Nurse's Notes: Spring Cleaning - How to Balance Change & Routine

All About Allergies

How to Tell Whether You have Allergies or a Cold

By Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN, TJS School Nurse

[Header image via Simply Sona]

How can anything that is constantly changing become routine? Many parents struggle with this question regarding their growing children's hygiene needs. Helping kids create a regimen to take care of their ever-changing bodies may take some time. Be patient, ask for help and most importantly, discover what works best for your child.

Here is a great example of a morning checklist for a teenager:

  • Brush Teeth
  • Wash Face
  • Get Dressed
  • Put on Deodorant
  • Style Hair
  • Eat a Balanced Meal

Having a daily hygiene routine not only helps kids feel and look their best, it also helps them develop a healthy self-image.

Developing a Healthy Body & Self-Image

Growing up is difficult. As parents, it's our job to help our kids through this process. With that in mind, how can we support our children in coping with their own insecurities?

Accept and Understand that Phases Aren't Permanent

While some children may be self-conscious about their appearance, others completely ignore any physical changes. As kids grow, things will even out. For example, when I was a kid, I spent a half hour doing my hair in the morning, but as I grew older, I realized I also need time for breakfast. Following routines like the one listed above can help.

Compliment Inside and Out

Remind children that even their physical attributes stem from within. For example, in order to have the physical attributes of strength and balance, you have to have strength and balance in your life and in your mind. You can help instill the values behind the physical qualities. By acknowledging your child's behaviors and providing positive feedback, you help reinforce a healthy self-image.

Don't forget to also call attention to the personal qualities you admire in your child. For example, thank them for their generosity or understanding. Provide feedback for their concerns. If a child says, "I hate my hair," maybe suggest a new style that might make them feel more comfortable. Help them learn that hair doesn't define them. When you reinforce other attributes, kids don't feel solely defined by their appearance. While physical insecurities often stem from peers, we need to instill these values at home to give kids strength to feel secure.

Talk About What Appearance Means

While appearance is not everything, kids still need to understand how their appearance sends messages to those around them. A uniform represents that you're in school mode. Formal attire is required for special occasions. Like it or not, our presentation can often send a message. Help your child define the message they want to send so you can help them do it tastefully.

Set Reasonable Boundaries

It is okay for your child to spend more time focused on themselves or their appearance, but it is not ok to miss doing work or to inconvenience others by attempting to pick out the perfect outfit. Healthy limits help children develop a sense of time, create self-discipline and keep things in perspective.

To hear more about the impact our relationships have on our children check out this link:

This blog was originally shared in Nurse's Notes, a monthly newsletter by Nurse Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN.

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Rachel Crockford

About the Author

Rachel is a registered nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Pennsylvania. She extensive nursing experience in pediatric care, and previously worked at an elementary school in Virginia Beach. Rachel's family moved here from the east coast, and her husband is pursuing his MBA at Rice University. She has two children, Duke and Colt.

Degrees Held
Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University
Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science

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