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My son, age 4, hardly ever washes his nether regions. My question is: How do I teach him to bathe all parts of his body? And is it appropriate for a mother to bathe him in that area? He tells me he washes up, but I can always tell when he is lying. My husband usually gets off work around 9:30, too late to handle the bath.
Yes, you can bathe the boy if you like. Both you and he will probably be uncomfortable with the arrangement, but it’s OK to do so.
Fortunately, you do have other options.
You can give him a reason to clean himself. Explain why it is important for him to take extra care in cleaning those areas. If he is in preschool, warn him about what other children will say if he smells. Stay in the bathroom and supervise him. Point out the areas that he missed.
If he doesn’t wash his entire body, take away something he values, like a favorite toy or his favorite food. Let your son know that unless he washes his entire body, he is not clean, and he will be punished as if he refused to take any bath at all.
Alternatively, you can have your husband give the boy his bath in the morning. While most children bathe before bed, most adults perform their ablutions before work. Of course, children tend to get dirty during the day, and this solution isn’t perfect. But a thorough bath in the morning is better than a half-finished bath in the evening.
My mother had her third child when I was 16. My sister is 3, and I watch her from time to time. She listens to her older brother, mother, and other family, but she will not listen to me. I think it is because my family believes in spankings and I don’t. But don’t want to just yell at her all the time. I have tried talking to her and putting her in timeouts. The one time I did spank her, she turned around, hit me and told me to leave her alone. The girl is always excited to see me, so I know she doesn’t dislike me. But she won’t listen when I tell her to stop misbehaving. I don’t want to spank her or scream at her. What should I do?
Start by talking to your mother. Ask her what punishments other than spanking work with the girl and start using them.
Of course, you’ll also need to change your approach. Your little sister likes you, but she doesn’t respect you, which means you must earn that respect. I suspect that when you spanked your sister, she sensed your discomfort with the punishment and interpreted it as weakness. By allowing her to strike you, you confirmed that weakness. As such, the girl now sees no reason to listen to you. That opinion will not change unless you change it.
When you watch the girl, be firm with her. I concur that you shouldn’t scream at her. Unless the problem is a person crossing a street who doesn’t see the oncoming bus, screaming isn’t the answer.
However, the voice is a powerful tool. Raise it when necessary. Be stern when necessary. And when you tell the girl to do something, back up the instructions with action. Do not make idle threats. If you have in the past, that could be part of the problem.
If she plays with something she should leave alone, pick her up and take her away from the object, making her listen to you. Then administer the appropriate punishment, starting with your mother’s suggestions. If the girl hits you again, revisit your mother’s suggestions until your sister stops.
Once you demonstrate a willingness to enforce the rules, your sister should start obeying you, just as she does with everyone else in the family.
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