Whenever we see dirty roads, spit on public transport, garbage being dumped here and there, people coughing and sneezing without covering their nose and mouth, dirty public toilets, we cringe, we feel angry and annoyed. Let’s face it, Indians lack basic civic sense. They keep their homes clean but don’t want to follow the same hygiene in public places.
It’s important to teach the kids basic hygiene manners right from the time they are toddlers. I remember I always used to ask my little kids to throw wrappers, papers, broken toys in dustbin. That habit was inculcated in them so well that they always used to search for dustbins in public places.
Flushing after using the toilet can also be taught to the kids very early on. Ask them to check the toilet properly to see if they have flushed properly before coming out of the toilet. Most people don’t keep the toilet seats of public restrooms clean or don’t bother to flush, which is very unhygienic and shows lack of respect for others. Washing hands after using the restroom should be taught to children as well.
Using handkerchief during coughing or sneezing to cover their nose and mouth also comes under basic hygiene manners. Some toddlers have habit of spitting. This should not be encouraged as it is a bad manner as well as makes the surroundings dirty.
Students scratch the desks and benches in school with pencils and compass and spoil them. When they grow up, they do the same in public places. Don’t we see so many monuments spoiled like that? Parents and teachers should talk to the students and discourage them from doing so.
Don’t we see people throwing out chips and biscuit packets, empty bottles out of their cars when traveling? Kids learn the same watching their parents do that! Keep a spare bag as a bin in the car whenever you are traveling so that the family can keep the empty packets, wrappers and bottles there and then throw it in a dustbin when one is available.
Children should learn that dirty clothes should be kept in the laundry basket and not thrown here and there, and they should do it on their own. Moms or dads should not be doing that for older kids. Taking daily bath is important from a hygiene point of view too!
When eating one should not make noises or spill food. Younger kids tend to do that but once they start growing up the kids should be taught the proper way to eat. Cleaning the area where the food has spilled should also be taught to them.
Basic hygiene manners are not difficult to teach, but before teaching them we should ourselves follow these as children emulate us and learn more by watching our actions. Good manners once learnt are never forgotten. Let’s make our future Indian citizens more aware.
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