Need help in teaching Personal Hygiene and Table Manners
My husband and I are very frustrated everyday, and are struggling to teach his younger son (6) personal hygiene and table manners. We desperately need suggestions.
No matter how many times we tell him not to, or what to do, he continues to disappoint us because he either forgets or he does not care. My husband and I are quite clean and tidy. Though we won't say we have a cover-page model home, we are seldom embarrassed by our cleaniness when we have surprise guests. We teach all our kids same way, the older son (8) and our daughter (16 mos) are very cautious about cleaniness. Even our daughter knows how to pick up her toys after playing, or wants to wipe her mouth after big bites. Somehow our 6-yo son is really messy and dirty and we are out of ideas.
Here are some issues we are facing:
1) At dinner table (we have dinner together every night of the week when they are with us, 4 nights/wk), he eats so messy that we give him an extra large plate under his bowl. He looks around and not concentrate on his food, so when we have rice (what we eat usually), he will have rice all over his face, body, and legs. Not sure how, but he has rice even on his back and his butt. He had pepperoni on his head while he eats pizza!!! We have tried making him wipe off the table and pick up the mess by himself but he continues to make mess.
2) Urinate outside of the toilet bowl and onto the floor behind the toilet, even we repeatedly nagged him not to, and told him to hold 'it' while urinating, he continues not to and makes big mess. We have tried to make him clean it up by himself but he does not feel disgusted afterwards and continues such behavior. He does not even get disgusted by poopoo in his pants.
3) No matter how we teach him to take shower everyday, he does not do it when he goes back to his bio mom. He can stay without shower as many days as he stays there.
4) Bites his finger nails and puts his hands into his mouth regardless how many times we told him not to. We even have tried to put chili pepper on his finger tips until we saw a news about a woman putting into jail because she fed her daughter hot stuff and caused choking. He would not wash his hands, we always have to force him and wash his hands for him.
5) He cannot eat a lollipop without having his drools all over his hands and down to his elbows, or eating ice-cream without spreading it all over his face. He does not wipe his mouth or wash his hands after meal, but we always have to make him do so. Everyday when he comes back from school, you can tell what he ate at school.
I can go on and on, but another question is, is it still considered as normal behavior to a 6.5 year-old? He does really well academically, and is even capable of learning 2-grade maths, but he cannot live a month without wetting his pants, or a week without throwing a fit. His poor hygiene is causing him to get sick all the time and is also spreading germs to his other sublings. We have tried nagging him, teaching him the importance about staying clean and tidy, importance about good table manners, or taking his favorite things away from him, making him do houseworks, etc. Nothing works because he himself does not feel necessary to be clean and tidy. Help!