Grooming Tips for Kids
You’ve tried to get your kids to wash their hands thoroughly, brush their teeth well after each meal and at bedtime, and keep their hair brushed and reasonably tidy. However, it’s just not a priority for your kids. What can you do?
- In order for hands to be washed thoroughly, they must be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Have your kids sing “Happy Birthday” out loud or to themselves twice while washing their hands. Or sing the alphabet song. This can make the experience more fun while also tracking the 20 seconds. Also, when your kids are done washing their hands, praise them generously for a task well accomplished.
- In order for teeth to be brushed thoroughly, they must be brushed according to instructions set forth by the American Dental Association. There are products now on the market which kids can use after brushing their teeth: these products will color any plaque that remains after brushing. Kids can then see how well they brushed. If they have not brushed well, then they can repeat the process. If they did brush well, praise them generously for a task well accomplished.
- In order for hair to be brushed thoroughly and well groomed, conventional wisdom has taught that we need to brush 100 strokes. Tangle-free sprays can be used to make hair brushing less painful for kids. Some girls respond well to hair accessories (barrettes, clips, pins, bows, bands, etc.). When your kids are done brushing their hair, praise them generously for a task well accomplished. Don’t forget to tell your kids how nice they look with their hair done just so.
In addition to the foregoing tips, you can tap into other tips to make grooming more appealing to your kids.
- Talk with your kids about the connection between health and hygiene. Discuss first impressions and how we “read” people based on their grooming.
- Use kid-friendly grooming tools. Buy (or make) soap in shapes that attract your kids. Buy toothbrushes that depict animated characters that your kids like. Buy hairbrushes that feel good on your kids’ scalps and are appropriate for the length, texture, and thickness of your kids’ hair.
- Keep a grooming calendar posted on their bathroom wall. Mark days in which grooming was carried out successfully. Grant rewards for successful grooming. For example, stickers for each instance of successful grooming, a bedtime snack for each full day of successful grooming, and extra story time at bedtime each Sunday for successful grooming the full week preceding. For girls, rewards may include pretty hair accessories.
By following these steps, you will be doing all you reasonably can to encourage your kids to groom well. Most kids who are consistently exposed to these steps will come to appreciate good grooming.
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