TIP 19. PERSONAL HYGIENE
I believe it is important that we should not just assume that every 'dad to be' or 'first time father' already has all the skills required to become a great dad. It is for this very reason that I have included several areas of parenting that although deemed basic by many, are still important enough for inclusion in these teachings. It has been said that "cleanliness is next to Godliness" and although I'm not too sure of the theological correctness of that statement, I would certainly agree that cleanliness is an important issue.
Some of the major diseases of the 'middle ages' were able to be eradicated by simply teaching people to keep themselves clean, and to wash their clothing as well as eating and cooking utensils. By doing these simple tasks they were able to avoid cross contamination which was a leading cause of sickness in those days. In modern times we still need to be vigilant in these basic procedures if we are to avoid endangering our health and the health of our children.
Personal hygiene, or more specifically the lack of it, is often perceived as a 'social stigma' in our society. Nobody wants to sit next to the kid that 'smells bad' in the classroom, and this can have a devastating effect upon a child's self confidence.
The good news is that it can easily be avoided and corrected if we follow a few basic procedures. It is important that our children have a bath or shower each day, as this will avoid a build up of 'body odour' and ensure that they feel fresh and ready for the days challenges. I would also recommend that children use a child friendly deodorant as they grow and body odour becomes more of a problem.
It is especially important to train your children to brush their teeth well, at least twice a day after eating, as this can limit the development of cavities and offset gum disease that may develop later in life. Also by brushing their teeth well they will be limiting the development of the germs that cause 'bad breath', and this we know is another of the 'social stigma's' we need to avoid in our child's life. By doing these simple steps we can develop a good habit in our child that will last a lifetime, and help them to feel good about themselves.
Dads' Call To Action:
Ensure that your children have a daily program of personal hygiene.
(Proverbs 22 v 6)
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.