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Baby step: teaching kids to take a 5-minute shower

Shower-timer In the early days of EnviroMom, Heather got all excited about taking super quick showers after getting a shower timer from the water bureau. At the time, I was like: 'Hmm. Well. Good for you. Enjoy those quick showers. I'd rather get my water conservation points for not flushing the toilet, if at all possible. I'll keep that timer far, far away from my shower, thank-you-very-much!' I've got rationalizations a-plenty when it comes to the sanctity of my shower:

  • It's almost the only time my kids ever leave me alone.
  • Thus resulting in some very necessary time for relaxation, privacy and self-centering.
  • Sometimes I don't shower every day -- so that means I can use up more shower time on the days I do shower!! (way to turn a negative into a positive!!)
  • Oh, and did I mention it's almost the only time my kids ever leave me alone!?

So the whole shower timer thing? Not happening with me.

Suddenly, however, my 7-year-old has taken a great interest in the shower time after getting one at her school's Green Week, and her enthusiasm for coming in under time has infected her younger sis. Seeing a fabulous opportunity to train these little green sprouts right, we've abandoned baths without a second glance and they both now shower themselves with me barking orders from the sidelines like a coach: 'Be sure to scrub your feet now -- they're filthy! Lather up your hair really good. Don't tilt your head forward, or you'll have the shampoo run in your eyes!!' I can only hope they'll get better at this with time, and I won't need to oversee quite so much. But the time, thing? They are good. They each go for a personal best every time -- cheering each other on from the sidelines: 'The sand is running out! Quick! Rinse the conditioner out!!'

My oldest is now saying that 5 minutes is too long. She's going to go for 1 minute. Now that would be impressive. But perhaps not very effective. Since we want to get them clean, not just get their stinky little bods all wet.

Have your kids made the transition from baths to showers?

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