A Self-Care Guide for Tween Boys
By Danielle Smith, Pretty Extraordinary. Danielle Smith is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®
I'm not often nostalgic about my small people growing up, as I SO love watching their brains, hearts and emotions develop. I adore their curiosity, their willingness to help others and the sense that they always want to know and be more.
I'm happy that I have two beautiful, healthy children. I don't feel something missing when I hold a friend's newborn or toddler. We are just right.
But I DO love that baby smell. Fresh out of the bath and ready to be snuggled. When I hug them now, I'm reminded they are athletes, they are playing hard, they are TWEENS on the fast track to growing up. Their bodies are developing and changing and so must the way I guide them.
So, instead of me being the one giving them nightly baths, it is up to me to teach them how to take care of themselves.
I've spoken before about the guidance and tips I've offered my girl, Delaney, and fortunately, she has taken me to heart. But she has a small dude coming in behind her. Honestly, I think boys just might be a little slower to embrace the breadth of ways they can (and should) take care of their hygiene.
Let's have a little talk about it.
Cooper was born with a full head of blond hair, the biggest smile and a heart of gold. It has been up to me to help shape the rest of him as his personality develops. That means I'm often helping to battle the early morning wave and cowlicks that come with his beautiful head of hair.
In the interest of teaching him both responsibility and how to grow into a handsome, well-kept, clean young man, I know that my guidance and intervention is important.
Here are my tips for teaching tween boys the importance of self-care:
- Wash and Deodorize Regularly: If you have a tween, you know this is important. If you have a sports playing kiddo, you REALLY know how important this might be. Remember that new baby smell? It is replaced by a hard-playing sweaty, dirty boy. Don't get me wrong, I love to know he is working hard, but SHOWERING and deodorant are crucial, and I remind him of that regularly.
- Take Care of Your Skin: We tend to think skin care is a 'girl thing,’ but the truth is, boys are just as prone to acne. Helping them to understand that taking a little extra time with their skin each day (morning and night) is a good thing. Remember, so many of them are wearing helmets and face masks while they play sports, which means that sweat sits on their faces. This is also true for any sport that has them running and exerting themselves, and in Coop's case, that’s basketball.
- CLEAN & CLEAR® MORNING BURST® Hydrating Facial Cleanser is formulated with water, not oil, and contains a unique blend of cucumber and green mango extracts. Get a deep clean while refreshing your skin with an added touch of moisture.
- Keep a Clean Mouth: Remember when you used to have to remind them to brush their teeth? Keep it up Mama, and suggest an extra step. A mouthwash not only helps to keep their breath fresh, but it can eliminate the extra bacteria that causes cavities.
- Be Responsible: This is where the lessons about self-care cross over to larger life lessons, and you'll know when you are ready for this conversation about responsibility. For us, it started with making his own bed, helping to empty the dishwasher and cleaning up after dinner. It even meant him helping in the kitchen and setting an alarm to start getting himself up in the morning (though admittedly, I MISS being the one to rouse him). Once I knew he COULD do these tasks on his own, I knew he was ready for me to begin to walk him through ways to take care of himself.
- Give Them Love: This is an easy one. I know they are in the process of trading their sweet rolls and baby smell for full-grown, play-hard-outside-sweaty sports boy, but they are still magic and still can use a bit of a push from you.
What tips would you add?
We know it takes a village.
In collaboration with National 4-H Council. Visit 4-H.org to download the Spring Activity Guide with tips and activities for your family.
Danielle Smith is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®
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