How to teach your kids to take a bath on their own
In our culture here in the Philippines, parents tend to do everything for their children. There is nothing wrong with that, but what we didn’t realized is that we are teaching them to be dependent to us all their life. We should learn when to let go and teach them to do things on their own. This is what I realized on our almost 2 years on undergoing occupational therapy sessions.
We are teaching my son to try to do little things on his own. We started by simple tasks like packing away his toys, putting empty wrappers in the trash can, scoping his foods, and watering the plants. Then we taught him how to wear his clothes, to button and unbutton it properly, to pull down and up the zipper in his pants, to wear his socks and shoes and also to pour water in his cup. Now, we are teaching him how to take a bath on his own and do it properly.
You think it’s easy? Try it with your kids and tell me if they will not play with the bubbles and soap because they want to have more fun while taking a bath, but it really does make it more longer.
Here are the things we do to make taking a bath effective and fast without getting rid of the fun part.
1. Teach them first the things you need in taking a bath: soap, shampoo, sponge, water, towel, etc.
2. Teach them to open the shower, or scoop water from the basin if you are using a dipper.
3. My son’s Occupational Therapist thought us to teach Ren a structured way in taking a bath.
Here is our step by step guide:
- Start with the shampoo: Put it in on the head, then teach them to massage the hair in front (you can count one to ten if you want), then repeat the process at the back and at the sides.
- Next the soap: We have tried to use a bar soap, and as I have said he ended up playing with the bubbles and it’s still hard for him to hold the soap since it’s slippery. So my son’s OT recommended to use a sponge and just put some soap on it, he even suggested that there is a sponge hand available that is better to use because it can help kids hold the soap. It lessens the slippery feeling. Our structure in washing his body goes like this: the left arm first (count 1-10), the right arm next, then the neck, then body, then the left leg and foot, and finally the right leg and foot.
4. Open the shower and wash away the soap and shampoo or scoop some water using the dipper on the basin.
5. Towel dry the body.
After that, the next step is him wearing his sando and shorts on his own.
This everyday task is making him productive, teaches him to do things on his own, practices him in following instructions and increases his self awareness and the best of all, its also a time to bond with him. Of course, I can’t still let him go to the bathroom without my supervision because he might slip on the floor but I know I am ready to let him go once I know that he can do his bath routine well.