A child learns almost everything through osmosis in their formative years. They will likely replicate your habits as they grow up. If your house is messy and never fully organized, they will likely emulate what they are used to as they grow. If you are organized, clean and disciplined with your space, they will likely see no problem with doing the exact same thing themselves. Building great hygiene habits in your child work in pretty much the same way, except this will likely be even more direct. This is because you will likely wash your child for the first few years of their life, and slowly give them the tools to do it themselves. Even when they’re seven, eight, nine and maybe even ten, you’ll still inspect them to ensure they have been washing appropriately at the end of each nightly shower time.
But hygiene habits are more than simply ensuring they do it. Taking care of these tasks well is essential, not an option, and so consider our following advice can help you in the best possible direction:
The Doctor & Dentist Aren’t Scary
It’s essential for a child to learn that the Doctor and Dentist are anything but scary. You need to teach them this. For example, if they do a great job brushing their teeth one evening, you could perhaps say ‘Oh wow, Dr. Thompson (the Dentist,) will be very proud of you for that, those teeth are sparkling clean!’ If you introduce their name often in a positive context, they will likely form an understanding of them in that light. Even the best pediatric dentist in the world cannot contend with your child’s impression if you’ve routinely threatened them, suggesting they should ‘brush their teeth right now or Dr. Thompson will be unhappy with you!’ This only leaves a child fearful when that day comes.
When suggesting that it’s time to head to this location, it can be worth suggesting it’s a positive. Perhaps heading out somewhere they like within the same journey can help the entire process be bundled with something they enjoy. Keep a jovial attitude, because your mood influences them. Then, if not immediately they should learn in time that healthcare professionals are good, and they won’t neglect to visit as they grow.
Easy To Remember Formulas
It can be great for them to remember a little formula to help them wash or brush their teeth. My little one loves using the Brush Buddies kit. It comes with everything kids need to keep their smiles clean and healthy. You might say ‘spend twenty seconds on each tooth’ or something such as ‘wash, wash, wash, rinse, rinse, rinse,’ when learning how to shampoo their hair.’ Little sayings, little songs, and little habits can go a long way when a child is learning the importance of hygiene.
Discipline & Schedules
Stick to a schedule. 7.30pm might be when your child needs to brush their teeth, on the dot. Picking up their toys happens at 6.00pm. If they’re a little older, cleaning their bedroom should happen at 10.30am on the weekends. Little disciplines and routine chores like this can help them build habits that keep them going, and give them an understanding of the importance of a daily plan.
With these tips, your child is sure to learn well via osmosis and your gentle guiding hand.