My 12yr old daughter does not take care of herself! Any suggestions?

Shauna - posted on 04/30/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 12 yr old daughter will be going to Middle School next year and she just doesn't want to take care of herself. It's a battle to get her to brush out her hair every day. We've even put brushes in her book bag, but no luck. She's been like this as long as I can think of. She loves sports, and that's great, but her favorite thing to wear is long basketball shorts and a plain t-shirt. It looks horrible unless you are actually working out. I can't seem to get her to wear anything to school except for tennis shoes. I have purchased her other shoes in the past but she will only wear the tennis shoes. She puts her hair in this low pony tail with pieces falling out everywhere. It's centered down the middle, and looks a complete mess. I have taught her how to put it back but she just doesn't care at all. Any suggestions? I've tried talking to her about how she will be embarrassed and made fun of in middle school, but she just says "I know" and nothing else.

-Mom in need of some help!!

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Alison - posted on 04/30/2012

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I wonder if you may be fighting a loosing battle. She obviously feels comfortable with this look and it may be time for you to accept it. By insisting she change her appearance you may be encouraging her to rebel. Try to build her up, reminding her she is beautiful (even when she looks sporty), and in time, she may open up to your advice.

If she really does get made fun of in middle school, that may be her motivation to change. No mom wants to see her child ridiculed, but sometimes it is the greatest lesson.

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Candy - posted on 04/02/2014

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Dealing with the same thing over here and I hoped when she got into Middle school things would change but they havent. Its like pulling teeth to get her to do anything. She constantly smells of B.O. ... Maybe pinterest has some good answers for this.

Louise - posted on 05/03/2012

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I think you need to back off and let her wear what she wants. She is probably rebelling against mums advice as they do. Whatever you say they do the opposite. Leave her be and she will change because it is not an issue any more. When she gets to middle school her whole world will be turned up side down. Boys will come into the equation and all of a sudden this scruffy child will start to wear a bit of make up and dress differently. My advice is let her get her own clothes, at first it will be as she is dressed now and then slowly she will buy differently. Dont clothes shop with her let it be her choice. When she does buy something different dont over react. This will encourage her! Never under estimate the power of the hormones!!!!

Jean - posted on 05/02/2012

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My daughter will be 10 next month and has always been truely the best child. When friends ask about her I have always had the pleasure of saying how lucky I am and how wonderful she is. Well, things are changing and changing fast! She is difficult to get to do anything including taking a shower or properly brushing her teeth and hair. She is not wanting to show affection to me and it really hurts. Since discipline is new to me I feel I am strugling...not really sure what to do. I have always felt positive feedback is much more beneficial than negitive, however, I cannot allow this to continue and I feel like all I am doing is nagging and making things worse :-(

Desiree - posted on 05/01/2012

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Ah, I feel for you! I have an 11 yo daughter who I have the same issues with. However, I think that you will find there is light at the end of the tunnel! With my daughter even daily showers is a battle of wills with us! OMG you can smell from across the room that her hair needs washed!! Its so embarrassing to me, but she doesn't seem bothered in the least by it. The poor thing already has acne and she doesn't believe me that something as simple as washing her face daily will help the most.
Peer pressure is not always a bad thing, and in my daughters case I think it has really helped her to see the light! In the past couple of months, she's been much more conscious of her appearance and has been showering more regularly, sometimes even without any prompting from us! Her fashion sense isn't what I would like it to be, but I can live with that as long as she is at least clean! My daughter is also a self proclaimed "tom-boy" and that is fine. The color pink gives her the itch and most of her clothes are either black, white, or grey. She even dropped out of ballet because she hated doing the bun and leotard thing :( She has some serious talent, and I still cant wrap my head around that but it was her choice. I miss the froo-froo dresses from her childhood, and getting to do her hair. But she is old enough to find her own sense of style.
I feel awful doing it, but there are some days I have to ask her "do you WANT to be the smelly kid??" She gets mad, but at least that gets her into the shower.
As I said before its getting better for us though. She has girly-girl friends, and I keep hoping that they will rub off on her.

Paula - posted on 04/30/2012

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Shauna I can totally relate to this. I have a 13 year old daughter who is in middle school and could care less about her appearance. She refuses to brush her hair most mornings preferring to throw on a baseball hat!. She dresses in the plainest close available, she will not wear anything with glitter or sayings. I have also told her that as she gets older she will be teased and her response is "I know". She is a good kid, she is kind and all of her teachers love her. So I don't worry too much. I figure she will eventually grow out of it and until then I just make sure that she is clean. When choosing my battles - I let this one go.

Sandra - posted on 04/30/2012

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And I thought it was just boys. I fight the same battle. We're even back to the "smell check" to see if he used soap. Gross!

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