Talking to Your Child About Hygiene


by

in Kids Health

Puberty is a serious subject and something that most of us do not want to remember or talk about. We remember how awkward it was. Kids might have made fun of us. We probably did not understand what it meant for our bodies to change in that way. We were probably very confused by the situation, which makes perfect sense. However, our parents also might not have spoken to us about the situation, meaning that it was much worse than it could have been. If someone had simply stepped in and said a few basic words of encouragement or explained some things to us we might not have suffered so much.

For those of us whose parents did step in we can’t know what it was like to not have that help. We probably should not assume that it was as easy as it was for us. Because we know that it was very difficult even with our parent’s help, assume that it was in fact much more difficult to do without it. Because this is the case we know that it is very important to talk to your child about puberty. This is also the case because speaking to your child about puberty helps them to know that you care about them and that you want to help them. This will help them during this difficult time and throughout their lives. They will know that when things are difficult they can turn to you for help and guidance.

Offer to shop for hygiene products.Offer to shop for hygiene products.

Not speaking to them could send them the opposite message, even if this is not your intention. They might feel betrayed or unloved if you do not speak with them. They might feel that you let them down and did not help them in a time of need. They might feel like you did not care enough about them to be a little embarrassed. A lot of these things can have serious impact later in life. So let’s assume that you should talk to your child about puberty. How are you going to talk to them about some of the really embarrassing stuff like hygiene and puberty?

Any discussion of issues relating to puberty should be done in a comfortable atmosphere. You want to be serious but you don’t want to scare your child by being too serious. Reassure them that the changes occurring to their bodies are normal and that they have a definite purpose. Then you want to let them know about the important hygiene issues that might be confronting them. For example, do they know that their body will start to produce smelly perspiration? Do they know that they should use deodorant? Do girls know about feminine hygiene products? When you ask these questions realize that they might be embarrassing for your children. Be sensitive and explain things in a matter of fact way. Don’t make fun of your children in this situation in any way. Explain that good hygiene is important. Your children will probably be more aware of this than you might have thought. They will probably want advice about hygiene. However, this will be difficult to hear, and especially from a parent of the opposite sex. Make sure that a parent of the same sex is talking to the child, or that a concerned adult of the same sex is present. The key is to make sure that they are comfortable and feel like they are in an environment where they can ask questions. They need to know that you care about their hygiene issues. They need to know that you love them.

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