- What to do when kids don't want to bathe -
Smelly Kids and what to do about it
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At the Love and Logic Institute, we’ve recently had a rash of S.O.S. calls regarding smelly kids. Most of these involved little ones refusing to take baths, but there have been a few pertaining to older ones.
 
Sharing control in the form of plenty of small choices can go a long way toward solving the problem. Parents who demand, “You smell. You need to take a bath!” typically achieve less fragrant results than those who ask questions such as:
 
   "Will you be getting cleaned up now or in a few minutes?”
   "Will you be taking a bath with your boat or your Ninja Turtles?”
   "Are you going to take a bath or a shower?”
 
Setting limits with Enforceable Statements is another piece of the puzzle:
 
   “Feel free to join us for dinner when you smell pleasant to be around."
   “I read to kids and play games when I don’t have to smell dirty feet.”
   “I tend to find it easier to do things with people who use soap and deodorant.”
 
Natural consequences are often the most effective teachers. Some kids just seem to struggle with grubbiness until they reach the cusp of puberty and realize that their peers are not impressed by their hygiene or lack thereof.
 
Some never become like Mr. or Mrs. Clean on the outside. Fortunately, the quality of one’s heart is far more important than the quality of one’s hygiene. We’ve met wonderfully clean and effective parents who did everything they could to raise well-bathed kids. Because of factors beyond their control, their kids turned out very sweet on the inside… but a bit unkempt on the outside. One mother put it well: “Who cares? Far worse things could have happened!”
 
Charles Fay, Ph.D. - BiographyThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay
 
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