I seriously can’t believe I am the mom to a tween already! It seems like just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn with colic… Yet, here we are. I have to say it has been a huge adjustment. Not only do I have to deal with the emotional roller coaster, but I also have to teach this child what sex is, and help her understand the hygiene needs that come with puberty. Over the last few weeks, I have nagged her about her hygiene and I don’t want to do that. That’s why I put together this free printable hygiene checklist. I am hoping it will encourage her to take responsibility and feel empowered to take care of herself.
Free Printable Hygiene Checklist
I am a huge fan of fostering independence in my children where I can. I also love to eliminate the nagging mom where I can. I found myself saying, “Have you brushed your teeth?” (Don’t they learn that when they are little? Does this kid have amnesia?) “Wash your face.” “Brush your hair.” It became a daily thing and I just had enough. I put together this checklist in hopes that R would step up and take responsibility for these things herself. She really is an amazing girl and I am hoping this will give her some ownership over her needs.
I tried to keep it fairly simple because she is younger and I didn’t want to overwhelm her.
I have included basic care concepts like brushing her teeth, her hair, and putting on deodorant. There are also checklist items for each time she showers. I printed out her checklist and laminated it so that we could leave it in the bathroom. I also put a dry erase marker in the bathroom so she can check off items as she completes them.
5 Ways to teach hygiene to tweens
1. Help them take small ownership. – When it comes to hygiene with tweens, they can get very frustrated with being told to do it all. Instead of trying to conquer everything, start with small areas where they can own their hygiene. Some areas you might consider are consistent tooth brushing, making sure to brush their hair, or putting on deodorant. Start small and work your way to independence.
2. Don’t make it negative. – When tweens don’t want to own their hygiene it can be very frustrating. However, they are no longer the little kids you used to care for. It can be tempting to point out the negatives. Instead, encourage them. This means instead of saying, “You might smell and get picked on” replace it with, “Let’s work on self care so you don’t need me to bug you anymore.”
3. Celebrate the wins. – They may not get it right every day and that’s ok! Instead, focus on the wins. Focus on the days when they do check all the boxes or remember to do the one thing you struggle with. “I noticed you took care of brushing your hair and brushing your teeth without me asking. I’m really impressed with you.” Let your tween know you celebrate their wins.
4. Give them their own items. – Sometimes it can help to give tweens their own shampoo, their favorite toothpaste, or a body wash they really want to try. Having their own items can help them to feel more motivated to try. We put together a bathroom bag specifically for this purpose. Each child has their own self-care items to help them feel more ownership.
5. Let them do things wrong. – They won’t get it all right. They may have to learn and adjust to taking care of things on their own more. Let them do it wrong sometimes. It can help them to learn from the process. You can’t protect them from everything and sometimes they’ll have to learn from natural consequences.
If you have a child who could use this independence tool as well please make sure to print one.
Print your Free Printable Hygiene Checklist
What do you do to encourage your tween to take care of basic hygiene without nagging them?
Looking for more?
Parenting a tween can be an amazing adventure with some simple tips. Check out how we thrive during the tween phase.
Teaching your kids about sex? Don’t let it stress you out! We have some great posts to help you handle the talk in a way that will go well for both parents and their kids.