Do you constantly remind them to keep up with their hygiene? Do you let natural consequences play out? I don’t want my daughter starting high school as the “stinky girl” so I’m constantly telling her to shower/put on deodorant/brush her teeth because I’m afraid she just won’t do it. I’m also afraid that I’m hindering her by not letting her take the lead. What do you do?
I think it depends what you say and how you say it. “It’s important to shower daily, wash hair/face/body, brush teeth twice a day, wear clean clothes every day,” reminders are good. Or “I’m going to run you a warm bath with lavendar so you can relax.” Just be nice about it.
Don’t say things like, “You smell today” or “Your hair looks dirty.” (Not that you would say those things, but some people do, maybe jokingly. It still hurts if you’re specific about it.)
I am not a parent but I do not think it is a bad thing to keep an eye on their habits and enforce consequences if they do not have decent hygiene. It is something I wish my own parents did.
My parents stopped reminding me about hygiene starting in my late childhood. I stopped seeing it as a priority because I thought it was something I could push off in the short run and do later. I forgot about there being consequences because it was rarely talked about with me anymore. I suffered the natural consequences for it as a college student from bad brushing habits which was and is a huge hit to my confidence and my relationship with my body. Bad hygiene can have long lasting affects on skin and oral health, which can affect your mental health. These aren’t things to play games with.
I remember when my kid turned 15 or so that the grease in the hair was so out of control, I didn’t believe she was shampooing it in the shower.
I bought special shampoo for super greasy hair and gave it to her. I told her when I was her age my hair needed special shampoo because my hair produced tons of oil that regular shampoo just couldn’t handle.
After that, if I noticed her hair was super greasy I’d say “I don’t know if that special shampoo is working very well, should I look for a different kind? The directions are shampoo, rinse, repeat, right? Two rounds probably work better maybe.” and she would get irritated, but the next time she showered she was either more attentive during the shampooing process or shampooed twice.
If it was the mouth stinking I went 100% direct – “Eew your breath! Go brush your teeth! Get those back ones really good!”
Shoes? Forget about it, no amount of charcoal insert could handle the vile disgusting odor that those shoes put out. I’d even wash them with bleach to sanitize them and they’d stink to high hell the next day.
I ask my teens if they want to take a shower, or need a towel etc if they smell, I ask them if they want deodorants etc when I go to the shops, I ask if they have done their teeth etc.
I explained it to them once that while they are old enough to take care of themselves I’m still their mum and ill always be trying to help them. I also pointed out it helps their younger sisters learn. So in short I’m less involved then I used to be but as involved as they let me be.
Have a 13 year old. We tell them this CONSTANTLY. They’d happily never shower and live in the same clothes all week. They’re not depressed, they’re lazy and don’t care what people think of them. Hoping at some point they’ll want to brush their teeth and put on clean clothes and deoderant without me having to beg.
I was pretty bath resistant as a kid. I hate being wet. Still do today, but by high school I would shower without parental nagging. Playing music while I showered helped. Made it more fun and less like torture. Maybe that can help with your child?