Oldest son (age 3) hates baths. More specifically, he hates getting his hair washed. More specifically, he hates getting water (not merely soap) in his eyes.
This problem isn’t unique to bathtime. Put him outside in a small swimming pool, and he’ll cry if he gets water in his eyes. Little sister loves putting her face in the water. I’ve not done anything different with her, and she thinks having a bath is fun.
The problem is… he cries every time he gets a bath. I can honestly say that when I wash his hair, I do not get water in his eyes. But he still cries. I’d like to teach him not to cry. And the fact is, I don’t like getting water in my eyes either.
- Let him take a shower (problem: he’s scared of the shower)
- Spank him when he cries (after all, he needs to learn that sometimes we must do unpleasant things)
- Ignore the crying and tell him he’s being a baby. Big boys don’t care if their eyes get wet, and besides, look at your sister. She doesn’t have a problem with getting baths (very tempting, I must confess!)
- Teach him how to deal with his fear (?) biblically. This is the option I’m leaning towards at the moment. But it’s going to take awhile. I want him to be able to identify what the problem is, to be able to understand how to implement a solution. This morning after bath, I tried to question him to get him to explain what about a bath he didn’t like. No progress. I think the questioning is a good thing, but I’m not asking the right questions yet. (Or he’s not cognitively able to be led to an understanding of what he’s afraid of)
Maybe this is a question for my mom…. 🙂