July 26, 2021

Ask Margaret - What Do I Do About My Kid's Poor Hygiene?

Does keeping track of our kids' hygiene have to be another thing on our list of stuff to worry about? Setting rules and parameters around how and when your kids need to groom themselves is better than daily fights about whether they’ve taken a shower.

Our kids may be adorable and fresh-smelling when they are little, but somewhere along the way (thanks puberty!) they transform into oily stink-monsters.

Once our kids reach a certain age, keeping up with our kids' hygiene feels like it shouldn't be a parent's job. But if we give up all oversight, some kids might walk around with bad teeth and frightening body odor.

Most kids are capable of managing their own self-care, but they need to be taught the proper way to

  • wash themselves
  • brush their teeth
  • take care of their skin
  • apply deodorant

Don't skip the step of really sitting your kids down and explaining HOW to do all of these things.

If your kids are having trouble keeping up with their hygiene routines, or you find yourself constantly reminding them to brush their teeth or shower, consider making a schedule so these routines can happen without your involvement. If Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are shower days then you don't have to constantly discuss whether or not your kid needs to shower. They just do, 'cause it's Tuesday. If teeth need to be brushed before kids come down in the morning, you don't have to nag them about whether or not it's happened. If they show up downstairs with funky teeth and bad breath, they already know they'll be going back upstairs.

Putting rules and expectations around hygiene may be a little more work in the beginning, but in the long term it will truly help establish your ultimate goal: kids who can manage their own self-care.

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