When you read the heading, I am sure you expect some easier, proven and out of the box techniques for implanting the habit of proper cleanliness in you kids. But before we venture, we should thankfully remember how our parents struggled in teaching us the same. And how much have they succeeded?
Are you a person who counts each minute with cleanliness or the one who does not mind even if your bedroom is scattered most of the time?Whatever the case be, your kids must know the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.
I may suggest here some methods and ideas to throw light on making children better individuals. And I hope you find the approach quite logical and useful.
Demonstrate your kids that Homo sapiens (modern human race) are the only species who have got this many techniques of cleanliness. Just think of it – running water from a mere twist or push of a lever or a button, thousands of varieties of soaps, shampoos, cleansers, toothpastes, toothbrushes etc and of course a working brain to understand how and when to get ourselves rid of all the dirt and odors.
Giving them a clear picture of good and bad, say a fruity-scented soap and a stinking cloth will ultimately drag them towards the soap and later good things in life. What I want to make clear is that you have to deliberately make them sense the bad things too so that they urge for the clean and better ones.
More early, much better
Never think that your child is too young to grasp good habits. You can start training them in such matters as cleanliness, manners and etiquettes as you train them to walk and talk. This will be the strongest platform in them as the quality will be acquired in a much early age.
Now, some of you might have a question on mind as ‘what to be done when my son/daughter is no more a toddler or a preschooler’. Do not worry at all. You still can make them good citizens. The demand is only for some more patience and forgiveness.
Boys are boys
Often it has been recognized that kids especially boys accumulate more scolding from parents and teachers than girls for not keeping their books and clothes neat. Yes, it is in the genes. Therefore elders should fathom this difference and make them learn the basics of cleanliness with added patience and love.
Dealing with toddlers and preschoolers
How stupid it would be of me if I expect my toddler to arrange all his toys before he/she slips into sleep! Or can I shout at my four year old for not cutting his/her nails in shape? By now I think you recognize what I mean to convey. Exactly! Our calculations and likelihood of little ones to adopt cleanliness should match their age.
Show the toddlers certain gestures to make him/her understand that you are upset because he/she scattered your entire make up kit, say like a crying face or sobbing sounds. This will definitely have some impact. Reduce the amount of chocolate or candies next time when your little one refuses to wash hands properly before and after meals. This way they will find it significant to do the chore properly next time at least to avoid the chocolate rationing.
Talk to them whenever you can
There is much power in the art of conversation. Design some interesting short tales or stories to depict the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Make your conversation more delightful by naming the characters or showing them some diagrams that you drew before even starting the talk.
Tell them the story of a little cute boy who later developed a tail only because he did not bathe everyday or who was kept away from his parents as a punishment for not keeping his clothes tidy. You can also develop a story about a beautiful girl who turned really ugly for not brushing her teeth two times a day. Now your daughter may plan to brush four times a day to add to her beauty.
Clean mind in a clean body
When we say a kid is brought up in a clean atmosphere, it includes everything from how he/she keeps himself/herself physically clean, how good is the way of talking, thinking and behaving, how orderly he/she keeps the belongings, house and its surroundings and how he/she tries to imply the quality of cleanliness in others.
First and foremost step to develop a kid into the above said personality is to make ourselves clean in all possible ways. Kids imitate a lot. So there is no point of them becoming a wrong, unclean person if he gets to copy clean parents, teachers, friends or whom ever they mingle with in their lives.
Weekly/monthly assessments through fun activities
You already know that the habits that you inculcate stronger in your kids last longer and stay deep-rooted. Let us learn some tricks to silently impart cleanliness and tidiness in our kids. Once you affirm that your kid is mature enough to take cleanliness lessons to a higher level, assign certain activities, some of which are as follows:
Make certain rules in the household, agreeable to one and all to get overall support in cleaning the house and its surroundings. Part of the rule implies to the kids in the house as well. Tell them to always keep their rooms and toilets/bathrooms clean and clutter-free. Spot surprise checks and random assessment every now and then and appreciate them with small gifts once a week. Shop for some attractive, colorful brooms, fancy cloth stands, scented cleaning liquids and small cupboards. This will automatically drag your kid to make use of them.
Dusting the interiors, cleaning the furniture, garden, porch, patio, bathroom, kitchen etc should be assigned to everyone frequently changing the work chart. Call a family meeting every week to update and remark every member’s ‘cleaning procedure’ and status. Marks should also be awarded. This will make your kid conscious all the time to attain top score. Let the top scorer gain a bumper prize every month. This can be a movie or an increment in pocket money for that particular month.
Little things that make a world of difference
When you bathe your child or show him/her the basics of it, be very cautious to explain the need of keeping the body parts especially the armpits, back of the neck, genitals, ears and scalp clean. This will help them to stay away from so many diseases. Teach them table manners from the very start so that it reflects all along. Always remember to use good language in the household as kids absorb dirty languages fast.
Keep a thorough check on their friends circle as the wrong ones may spoil your kid rapidly, how much ever efforts you take in developing them clean. Do not scold you child if at times he plays in the sand, mud or in the rain. Let him know the pulse of Nature. But teach him to take a detailed bath after such games or activities outdoors or with pets. Never encourage your child to litter in public. Arrange small kiddy parties so that your child makes it a point to discover new ways to keep his/her house and surroundings more attractive when his/her friends visit.
A word of Promise
If you give these tricks a try, I promise you a day when your child, a grown up kid by then, would ask you why your boots are not cleaned after the last outing. By the way, did you take a bath today? Hey, your kid is watching you.
Photo Credit: A1.ro