5 Tips to Make Toothbrush Time More Fun for Kids and Less Stressful for Moms

My kids are not fans of tooth brushing.  My 3 year old, always asks me “Do I have to now? I just brushed my teeth last night?”  Everyday I answer their question patiently complete with actions of “Eww, do you want that?”  On my running low on patience day,  I just simply grunt and say “because I say so.”

But I guess one step for me to cut the chase in toothbrush time is to make it fun and empower them to make choices.  Here are some tips I deploy (every battle needs a plan;-)) to keep those pearly whites clean and strong:

1. GIVE KIDS A CHOICE.  Of course,  it is not a choice whether they should brush teeth or not.  It is a choice, if they want to use the blue toothbrush or the yellow one?  You brush your teeth first and then mommy helps you after? Or Mommy helps you first and then by yourself after?  Orange or grape flavored toothpaste? Happee toothpaste gives them a spread of  7 flavors to choose from which delights them.  Will it be a bubble-gum pop morning or an tutti-frutti twist evening?

As basic as tooth brushing is, it is great that Happee Toothpaste takes the boredom of routine out with choice:-)

My 3 year old likes the tutti-frutti flavor, my 11 year old prefers the grape while my 13 year old likes all the flavors!   The 7 kid-citing flavors are Strawberry Bloom, Orange, Tutti-frutti Twist, Apple Crunch, Juicy Grapes, Bubblegum Pop, and Cookies & Cream Ahoy, all of which are available in leading groceries and drug stores.  BTW, don’t throw away those toothpaste cartons.  They come with fun games for the kiddos.

2.   TALK, SING or ENGAGE KIDS IN SOME HUMOR.  2 minutes may be short (the required amount of brushing time) but for kids this is an eternity!  Happee Toothpaste comes in well-loved character design like Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Dora and Boots.  It’s a jump off point of conversation to engage with the kids.  “Boots said he can smell your breath from the jungle!.” I always try to add some humor to entice the kids to do routine tasks.

For my 3 year old,  it is a good transition toothpaste from his infant toothpaste because it still has that same fruity flavor but his time with the bubbles.  I assist him and remind him, that Cookie Monster toothpaste will produce bubbles and that he has to spit the bubbles out.  And my, does he enjoy spitting;-)

Happee Toothpaste has kid-safe fluoride levels, giving kids just the right protection against tooth decay.

3.   ALLOCATE ENOUGH TIME.  Often the battle begins when we parents are rushing (aren’t we always rushing?!?) and don’t give enough time for kids to settle down to the routine.  If bedtime has pre-bedtime routine and we can’t expect kids to just plop down and sleep, so does brushing teeth.  Give enough time for the convincing, for the brushing and for keeping the toothbrushes and toothpaste back in its place.

4.   SET A ROUTINE.  Kids though they will fight it to death are creatures of routine.  After eating is bath time, and after bath is milk and story time,  after milk time is toothbrush time. Hopefully this routine will turn into a life-long habit.

5.   BE THEIR ROLE MODEL.  Sometimes allow them to see you brushing your teeth, flossing or mouth washing.  Remember monkey say, monkey do;-)

Hope the above tips help:-)  For more fun and exciting dental tips, visit Happee Kiddie Facebook.

With a little bit of creativity and Happee Kiddie Toothpaste, tooth brushing will be more fun and we will be creating good dental habits for our children;-)

Flash those pearly whites and say Happee!:-)

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Disclosure:  Thanks to Happee Toothpast for coming up with 7 kid-citing flavors and sponsoring this post.

Learning from Pope Francis: For Parents and Kids

The entire country was in Pope mania these past 5 days and for most the experience was surreal.  Whether you braved it out in Luneta, waited for the Pope mobile or just watched the entire proceedings in TV, it was an extra-ordinary experience. Pope Francis had the whole country on a 5-day retreat.  Everyone seemed transfixed with him.  His wave. His smile. His word. And, even his silence.

My family welcomed him on TV and my 3 year old was our happy “waver,” vigorously waving whenever he sees the Pope:-)

My cousin and I planned to see him in UST but the 2am call time for his 10am speech would be too much for the kids.  My family decided to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis en route to Mall of Asia last January 16 instead.  Surprisingly, the wait wasn’t long and wasn’t as hard as we expected.  We arrived Roxas Boulevard cor EDSA at 2:30pm and we managed to get the front spot along the barricade nearing the mall.  Luckily, the weather was cloudy and cool which made the wait a breeze. When we saw the police on their motorcycles pass by and heard the happy rumble among the crowd, we knew he would pass by any moment.  And when he did, I was overcome by a wave of emotions. And I was teary-eyed.  Correction – I was crying.  Joy. Holiness. Peace.  At “bakit ang bilis ng takbo ng pope mobile?”:-)

Encounter with Pope Francis at Mall of Aisa

For the rest of his stay,  we just caught him on TV.  But for the Sunday mass at Luneta, we were blessed when our parish offered to hold a mass of the Pope via live stream with Holy Communion.  The experience was different because I wasn’t sitting down with my home clothes watching but instead I was in church, one with the congregation of other Catholics.

Live Stream of Pope Francis Luneta Mass

As we waved goodbye to our dear Pope and the reality of life after a 5 day retreat enters,  I ask “What’s next?”  I told my kids we should keep the visit of the Pope alive by learning from his words and actions.  Pope Francis encouraged everyone to “Think. Feel. Act.”

THINK. FEEL.  ACT.

As a parent,  the greatest lesson I learned from him as I saw him these past 5 days and as I read more about his person, is “Leadership by Example.” He doesn’t bore us with rhetoric instead he inspires us with his works.  The faithful follow because we see his actions.  We are drawn by his actions of simplicity, humility and compassion for the poor.  Maybe if we follow him and lead our children by example we might see small miracles in our home too.  I always tell my kids to put down their gadgets, but they always see me on the phone doing FB or Instagram.  Maybe if I also put down my gadget,  my kids will follow suit.  Walk the Talk.

Here are other traits I love about Pope Francis that we can share with the kids.  And since “Actions speak louder than Words” I chose to say it in photos:

Note:  None of the pictures are mine.  Please click on the picture to get the source and link.

1.    Think.  Feel. Act.

2.   Simplicity

From Day 1 of his Papacy, Pope has shown simplicity in his daily activities.

When he chose to wear his black shoes instead of traditional red during his inauguration.

Whenever he chooses an ordinary car instead of a luxury car.

When he chose to ride the shuttle bus with the cardinals.

We can copy  Pope Francis by being simple too.  There is no need to own the latest rubber shoe, latest cellphone or the newest Prada bag. Nor is there a need to accumulate all the Lego Mini-figures in the world or branded clothes.  Be simple.

3.   Humility

Following Jesus’ gesture of humility, the pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 young offenders.

Choosing to sit at the back of the church while waiting for the mass (for the gardeners and janitors of the Vatican) to start.

We can be humble by not bragging about the material things we own or the accomplishments we have achieved.  For my kids they can be humble by respecting, listening and following their teachers, elders and of course, mom and dad:-)  It takes a humble spirit to follow.  For myself,  I can learn humility by saying sorry to my kids if I made a mistake.  By fanning down my arrogance by not constantly checking out how many likes I get in FB.  I know, how mundane,  but FB does bring out that evil in me.  Arghhh!

4.   Compassion for the Poor

According to Huffington Post, “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”