“Happy Hygiene, Happy Hands: New Children’s Book Explores Self-Care”
By Brittany Bailey
As a parent or adult figure in any child’s life, we start at an early age encouraging our little ones to brush their teeth, wash their hands, and bathe their bodies. Overall, we try to teach them at a young age about hygiene and how important it is to take care of themselves. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a child-friendly book that would help parents teach children about hygiene? Well there is.
I had an opportunity to interview the wonderful Mr. Kenyatta Griggs. Mr. Griggs is a hip-hop motivator and co-author of Culture Vultures with Damon Dash. Through his powerful words, he inspires and motivates others, including through his new book: My Barbers Hands Stink which teaches children a valuable lesson about hygiene!
Children are often faced with situations in which they will have to remember how important it is to take care of their own personal hygiene and possibly help someone else. My Barbers Hands Stink is not just a book, but more so a tool that can be used by parents, educators and mentors alike. Children and adults have an opportunity to teach, learn, and experience appropriate hygiene in a fun, yet informational setting.
Let’s see what Mr. Kenyatta Griggs has to say about the time, effort, and motivation dedicated to his new book!
Brittany: Do you meditate before you start your next journey whether it is writing a book or motivating someone?
Kenyatta: Yes, I always pray, meditate, as well as send blessings to the ancestors both known and unknown by saying “Ase’ ” before taking on any project to activate my inner power and spiritual guiding system.
Brittany: Do you find it easier writing a book for children or adults?
Kenyatta: When writing a children’s book, there are more rules that have to be followed like language of course, and with adult projects, you can truly express yourself unfiltered.
Brittany: How did you come up with such a creative way to teach hygiene to children?
Kenyatta: The idea for My Barber’s Hands Stink was ignited from my studies of computer technology and how the format of the computer is the most important element, just as the formative years of human beings is the most important time of our lives. These years give us our operating system in society. Additionally, the word CARE is the most important principle that gives birth to everything.
Brittany: While writing My Barbers Hand Stink did you draw from any childhood memories to make it easier for you to write this book?
Kenyatta: Yes, it brought back the memory and appreciation that I have for my mother consistently teaching me about good hygiene and personal care during my formative years. The lessons that I learned as a child showed up on the screen of my life as an adult and I’m grateful for all of those lessons. The first step is to care about yourself in order to properly care for others because it’s impossible to give someone something you’re not giving yourself. Self-care is most important.
Brittany: Speaking of self-care, if your kids were to tell you that their barber’s hands actually stink, what would you do?
Kenyatta: I would connect their experience with why good hygiene is important to them, the same way little Kevin [the protagonist of the book] connected his own dots to draw a conclusion about the importance of personal hygiene.
Brittany: Do you feel that kids learn better if they can read and understand a book on their own level?
Kenyatta: Learning for children, like adults, is both visual and auditory, but all in all, the best teacher is experience.
Brittany: Will you be writing another book to teach our youth about an important topic?
Kenyatta: Yes! The next book is on the topic of finance, specifically understanding inner and outer riches and how both are important as well as connected to each other.
Brittany: I would like to thank you so much Mr. Kenyatta Griggs for taking the time out of your schedule to share this great information with us. I wish you the best.