11 tips for making sure your kids keep clean
Children are, to be blunt, dirt magnets. They're also extraordinarily good at avoiding being cleaned up - but Mumsnet users have some cunning tricks up their sleeves...
1. Add an element of danger
Image credit: Pirates of the Caribbean, Walt Disney Pictures via tumblr.com
"When my son needs a bit of a prod to move towards the bathroom, my husband tells him that his sister will 'steal his bath'. That sends him off like a shot."
2. Employ the Fear of God
"I showed my son some Google images of tooth decay - but gave lots of reassurance that he'd never have teeth like that, as he's such a good brusher…".
3. Add a sprinkle of imagination
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"My daughter (15 months) and my son (six) love it when I grab a handful of bubbles and blow it in the air so it lands on everyone like snow."
4. Flattery is your friend
"When my daughter was young (aged 3-4) and hated washing her hair and general bathing, we developed a game. We'd pretend that the bath was the swimming pool, and she was having a swimming lesson. I would use her as the golden child who could do everything well, and would show the other imaginary people in her class what to do."
5. Turn it into an icky science experiment
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"During toothbrushing, we look for all the food that's been eaten all day."
6. Deferred gratification works wonders
"For us, it's bath before food. This works best when I've cooked something they really like - I have less success when it's a salad for supper..."
7. There are worse things than washing. There really are.
"I hold a tissue up and threaten them with a spit wash."
8. Props: an under-utilised parenting tool
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"We have lots of fun, so keeping clean isn't a chore. My children love it when I have to put sunglasses on to protect my eyes when I check how clean their teeth are."
9. Bath + company = win
"Our six-month-old son wasn't keen on baths until I started plonking him in with me or my husband - and now he absolutely loves it. Even more so when the dog gets her paws up on the side, and has a good old sniff about too."
10. Introduce some <ahem> friendly rivalry
"Turn everything into a competition - 'I bet you can't get ready for the bath before I've run it' works a treat."
11. Or just - you know - go old school…
Image credit: Harry Potter, Warner Bros, via wikia.net
"I just wash the filth wizards"
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Last updated: about 3 years ago