Teach Kids How To Brighten Everyone’s Day With A Smile

Teach Kids How To Brighten Everyone's Day With A Smile

Have you ever noticed how kids love to smile but seem to naturally hate brushing their teeth? Okay, maybe hate is too strong for most kids and too weak for a select few but they all sure do love to smile.

Now as parents we want them to have strong, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. We understand the importance of good oral hygiene and how our smiles are often the first impression we make but let’s face it: Kids just do not care about those things. Kids smile because smiling feels good and they never worry if they have food in their teeth or if their smile is white enough. They are too young to understand why smiling feels good so a gentle lesson is in order.

It’s Okay To Use What You Know About Kids To Your Advantage

Children are naturally motivated to be people pleasers most of the time. It is part of their nature. Use that and you win. Instead of forcing them into understanding dental health or engaging in bathroom brushing battles, we should get down to their level and encourage them to smile.

However it is important to distinguish the difference between raising smiling children and leaving them with a sense of always needing to be happy. Smiling is a tool. Forced happiness is a weapon. Forcing a child to smile when he or she is sad or hurt sends the message, “It is not okay to have negative feelings.” However, offering positive reinforcement to a smiling face tends to make the smile grow.

Kids love games so play a smiling game with them. Show them how a smile given is a smile returned. Give your child genuine opportunities to share a smile.

It is a game I play myself all the time because I like how it makes me feel. Even when gloomy days happen, I get out and find someone to smile at and it helps me feel better. It really isn’t complicated at all.

How The Game Works

Perhaps the checker at the grocery store has beautiful earrings or is wearing an attractive shirt. I smile and give her a compliment. It’s that simple.

But don’t stop there because a child is not going to understand what just happened.

You Need To Follow Through

After the exchange, talk with your child. Ask questions like, “Did you see how big she smiled?” or “What did she do when I told her she was wearing pretty earrings? (She smiled). Teach them to notice how smiles make other people feel but must of all teach them to recognize their own feelings of happiness at giving away their smile.

As you are working with your child to develop the art of smiling, you can segue into these ways to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful. Instead of brushing time becoming a chore, children will find the right motivation to care for their smile. White, healthy teeth are important but bright smiles make the world a better place.

About The Author: Karen Simpson is a dental hygienist, writer, mom blogger passionate about health. Her passions include: overall health and fitness, and love of researching topics surrounding dental health, life long nutrition, and how to help parents living their busy lives.

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