The Our Family Wizard Blog

The Importance of Family


Bath Time Struggles

Getting a child to take a bath falls in the category of getting someone to do something they don’t really care about. All children don't necessarily like taking a bath, getting wet, or more importantly, they don't like it when they have to stop one activity and are then ordered to go do another. And if the parent has been rather bossy and demanding lately and then declares to the child that it is time to take a bath, the child may purposely fight the instruction just to get even and to gain more power over the adult. Please take note that the only thing that exists in a young child's world is what's happening at the moment. This makes transitioning a challenge for most.

Here are some suggestions for getting young children to take a bath:
  • Give the child advance notice using a timer to let them know when the bath will begin
  • Help the child transition from one activity to another by ending activities clearly in advance and with the use of timers
  • Make it a fun activity with you
  • Offer some incentive for taking the bath (such as a story afterwards)
  • Have a special "bath-only" toy that is not played with at any other time
  • Use as much routine as possible (the bath always begins after dinner, when daddy gets home, when the timer goes off, etc.)

Written by: Bill Corbett

Mr. Corbett is the author of the book “Love, Limits, & Lessons” in English and in Spanish, and the executive director of Cooperative Kids. He has three grown children, two grandchildren, and lives with his wife Elizabeth near Hartford, Connecticut. You can visit his Web site for further information and parenting advice. See his blog at