scrub behind the ears. why?

When I was a kid in the 50’s, the command to scrub behind the ears was quite common. Us kids were led to believe that we didn’y scrub hard enough and often were sent back to the bathroom to scrub harder.

As a parent in the past 20 years, I never saw evidence of dirt behind the ears of my kids.

Was the concern all bullshit, and if not, do or did any of you parents have to remind your children to scrub behind the ears?

I think it was just a reminder to get a place that most people forget, and it got out of hand. My kids have those poofy sponge things, and the combination of washing their ears with that and washing their hair gets the dirt from behind their ears.

I do have to remind them to wash the backs of their hands, though. They have a tendancy to squirt a dollup of soap in their palms and then just hold their hands under the water until the soap comes off.

Armed with puters and television, kids don’t play outside as much these days. Remember the good ol’ days of jumping in a pile of leaves or (gasp) playing in a league sport?

I don’t recall ever having a problem with dirt behind the ears as a child, but a few years ago, I worked on a horse ranch for a year. It was then that I realised that scrubbing behind the ears is very valuable if you want to keep up with the Jones’. It hadn’t been my practice to scrub behind the ears until I was in a dirty little bar in the middle of nowhere and discovered that, even though I had showered, the top and back of my ears were covered in powder consisting of manure and dirt. I guess, had the back of my ears been clean, the locals would have seen me as uppity. I fit right in.

If you sweat and get enough dirt on you, it’s going to stick. Showering is not going to get it off unless you scrub.

I don’t think it’s just a matter of playing outside. My kids are 3 & 4 and they play in the dirt. I mean, Tonka truck, shovel & pail, covered head-to-toe in dirt. Twice a day.

I just don’t think normal kid playing compares to hard work on a horse ranch.

Aww. Well I’ve been neglecting it, I suppose. Though I think I’d rather die before joining a <gasp> league sport. Would mess up my hair. :slight_smile:

That’s really adorable, Cessandra- the poofy sponge, and the idea of little kids playing in the dirt. I dunno, it just feels so sweet. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think it’s because in the 50’s, people didn’t wash their hair nearly as often. The backs of your ears get a pretty good incidental cleaning when you shampoo, but in decades past, I hear tell that folks would commonly go a week or so between shampooings.

Now that is a good point Podkayne, because as I recall, we normally only had a bath and shampoo once a week compared to having a shower or bath every day nowadays.

Well…one of the little boys I worked with who had autism wouldn’t was behind his ears, and I think his parents decided to pitch more important battles. If you never wash behind your ears, it becomes obvious. Trust me.

I haven’t seen much dirt back there, but my daughter once had some dry, crusty stuff back there. I don’t know if it was dead skin flakes or if she had washed but hadn’t rinsed the shampoo/soap properly, but for I while I was reminding her to wash behind her ears just like parents on TV.

A switch from baths to showers seems to have completely eliminated the problem–that’s why I suspect the problem was more improper rinsing than a lack of scrubbing. Perhaps the rise in popularity of showers has contributed to behind-the-ear hygiene.

You can get a buildup of junk back there, akin to toejam without the lint, I suppose. Factors like daily showering (not baths) and hairwashing probably have eliminated most of the problem, but I always do scrub behind my ears…