Bathing Elephants

Delana S

Imagine the difficulty of getting an elephant out of the bath! Or, have you ever tried putting a cat in a bathtub full of water? Sometimes bathing a strong-willed child can be about as much fun! If you have a strong-willed or impulsive child you have probably experienced the bath time blues. You either cannot get them into the tub or you cannot get them out. And, either way you end up with as much water and soap on you. I am not just referring to toddlers. Sometimes elementary children can put up a big fuss as well. Here are a few tips you may want to try:

1) Refrain from waiting until just before bedtime to give your child a bath (or to send your older child to bathe). At that time of day they tend to be tired and more grouchy. Plus, if they are on medication for ADHD, their medication has likely worn off. So, getting them into the tub could be more of a hassle. If they have gotten into the tub, they might not want to get out because they know that the very next thing is going to bed time. Consider an afternoon or before dinner bath.

2) Reserve something they consider very special for just after bath time. Make it a ritual or tradition to play their favorite game right after bath time. If that is the only time they get to play that game with you, they will really look forward to it. Our daughter used to watch a pre-recorded show with us just before bedtime. When the show was over she always put up a fuss and drug her feet getting cleaned up and ready for bed. So, we switched it around. Now, she gets ready for bed and even has her bedtime story before the family-snuggle-on-the-couch episode.

3) Remember that children do better in a routine. Once the ritual/tradition has gotten ingrained, it will get easier for you and your child.

Do you have bath or bed time tip that you have found helpful? Please leave a comment.

Note to those who have adopted an older child: Find out what the bath time routine was for your child in their previous living situation (orphanage, foster home, etc.) if possible. If your child was used to only taking showers or only bathing once a week, it will take some time to get used to a different routine. Make gradual changes.************************************************************

Have a strong-willed child at home? You may also be interested in reading:

One thought on “Bathing Elephants

  1. Ugh! Can I ever relate! My three year old thinks that bathtime is akin to waterboarding. He fights and screams all the way. I can say that the “motivation” of playing the Wii for a few minutes after bath and pajamas does help in getting us through it. Still I’m considering earplugs for me.

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