Amongst a few things that give parents sleepless nights with their teenagers, especially teenage boys, it is personal hygiene. Most parents feel hopeless when it comes to their teenager’s hygiene.
I don’t want to claim that I have answers but I am writing this article to open a conversation about this important matter in many households.
My opinion is that hygiene like any other subject, need to be taught and parents are better positioned to teach this practical lesson than teachers because they are staying with the kids at home.
I think its important to remember that before the teen years, parents were somehow responsible or at least partially responsible for their child’s hygiene. When they start to gain autonomy during the tween and teen years, the struggle begins because now they are denying you access to help but they are still not fully able to take care of themselves.
The truth is you both have never been this route before. You are both going to have to navigate this terrain to keep the house, the boy, and his room fresh, free from all sorts of smells, and scattered clothes.
Mommy, daddy take a deep breath and teach, teach calmly and patiently, understanding that this is just a phase but not who he is. This too shall pass.
How to Teach
Teaching needs strategy and planning. It is more effective when it is proactively done. It does not serve the child or the parents well to always do it in a form of correction, although there is a place for that. So before things go out hand get your lesson plans ready and start to teach.
1. Make him aware that his Hygiene is not only about him but everyone else in the house.
2. Good hygiene is not only about being clean and smelling good but it is about good health
3. Model good hygiene
4. Make a poster of hygiene rules or expectations around the house
5. Read a book & have regular relaxed conversations about different hygiene aspects
When to Teach?
The truth is hygiene should be taught long before the teen years. During the teen years, we should just be brushing over what they have learned in the past years and adapting the information to their rapidly changing bodies. Beyond that, the best time is before hygiene becomes the point of conflict at home
Who Should Teach Hygiene?
We are talking about boys here, so if daddy is at home, he is the most relevant person to teach hygiene. I mean it is only proper for daddy to be the one teaching his son to shave. Of course, mothers are always on standby to fill in when there is a need. But if manly hygiene has to be discussed in detail, seek the help of males around you if you are a single mom.
Having worked with teens for years the next best place to discuss hygiene issues is within the youth forums, at youth camps, when nobody feels like an object of discussion but the topic is discussed generally. These are platforms where they can freely ask questions without fear of being judged
Areas That Need Covered
The basics of oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss once a day.
- Use a soft-bristled brush
- Replace your toothbrush at least every four months
- Use a fluoride tooth paste
- Limit sugary food , drinks & snacks
- Visit the dentist regularly
The above is recommended by dentists to prevent oral problems like bad breath, tooth decay , cavities and the build up of bacterial plaque on your . Tooth decay and bacterial plaque can lead to tooth loss and gum diseases called gingivitis.
Brush your teeth the right way
If you want to take his oral hygiene to the next level and even make it interesting and appealing you can go for the USmile Pro toothbrush
With a normal tooth brush, we are advised to brush our teeth for 2 minutes but USmile Pro does the work in 10 seconds.
- It improves Dental Health
- Water Proof
- Long battery life
- Instant One Button Operated Deep Cleaning 360° Toothbrush
- Quality and Durable Antibacterial Silicone Easy to Clean
- Sonic and Vibration Cleaning Technology For Real Results
- Completely Wireless And Portable With Included Battery
- Patented Technology U-Shaped Silicon Toothbrush With Light Therapy
- Simple to Use By Everyone, Fast and Hassle-Free
Check the video below for the amazing toothbrush:
There are few body changes that happen when one hits puberty. And this changes demands a change or an upgrade in personal hygiene.
Common changes :
- Body odor due to developing sweat glands
Our teen boys should bath or shower every day, maybe once in a while he can get away with once in two days, especially if he has been in house with no hectic sweaty activities. He must certainly bath after playing sports or anything that made him sweat more than normal.
The basics of keeping the body fresh and odorless are as simple as:
- Bathing everyday with special emphasis on the underarms.
- Changing socks and underwear’s daily
- Using a deodorant
Benefits of aluminum free deodorants : Keep your underarm pores clear, reduce the risk of breast cancer, is made with natural ingredients
2. Oily skin
Oily skin normally leads to pimples and this is due to the increase in the sex hormone – androgen , it causes oil glands to get larger and secrete more sebum ( an oily substance that cause your pores to get clogged) .
The best way to prevent pimples when you have an oily skin is to wash your face two to three times per day with cleansers made for oily skin.
3. Growing hair in different body parts
Shaving is now going to be a normal part of his life. Teens should have someone thoroughly guiding them through this process, so daddies, brothers and uncles should rise to the occasion. It is important to have an adult present during their first or even second shaving attempts.
Two areas might need frequent shaving and this differs from one person to the next, the face and the pubic area.
How to shave the face
How and when should I start shaving my pubic area?
These are common questions asked on teen forums.
My opinion is, it is ok for teenage boys to shave their pubic area but this should be delayed as long as possible to avoid ingrown hairs that will itch and can get infected. Check the video below on how to shave.
- Wash the feet – one may ask, isn’t it obvious? I have witnessed it, it is not obvious so I will put it here. Wash the entire foot, on top, underneath, and between the toes.
- Dry the feet thoroughly to prevent foot fungus which is known to thrive in moist places, but except that if we wear shoes without drying the feet well they are more likely to smell.
- Cut and trim the toenails, it is as simple as that but of course, parents like me know that we have to do multiple reminders before the message kicks in.
- Lastly, wear clean socks, socks are made to absorb and retain the sweat to prevent smelly shoes. wearing dirty socks defeats the purpose.
The importance of hand hygiene had been broadcasted through all sorts of media through the Covid19 pandemic.It looked like and its true that our lives depended on the cleanliness of our hands. I can boldly say that good hand hygiene was at the fore front in the fight against corona. Hand hygiene is the most cheap, effective yet simple way to prevent the spread of infections.
I believe that the message should continue even after the pandemic.
Hand hygiene can be easily taken care of at home , school or wherever there is running water and soap. The big challenge remains when one is on a go, up and about.
I found this hand wrist Sanitizer to be a life saver under such circumstances
At the push of a button you can access your sanitizer at anytime and wherever you are. I believe this is the ultimate solution towards good hand hygiene.
Like any other thing parents and guardians, be reminded that personal hygiene should be taught with patience without ridiculing the child. Like I said it is better to have pro-active conversations. Hygiene lessons taught before puberty now need an update as the body goes through adolescence changes.
Good hygiene is a great confidence booster when we look and smell good we feel good, this can be our selling point as we daily groom our teens to understand the importance of personal hygiene.
I would like to hear your thoughts. Comment below of what worked for you and your teen boy or what worked for you as a teen .We are open to learn from your experiences.
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