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Hand washing- Time to stop being lazy

I have a hygiene issue to work on.  Okay, that sounds a bit strong.  I’m not the smelly kid or anything (usually), but there is something I want to work on this summer to get Ben ready for preschool.  Hand washing.  Before the girls were born I was trying to be better about bringing Ben to the sink to have him wash his hands.  Once the girls were here I reverted back to just using wipes to clean him up myself.  It is so much faster and easier to just grab a wipe and take care of business.  As an added bonus Ben will even bring the wipes to me, so really I have to put forth very little effort to get him clean.  As far as time saving (and my sanity sometimes) that is awesome.  However, I think the kid needs to know how to wash his hands by himself.  Here is how I plan to tackle this issue this summer.

Scrub, scrub, scrub!

1) Teach Ben how to wash his hands.  I think he has a general idea of how to do this.  I mean, we wash his hands.  To Ben ‘washing your hands’ really means put your hands under the faucet and play for a few minutes, then run around waving them because they are wet.  Yeah… not really effective.  I know this is my fault, I let him play knowing that I will follow up with wipes or step in and scrub his hands for him.  Long term these are not effective solutions.  I plan to break it down for him- soap, rub, rinse, dry.  Four basic steps.  I am hoping this is fairly easy to teach him.  He already loves to play in the sink.  Drying his hands can be an issue, but he is getting better at that.

2) Have him wash his hands at all the important times of day.  Before and after meals, and after potty/diaper changes are the big ones that come to mind.  That is at least 6 times a day for meals, and at least 5 more for diapers/potty time.  I think I can hit 12 times a day of hand washing.  Wow, just typing it out makes me think “Too hard!”  That is a lot of times a day!  But I do hope that he can handle this skill on his own some day.  I am choosing to instead think “Yay!  So many chances to practice!”

3) Set myself up for success.  I plan to keep the step stool nearby for easy access.  I plan to keep a supply of hand towels in the kitchen to make it easier for Ben to wash his hands.  I have hand soap with fun designs on it to entice Ben to want to use it.  I am letting people know our plan to have accountability.  And I have stocked up on paper towels to clean up what is sure to be damp sink area.

There we go.  Three steps to take to force myself to teach Ben to wash his hands.  I know this is one area where I need to stop taking the lazy way out, as in the long run it isn’t helping anyone for me to not teach this skill now.  Ooo, maybe I can reward myself like I do Ben- one M&M every time I get Ben to wash his hands?  That has potential. 😉

Anyone have any tips or hints to teach your kids this basic skill?

Today is a Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest day!  Be sure to check out the BFBN pinterest page to see what the other ladies have to say about hygiene.


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