People are disgusting. You know it’s true. There are more germs and particles of fecal matter on a bathroom door handle than on the actual toilet seat in a public restroom. True facts. In our quest to raise our children to become well rounded, considerate, reasonably functional adults, good bathroom hygiene should be at the top of the list of habits to get locked down.
When it comes to teaching kids good bathroom habits, it’s important to make sure they have all the appropriate tools at their disposal. Be sure to keep your bathroom (or bathrooms) stocked with all the necessities. I know it sounds like a no-brainer but it’s really easy to forget to refill the soap dispenser or restock the toilet paper. If you need to expand your bathroom staples to include things like flushable wipes or paper towels, do it. I love the environment, but I hate e. coli, so you know, lesser of two evils and all that.
What’s that? You say you have one of those kids who treats hand washing like playtime and uses a bit too much soap? Consider switching to a foam dispenser or even bar soap. While foam soaps give the illusion of large qualities of soap in your hands, bar soaps cut out that hand filling thing altogether. You can also forget about antibacterial hand soaps; they do more harm than good and are extremely harsh on your skin.
As far as nailing down the whole hand washing thing goes, make sure you’re setting a good example yourself. The same goes with cleaning up behind yourself and respecting others, especially in public restrooms. For goodness sake, ladies, please stop teaching your daughters to “hover” over the toilet seat. That bit up there about germs and toilet seats? It’s entirely true. When you hover and pee all over a toilet seat because of your misplaced fears, you are, in fact, making things dirtier than when you got there. Use the convenient paper toilet seat covers and stop treating your bathroom trips like a chance to get in a few extra squats for the day. But if you’re absolutely convinced that all the evils of the plague, tuberculosis and gangrene are harbored there on that toilet seat, have the common decency to leave the restroom as clean as it was when you got there.
Your kids are watching; they are learning from you. Do the right thing and teach them good bathroom hygiene habits. And if, heaven forbid, you touch something while you’re in there, you’ve got your trusty hand washing skills to save you from imminent death. Because good bathroom habits really all come down to this: Be considerate and wash your hands!