Teach your child personal grooming

 A shabby, unkempt person makes others wonder why they don’t befriend the mirror to save themselves from embarrassment. Well, this unkempt person could be your child if you don’t teach him grooming habits as early as now. The amount of time spent teaching your child proper grooming will depend on several key things that include the child’s age, skill level and interest.

 Grooming tips

Children either love or hate bath time. Instead of coercing your child to bathe, be creative by enticing him into the bath water using some toys that are water friendly. Once comfortable in the bath, wash your child from head to toe and rinse him well. After you have bathed him, let him also wash himself or just play with water. The bathing process will soon become second nature and he will know what to expect during a bath.

Depending on the age of your child, talk to him about the importance of clean clothes and the dangers of wearing dirty clothes. Teach him to feel proud of his appearance and to take care of how he looks outwardly. Wearing clean, wrinkle free clothing is an important step in taking pride in his appearance. If he is too young to do laundry, he can place his clothing in the laundry basket and help separate colours. Demonstrate how to fold clothing and either place in drawers or hang in the closet. Let your child practice coordinating outfits and even choose what to wear to school. Giving him this freedom allows him to assert his independence.

Make a habit of cutting your child’s fingernails and toenails short until they are comfortable with keeping their nails short. Explain to the child that long nails give room to germs. In the long run, the child will embrace this good grooming tip for his health.

Dental care begins before a child’s first tooth even erupts. Dental habits such as brushing teeth, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash are necessary to protect healthy teeth and gum. Let your child watch you brush your teeth daily to demonstrate the correct technique. Also teach them how to do it by holding their toothbrush and directing them appropriately. Make brushing of teeth a rewarding experience.

Wash the child’s hair with no-tears shampoo to avoid irritation should the shampoo accidentally enter the eyes. Teach your child how to dry and style his hair daily. Use a large comb that your child can easily grip and teach him how to correctly comb his hair.

Talk to your child about why it is important to observe good hygiene. Explain that she will attract germs and diseases if she does not maintain her personal hygiene. For example, you can say, “the best way to fend off germs is to keep yourself clean. If you wash your hands after you use the bathroom, the germs will stay away and you will, therefore, not be sick.”

If you are potty training, you can teach your children how to wash their hands each time they use the bathroom. You may have to guide them and help them at first, but much like with brushing their teeth, they will eventually pick it up and start doing it correctly on their own. This is actually one of the most important good grooming habits that they can adopt.

You must be a good role model for your children by observing and maintaining general cleanliness and good grooming. If your child is at an age where they can read, give him easy, widely illustrated books on hygiene and good grooming to read or read with him.

Teaching children good-grooming habits is extremely important. Good grooming habits will help them to be cleaner, healthier, and better liked by their peers. It also teaches children to take pride in both their cleanliness and their appearance. This will be important to them throughout their lives.

december 2012Groomingmother and babyparents magazine