Parenting Advice, 1915

How to Give a Boy a Bath

Begin with psychology. Some parents never use psychology until it’s too late. Several days before hand suggest to the boy what is coming to him. Get him used to the idea. At first he will not take kindly to it, but as the great event is still somewhat remote, he will not rebel as much as if it were something to be immediately inflicted.

The second suggestion should be firmer. This time go into the details. Get others to help you. Have somebody read a story in which a nice little boy has taken a bath and liked it.  The boy will not believe the story, but at least it will appeal to his imagination.

Finally, having arranged all the mechanical details, such as drawing the water and getting the soap, secure the boy and when you have thus secured him, lead him gently and firmly to the brink. Do not, however, be discouraged if you find that, just as you are about to secure him, he has disappeared. Some boys are that way. They have no respect for psychology. They will commit any kind of an irreverence to avoid taking a bath. Besides you must remember that this method has all the sanction of all the latest authorities.  (Life, 1915)

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