Our kids are just like us…they want to do things they think are fun! We all move towards activities we enjoy and see as positive. Yet, sometimes (maybe more than sometimes?) as adults, we pick certain things and call them ‘necessary’ in our own mind instead of thinking of them as fun. Like nail clipping and hair brushing and, of course, tooth brushing. When we see it as a ‘chore’ or ‘stressful’ or we feel ourselves sigh as we anticipate it the result is that we certainly don’t make it fun. We can change that! We can bring playfulness and fun to the experience and create a welcoming invitation for our children. Once we do that, we create something positive and playful that our children will want to move towards, not away from. Every one of us can do this!
Here are some ideas for how you can bring FUN to tooth brushing:
Give it a name
Pick a name for your toothbrush. Each morning (and afternoon, and evening) when you go to brush your teeth in front of your child, begin by excitedly talking about how you are going to have FUN with “Mary”. You could say, “Hey, I want to go have fun with Mary, want to come?” Then give Mary an excited greeting and even a kiss when you see her!
Get your groove on
While you brush your teeth, hum a playful (or rockin’, or hip hop…) tune and dance as you brush. With your mouth full of toothpaste and song, shake your booty! Show your child how FUN it is to be doing a toothbrush jig.
Make it a family affair
Invite your family member to be a part of the Brushing Party! Tooth brushing isn’t just for the bathroom. You can invite everyone in the house (your other children, your spouse or even grandma) to join you in a group brush. Hand out toothbrushes to everyone and march in a circle and dance as you go. Show your child how FUN this experience can be.
Dress for success
When you go to brush, put your brushin’ hat on. Or your brushing scarf, or your silly brushing glasses. Make it an ‘event’ by highlighting the experience with some FUN kind of fashion accessory. Wrap a pink boa around your neck, or put on your biggest ten gallon hat. This is an exciting moment and we always dress up for our special events.