It’s a rite of passage for kids to hate all things hygiene. Even if it is a phase they’ll grow out of, you still need them to learn to take care of themselves and not neglect their hygiene. One way to convince them to build good habits is to make it more fun. If they know they’ll be getting something for good behavior or that the overall process is more fun, they’ll be more likely to start building those lifelong habits. Eventually, you won’t need to help motivate them to take care of themselves.
When you notice your kid doing something as they should, you should reward them. Giving them a piece of candy after they’ve finished brushing their teeth might sound counterintuitive, but you can reward them in other ways. Consider giving them a small toy or book when you’ve noticed that they’ve demonstrated exceptional behavior. A small piece of candy they love would do well to motivate them to continue building good habits throughout the day.
Teach a Song
Memory is linked to music, meaning that your children will retain more information when they have music to accompany it. Put on your creative hat and make up a song that will tell them precisely what they need to know.
They’ll start singing it to themselves, and then they’ll remember the procedure they need to brush their teeth or wash their hair. The trick to creating a new song may lie in borrowing the tune of a well-known children’s song. That way, your kids will already be familiar with it.
Create a Story
During your kids’ daily hygiene tasks, tell them that you’ll make up a new story for them for as long as they’re taking care of themselves. This task requires you to be a bit more creative, but it flexes your muscles of imagination and delights your kids as they brush their teeth, comb their hair and complete any other tasks.
If you have trouble coming up with a story, consider starting it the same way every night. Maybe the story will always feature the same dog, or maybe there’s a recurring villain who always likes to make trouble for your protagonists. Analyze the stories your kids love to read or listen to, then frame your words around them.
Get the Right Tools
You’ll want to find the tools that work well for your kids and delight them. You shouldn’t let them have their pick of anything in the store, but you can select a few items you researched ahead of time. For example, if your child still uses training toothpaste, you don’t want to let them select one they cannot swallow. Let them choose between a few options. That way, they’ll be sure the toothbrush they’re picking is one of their favorites, not just one that their parent picked out for them.
Set an Award System
When your children do well, you want to make sure they know about their accomplishments. Consider handing out awards to your children for whoever spent the most time brushing their teeth or doing the most hygenic things without complaining. Make sure that your children understand why they’re getting certain awards and how to achieve them.
For example, brushing their teeth successfully a few nights in a row could result in extra time in front of the television for your child who appears the most dedicated. If you set clear rules, they’ll be sure to follow them.
Use your children’s favorites to your advantage. By finding a brush with their favorite Disney princess on it, your child might be more willing to brush their hair every day. You can also use their favorite scent or flavor of toothpaste to entice them to brush their teeth if they don’t like the standard mint. You should know your children’s favorite things, and you can put them to use as you teach them how to build good habits.
Set a Routine
Children, like adults, love routine. Even though you may have a spontaneous child, following good hygiene habits will be easier for them if you set up a routine that they should follow. If you make sure that they’re combing through their hair at the same time every morning, they’ll get used to dealing with their hair after they wake up.
Taking a bath at the same time every night can also help them wind down and get ready for bedtime. Routines are challenging to set, but children will fall into them with ease once you run through the routine enough.
Rely on Apps
Apps can be a great way to make seemingly-mundane activities fun for your children. They can help your kids see their daily activities as adventures rather than chores. The Pokemon Smile app can entice your children to brush their teeth so they can rescue innocent Pokemon from evil bacteria. This app uses bright colors and cute illustrations to make it fun for kids. Most engaging apps are free to download, so you can try out a few with your children and see what sticks out to them.
Play Music and Dance
Be your children’s entertainment! Brushing your teeth goes by much faster while something fun is happening. You can dance along with your child as they brush their teeth. Have one song dedicated to brushing, and play that song every morning and night that they brush their teeth. Eventually, they won’t be counting down the seconds until they can spit out their toothpaste. They’ll be jamming along to the song, and they might start to feel on autopilot.
You can also use this trick to get your children to tidy up their spaces. They can clean their rooms to a certain playlist and keep their areas sparkling. Once they tidy up some of the clutter, you can demonstrate how to clean their room in an age-appropriate way. Older kids could learn more about how a vacuum works, while younger kids may be fascinated with a duster.
Practice Good Hygiene Together
Whether they admit it or not, your children look to you as a role model for what they should do in their own lives. It’s why they come to you to ask for advice or talk about their mistakes. Parents have the best opportunity to model good behavior, such as excellent eating and exercising habits, so their children can follow suit once they’re older.
To give them the best foundation regarding hygiene, consider doing things together. Invite them into your bathroom at night to brush your teeth before bed together. Brush your hair as your children try to brush theirs on their own. Showing them how to take care of themselves can be the most meaningful thing in many situations.
Show Your Kids the Importance of Good Hygiene
Good hygiene habits start at a young age. If your kids pay attention to their health when they’re young, they’ll have better habits in adulthood. Sometimes, the best health comes from taking care of yourself when you are young. Children might need a little motivation to do what’s right for them.
By giving them rewards or making hygiene fun for them, they’re bound to enjoy taking care of themselves physically every day, even into adulthood, when the fun moments will turn into fond memories they can make with their own kids someday.