18 Ways to Encourage Students to Care About Their Personal Appearance
Are you looking for ways to encourage students to care about their personal appearance? If so, keep reading.
1. Praise the learner for improving personal hygiene over time rather than expecting total mastery of personal hygiene skills immediately.
2. Make sure that all communications with the learner about personal hygiene are conducted in a private meeting.
3. Give the learner scheduled times during the day to pay attention to personal hygiene needs.
4. Let the learner arrive early at school to care for their personal appearance.
5. Do not criticize when correcting the learner; be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the learner to feel bad about themselves.
6. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the learner’s progress. The parents may reinforce the learner at home for caring for personal appearance.
7. Draft an agreement with the learner stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., wearing clean clothing, shampooing hair, cleaning fingernails, etc.) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.
8. Praise the learner for caring for personal appearance based on the duration of time the learner can be successful. As the learner shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.
9. Praise those students in the classroom who care for their personal appearance.
10. Converse with the learner to explain (a) what the learner is doing wrong (e.g., wearing dirty clothing, failing to shampoo hair or clean fingernails, etc.) and (b) what the learner should be doing (e.g., wearing clean clothing, shampooing hair, cleaning fingernails, etc.).
11. Praise the learner for caring for personal appearance: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).
12. Take into account the learner’s age and experience before expecting them to care for personal hygiene independently.
13. Make sure that the learner sees the relationship between their behavior and the consequences that follow (e.g., offending others, being avoided by others, not being able to take part in special learning activities, etc.).
14. Establish an example for the learner by caring about your personal appearance (e.g., combing your hair, bathing daily, etc.).
15. Urge the learner to take a home economics class, a health class, etc., to learn the importance of personal hygiene.
16. Make sure that the learner knows that others might “make fun” if the learner does not comb hair, zip pants, tie shoes, etc.
17. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.
18. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.