Using good hygiene is not just important for general good health and well-being, it also helps you to NOT become a target for a potential bully.
Using good hygiene is extremely important. It helps you remain in good health. It helps you foster your friendships and relationships with others. It also definitely helps you to NOT become a target for a potential bully.
Sadly, many people find reasons to make fun of other people for a huge gamut of reasons. Sometimes, they make fun of somebody’s looks or race or gender or age or body size or religion. Some of those things cannot be changed such as your age, your gender, your height, your race, etc. One of the other main factors that people make fun of is the hygiene practices of another person.
A sixth-grade boy and a can of deodorant
You may recall the stories about a girl from the 1960s who we will call Little Y, as in “Why is this happening to me?” When Little Y was in the sixth grade, there were two sixth-grade classes in her K-6 school. There was a boy in the other sixth-grade class who had not yet started using deodorant. He apparently had an unpleasant body odor that other kids found to be offensive. He probably had already started going through puberty which means that his sweat would take on a stronger stench. Additionally, he was not a popular kid. Little Y can recall that the kids in his class were donating their spare coins to buy him a can of deodorant. She was not there when they presented him with the can, but he probably must have been mortified.
Naturally, it must have been unpleasant to be around another person who smells; however, the way they worked together to solve this problem was definitely inappropriate. Too bad one child didn’t take him aside privately to tell him as kindly as possible that he was now at the stage where he needed to start using deodorant.
Starting in about fifth grade, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, your child needs to start using deodorant or antiperspirant. That is one form of good hygiene that is extremely important. If you neglect this important point, your child could be made fun of not just by the school bullies but also by the other kids in his or her class.
The consequences of a high school girl using Brut
The type of deodorant or antiperspirant used is also important. When Little Y was in high school, most students had to take gym class. After participating in some kind of sport activity, the students would take showers in the locker room before going on to their next classes. There was one girl, also not very popular, who would use her father’s brand of Brut Deodorant. This was extremely strong-smelling. It also smelled like a man’s deodorant. Other students would make fun of her because she had an extremely strong smell about her that many people found to be unpleasant. So, another aspect about the importance of using deodorant, be cautious about what brand or scent of deodorant you buy. A boy should not be wearing a flowery-smelling deodorant. A girl should not wear some strong-smelling deodorant such as this girl wore. You want your child to be clean-smelling. You do not want your child to be the butt of jokes because he or she is wearing some unpleasant or strong-smelling deodorant that might attract people’s negative attention.
Perfume, cologne, aftershave, body sprays, hand and body lotions
Another form of good hygiene has to do with perfume, cologne, aftershave, body sprays, and hand and body lotions. Please be conscious about NOT encouraging your child to wear any strong-smelling chemical of any type. Some people suffer from allergies, and it could cause them to be sick to their stomach. Some people suffer from migraines, and it could give them a headache. Some people simply find it unpleasant to be around people who wear strong-smelling chemical solutions of any type. It is important to avoid drawing the attention of bullies who are looking for easy targets to pick on. If other members of your child’s class are already making negative comments about the chemical sprays and lotions your child uses, it makes the job of the bully that much easier.
Another form of hygiene, for want of a better phrase, is the amount of make-up your child uses. People often make fun of kids and adults for wearing an excessive amount of make-up such as too much blush or too much eye shadow.
Wearing clean clothes, taking showers, and washing hair
Making certain your child comes to school with clean clothes is important. Making certain they bathe or shower is important. Making certain they wash their hair often enough so that their hair does not stink is important. Starting at the age of 11 or so, it is very important that your child focuses on cleaning themselves in the genital-area, under their arms, and the bottoms of their feet as they could have a strong stench that can draw negative attention.
Other hygiene habits to focus on
Other hygiene habits to focus on include brushing teeth, having good breath as opposed to bad, and coming to school with brushed hair rather than looking like you just woke up. Washing your hands before eating and after going to the bathroom are also important. Additionally, teach your pre-teens and teens to wash their face properly to avoid getting pimples.
Shaving legs and underarms
Other factors you might want to focus on, should you have a daughter in her teens, are practices like shaving legs and underarms. Little Y can still recall having a fellow sixth-grade girl make fun of her since Little Y’s mother had not yet taught her about shaving her legs. Even though she had baby-fine hair on her legs at the time, it was still noticeable to at least this girl. Little Y can also recall this same girl making fun of her for wearing knee socks instead of stockings. Little Y went home and immediately got her mother to start buying her panty hose.
Clothes styles for teenage girls
Be aware of the styles utilized by other girls at your child’s school. This article is not suggesting you have to spend all kinds of money buying those name brand fashions that might not be in your budget. This article is suggesting that you should not dress your daughter like a little girl when she is past that age. Your goal is to make certain she does not stand out in a negative way from the other girls in her class.
Other important factors for teenage boys and girls
Other factors that those of you with daughters need to focus on are finding the right time to start her wearing a bra and monitoring how she handles her menstrual cycles.
Those of you with sons might need to focus on when you start them shaving chin hairs and moustache hairs, the wearing of pocket protectors, using tape to hold their glasses together, and buying them loud-colored clothes or outfits that might give the appearance of being rather effeminate.
One of your goals as a parent is for your child to monitor their appearance in such a way that he or she does not attract the focus of a potential bully.
Developing good hygiene habits will benefit your child now and throughout their entire life. Practicing bad hygiene habits can make them become the target of bullies.
A fun activity for parent and child
To further reinforce the importance of using good posture, play these two songs about bullies. Learn the songs and sing them together. Practice the skills indicated in the songs to make your child much more bully-proof. Here’s the links:
1. Click this link for “Anti-Bullying song for kids #1: My Bully Buster Song” on rootshed.com
2. Click this link for Another Bully Buster Song on YouTube. (Song is embedded within this article.)
Now that your child knows that practicing good hygiene can help him or her achieve a happier life now and in the long run, it may feel like a worthier activity to practice and perfect.
Please note: This article was originally posted in 2009 under the former publishing tool. When it was discovered that it had some missing links and videos, etc., I edited it and re-published it as you see above.
Return to Hub page for “Avoid Bullying with these 12 tips”
Watch these YouTube movies on teaching good hygiene to kids.
Preview them first to make certain they are appropriate for your child to watch.
1. Parenting Tips : How to Teach a Child Proper Hygiene
2. Teaching Tips : Setting Personal Health Goals for Children
3. How To Know If You Have B.O.
4. Girl Hygiene Tips
5. Hand Hygiene Tips for Kids in School from Texas Health Resources
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