Nose-blowing is a practice that enhances self-hygiene, so teaching your children this helpful habit is a sensible choice.
I. Why blowing nose is important.
The nose provides a passage for the air to flow in and out, which ensures the activities of your body’s respiratory system.
But there is more to the air than just oxygen. Dirt, dust, and microorganisms will also travel through your nose, building up several clots of mucus.
Unless you clear up this mess by blowing your nose, you can experience irritations or even nasal congestion.
For kids, this practice is even more vital.
Since children have not developed fully in terms of their anatomy, their breathing passages are much more narrowed compared to those of adults.
Therefore, the symptoms experienced by children will be much worse.
Teaching a child to blow their nose is a reliable solution to make sure they can get rid of the mucus accumulation.
II. When is the best age for a child to blow their nose?
Most children are still clumsy with their hands even after turning one year old.
If you are looking for an ideal start point, 2-year-old is good to go!
It is recommended by the majority of parents and even health experts that 2-year-old kids can start learning nose-blowing.
Remember, each kid is different. There will be some who successfully blow their nose at the age of two, while some cannot get the work done despite being six years old.
Whichever case your child is, bear in mind that fun and consistent practice are the keys!
III. How to teach your child to blow their nose.
1. Start slow and answer all the questions your kid may have.
Breathing is an action based on instinct. But blowing requires an intention.
If your kid is not familiar with the concept of blowing before, let’s take baby steps by explaining the need to blow their nose.
Tell them briefly about how the “bad” components in the air can get stuck in their nose and on the nostrils’ hair.
If left intact, these components will cause difficulties in breathing.
At this stage, you can use a mirror, so your kids have a direct look into their nose.
You can use a photo on the Internet, or even a clot of mucus of your own, as long as it shows how terrible it is not to blow a nose.
Children react better to visual stimulation, so the chances are your kids will remember everything about “mucus” and “nose-blowing” more accessible after your little show.
They may be curious, as nose-blowing is entirely new to them.
If your kids have any questions concerning this practice, try to give them a detailed and reasonable answer as much as you can.
But be gentle and don’t freak your kids out by ranting about all the horrible effects of nasal congestion!
2. Make them learn from imitation and self-model.
A child tends to copy their parents’ behaviors, including blowing their nose.
You can teach your child nose-blowing by setting an example.
- Place a piece of tissue a few inches away from your nose.
Breathe in and out, then tell your kids to look at how the airflow affects the movement of the tissue.
- Once they understand what is going on, put the tissue closer so that it covers half of your nose.
- Show your kids how to cover one nostril and left the other open, so that the air coming out is more forceful.
- Slowly push the air out of your nose and use the tissue to catch the mucus.
- Tell your kids that you have caught the “evil” residing inside your nose and encourage them to do the same.
3. Carefully pick out a box of tissues that fits your kids.
Rule number one: appearance matters.
Tissues are a must when it comes to nose-blowing, and what attracts kids better than beautifully designed pieces of tissues?
Also, there are other factors that you have to pay attention to when choosing tissues for your kids to practice nose-blowing.
Some children are allergic to the scent of tissues, so if it is the case for you, go for something odorless.
Vice versa, some kids feel more at ease with the fresh aroma of plants and flowers, meaning you can get the scented tissues.
And do not forget about the texture and materials!
Silk and soft linen are the best choices for kids. While they are slightly more expensive and are not biodegradable, they can last a long time.
If you want to go green, there are some tissues made from recyclable paper wood.
But they are more likely to crumble into tiny pieces, which may cause irritations or allergic reactions.
4. Make nose-blowing a fun experience, not a mundane activity.
Nose-blowing itself is not an extremely interesting thing to do, so you have to be creative to get your kids engaged.
- Host a competition. You can blow your own nose with a mild noise, then dare your kid to produce a louder sound.
When presented with a challenge, the prospect of winning their mom or dad will be a driving force for your kid to practice this hygienic habit.
- Place a soft cotton ball on a table, inches away from your kids. Ask them to breathe in a way that moves the ball from one side to another.
This particular movement will help your kid master controlling the airflow.
- Use a metaphor. Since the noise of nose-blowing is similar to the sound of some animals, you can ask your children to “be like the hippo/dinosaur/tiger” when you want them to blow the nose.
5. Remind your kids to throw away the used tissues in the trash bin.
The “after-care” of nose-blowing involves making sure your kids will put the tissues away after they are done.
You can start by explaining to your kids that used tissues contain germs that may cause sickness. Therefore, they are not allowed to re-use tissues.
In conclusion, teaching your child to blow their nose is not an easy task. But if you are patient and creative enough, your kid will become adept at nose-blowing in no time soon.