Talking to Your Kids About Good Hygiene

Today in popular culture, you can find many references to the “Smelly Kid” in school, ranging from the “Peanuts” cartoon character Pig Pen to Adam Sandler’s portrayal of a new dad, in “Big Daddy,” who let his kid become the smelly kid in class. You can even find postings on the Internet in which teachers look for ways to approach or deal with the smelly kid in class.

Most of us tend to laugh at this and then move on with our day. However, this can be a serious problem for kids while at school and in life for that matter! Unfortunately, there are even Facebook sites devoted to humiliating these kids. These kids have a tendency to:

  • Be left out socially
  • Be made fun of by other students
  • Develop poor self-esteem

As a parent or guardian, you need to be sure, that you are vigilant, in your strike against the foul odors. It is part of your job to help your children to understand the importance of good grooming and hygiene. Here are some great tips for helping your child combat the “smellys.”

  • Talk to Your Child about Personal Hygiene
    • Your child’s body is changing as he/she gets older, and it requires more attention to get the job done.
    • Encourage him/her to take products such as deodorant, shampoo, and soap to school for after P.E. class, extra-curricular activities, and/or just mid-day reapplying.
    • Suggest keeping an extra pair of socks in his/her back pack or locker to change into if the first pair become too sweaty.
  • Showers/Baths are a Must
    • Make sure your child knows that washing is NOT an option.
    • Explain how to properly use a washcloth and soap to scrub all areas.
    • Be sure to always have shampoo (and conditioner) available so that they can wash natural odor causing oils out of their hair.
  • Keep His/Her Clothes Clean
    • Instill in your child the need to change underwear daily.
    • Teach your child the difference between looking clean vs. actually being clean.
    • If old enough, teach him/her how to run the washing machine and dryer.

We all want success for our children. Let us not allow them to become a target for bullying or be distracted with self-consciousness.


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