The steps that help children become more independent than helping their parents also involve self-care. Teaching personal hygiene to children from an early age is not only a way to pass them some important practices for health (such as brushing their teeth, for example, or cleaning their bottom by themselves) but also to make them independent and help them, within the primary school, to be completely self-sufficient. This helps the child to improve his self-esteem, to make him feel like an equal of his peers. And of course it also relieves the parents of some chores. At what age can children shower alone? Another important growth step is associated with the moment of the bath: let’s see from when and how to help them perform this action without danger.
One of the very first steps related to personal care is to teach the child to wash his hands. An action that must be carried out from an early age, obviously with the support of adults, and then in the exploratory phases in which the child begins to put everything in his mouth, hands included. Hand washing allows the little one to understand that personal care is an essential activity of his daily life and, as he grows up, he can learn to do it himself, first with the help of an adult and then in total autonomy. . Precisely this is the first step to free him from his mother or father, but also to help him convince himself that he can do it alone, without forcing: personal hygiene is in fact a learned habit that must be followed by adults (who have learned it before them) and then left free to express themselves.
At what age can children shower under adult supervision?
From 4-5 years old. But only if there is an adult in the bathroom with them because, unlike washing your hands, the shower implies a different gesture: it is not only a problem of “how much and what the child can wash”, but also of related dangers slipping on the shower tray, or shampooing in the eyes which can cause burns and other irritation.
For this reason, from the age of 4 and if the child shows that he wants to wash himself in the shower, it is good to stay in the bathroom with them: not only to check if they actually wash (but teaching them to do it well is a next step) but above all that everything is safe.
At what age can children shower alone?
From 6-7 years old the children have understood the cleaning mechanism, they know how to regulate themselves with the use of soaps and water and have tended to overcome limits and fears related to the moment of the bath. They are more independent and can try showering on their own, with the help of an adult who prepares what they need first and helps them soon after.
How to help children shower themselves
- use non-slip shower mats, or a simple towel that creates friction and on which children can position themselves so as to remain stable in the wet environment.
- lower the hand shower to their height, so that the jet of water does not scare them
- limit the power of the water jet
- teach them that water should not be wasted: the shower is done as a function of washing, the game is only allowed if in the meantime you wash
- if washing hair, especially if long, becomes difficult, the two actions can be separated: the hair will be washed with the help of the parents at a different time of the shower, at least for the first time, so that the child can devote himself only to body and its hygiene.
The game of “secret places”
A game that can be done with children who approach the shower alone is that of secret places, to identify the places where dirt lurks that they would never think of. With the help of a book about the human body or a drawing, before entering the shower, parents can draw the hot spots with an x: behind the ears, behind the knees, above the heels. Shower after shower, kids will add a secret place to their special map. So as to have a complete one at the end of the trip and to make the washing of these secret places of the body automatic.