Looking after young children is no easy feat. There are so many things you need to be responsible for with them each day, and their personal hygiene is one of those.
However, many parents and grandparents alike have a lot of trouble getting their children to take baths or showers. This is a distressing situation for both adult and child alike. The child may throw a tantrum in protest, leaving you with no choice but to give in and let them get on with their day without a shower.
It may make you feel self conscious that other parents are judging you and thinking that you don't encourage your child to bathe. Plus, if the child in question smells bad as a result, they may find themselves alienated from other children.
Thankfully, there are ways you can make bathtime less stressful for everyone involved.
Identify the phobia
Rather than simply being difficult, some children genuinely have a fear of water. This can be due to a number of reasons, although the most common can be split into two categories: separation anxiety and fear of getting soap in their eyes.
If your child is very clingy, even sitting in the bath separate from you can be a challenge. In this instance, consider donning your swimming gear and sharing a bath with your child, or letting them in the room whilst you shower.
It is important not to let this become the complete norm, but it can be a useful method when trying to show them that showering is nothing to fear.
If their fear stems from soap irritation, show them how to bathe carefully so that no product goes near their eyes or face. You can even buy specific products that are gentle on kids skin which will minimise any trauma. If your child squirms when you wash their hair, consider investing in a bath-time visor to stop the shampoo running into their eyes.
Check that the water is suitable
Sometimes, children will avoid taking a bath or shower due to not liking the feel of water on their skin. This is especially likely if you have hard water in your home.
Hard water is made up of a high concentration of calcium and magnesium, which is good for drinking but less so for bathing. It can leave a white 'scum' on the skin, which feels uncomfortable, and it can also leave hair dry and unmanageable.
If this sounds like your household water supply, consider taking a look at the latest water softener reviews on this website. Also double check the water stream.
Power showers can sometimes be too powerful for children, with the fast stream of water actually being painful on the skin.
Make it fun
The key to your child enjoying bathtime is making it a positive experience.
Children relate experiences and feelings very closely, so the more fun they have in the bath the more likely they will be to return.
Consider getting some child-friendly bath bombs or some water dye to add a splash of colour to an otherwise boring bath. Or, let them bring certain toys, such as dolls, into the bath with them. Children, especially young girls, will love washing their doll's hair in the bath.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.