How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

How Kids Actually Wash Their Hands


How Kids Actually Wash Their Hands Funny Diagram

There’s a whole vast world of supposed-to’s; the proper ways to do things. Just so you know, children don’t tend to be very willing residents in this supposed-to world.

When you’re trying to instruct them in the ways of this world, quite often they’re just going to apply some whatever-the-heck-they-want-or-happens-to-pop-into-their-little-heads liberally, and maybe add in some finger paints and dirt for good measure.

So, it may help to approach the subject of teaching your kid to wash his/her hands without the handicap of parental delusion.

The Fantasy

There are lots of diagrams online of how to properly wash hands. The sheer quantity is staggering, and they can look like some kind of martial arts for hands fighting each other. Some of them are specifically for teaching kids. They include such crackpipe fantasies as repeatedly braiding your fingers and thumbs for a minimum of 15 seconds (or the equivalent portion of the alphabet song) to ensure proper cleansing, or, get this, using a paper towel to wipe off the faucet and knobs when done. Bwahahahaha! Madness. Let’s consult reality, shall we?

The Reality

He went to the bathroom and walked right back out. He was about to pass me, pleased as punch, before I snagged him and said, “I told you to go wash your hands.” I’m sure that every single parent on planet Earth knows what his response was or will recognize it when they hear it. He said, with a shocked look on his face…

“But I DID!”

The boy was in there for literally three seconds. I saw his hands were wet, I smelled them and they were soapy smelling.

“You just walked in there, wet your hands and squirted on some soap didn’t you.”

He paused with that shifty “this is a trick question, right?” sort of look before saying, “Yeeeeah?” His lack of any comprehension of this being unaccaptable was as plain as the soap bubbles on his still-dirty little paws. Yeeeeah.

So! Remember, when trying to teach your kid hygiene, it’s just easier if you do so with both feet firmly planted on reality. And deep breaths. Those are going to be your best friend, trust me.


How-To’s Are Helpful, These Are Not
But “helpful” can be so boring, and these are not boring.

Tranquoo Child Anti-Wakefulness System
You’re going to want to sign a petition for the legal manufacture of this product concept.


27 Responses to “How Kids Actually Wash Their Hands”

  1. Steve says:

    Sorta like how I do work at my office πŸ™‚

  2. Desiree says:

    This is why I simply hose my children off before I let them back in the house.

  3. John says:

    My son prefers the one had at a time method…no suds, water everywhere, and wet clothes from drying each on his shirt while washing the other – oh yeah he repeats each hand.

  4. Gloria says:

    My 2 year old says “splash splash splash” everytime she washes her hands. LOL

  5. Piper pats the tops of her hands with soap bubbles and calls it a damn day.

  6. If this is how most kids are, mine must be a neat freak. She spends FOREVER washing her hands…I have to actually cut her off! And she’s only 2!

  7. Lacey S says:

    I started having my son wash his hands every time we were in the bathroom when he was about 4 months old – he loved playing with the soap, holding his hands under the running water and even wiped his hands on the towel. I was really hoping that would mean we had an effortless transition into really washing his hands as a toddler… but no. 18 months old and he SCREAMS when we go to wash his hands… then spends about 5 minutes just playing in the water and splashing everything in the bathroom. No soap unless I can wrestle an arm free (he’s 30lbs!!) and rub his hands with soap myself. Ignores the towel completely and screams again when I go to wipe his hands off. Can’t wait until he’s tall enough to use the step-stool and wash them himself… or *thinks about cleaning up ALL that water* maybe I can….

  8. Jessica says:

    Oh this is so true, I have 3 kids four and under and it’s like a visit to the water park every time I try to get them all to wash their hands.

  9. Leigh Ann says:

    Hooray! My kids are somewhat normal! Annoying as all get out, but normal!

  10. Jessie says:

    Ha! The “BUT I DID!” is so true! Hahaha!

  11. Hilarious and sadly true. But can we talk about the hand drying part in a little more detail for a sec, though? My six year old will take the offered hand towel or paper towel, make mad Tasmanian Devil-like motions with it -tumbling it all around his hands and forearms before dropping it on the floor or into the sink and will walk away from that aerobic exercise with hands still dripping, having managed to get exactly zero liquid onto the towel. How does he do that?

  12. Christina says:

    Having a new baby sister, we’re becoming experts at hand washing πŸ™‚ We sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” and he loves it.

    However, I agree it gets a little messy. I reserve hose spray downs for fully body disaster. Like poop explosions.

  13. Evonne says:

    Lol! Too true. I think all this applies to bath/shower time as well. With the remnants of dinner still clearly on his face and the days grime not washed off the rest of him at all, we inquired why the bathroom was so wet (walls, floor, ceiling – you know the routine). Apparently he was swimming in the shower…as you do!!

  14. Kristy says:

    Lol so true. Don’t have kids of my own, but teach young ones. Take that example and picture it in a classroom with 12 kids, all two years old. They all love to ‘wash’ their hands but manage to instead get water everywhere, soap on the floor, clothes drenched, paper towels suddenly empty because they are all in the trash yet magically dry and the child is still dirty. And as soon as you get it cleaned up after all 12 have used the sink, the first one is back at it again! πŸ™‚

  15. ShanMerrie says:

    Sometimes my 3-year-old washes his hands well…a little too well. We all know any time we are encounter a few minutes of silence with a toddler in the house, first instinct is to RUN. Well, I thought I’d finally triumphed last week when I asked my tot to go wash, and he immediately jumped up, ran to the bathroom, and…disappeared. Running water for a minute became very supicious, and when I went in there he was happily patting soap all over the wall, with the water running as a diversion! Now he asks “Mommy hewp me” whenever I tell him to wash up, and it’s just easier if I do.

  16. Louise says:

    My one year old just discovered the joys of swishing the water in the bottom of the sink as i wash her hands. She thinks she is a ‘big girl’ washing her hands and drying with the towel.

    It stsrted off cute, but now she sticks her hands in all sorts of muck to see when i will wash them rather than a quick 1,2 with a baby wipe.

  17. ally says:

    My daughter is 2 and since 6 she loves playing with water we have to cut her joy after every hans wash.

  18. Paul says:

    While I haven’t used this it would probably work on kids. Soap that changes colour. The trick is you have to wash for long enough, and vigorously enough to get the colour to change.

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