Teaching children proper hygiene is an obligation little understood by parents. Parents are unclear on how to talk to their children about this sensitive and critical issue. Hygiene is an important part of their lives and which plays an important role in relationships, work and function in society. So here are a couple of guidelines that parents can use to teach their children proper hygiene:

Guideline #1: Teach by practice

Parents are advised to wash their hands after using restroom, taking out garbage and before preparing meals. Since children learn by watching their parents, leading by example underlines the importance of showering, brushing their teeth and keeping clean in children.

Guideline #2: Use the alphabet technique

Children sing their ABC's when washing their hands with warm soapy water.

Guideline #3: Create a nightly children's cleaning ritual

Parents have to teach basic hygiene to young children like washing their face and hands and brushing their teeth. A nightly bath is a necessity for older children who get dirty. Younger children need not bathe or shower during the night.

Guideline #4: Have puberty discussions

Parents will have to discuss puberty issues like sweating and hair growth in underarms and genital areas. Purchase deodorant for your sons and daughters. When girls menstruate, they have to be taught to use tampons and pads.

Guideline #5: Emphasize clean clothing

Socks and underwear has to be washed every day. Dirty socks and soiled underwear can cause athletes foot and bladder infections respectively.

Guideline # 6: Teach children the right way to brush their teeth

Employing the services of a dentist while buying your children an electronic toothbrush (which beeps every 30 seconds) can help the child move from one section to another.

Guideline #7: Teach children to be comfortable with their own body

Parents have to become more comfortable of their own body, and encourage children to ask them questions on this topic. A child's comfort level at discussing the importance of cleaning their body is directly related to the parent’s degree of comfort with his/her body because parents will have to provide direct answers.