Scattered books, scattered clothes or even those games, teaching your children to do away with such habits as well as ensuring they keep their surroundings and body clean is surely a daunting task. But then this teaching is a part of their discipline for self-autonomy later in life and thus has to be done, no matter what.
So how do you do it? And that too without punishment, since it will stop their creativity in life. Children are bundles of energy and even if you try to hush them, their brains will be at play. So here is the key is to engage their brains. We are sharing here some of the finest tips to discipline children about cleanliness.
Focus on Quality
Rather than buying children innumerable things, buy them quality stuff which keeps their brain engaged. For example, buy them a small broom over the teddy bear to teach them how to clean their cupboard. Or buy a bin, an easy to read book about cleanliness, etc. In short, buy something that teaches them what you wish to while the child is at play.
Create a Daily Calendar
Teach them slowly the importance of charting each of their activities well in advance. It must start from brushing their teeth, to taking bath, to help you clean their room, etc. It also must include keeping their school bag clean and other such things. This shall help them realize the huge importance of organization. In short, help your child plan a clean and healthy life, and this calendar will soon become his/her habit. Reward your child each time he/she fully sticks to the calendar.
Set Specific Spaces for Child’s Things
Not only set up sections in the house or rooms for specific things your child uses but also teach them to keep the things back once they are done with them. Children follow what you do, so when you keep your own things at the right place, then only they will become habitual to the same. A father keeping his shoes at the right place inspires the same to his children. A mother keeping her clothes folded or away in washing basket at the end of the day inspires the same. A teacher putting away the books after teaching in the cupboard motivates the child to do the same.
Remain Open to Learning from your CHILDREN
It is not always that you will need to teach a child about cleanliness, at times they will also teach you. Follow them, make them feel good about the right habit. Help them take pride in it. Such habits thus get deeper rooted in children for life.
Help Them Create a Clean World
Encourage children to extend their habit of cleanliness beyond the house. Whether it is a picnic or their school bus or their own car, teach them not to throw the garbage anywhere except the bin. Teach them why it is wrong, how it not only causes unhealthy environment but also how it makes the places look bad. Here you have to again be the role model. Once you keep a bin handy in your own car, then only they will practice the same at other outdoor places. Also teach them to keep the litter with them till they find a bin if it is not available at a certain place or in the vicinity.
Involve them in some cleaning activities
If your children are of the right age, simply involve them in the cleaning activities at the house, garden, park, etc. Do reward them with simple things when it becomes their voluntary habit. Small rewards boost their moral but don’t bribe them. There is a difference between a reward and a bribe, so ensure to rightly use it.
Question Children on Cleanliness
Whenever you take your children out, ask them to think and rate how clean a certain place is. This will not only help them learn how to ensure that they leave the place clean, say a restaurant, but also in the brain make a comparison with home; and once back, ensure it is tidy enough. At times, right comparison is the best way to teach.
It is as simple as rewarding them with titles like “Anti-Germ Superhero” and “Germ-free Ninja” whenever they cover their mouth while sneezing or when they pick up litter and throw it in the bin. Tell them how good a superhero they have been in keeping the world around them free from germs! Again, show them they are a role model to boost their moral, to practice cleanliness as godliness.
Play Games, Watch Videos Together
Today, it has become far easier to teach cleanliness to a child than ever before. All thanks to the digital world we live in. Simply engage them in various small, innovative games on the internet or watch short films/videos with them related to not just cleanliness but also other good habits you wish to inculcate. It is as simple as teaching a nursery rhyme to a child with the help of a catchy video. But for each child, you will have to hunt out stuff related to their age, don’t leave the task to them. There is adult stuff available on internet too, so you have to ensure that your child watches anything and everything under your supervision only.
Be a Role Model
Instead of setting reminders for the child, set a good example yourself. Children are copycats. They are brilliant observers. So when you practice healthy hygiene, they will sooner or later walk on your footsteps. Simply take them to wash hands before they eat along with you rather than sending them alone. It is that simple. You can then graduate them to further healthy habits.
Remember cleanliness is something that can only be taught while participating yourself. Cherish your children’s good habits each day. And later, they will surely thank you for raising them well!