Some kids love to take baths. But with other kids, some parents feel like they’re asking their kids to open wide to have teeth pulled out. What can you do, as a parent, to get kids to take a bath?
Before I give you a few solutions, I thought it would be fun to share some of the moments that made my wife and I laugh over the last couple of years. My personal favorite is when our two daughters were taking a bath together. Our older daughter said to the youngest, “Sweetie, don’t drink the water because I peed in the bath”. We were both just about rolling on the floor when that came out of her mouth. Another time, when my daughter was about 3, I was taking a bath with her while my wife was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. My daughter looked at my wife and said, “Mommy, did you know that Daddy has a tail?” I think the neighbors must have heard us laughing at that one.
When we give our kids baths in our home, it has been programmed in their minds that bath time is fun. We laugh. We sing. We play with toys. We talk about anything. Both of our kids love taking baths because they see it as a really good time. I think that this is the key to making sure your kids are willing participants when it comes to getting squeaky clean.
Here are a few tips to get you going in this direction:
- Let your child sit in the bathroom while you take a bath. Put a few bath toys in the bath and play with them yourself. It seems weird but you might just get your child interested enough to want to join you.
- Get in the tub with your kids! In the toddler years this is a normal and healthy thing to do. Splash around with your kids and take turns dumping water on each other. Laugh about it.
- Get your child to pick a favorite toy to bring into the bath. In a really difficult situation have the child actually pick the toy out at the store him or herself, but only allow the child to play with this toy in the bath.
- Sing songs in the bath together.
- Give your child a straw to blow bubbles in the water with. This simple “toy” seems to really give kids a ton of pleasure. Just make sure they aren’t using it to drink the bath water!
- Last but not least, use the language tools that I teach in the “Talking to Toddlers” audio course. Presuppositions, double binds, yes sets and reframing techniques are just a few of the tools you’ll learn in this program. They are designed to get your toddlers to agree with your requests without resistance. They really do work!
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you understand this one simple thing – getting your kids to take a bath is best accomplished by making it fun for the child. Every child is different, so find something that works for your child. Whatever you do, remember to be flexible and try new things.
Enjoy your children,