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Becoming a parent is the easiest way to know which habits and behaviours we take for granted in our lives. Helping your kids to learn them the right way can seem pretty easy, but it can be quite challenging in truth. Teaching your kid to blow his nose can seem impossible as the days go by, but a few tips can change the game in your favour.
Tips to Teach Kids to Blow Their Nose
Knowing that it can be difficult for children to understand how exactly to blow air through the nose to clear it up, a few tips and tricks can help them get the hang of it. Repeating them enough can help them blow their nose on their own in good time.
1. Blowing Air From the Mouth and Nose
Many kids take some time in blowing air voluntarily from either the nose or the mouth and doing so with good force. Breathing takes place reflexively and children barely even realise that they are doing it. Their lung capacities take some time in reaching the point where they can blow steadily and with good force, too.
Until then, you can always indulge in small activities or games that focus on blowing air out of the mouth. Let them make an “o” shape with their mouth and blow air on each other. Use birthday candles to amp the fun or make use of paper toys and blow them around.
Once they can blow air properly, ask them to shut their mouth and attempt to blow. This will instantly make them aware of how the air flows out of the nose instead.
2. Using a Handkerchief or Tissue the Right Way
Whether your child can blow his nose correctly or is still learning to do so, it is imperative that he learns to wipe his nose using a hanky or tissue paper correctly. Blowing the nose will help clear it up quickly, but there will be instances when he has a runny nose, or a booger finds its way out of the nostril.
Your kid might rub his nose excessively with his hands and then interact with other objects, making it even more unhygienic. Teach him how to use a hanky and clean his nose and the part above his upper lip. Let him try it out on your nose as well and understand how to clean it up.
Some children might have trouble coordinating their hands and face together in the right way. Teach your kid to start from the bridge of the nose and run his fingers down to the tip. Once he’s there, he can use the hanky to rub all the areas close to the tip slowly.
3. Cleaning Up During Bath Time
Making use of a hanky or tissue can make things messy quickly. Also, using an external object close to their nose does make some children a bit uncomfortable. Let them get used to their nose being interacted with. And the best time to do so is during their bath.
If your child has a runny nose, let him do his best in clearing it up. Teach him to blow air correctly and ask him to do so with his mouth closed. Your child might blow out forcibly and get the mucus and booger all over the place. Fret not, as it can quickly be cleaned with the bathwater.
When drying your kid, use the towel and let him dry his nose with it. While doing so, ask him to clean it well and blow his nose if he can. He will be much more receptive to it than earlier.
4. Seeing the Act of Blowing and Cleaning the Nose in a Mirror
You might have noticed that children have trouble rubbing their eyes properly or scratching an itch on their face. At a young age, most kids do not have a good understanding of the way their face is structured and rely primarily on guesswork. When it comes to cleaning the nose, this also poses a major problem in most cases.
Use the mirror in your home for this. Start by telling your child to touch his nose while looking in the mirror. Use both hands while doing so and then hand him a hanky while doing the same. Once he can interact with his nose, teach him how to clean the nostrils and hold the hanky while blowing his nose.
It may take him a few tries to get things right. You can sit with him in front of the mirror, too. Children do learn a lot from observation, and he can try and mimic your actions while looking in the mirror. Avoid the confusion of left and right by sitting close to the mirror, so that only the faces are visible.
5. Keep It Simple and Learn With Fun
It might seem difficult to teach your kid to blow his nose correctly, but it is even more difficult for him to figure it out for himself. Children will observe how easily you do it yourself and will struggle with the fact that it is not easy for them. Try to guide your child through it.
The moment it starts getting stressful for the child or you scold him for not cleaning his nose correctly, he might give it up altogether and prefer to play around with a runny nose. Help your child understand the discomfort of having a nose that leaks constantly and is filled. When that gets in the way, he will be more open to learning the right way to clean it up.
Figuring out how to get a child to blow their nose is one of those challenges that come across in your life as a parent. Just like potty training, proper practice and guidance can help make things proceed in the right direction. In case your child seems to experience a runny nose more often than others, talk to your doctor and check if you can make use of an aspirator to help him out with it.
Also Read: Cold in Children