How can we teach hygienic gestures to our children ?

"Wash your hands", "brush your teeth", "take your bath", ... In the current situation, it is a very important thing to remind our children about the few hygienic gestures that we have to teach them as parents.
Le 20/03/2020

But how can we turn these obligations into a game or a moment of relaxation for both children and parents ? Here are our little tips in the form of games !

Washing teeth and hands, bathing, are everyday gestures that children must learn from a very young age to reproduce them later on in an autonomous way. It often takes patience and perseverance to teach cleanliness to a child. So why be reluctant to wash when it is part of the basics of hygiene ?

First of all, good hygiene in a child's daily life enables him to protect himself against diseases. Secondly, hygiene is simply essential to the child's healthy development.

When we know that 90% of French people do not wash their hands before eating a meal and that 25% of them wash them only with clear water, without soap, we understand how essential it is to start learning about hygiene at an early age. It is important that washing and daily chores do not become a chore.

We start by showing the importance of washing our hands for the little ones !  How can we pass on to them and make them understand the importance of the gesture ? And in the right way ? By playing a little game with glitter !

Nothing could be simpler than to directly show the effects of the spread of germs (and what it's like) when you don't wash your hands ! Several steps:

• I touch the glitter with my hands. Then I touch Mummy's hand, my face, the little brother's T-shirt,... Everything is covered !

• Everything is stained. I go to wash my hands only with water. There's some left on !

• Then I wash my hands with soap and carefully. They are all clean ! See the Vidéo 

« It's a daily struggle, says Caroline, a mother of three children aged 3 to 8.  You have to constantly ask them to wash their hands, brush their teeth, take a shower... You can repeat these instructions every day, but they forget to do it if you're not behind them. »

In other words, hand washing is essential before every meal, after every toilet or after touching an animal. Washing your hands several times a day should be an automatic process for everyone.

If it' s so important, it' s because germs are everywhere. This is very difficult to explain to a child. Therefore, you can always start to raise awareness in different ways ! And with good reason : good hygiene is essential to keep our health and prevent many infections.

Why not print or draw these microbes that we have to fight by washing, brushing our teeth,...? These same drawings can be reused if the child doesn't want to change, by sticking them on, why not !

Apart from hand washing, hygiene doesn't stop there. Many daily gestures are important to avoid the spread of germs.

We will remember two of them: sneezing in the elbow and blowing your nose in unique tissues when your nose is running. It is important to teach our children these notions. By showing them when they are very small, your child will imitate you ! 

And how to motivate your children to brush their teeth ?

We introduce a playful aspect into the learning process. There are strawberry toothpastes, animal-shaped toothbrushes and toothbrushes that change colours ! The aim is to value the action in order to make it a daily routine and not to be a burden for the child.

For example, use a stopwatch, a little hourglass or even the time of a song to give the child a goal. Also remind him that without this step, it will not be possible to go to sleep, or to be able to read or play. On your daily task schedule (if you have one), don't hesitate to add tooth brushing as a mission ! The child will then be able to tick it off and be proud of him.

What about showering or bath time ?

The best thing is to "Learn without imposing". It is true that children up to the age of 4 are not necessarily able to wash themselves. This is why it is our duty as a parent to teach them over time to wash themselves and to enjoy this time of day.

What better way to do this than to have fun while bathing ? It will also be a great way for you to teach her her body. Afterwards, he can try to wash himself under your supervision. Bathing is fun for the little ones and it is well known that children learn best by having fun. The notion of washing will be natural and even associated with well-being and the pleasure of doing as adults do.

How to make children want to change by themselves ?

Children generally like to have a choice in order to have an impact on the decision. So, when Monsieur loulou doesn't feel like changing his clothes, why not try to choose together ?

By preparing his clothes the night before with you, he'll understand the usefulness of changing underwear, of liking to change and of having clean clothes ! To raise his awareness, why not make him wash his toys, cuddly toys or babies ? By voluntarily staining the clothes, he will want to change them so that his toys are clean. Just like him !

And to finish, Patricia Serin, psychologist-psychotherapist, tells us : « Learning hygiene is based on three essential principles : exemplarity (the child does as his parents do), play and pleasure. If we scold him or try to force him, it only makes him more aggressive. »

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