Help Wanted!

To shower? Or not to shower?
That is the question!!!

So, here is the deal. "K" is turning six in a few days and she is feeling all grown up! This IS a good thing in oh so many ways, however when it comes to bathing/showering that's another story!

She has decided she wants to shower rather than bathe! I would be perfectly happy with this if I felt like she was getting her hair 'clean' enough but of course it's just NOT happening that way! Might I remind you I have 3 boys and then this little girl. So I haven't had to deal with the heavy long hair needing washed in the shower before... With boys you can just throw them in and they don't have enough hair to worry about them missing any of it while scrubbing!

She can scrub the head for the most part, but the length is basically not geting clean and is being turned into a RATS nest! To be perfectly honest with you, I don't know how I am supposed to teach her how to do it 'correctly'

So I have many questions...
The first being:

1. Is she still too young to shower?
2. Do I need to supervise EVERY shower until she finally gets it?
3. Do I just need to relax and let the hair get cleaner as she figures things out?
4. Can ANY of you teach me ANYTHING about teaching a little girl with long hair how to properly wash her locks?

Please don't be shy...I am at a complete loss...Anything is better than nothing!


Kristi said...

I think she's old enough to wash most of herself, but still needs some help. I'd wash her hair, then let her do it again to make sure it's "sparkly clean" (in my 5 year old's words)

Leia said...

Our almost 6 year old showers with her 2 year old sister! We supervise, but she cleans herself and her sister off - we do the hair washing and conditioning. Too many things that could go wrong with that (she's bad at rinsing).

Maybe show her what a tiny bit of shampoo in her hand looks like, and show her how to scrub the top of her head and leave the rest alone. We use a wash cloth to cover eyes while rinsing, so have her do that to protect herself and maybe she'll do ok?

Keiko said...

I definitely don't think she's too young to shower. Suggestions... First, I would show her the proper way to wash her hair in the tub. Let her try it a few times on her own (show her how to bring up the back on to the top to get it all nice and soapy).
Second, I would get one of those shower mirrors for her. I don't know how many times in the beginning of my first born's early shower days I would hear him screaming, "Mom! I have soap in my eyes! Can you get it out?" The mirror was the end to that. He could see it drifting in his eyes and get it out himself.
Third, once she masters the proper cleaning techniques for hair and body...get a timer!!! My children would stay in the shower forever if I didn't force them out. I finally got a timer and when it goes off...they get out. My rule is that first they wash their hair and body, then they relax the rest of the time and just enjoy the warm water.

Hope that helps!

Crissie said...

I would say compromise?? Teach her how to do it correctly (and I LOVE the shower mirror idea), supervise her a couple of times and then tell her that you are going to still be washing her hair on Saturday nights because you enjoy the time to talk??? That always seems to work with my little girls who want to be big.

I also let my girls shower together - I was so excited to see other people do that. Big sis is 9 and little sis is 3. I buy the good shampoo for big sis and the no tears kids shampoo for little sis. Big sis is able to help her with no problems at all and it's one less thing for me to do. Plus, they really are building such a neat relationship by serving each other.

Big sis has LOTS of hair and she knows that if she doesn't do a good job on her hair, she's going back in. I just make sure that I'm always the one to do the combing so that I can catch any problems right away. It only took a couple times of sending her back before she realized she was going to have to take her time and do it right, although occasionally she'll try to not wash it at all, just wet it down and sneak by me. Yeah right! hahahaah.

Loved what you said about the boys. I know mine consider getting CLOSE to the bathtub to be bathing sometimes... As my girls say, "Boys are stinky!!!". ;)

Megin said...

Shower with her a few times, show her how it is done; my kids are Nine, seven, four and seven months and we are often showering as a family. but if you aren't comfortable always doing that, just a few times, or let her watch you shower as you wash your own hair!

jeNnA said...

I have an almost 6 year old. She decided a few months ago that she wanted to shower also. I am all for it. She misses and leaves shampoo in her hair part of the time, but I just send her back in. She is now doing much better. She is better when she uses separate conditioner. (so much easier to brush too!) Because she knows she is not finished until her hair is "Silky smooth from the water." :)

Best thing I taught my daughter was to start with the shampoo on the ends and then rub into scalp. The end result is better that a gob of Shampoo on the top or back of head.
Good luck!

Kimberly said...

As a child with long hair and a mom of 4 girls all of wich have had long hair at one point This is my recomendation. NEVER bring the back of the hair on top of the head all you will wind up with is knots and tangles. Have your dd put a very small amount of shampoo on her hand and rub between both to start creating lather then starting with scalp use fingertips to rub on scalp and on hair close to scalp. gently pull through the rest of the hair startign from the top and down to the ends. never rub or scrunch hair all kinds of knots will result. If she doesn't that good of a job don't worry when she rinses the soap will travel to the ends. Do not wash twice as it will dry out the hair. Unless she is a sweaty kid she doesn't even need to wash it every day, this is what the doctor and my stylist told me. Have her condition in the shower as well as you put in an leave in conditioner when she comes out. Showers are far cleaner from baths and her hair will also be cleaner from the additional water rinsing down it. Hope this helps. oh bty all my girls started taking showers on doctor recomendation by three yrs old due to not wanting them to sit in dirty water they would get raches and infections you know where, showers are better all around with an ocasional bath to play and relax.

Kenny Do's said...

Thank you SOOO much everyone for your wonderful words of "wisdom" I loved all the great ideas! But, like I said before I AM clueless when it comes to a lot of things... Which leads me to this question... WHERE do I find a shower mirror? I haven't ever seen or heard of this... LUV the timer idea too, and YES, Crissy, boys ARE stinky! Thanks again everyone! xoxo

The Mason's said...

MY DD takes showers. We let them be here special thing by letting her shower in our bathroom. I put the shampoo on her hair at the beginning of the shower and she (in a line down the back of her long hair) then she has to wash it out. We make her do it first thing so that she's got the whole other, what like 10 minutes or so, to get the bubbles out. We're past the rinsing thing, but it's the conditioner use that we are hung up. To solve that issue I jsut put a leave in conditioner in after the shower. I don't think it's too early for her to start showering- it saves on water for us! Good Luck!!

Susan said...

Get a shower mirror at Bed Beth and Beyond or similar stores like it... My daughter just turned 6, and I prefer she takes baths, not showers (I don't want her to grow up!)I'll let her occasionally take one, but what a water waster!
But I finally cut her hair in a cute A-line bob (I'm a hairstylist) and it's soo much easier.
Always use a good, slicky conditioner for those tangles,(Aquage or Biolage makes a good one) and I say, DON'T pull all that long hair on top of the head to lather, THATS what makes it tangle so bad! Let the shampoo run down the length as she rinses, and that'll get the little bit of dirt and debri that gets on those ends. The scalp is the area you want to get clean on a daily basis. The ends will only dry out if they're cleansed continually on a young girl's hair.
A wide tooth comb from Sally's Beauty will go right through that hair, if it's cleansed and conditioned corectly.
Good luck!

Keiko said...

I can find a shower mirror at Walmart (either with the bathroom stuff or where they have toilet seats) or Bed Bath and Beyond.
WOW! I didn't realize pulling your hair up was so bad! I have always had super thick, coarse, waist long hair, and that's how I was taught. It never tangled, either. I told my daughter to do that, and she has silky soft hair that doesn't tangle, either. I'm thinking I need to modify her washing technique now, to be on the safe side. Thanks for the tip!

holley family said...

hey i know i'm completely late on this, but i thought i might add my 2 cents. my daughter is 4 and i have two sons, 3 and 1. our daughter loves to take showers (well they all do, they absolutely love the water). here's what i do with our daughter, i give her a few minutes with a timer to wash herself, and then i come in and "check". then i put the timer on for a few more minutes so she can just enjoy. we learned to do this after she wasn't rinsing well and i would hold her up on the counter in the bathroom sink to finish rinsing her hair. it is very uncomfortable and after the first few times like this she agreed to letting me "check" her work! good luck!

Anonymous said...

hi! i just came across your site.
my daughter is 8 1/2 ( you know that 1/2 is important to them!).

what i have found works for me, is i let her lather up, and constantly remind her to call me b4 she washes out the shampoo so that i can give it a quick and thorough cleaning. after i'm done i just let her continue on, untill it's time for me to help her out of the shower.

peace in.
a. said...

My little one is going to be 5 next week and for the last 6 months ive been letting her wash herself and do it all! What helps her is fun bath stuff she WANTS to use. I get her body foam, body wash, bath scrunchies all kinds of bathing gear.She likes to line it all up.I drew little stick people on each product with arrows pointing to what part of the body to use each item on. That way she doesnt confuse body wash and shampoo etc. I personally think the shower is much easier for her than a bath too.She can tilt her head up and not get soap in her eyes but I put a dry wrag near by for her to wipe her eyes in case. I just come in when she calls me and I check her over and make sure all the soap is out of her hair etc.and put her conditioner in for her. Im not too worried about her missing spots here n there.She has to learn sometime! and we get those spots the next time.