Monday, July 25, 2011

Glittery Germs and Toileting

So there exists a lack of hand-washing and toilet flushing in this house.  Miss Monkey has issues flushing the toilet at home for some reason.  It is also difficult to make sure she is washing her hands after toileting or after being outside.

I read somewhere a hand-washing teaching technique:  Put glitter all over child's hands.  Tell child to go play. Explaining that the glitter is germs, and look for wherever the glitter came off, that's where the germs spread because the hands were unwashed.  Then, only a good soapy, running water wash will remove all the glitter.

Miss Monkey didn't even want to go play with glitter on her hands, and then in her attempts to shake it off, rub her dry hands together she actually became rather frustrated with the ineffectiveness of her technique.  Her hand washing was perfect this one time. I drove the point home a little farther in an agreement that if she chooses not to wash her hands, the consequence will be an extensive "wipe-down" chore, i.e. wiping every single toy in the play room.

Now, for the lack of toilet flushing.  If it's urine, that's not such an issue.  I mean, I don't walk into the bathroom and get an "EW!uagh!" shock if it's only pee. She'll flush in public bathrooms, at other people's houses and many other places.  It seems home is the problem.  I just made a deal with her...she doesn't have to flush, but she can only use the upstairs "kid" bathroom, and she must shut the lid.  And I simply won't use that toilet anymore except for spraying diapers.  UPDATE: With some thought it's decided that this isn't the safest tactic 'cause E is pretty interested in the toilets.  Explaining this to big sister, about safety and cleanliness, and letting go of results...well there's been improvement.  Though I still find myself hollering for F to come flush while I wait outside the washroom door.  At least it's not as often, I think she was really getting a kick out of my gross-out reactions.

Maybe she's trying to save water? and toilet paper?  Wiping the bottom is yet another issue, and only time will help with that.  I know if I insinuate my "help" there, it only serves to enable and demean.  Yet another one of my control issues that I've to let go of.  There will be natural consequences with that particular habitual lack of cleanliness, consequences that I can't teach by talking at her endlessly.

In fact, I've already learned, and am coming to greater and greater acceptance every day, that no monologue, no diatribe, no pleading or screaming, will teach better than real life experience.

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