Teenage boy lying on bed using tablet in messy bedroom

Our kids are growing up. If you have been with me since the launch of The Kids Coach, then your children will be in secondary school now or even at university. They will have changed so much in terms of appearance, capability, independence and responsibility. They will feel that they can look after themselves but I guarantee not all of your children can or will want to. Not in the way parents want them to anyway, especially when it comes to hygiene.

Children aren’t that interested in personal hygiene as they are too busy doing other things. They can often forget to use deodorant, not wash their hair regularly, or not take a shower every day. Pre-teens and teenagers won’t always brush their teeth, despite parents telling them to do so. They will eat in their rooms and leave crumbs in the bed or dirty plates on their desk or on the floor even when you’ve told them not to leave a mess around.

The Life Skill Of Personal Hygiene

So, how can we enforce the message that they need to be more hygienic and take more pride in their appearance, the way they smell and the way their bedrooms look?

As a life coach for children, I would say my tips are….

  1. Use routine. You need to help them get into a good routine so that their personal hygiene ‘chores’ happen at the same time every day.
  2. Encourage them to keep their room clean – maybe once a week they hoover it and put their bedsheets in the wash. Show them what their room needs to look like and what they need to do so it looks tidy and clean. Maybe they could also open their bedroom window to allow fresh air to get in every few days.
  3. Make a rule about not eating in their bedroom. That’s what the kitchen or living area is for.
  4. Get them a mirror so they can look in it before they leave the house. They can check their clothes are clean and hair is brushed.
  5. Have a rule around smelling their clothes and deciding if they can wear them again or if they need to go in the wash. They really need to be wearing clean pants and socks every day.
  6. Get them to think about how they would feel about sitting next to someone smelly or sweaty. Or going into a friend’s bedroom that smells awful. What would they think of that friend?

All parents despair at some time or another about their children’s personal hygiene. If we can get them to think about the effects of bad hygiene, then maybe they will realise it’s not a good habit and make more of an effort. Most children grow out of this phase as they grow up and learn to manage (and care about) basic hygiene.

Parenting Help to Motivate Children and Build Life Skills

Improving life skills and boosting motivation and self-esteem are key areas I work on in my life coaching practice. Keep scrolling for more resources that you might find useful in helping to improve your child’s personal hygiene:

Instilling Motivation in Children

How Can I Motivate My Child

Motivating Your Child with Reward Charts

If your child is resistant to change and you need extra help, find out more about how Life Coaching for Children & Teenagers works. 


Being Me And Loving It Cover Image - Naomi Richards - The Kids Coach

Being Me and Loving It

For younger children (age 5-11) that are struggling with the changes in puberty (that also lead to needing to get to grips with personal hygiene), check out my 2nd book, Being Me and Loving It.

It’s full of stories to help children build body positivity and navigate puberty.