Children and Self-care
Asif Jahanzayb Attari Madani
Growing up, children learn a great deal from the people around them. With a little encouragement, they will develop a productive and positive attitude. Since self-care and personal hygiene are cornerstones of well-being and health, children need to be guided about these matters early on. You may be thinking about what all of this means. After all, with so many conflicting views about health and hygiene, where does one even begin? Well, we have put together this brief guide to help you prioritise the most important aspects of self-care that you need to implement with your little ones:
1. Train them to wash their hands, wash their face, and brush their teeth as soon as they wake up. Set a bathing schedule for them to ensure that they are bathing throughout the week. This is especially important in the summer and after they have been doing sports or playing outside.
2. Make sure they wash their hands before eating but don’t just tell them to do this; lead by example and do it yourself too.
3. Uncut nails can harbor germs under them. Get them to cut their nails every week or every ten days.
4. If they have been playing outside, ensure that their hands, feet, and shoes are cleaned before they do anything else.
5. Teach them to pick up after themselves and keep their environment clean so that they grow into responsible adults. Practically, this means they should be putting away their toys and dishes.
6. Children should be taught to place their uniform, school bag, and shoes in their correct place when returning from school or madrassa. Get them into a routine of putting away their stationary.
7. Teach them to protect their clothes by playing in clean places. Plan opportunities to demonstrate the correct way of dining so that they do not soil their clothes during meals. You will wash and iron their clothes but teach them how to fold and organise clothes. This will help them become independent.
8. Do not ignore littering. If your children throw wrappers or crisp packets on the floor, make them pick them up and put them in the bin.
9. You should also keep your surroundings clean and tell your children the same thing. To achieve this, give them a light but consistent schedule of chores. For example, have them clean the table one day, and then make them dust the furniture a few days after. When they are done, reward their achievement; even a few nice words can reinforce positive behaviour and set an example of how to reciprocate kindness.
10. Going beyond personal benefits of hygiene, remind them that Allah Almighty likes purity, our religion gives special importance to cleanliness, and our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم loves cleanliness. Etch this rule in their minds: ‘Cleanliness is half of faith.’
The aforementioned steps will help you and your children as long as you take a fair and kind approach. That means, giving them one instruction at a time and never pressurising or insulting them.
May Allah Almighty grant us all the ability to raise our children in a good manner.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم