One of the things parents should teach their growing kids is hygiene. Of course, kids are smart and they will pick up whatever they see at home, but a little reinforcement might do them some good too. To help ensure you’re raising responsible children, one of the easiest ways is to help them realize how to be responsible for their own bodies. You can’t simply tell them what to do; you have to show them how it works.
Here are some ideas to make the learning sessions fun and age-appropriate.
Take them for checkups
Gentle Dentist and other dental professionals say that a dentist visit is always something to learn from, so why not take your kid to your family dentist. Before doing so, explain why you’re doing it and why you’re seeing a dentist. Do it every day before their checkup to set their expectations. Another way to make your child care about their teeth is by asking the dentist to tell them. Children typically listen to figures of authority like dentists and doctors.
Use glitter to represent germs
Kids don’t realize that water alone cannot wash off the germs on their hands. They have to use antibacterial soap and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. To teach them how this works, sprinkle your child’s hands with glitter. Glitter sticks stubbornly on skin. It will take about 30 seconds for your child to wash off all the glitter using soap and water. Tell your child that’s how it works with germs. They can imagine washing off glitter with soap and water every time they wash off germs on their hands.
Bad vs. good habits
A simple but instructive game is writing “bad vs. good habits” on a piece of paper. You can also write five to 10 bad habits (sleeping late and eating lots of candy) mixed with the same number of good habits (brushing teeth and washing hands). Afterwards, ask your child to encircle the good habits. Help them understand why each habit is either good or bad.
It shouldn’t be too hard to teach kids about hygiene. It only takes a little creativity and patience.