Parenting Tips: Squeaky Clean Kids, Anyone?
If you’ve ever seen how your son looked when he came in after a game of football during the monsoons, you’ve probably just wished that he would look squeaky-clean and spruced up with the wave of a magic wand.
In the absence of miracles, you’d get down to yelling and screaming and chasing him back into the bathroom after he comes out just half-cleaned-up. Then you go to look for the maid to clean up the mud prints on the floor and the carpet. Oh well, kids will be kids!
The thing is, there’s a lot more to kids being clean than just the way they look. Let’s take a look at how important it is from a health point of view. Clean hands could mean fewer instances of falling ill. They need to wash their hands before a meal, after going to the toilet and as soon as they come back home. This will minimize the risks of getting stomach upsets, gastroenteritis, etc.
They need to brush their teeth twice a day so they don’t suffer from caries and even worse, other related diseases like heart afflictions when they are older. Here are a few tips that could help:
Have Fun with Bowls
Kids love water. Of course, if you let them wash under a running tap, you can be sure there will be a lot of water wasted. When they are very young, set out two bowls of water on a low table.
If you can place them in a balcony, that would be great because even if there is a mess, it doesn’t matter. Teach them to wash well in one, soap themselves and rinse out in the other. Make it a fun thing and the habit will last for life.
Brush Not Once, But Twice
Take the kids with you and let them choose their toothbrushes. Put a little stool in the bathroom so they are comfortable at the washbasin. If you can get them to have a fun time with Daddy in the bathroom every morning to see who brushes best, even better.
Talk to them while they brush their teeth at night. That way they won’t see it as a chore, but a time when they have your attention. You could crack a few jokes and rib them a bit perhaps.
Remember, it’s going to be a lot easier for you later because you don’t have to drag them to the dentist quite as often.
Bath Times, Fun Times
If you start making them feel that bath times are special, they will always love having a bath. From the tub to the bucket to the shower, be around them those early years and wear your old clothes so it’s fun time for you too.
The more you spend time with them, tickling, joking with them, the sooner you’ll find that they start having a bath on their own. Strange, but true.
Keeping them clean and teaching them to stay clean just means a little more time spent on them when they are young but it sure pays off when they get older. Once these habits are part of them, you can be sure they will stay clean come what may.
Take heed – it is a great investment as far as your kid’s future is concerned. Take heart – the days go by soon, too soon, perhaps. And it’s easier if you give in, let the child in you come out and enjoy it with them.