Is bath time a battle in your house every night? Once you finally do lure them in to the tub, does the entire bathroom end up flooded, and you drenched in soapy water? You’re not alone. Today, Parents Ask expert Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution offers simple solutions to help parents gain control of this daily ritual.
Q: Bath time at our house is a disaster. My daughter splashes, throws toys, and sprays the entire bathroom with water. Playtime is wild, then washing up doesn’t happen without a big fuss. Any ideas?
A: For lots of kids, the tub is a grand swimming pool, and washing up is last on their list of priorities. Your little one isn’t being naughty – just having fun! You can keep the fun going, while gaining control of bathtime by using some of these tips:
Have a specific list of bathtub rules.
Children can’t guess what you expect of them. It helps to state your rules in a way that lets your child know exactly what you want, rather than what you don’t want. As an example, instead of saying, “No splashing” a better rule is “Keep all water in the tub” or “Keep the carpet dry.”
Put only a few inches of water in the tub.
Tell your child that when she shows you that she has learned how to keep the water in the bathtub you’ll increase the amount of water you put in the tub next time.
Create a more managable play time.
If toys and wild play are the problem, then put only one or two toys in the tub for a while. Get your child into the tub, washed up, and out of the tub quickly. Over time, as bath time gets under control, provide a couple more toys and see how it goes.