Thursday, January 1, 2015

Using Home Decorating to Teach Good Bathroom Habits

This is not the first time I've used wall stickers to teach my kids something (see this post and this post.) But this is the first time they ever helped them develop better habits! The boys are independent bathroom users, and have been for a while. I've been kind of leaving them to their own devices in their bathrooms for the most part; mostly because I'm lazy about that. But when we moved we moved to a one story and all of a sudden the boys' bathroom was also the one visitors would use; and it's right off the main living area. Suddenly bathroom etiquette seemed seemed a very important thing to teach Builder Boy and Early Bird. But how was I going to overcome the years of doing it their way and the I-just-want-to-hurry-up-and-get-back-to-playing? Turns out, the answer for us was easy, and not even expensive!

I purchased The Deep Blue Sea Decorative Peel & Stick Wall Art Sticker Decals and I was a bit hesitant to order a different brand than what I know and like. But the boys preferred how these stickers looked to the RoomMates ones, and it was their choice. The texture is different, they don't seem as sticky to me, and they didn't seem like they'd do well on a heavily textured wall. But a month later they're all still up, so that's good.

The three things I really wanted the boys to get into the habit of doing that they weren't doing already was 1) close the door when they go potty, 2) close the lid and flush when they're done, and 3) wash their hands every time.

For reminding them to close the door I put one of their favorite stickers of the group on the back of the door (snorkeling octopus in the title picture.) They have to close the door to see it. Also on the door for reminding them to wash their hands I put bubble stickers right by the door handle that match the bubble stickers on the liquid soap dispenser.

And for the infamous teaching of PUT THE LID DOWN! to boys, I put the biggest, coolest sticker on the tank: the submarine. I let them chose where to put most of the other stickers, but those big ones I put down first, and when we moved over to this house I showed them the stickers, told them what each was supposed to remind them of, and then haven't really mentioned it since. (I mentioned I'm a bit lazy about this? Also, we were sick the whole month after we moved.)

I also put a fish on the light switch to remind them to turn the lights off when they leave. This one is the smallest sticker, and the least effective.

A month later, and I every time I walk into their bathroom to check the lid is down (and it's flushed!) The soap is getting used up faster than it used to be, and I'm no longer walking past an open door and seeing a little boy on the potty. This might not work for every family, but it sure worked for us!

Here's some pictures of how we decorated for fun with the rest of the stickers. I put some on the mirror, with a wave sticker at the top and sand at the bottom so that if you're looking in the mirror it looks like you're underwater. The boys LOVE it!

They even put some on the tub!

1 comment:

  1. Love how this approach helps them care in a sustainable way.


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