Good Health and Hygiene Life Skills For Teenagers

Tips on Teaching Teens How to Take Care of Their Body

teen girl brushing teeth
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Personal hygiene and healthy habits are important life skills. And while you might think your teen should know how to care for her body and her mind by the time she reaches adolescence, you might be surprised.

Most teens need a little guidance in the hygiene department at one time or another. And while it can be uncomfortable to raise the issue, it's important to teach your teen the life skills she's going to need to become a healthy, responsible adult.

 

Why Are These Healthy Habits Important for Teens to Learn?

Teens may think it's a waste of time to brush their teeth. But brushing twice a day prevents cavities and other health problems.

Or, your teen might not see the value in exercise. But keeping active could help your teen manage stress and keep her body healthy. 

It is easy for teenagers to blow off the most important and mundane tasks of everyday life and it is equally important for parents to remind them why they matter.

In order for your teen to be happy when he's living independently, he will need to know how to keep his body healthy and clean. It's also important to teach him how to maintain a clean home by doing regular household chores that will keep him healthy. 

Good Hygiene Habits Your Teen Should Have

Not only are good hygiene habits important for being a responsible adult, but they become more important as a teen's body grows.

 

Here's a list of regular hygiene habits your teen should engage in:

  • Brush their teeth twice daily.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Shower or bathe once daily.
  • Wash their hair regularly.
  • Wash their hands regularly.
  • Shave regularly.
  • Brush their hair at least a day and get a regular haircut.
  • Clip and groom their fingernails and toenails once a week.
  • Take care of any injuries as they happen and until they are healed.
  • Use personal hygiene products correctly, including deodorant, feminine hygiene products, facial acne cleansers, etc.
  • Wear clean clothes and change underclothing daily.

If your teen wears braces or has a retainer, you'll need to address the specific recommendations he should follow. 

Similarly, if your teen wears contact lenses, it's important to review the steps involved in taking care of his eyes. He'll need to ensure that he's taking care of his lenses and following the steps recommended by his doctor. 

Healthy Habits Your Teen Should Have

We have all heard the news reports about the rise in obesity among American teens and adults. It is not something that should be taken lightly and developing healthy habits at a young age can lead to a lifetime of good health.

Kick your teen off the couch and get them outside for some exercise with friends. Stock the refrigerator with healthy snacks and don't make junk food easy to get when those teenage munchies hit. There are many small actions that you can take to ensure your teen is staying a healthy as possible.

Quite often, you can be subtle about encouraging these changes. They may not notice a lack of frozen pizzas in the freezer when there is a delicious (and healthier) alternative in its place.

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods and limit junk food and sodas.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Develop healthy strategies to handle stress.
  • Enjoy social interactions as well as alone time.
  • Exercise the brain by doing puzzles or reading.

Teach Basic Household Management

It's important for your teen to know how to do things around the house to care for his health too. You don't want your teen to become an adult who never washes his sheets or someone who doesn't know how to sanitize his kitchen.

Get your teen involved in doing household chores. Teach her step-by-step how to cook food, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, and sanitize the home.

 

Keeping Your Teen on Track

It is okay to let good hygiene and healthy habits slide in small intervals, but encourage your teen to stick to the routine as much as possible. If you allow it to slide too long they can develop a bad habit and lose the good habits you have taught them.

If your teen is seriously struggling with hygiene issues, schedule a doctor's appointment. A teen who refuses to take a shower or one who isn't interested in caring for his body may have some underlying mental health or physical health issues that need to be addressed. 

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dental Hygiene

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protect Your Eyes

KidsHealth.org: Hygiene Basics.