When you become a parent, you quickly learn that you take many skills for granted that you're now responsible for teaching your little one. Something as simple as knowing how to blow your nose seems like an easy task for an adult, but it can be as complicated as learning a foreign language for a toddler. Start trying to explain exactly how this task is executed, and you'll quickly find yourself overly frustrated and dealing with a distracted and cranky child that never wants a tissue near his or her nose again.
Rather than creating an uphill battle for yourself, Boogie Wipes has created a list of tried and true tips from parenting veterans that you can use to help your child master the skill of nose blowing:
1. Ditch the tissue.
It's best to take teaching nose blowing in phases. Rather than overwhelming your child with a tissue in his face, capitalize on other opportunities to familiarize your child with blowing air through the nose. Oftentimes, children will quickly inhale and exhale air through their noses when excited. Get your child excited with a toy or funny face, and when he starts to blow out puffs of air, give praise and congratulate him by using the specific phrase you plan on saying when you want him to blow into a tissue. Doing this on a regular basis will help children learn what blowing a nose means, like they learn how to wave or give a high-five.
2. Take advantage of bath time.
Bath time is a prime time to introduce your children to the idea of what it feels like to blow air through their nose and how to do it on demand. Have your child put his nose just below the surface of the water and blow bubbles using only the nose.
3. Use a mirror.
While you might know that blowing your nose causes something to happen, it can be a hard concept for children to grasp. They may not know that a sneeze makes it easier for them to breathe and that something actually comes out of their nose when it's blown. Have your child stand in front of the mirror the next time she has a stuffy nose, and although it may be gross, have her blow until she can see the mucus coming out.
4. Set up a racetrack.
Another way to make learning to blow air out of the nose fun is to set up a simple racetrack on your kitchen table. Create a start and finish line, and line up two lightweight objects like a sequin, the corner of a piece of paper or a feather. Have your child position her face level with the table; you do the same; and then race to see who can blow their object across the finish line, using only your noses.
5. Make it their responsibility.
Just like learning how to tie shoelaces is an accomplishment children look forward to conquering, mastering nose blowing can make your child feel just as important if you set it up properly. Get as creative as you want, and present your child with a special handkerchief, decorated box of tissues or moist nose wipes he can use for nose blowing whenever needed. Or, let your kids decorate the box of tissues or wipes themselves and challenge them to be able to blow their noses without help by the time the box runs out.
Molly Wright, marketing manager for Boogie Wipes and Boogie Mom, has a son and a daughter, ages 10 and 12. Having wiped her fair share of runny and crusty noses with two toddlers running around her house, like many moms, she was overjoyed to discover Boogie Wipes when she joined the company in 2007. Happily married for 15 years, when she isn't balancing life as a busy working mom, Molly enjoys spending time with her dogs, running, organizing, cooking, decorating and volunteering through her church parish and children's school.