Hard Topics: Good Hygiene is a Key to Fostering Self-Confidence in Tweens
Every parent remembers that first day of middle school and the smell of those tween hallways! As your child begins the tween years, bodies change and one of the first signs of puberty is body odor. It is so important to address with your child the topic of hygiene as a link to self-confidence. These conversations are the foundation of a lifetime of healthy habits, and they will help your tween navigate social scenarios with their peers with confidence. The key to talking to your tween about...
Every parent remembers that first day of middle school and the smell of those tween hallways! As your child begins the tween years, bodies change and one of the first signs of puberty is body odor. It is so important to address with your child the topic of hygiene as a link to self-confidence. These conversations are the foundation of a lifetime of healthy habits, and they will help your tween navigate social scenarios with their peers with confidence. The key to talking to your tween about good hygiene is to be open, understanding and always start with empathy. Be sure to reference your own time in middle school, how you navigated and came out the other side of puberty. The TBH Kids team has put together some tips to guide you in having these hard, yet necessary conversations.
- Create a Safe and Non-Judgmental Space:
When broaching sensitive topics, it's key to create a safe and non-judgmental space for your tween to be free to talk and express their emotions. Let them know that you are there to listen and support them, assure them that these “awkward” chats are normal and a part of growing up.
- Choose the Right Time and Approach:
Select a neutral setting for your chat where your tween will feel comfortable and do not force the conversation! If your child is not “in the mood” to talk, wait for the opportunity to bring it up again. Many parents say that a chat during a car ride works wonders in getting your tween to open up.
- Highlight the Connection between Hygiene and Health:
Focus your chat about hygiene and how it’s necessary for optimal health and their mental well-being. Explain that maintaining good hygiene practices, such as regular showers, using deodorant, oral care, and using skin care with safe, good-for-you natural ingredients can help prevent illness, pimples, body odor and more all the while promoting great overall health, and boosting self-confidence. They say when you look good, you feel good for a reason!
- Normalize Puberty and Body Changes:
We have all been there! You must acknowledge and normalize the changes that occur during puberty, such as body odor, acne, and hair growth. Assure your tween that these changes are a natural part of growing up and that everyone experiences them. Share with them your story. Don’t be afraid to share both a funny and/or serious one.
- Address Social Acceptance and Peer Pressure:
Discuss what social acceptance means. Let them know that personal hygiene plays a role in it. Talk about the importance of feeling comfortable and confident in one's own skin - but that skin needs to be taken care of. Remind them that peer pressure can be hurtful, so empathy and kindness during these tween years is so important. Always remind them that self-confidence comes from their own self-worth - not the acceptance of others. It’s always necessary to let kids know that a true, good friend(s) will accept them and value them for who they are - not what they look like.
Talking to your tween about hygiene during this transformative stage of their life is a vital step in their journey towards personal self-care and confidence. Talking openly and honestly with your tween will help you build a lifetime of open and honest communication - together. The tween years are never easy. There will be bumps and bruises along the way, but with an open dialogue and great personal care products made just for tweens, this too shall pass.