look at five ways you can teach your child good hygiene habits.
1. Get the basics right
Before you go deeper into teaching your kids hygiene, it’s vital to establish the basic rules. That means explaining the importance of hand washing, covering their mouth when they cough and sneeze, brushing teeth and daily washing. Whatever your “non-negotiable” hygiene rules are, the need for consistency is key. Now, let’s move on to a few tricks and tips.
2. Make bathing fun
No child is going to enjoy washing or having a bath unless you can do something to make it interesting and/or fun. The use of bubbles every now and then provide a novelty value, whereas toys that are only used in the bath can be quite a motivator in getting them in there.
3. Use books and TV shows
Children love to model behaviour of their favourite characters. Whether it’s pretending to be a superhero or acting out scenes from real-life shows, they all enjoy mimicking. That’s why the use of books and TV shows to promote hygiene can be a really useful tactic. They love to learn too, so sitting down with them and reading about the importance of hygiene can be used to reinforce what you’re already telling them.
4. Product cleaning
As much as it’s important to teach kids about cleaning themselves, you also need to get the message across about how important it is to clean their products. That means educating them about thoroughly rinsing their toothbrush, wiping down food and drink spills on toys, and showing them how to clean a hairbrush. If you’re not sure how to do so, just follow this guide for how to clean a hairbrush step by step. As a parent your key role here is to start off by cleaning things with them and gradually give them the independence to do it on their own.
5. Rewards and reinforcement
We’ve already looked at how children like to learn, and they also like to be rewarded for learning too. It’s a tried and trusted method of establishing good behaviour and can work really well with enforcing hygiene routines. Tick charts are a great motivator and your child will be able to see how well they are doing on a daily basis. Whether it’s a tick for cleaning teeth, getting in the bath without a fuss or washing their hands every time after they use the toilet, reinforcing these acts with praise or a reward will help the message sink in.
You can use these tips as a framework for establishing a good hygiene routine for your children. Be consistent and things will soon start to sink in, making for a happy and healthy family.
Disclaimer: This post is a pre-written guest post published on behalf of the team at Maverns.