Preteens are often in a transitional stage — learning to become more independent while still needing guidance. As a parent, one of the most important things you can teach them is proper hygiene and cleanliness.
Poor personal hygiene and unsanitary living conditions are major contributors to the increase of infectious diseases in developing nations. According to research, poor restroom habits and unclean facilities contribute to the prevalence of contagious illnesses. Handwashing studies have shown that youngsters who wash their hands correctly are less likely to report stomach and respiratory.
This calls for parents to instill in their children the importance of cleanliness and proper hygiene at an early stage. Below are six ways to help your preteen develop good hygiene habits:
Help them understand why hygiene is important
Make sure your child understands why it’s crucial to practice good hygiene. Explain to them how germs can cause illness and how proper hygiene can help prevent the spread of germs. You can also share stories or articles about people who have gotten sick because of poor hygiene.
Once your child understands why hygiene is important, encourage them to practice good daily habits. Help them set up a daily routine, and make sure they stick to it. For example, they should brush their teeth and wash their face every morning and evening.
Teach them how to properly clean themselves
Not washing one’s hands properly is one of the most frequent causes of sickness. Diarrhea, dysentery and hepatitis A are three examples of diseases that can be contracted due to this. Encourage them to wash their hands often, especially after using the restroom, before eating, after coming into contact with someone sick, and after playing with pets.
You can also teach them how to take a bath or shower properly. Show them how to use soap and water to clean their whole body. Show them how to wash their face, underarms, and private parts. Ensure they understand the importance of using clean towels, washcloths, and clothes. Help them choose clothing that’s comfortable and easy to clean.
Help them develop good habits
One of the best ways to help your child develop good hygiene habits is to lead by example. Often, if we teach our children and don’t practice what we preach, they will see right through us. They will most likely not take us seriously and believe good hygiene is unimportant.
Another way to develop good habits is to make them fun. For example, you can turn brushing your teeth into a game or create a reward system for practicing good hygiene. You can also set a schedule and put-up reminders in your child’s bathroom. Join them in their hygiene routine and make it a bonding experience.
Help them to declutter old stuff
As your child grows, they need several things to declutter, like old clothes, shoes, and toys. However, decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of things—it’s also about making sure the things they keep are clean and organized. Encourage them to do it at least once a month. This will also help to prevent the spread of germs in their environment.
Finally, teach them how to repurpose their old items. This will help them to value things more and how to use them in a long-term. They will realize those old things should not make them appear untidy but should inspire them to be creative and neat.
For example, check those clothes they want to get rid of and see if you can still apply iron-on vinyl sheets in front of it. Iron-on transfers are easy to use and inexpensive to add personality and style to clothes. Together, you can print out your designs and iron them onto your clothes. They are extremely easy to use, requiring no additional equipment or materials. With this, your child will have a new set of clothes without spending too much money.
Make sure they have the supplies they need
If you want your child to practice good hygiene, you must ensure they have the necessary supplies. This includes soap, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, and body lotion. You should also stock up on clean towels, washcloths, and clothes.
If you can’t afford to buy all the supplies your child needs, some organizations can help. For example, the United Way provides hygiene kits to families in need. Many churches and community centers also offer free or low-cost hygiene products.
Teach them to clean their room
A messy room can be bad for the health for several reasons. It can attract pests that can spread diseases to people and can also cause anxiety or stress, which is terrible for mental health. A clean and organized room can help your child feel relaxed and comfortable. It can also prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.
Encourage your child to make the bed every morning and put away their clothes and toys. For example, they can vacuum their floor once a week and dust their furniture twice a week. They can also empty their trash can daily and wipe down their surfaces with a disinfectant once a week.
Proper hygiene is essential for preventing the spread of germs and illnesses. Teaching your child how to practice good hygiene habits is necessary as a parent. By teaching your child these things, you’ll set them up for success in life. So, start teaching them today!