Thursday, September 17, 2015

I hate showers: the parent's guide to getting your kid to take a shower

Written by Dr. Aya Piffany, F.M.D., F.P.D.

 It's the same all over the world, your kid's alarm clock goes off (or you wake them up), they get up and run out the room only to pass right by the bathroom door and head for the kitchen. Completely neglected is the bathroom where the morning shower/bath that lies utterly dry.
Today's kids don't work in mine shafts, they
play Minecraft instead... except they enjoy it.

  Why do kids hate showers? One 2012 article states that the kids is either lazy, depressed, or can't smell themselves.  But what happens when they pass everyone in the house and they are holding their own nose for the first 15 minutes of each day, running like they are the happiest person on the planet and bouncing off the walls like their energy levels are infinite.

 The answer could be, priority. Showers just are not important to kids because they just don't rank high enough on the importance scale. Minecraft and cartoons are much higher on
Explain organizing shoes is less
important than taking a shower.
this scale, right by eating. If you have a girl, you probably can exchange cartoons for Taylor Swift (the Britney Spears of the 10's). When I was a kid, it was Atari 2600 and my Tree House, begging to Play Pitfall instead of watching the news on a fuzzy analog screen that looked like furniture.

  So how can priority change? Well, the problem is, once kids at school start making fun of kids for not showering for more than a week or so, they are likely to be made fun of even more for taking one (making it obvious). So don't expect your kid to shine up like the new penny he/she is right off the bat because most kids get made fun of if they change in any way noticeable by their peers.

  Habit-forming is the best answer though. If you get them in a CONSISTENT habit of taking one, screaming and fighting as it may be, it needs to happen each and every day without exception, even weekends. Also, make sure they have enough time to 'cover up' the fact that they look different. Let them blow dry their hair and put it back the way as normal. Buy them unscented body washes and deodorants at first, gradually (even without any help from you) they will decide if they want to have any intruding scents coming from them, good or bad -- that doesn't mean buy them 'fart smell spray' however (my kids actually asked for that!).

Don't do things that will make your kids take your
ideas of cleanliness less seriously (and respect
will also drop drastically even more so with their
friends over to visit and play for the afternoon.
 Educating your child can also help. With google today you can show what bedbugs, lice, dead skin, flea infestations and all sorts of scary gross stuff that you normally would have to explain yourself actually LOOKS LIKE. Even better, if you have the stomach for it, use YouTube to show real life news stories as long as it is from a credible source (many kids are smart enough to know if they are being tricked). For me, the story of the girl who went to school with a family of rats living inside her thick tangled hair was a great motivator[1].

  Lastly, keeping a chart, giving some sort of extra reward is a good way to reinforce habits like this. The big thing here is to be consistent. Kids see weakness in us parents as an excuse to be inconsistent themselves. If you absolutely do not have enough time or a water main breaks, seek the closest and earliest substitute (right after school, or at your best friend's house that lives right next to you, if that's an option, etc).

Well, I hope this has been as informative to you as it was to me (when I did the research, that is). I don't usually like writing about things OTHER people hate, but since it was for my kids (and yours) I will make this one exception. Until next time, don't forget to go away and not come back!

PS: I didn't have the time to grammar or format check this post, so forgive me if the formatting is a bit funny because I am leaving home as soon as I click publish!!

Misc Links
[1] - the only link i can find related to the girl with rat nest story [i guess the media yanked all the links cause theres no pics no more :( ]
[2] "5 reasons kids hate showers"
[3] Actually, I am in a big hurry, just google '' and look at those links, that should be close to what I did my research on!

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