18 Strategies to Motivate Learners to Care About Their Personal Appearance

Are you looking for strategies to motivate students to care about their personal appearance? If so, keep reading.

1. Select a peer to model appropriate hygiene (e.g., clean clothing, hair, fingernails, etc.) for the student.

2. Get the student to question any hygiene expectations not grasped.

3. Create hygiene rules: • Bathe regularly. • Brush teeth. • Shampoo hair. • Launder clothing after wearing. • Clean and trim nails. • Provide personal cleanliness after using restroom. • Utilize a handkerchief or tissue. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

4. Assess the requirements of the responsibility of the student for personal hygiene to ascertain if the expectations are too high. If expectations are too complicated for the student, assistance should be given.

5. Get the student to keep a change of clean clothing at school.

6. Give the student training in the use of personal grooming and related learning materials (e.g., washcloth, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, nail clippers, toilet paper, handkerchief, etc.).

7. Let the student pay attention to personal hygiene needs at school if the chance is not available elsewhere (e.g., launder clothing, bathe, wash hands, etc.).

8. Provide personal hygiene learning materials at school for the student’s use.

9. Give a comprehensive unit of information and instruction on personal hygiene. The unit should include health and appearance aspects. Classroom visitors can include a dentist, nurse, doctor, cosmetologist, etc.

10. Connect with parents, agencies, or appropriate parties to tell them about the problem, identify the cause of the problem, and discuss potential solutions to the problem.

11. Make the student keep a daily routine (schedule) of grooming and paying attention to personal hygiene at school.

12. Choose one adult in the academic environment to work directly with the student to help them care for personal appearance.

13. As part of your interviewing and job placement instruction, emphasize the importance of personal hygiene and grooming (e.g., have a representative of business or industry visit the class to make a presentation on the importance of personal appearance).

14. Give the student a checklist of personal hygiene learning activities that they finish daily.

15. Give visual reminders of personal hygiene in appropriate places (e.g., image of washing hands and brushing teeth at sink, image of deodorant in the restroom, etc.).

16. Teach the student how to do laundry.

17. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

18. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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