Encouraging and Teaching Hygiene to Tweens

If you are a parent to a tween, you already are aware of the different challenges that arise during this age. From the new-found independence, the sleepovers with friends, and of course, the early onset of teenage attitudes are all a part of the package deal.  However, as an adolescent, your tween still needs you now more than ever, especially when it comes to hygiene. Hygiene is a fundamental element and hosts a ton of benefits that make it a necessity to implement in daily life. In order to teach and encourage proper hygiene to your tween, here are some helpful tips so you can get the message across clearly for them to adopt into their lifestyle.

Discuss the Importance of Self-Care

You can teach and encourage all you want, but if your tween does not fully understand why you are pushing for it, they may retaliate. Sit down with them and go over the importance of self-care and why hygiene is so critical, from both a health perspective and a social one. Once they get the reasons why, they will be more likely to engage with the concept and do it on their own.

Remind Them Frequently

This might get you a sigh or an eye roll after a while, but a simple reminder to shower or to wash their hands after using the bathroom can and will eventually stick with them. Try not to be pushy or stern about it, but simply just friendly remind them every so often so they can start to understand the value and remember to do those actions. You can also put up small signs, such as “wash your hands” on the bathroom mirror so they can read it themselves without you having to say it every time.

Make It Fun

Something to consider is making the hygiene “lessons” fun. Since tweens enjoy picking out their own clothes and creating personal style, try taking them to the store with you so they can pick out the soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. that they like. You can even let them choose new towels and bath accessories as well that encourage them to want to try it out.

Lead by Example

You can teach your tween every self-care essential in the book, but if they see you doing the opposite, such as mot brushing your teeth before bed, then why would they want to continue with it? Believe it or not, your tween is still looking for you for guidance and support, so when they see you following through with your own teachings, it makes them more likely to stick to the routine.


Being a tween is a critical time, and they still need their parents for guidance more than they would like to admit, especially when it comes to self-care. Teaching your kids about how to take care of themselves is something that should never be avoided. Not only does this practice provide an overall healthier wellbeing, but it is also a vital part of your child’s social life. Whether your tween picks up on it quickly, or it takes some time for them to grasp, be diligent and give them the foundation early on so they can learn the habits and methods to take with them as they grow.

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