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Challenge: Start Today: Healthy Habits

Encourage Healthy Hygiene Habits in Your Children

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Kids are clever, lovely and generally great, but they can be awfully stubborn when it comes to hygiene. It’s always such a chore to them, and since they see very little point to it, it can be an everyday struggle to get them to keep clean. Why should I shower when I’m just going to get dirty again? The frustration and overwhelming desire to yell at your kid because they asked you for the fiftieth time what’s the deal with all the teeth brushing can actually be avoided. It’s a process, but you can teach them how to enjoy cleanliness and stop complaining every time they need to take a bath.

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Always lead by example

If you yourself skip washing up frequently, your kid is definitely going to notice and call you out on it. Why should they do something that you don’t bother doing? So always show them just how much you enjoy being clean and they might start seeing the benefits of it too. Keep your home tidy, and fresh, and talk to them about why hygiene is important. Sometimes children won’t understand why it all needs to be repeated so many times, but feel free to ask them “Why eat if you will just get hungry again?” They might start seeing it from a different angle. Life is full of repetitive motions that we have to go through every day. Once they become used to them, they won’t even have to think about it.

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Teach them the basics

It’s not enough just to know that you should do it, you also need to know how to do it. Teach them to wash their hands after every time they use the bathroom and explain how to use soap and warm water to make a lather that will wash away all the bacteria and dirt. Show them the exact motions and make sure they are thorough. Just wetting your hands isn’t enough.

Teach them how to brush their teeth on their own. Explain that it’s important to brush their teeth at least twice a day if they want them to be nice and white. You might want pay attention to teeth growth and take them to the dentist in case anything looks uneven. Finding quality kids’ braces will ensure that your child grows up with a bright, beautiful smile. Getting them used to braces shouldn’t be too big of a problem if the braces themselves feel comfortable, and they usually come in various, colourful varieties, so they can chat with the dentist and pick the colour they like.

When it comes to baths, always make them a nice smelling bubble bath and show them how they can wash their hair with gentle, massaging motions. Explain that hair and skin have different texture and that they need to use both shampoo and soap or body wash. When you go shopping, you can let your kid pick the products that they like and that smell good to them, so they’ll be excited to try them out.

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Make it fun

Kids learn everything through playing, so don’t make hygiene a great big chore that they have to do so you’d stop bothering them. Make it fun, make it exciting. Buy them rubber ducks and ships to play with in the bath, make a horn noise every time you blow their nose, sing with them every time they wash their hands. You can use colourful toothpaste and funny looking brushes with animals or their favourite characters. Bring fun to the routine and they will be eager to get back to it. Don’t grow angry at them if they don’t understand it at first, but be firm and help them along. Kids want to please us and they want to learn, they just need a little encouragement.

A squeaky clean child is not a thing of fantasy, but you do need some patience and understanding. Remember when you were a child and all you wanted to do was play all day and eat chocolate for dinner? Well, explain things to them in a gentle manner and don’t give up. They’ll learn sooner if you relax and take it in stride rather than get frustrated every time.

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