Teaching Children Good Grooming Habits.

United States
March 28, 2007 10:18am CST
At a visit to my DIL's house yesterday I found my granddaughter home for the day due to illness. She just turned 11 years old. I was there to pick up my DIL and bring her to an appointment. My granddaughter's hair was a mess. It looked like she hadn't brushed it in days. Her personal appearance was disheleved as well. Following our return from the appointment I told my granddaughter to get a brush and a hairband so I could braid her hair. I then told her that she was old enough to know to brush her hair everyday. I reminded her that she had plenty of plastic hairbands that I had bought her so she could use them to keep her hair out of her eyes. After a bit of whining and what not, she told me that she would brush her hair and keep it neat. I know that it was only said to shut me up. I know that it isn't all my granddaughter's fault for her appearance. My DIL and son need to teach the kids better grooming habits. I try not to be too opinionated as I don't want to be the meddling mother-in-law, but sometimes, I just can't keep my big mouth shut!
15 people like this
40 responses
@maribea (2366)
• Italy
28 Mar 07
it is a wonderful thing having one's hair brushed...I can remember it as one of my favourite things when being a child...so maybe you can try this...brush gently your granddaughter's hair when you see her..let her feel it like a pleasant moment, a moment to play with her grandmother and little by little she will start doing it by herself...so to please her beloved grandmother and so to feel neat and nicer...I am sure she will end up playing with her hair just like if she was her favourite dolly!!
• United States
28 Mar 07
After I put the French braid in her hair, I told her how lovely she looked when her hair was looking great. She smiled.
@sunrisekn (1468)
• United States
28 Mar 07
My son just turned 1 and he is so into imitating what my husband and I do that I hope he sticks with it. He will grunt for his toothbrush when he sees us brush our teeth. He will life his arms up when he sees my husband putting on his deoderant, so my hubby pretends to put some on him. He also grunts until I give him his brush to brush his hair when I brush mine. Let's hope he continues. I do understand what you mean though. I have a 9 year old neice that has long hair like mine and when she comes to stay with me, it's like pulling teeth to get her to brush her hair. So, I have some of the Sauve hair detangler that smells like apples and scunchies and when she's with me we do matching "messy scrunchies" which is basically hair in a scrunchie away from our faces. It works and she evens askes her mom when she's home to do it for her after her hair is brushed.
@tammyr (5970)
• Etowah, Tennessee
28 Mar 07
My girl Scouts are from 9-13 in age. i am always telling them how important it is to keep up with personal hygiene. It is a pet peeve of mine! I see them come with un-brushed hair and unwashed faces as well as bodies. I think it is the age. They are beginning to be teens and coming out of child hood.They are learning and some learn faster than others. i will not allow my daughter out of the house with a dirty face, or hands or un-brushed hair. While others seem to not care how their children look. I think it is the parents that let it slide and then the kids do not care either. I try to get those that do come un-kept, to get into the habit and see that they should care, I do not call attention to anyone, but say it to the whole group. I have a lady coming to speak to our group about puberty. That will include hygiene and how important it is to do things a little different then when they where children, as they are pre-teens and must prepare for becoming a teen and all that it includes.
• United States
29 Mar 07
Many parents that I have seen are more worried about their own appearance and forget about the kids. WHen I commented on how my granddaughter looked, my DIL laughed and said she did look ragged. Well, how about telling her to pick up a brush!
@tammyr (5970)
• Etowah, Tennessee
31 Mar 07
My daughter has three friends that do not brush their hair. They all have long hair.When my daughter stopped brushing her hair well enough, I had it cut so it would be easier for her. That does wonders for making it easier to brush, even if you only get a small amount cut.
1 person likes this
@yanjiaren (9050)
28 Mar 07
Oh it's not being fussy lol..I am still grooming 1. My son..reminding him to wahs his teeth and 2. My husband to remind him to.....wash his...hahahaha boys especially will be boys and you know what my hubby's reply to that is? we were very poor and didn't have much water in China!!! Although he showers every day lol!1 I know exactly what you mean and kids can get really lazy and parents can be forgetful..Ilke showing her the way isn't being a meddling mum in law..I wish I could visit my mum in law and she teach me lots of Chinese cooking..I really can't wait..and she knows tai ji..I want my mother in law.I will love her to bits cos I love my hubby to bits..
2 people like this
@patgalca (11605)
• Canada
29 Mar 07
My husband doesn't think to get his kids to brush their hair and teeth before he takes them out somewhere. He does it himself, of course, but he never thinks to make the kids do it.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
I understand what you are saying, and agree. But, parents are so lax these days with guidence, disapline, and teaching structure. So are schools. The world is changing with different values than we grew up with. Sad, isn't it? Just a grooming habit. But hay, look at these professionals. They mess up their hair with gel, and it sticks up all over, so what are the kids to lean?
2 people like this
@MakDomMom (1475)
• United States
28 Mar 07
I know what you mean. My daughter (age 5) has been growing out her bangs and they are just barely long enough to tuck behind her ears. I am constantly after her to keep her hair out of her eyes. I make sure that her hair is brush and most of the time pulled back when she goes to school or to church. But when it's a day at home or just errands - I leave it up to her (needs to learn responsibility).
@villageanne (8579)
• United States
29 Mar 07
Maybe you just caught them on a bad day. Sometimes no matter how we try to teach our family things that are important, they have to find their own way. I hate it but it just the way it is sometimes. I try to just bite my tongue and let them make their own way.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 07
It seems that everytime I go to visit they are having a bad day. How do I go about saying to my DIL that she wouldn't want to be seen in public in that way, why should she let her kids do it. There have several times when bitten my tongue nearly in half.
@lonewolfnan (4367)
• Canada
28 Mar 07
Just out of curiosity,what was the DIL's reaction to what you did?Did she become defensive or apologetic or even pleased you reinforced what she may have already told the GD?Or did the DIL even know/realize/care that you talked to her?
• United States
29 Mar 07
She laughed and said that the kid did look a bit ragged. She didn't get offended by my saying something to her. The kids usually run the roost there.
• United States
29 Mar 07
I don't like meddling people either. Not in any way shape or form. I don't see how teaching your grand daughter to groom herself is meddling. You see there are so many people who don't care. You could very well have been one of them. I also know in the long run your grand daughter will love you for it.It ca be harder to deal with because it's your sons daughter. This is where th meddling MIL comes in. If she was from your daughter she would take it more as helpful. Your son should be happy you care this much.
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
29 Mar 07
yes teaching a child will also change his or her habbits and make them to go in postive direction
1 person likes this
@steney (1418)
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
I don't think you are meddling. You just want to teach your granddaughter what her mom should have taught her in the first place. Grandparents are there to fill in what parents sometimes neglect to do with their kids. They are the experts and in my case, I really appreciate my parents for taking care of the little details for my daughter. I wouldn't take it as meddling, but an act of concern and love. You have every right to do so. She's your grandchild after all.
1 person likes this
@coolchai (620)
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
i think you are right, but do u also consider that maybe your DIL had no time anymore to teach her kids? and that means you have to help her in dealing with it? though i dont have an 11 daughter yet, however I hav a SIL that doesnt have time anymore for her daughter, and i pity her. what i do is im the one who teach her daughter to brush her hair and fix her hair everyday.
• Canada
29 Mar 07
I've nagged and nagged at my daughter till finally she started brushing her hair in a morning before she has it tied up for school. Now (she's 9) she brushes her hair every morning when she gets up, she brushes her teeth after breakfast and she makes sure she's had a wash. It took some doing but finally she did it. I think also, it's setting a good example for my boys who are at the stage where they will not keep themselves clean no matter how hard I try lol.
@roque20 (518)
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
I am very strict in teaching children when we we're talking about good grooming habits because its the important that i would like to be in my children or neice. i am also strict when it comes to good mannes and right conduct because i dont want my children to be rude and will lead to the wrong road.
@GardenGerty (72983)
• Marion, Kansas
29 Mar 07
We end up having to cover this in school with our special needs kids. We would do it with a lot more, but there is not staffing. We have them wash faces, sometimes use deoderant, tie their shoes, clean clothes, brush hair, brush teeth, clean their glasses. We clean out their desks, etc. We try to do it without making the kids feel like second class citizens. It is hard. When my kids would want to dress somewhat underpar, I would teasingly coax them by saying I did not want people to think they were orphans. It is a hard road to travel, but by modelling good grooming and health habits, you will make her desire them more. At 11 she should have at least been exposed to these things.
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
good day to each and everyone, i'm not a parent yet, but i think parents should teach there children about thier grooming habits, sometimes the image of children reflects to the parents..if the child is untidy, what can you say about their parents, maybe they're untidy too..
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 07
I feel ya on this one, I really do! My daughter lives with her step mom and her personal grooming habits are atrocious!! Her hair is always greasy and dirty when she comes, her ears are filthy. I get so mad about it all. My daughter is 9 years old, I took her to WalMart and bought her a bunch of stuff for grooming and put it all in a plastic tub for her so she could have it handy, and all to herself, and I'm not sure she even uses it! I know she doesn't comb her hair regularly, she has huge knots and snarls it in when she comes. She combs the top of her hair, but not underneath. It's yucky to say the least. With my other daughter (the one that lives with me) and my older son, I have then comb out their own hair every day. They are also learning to wash their own hair in the bath. My son is 8, and my husband helps him in the bath. My other daughter is almost 5. I know that a slovenly appearence to the child reflects badly on the parent and I just can't understand how her step mom couldn't care more about it.
• Philippines
29 Mar 07
We are to teach our growing grandchildren in addition to what they're learning or what their parents are teaching them. If they don't like to follow, just let them as long as we have told them what is supposed to be done. And if they do not follow, we should not harbor ill-feelings.
1 person likes this
@Island_Geko (3760)
• Canada
29 Mar 07
Mess - Messy Hair
I look at the styles some kids are wearing and i wonder what the parent thought when they bought it. They clothes are so bad, hair messes I just don't get it.
1 person likes this
• India
29 Mar 07
ya , thts right , what all is happing to that kid is because her parents ar enot taking much cARE about there kid , they should teach all the moral values which they will help these kids in the future life when they are kids itself. the parents got a great role in this , as a caring grand mother u can thake that responsibility , if her parents are not taking it, u dont have to medel with your DIL , u just indulg in your grand daughters afair, that will help them also as they will feel secured that their grand mother eis taking care of their kid