You probably haven’t had a day go by since becoming a parent that you were advised by well-meaning relatives, never tell your kids “Do as I say, not as I do!” Unfortunately, although we may not actually use that phrase, many of us parent that way without actually being aware of what we are doing. Do you brush your teeth after every meal, upon waking up and before going to bed? These may seem like little things but children notice what you do and they will either mimic you or ask you why they need to do things that you don’t do. That’s a tough one to answer and where that old joke came from. Do you really want them to learn bad habits? Of course you don’t, so teach by example.
Photo by Kirsie Marie
Advice for Single Parent Families
When it comes to teaching grooming by example, sometimes it’s a bit difficult to teach by example. For instance, households where dad is that parent, it is difficult for him to show a little girl how to shave her legs and sometimes even under her arms. Although a little child wouldn’t need to learn just yet, by seeing mom shave her legs for as far back as she can remember, she gets the idea that this is part of what’s expected when grooming and so she learns to do it too. The same holds true for little boys learning to shave. They watch dad enough and they actually learn the proper way to shave or how to use a beard trimmer to keep facial hair neatly cut and groomed if they decide to grow one in the future when they are old enough.
Talk about What You Are Doing
The most important thing you can do besides letting them see that you take care to make sure you are well groomed is to talk to them about what you are doing. There is a reason, for example, that you soap your hands and scrub them for at least 20 seconds and why you wear deodorant. Women can explain not only how they shave their legs and underarms but why they are doing it and the proper way of caring for razors after use. Skincare products can be addressed and you can even make it a fun lesson on human anatomy. There are many, many ways to teach your children good grooming habits but most important of all is to explain why it is so important.
Throughout a busy day in the life of a parent it may seem difficult to find the time to actually talk to your children about why they want to keep their hair clean and even why we have hair in the first place. You would be surprised at just how quickly little people learn, so when it is time for them to be on their own with these daily ‘rituals’ they won’t be at a total loss. It’s up to you as a parent to lead them by example. It’s the easiest way to get the job done with a minimal amount of rebellion. Nothing is better than setting a good example so make your life easier tomorrow by setting the stage today.