my 14 year old son

David - posted on 06/25/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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i have a son of 14. i have trouble getting him to change his socks and underwear, brushing his teeth, even wiping himself after going a toilet. what can i do to change this. I have tried everything i can think of . Can anyone help me

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Denikka - posted on 06/25/2012

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Hit him where it hurts :P so to speak anyway.
Find certain things, like friends and girls, and explain to him that when he doesn't take care of himself, not only does it send out a bad image, but he smells and people won't want to be around him. Girls won't be interested in him, friends won't want to hang out with him.
Maybe as a big *in-your face* example, take him out to a big, smelly manure heap (or anything that's really smelly and gross). Make him stand beside it for a little while. Ask him how much he enjoys standing there and smelling that. Explain that it's the same thing with him. He may be the nicest person in the world, but when he smells and doesn't take care of his hygiene, he ends up being the proverbial manure pile that no one wants to be around.

Explain that when you take care of yourself, you send out a better image. It's not just hygiene that gets affected. It affects your whole life. When you're clean, you feel better about yourself. You can be more confident, more self assured. Cleanliness is not just a bodily thing. It'll spill over into other parts of his life too, like his school work.
Explain all the benefits of being clean and hygiene aware.

And if everything else really fails, try bribing him. Treat him like a little kid. Every day he showers, brushes his teeth, puts on clean clothes and is, in general, clean, give him a sticker or something. Then when he's done it for x amount of days (say a full school week), he can get a little prize. As the frequency stays high, the prizes get a bit bigger (1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 months...shoot for a grand prize at around 6 months and make it something really big that he really wants) If he drops back, even after going for 6 months and getting his big prize, take the big prize away from him and start all over. It may take a while, but it'll probably be worth it :)

And just to let you know, this isn't all that uncommon. I would definitely suggest getting him his own bathing/hygiene kit, just for him. Make it a manly grown-up thing. Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, etc. Sometimes something as simple as that can make a big difference.
Good luck :)

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Cherish - posted on 06/25/2012

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My oldest is 19,and I have had the same problem for YEARS!It is REALLY common problem.
I tell him he smells like a donkey...lol,my son says "so" and I say "fine whatever,its your problem"
If it really bothers you,then do "first and then",so say he wants $5...you say "first take a shower and then you can have $5"

Don't worry about it too much,if he is in school his friends should give him a hard time.A natural consequence for stinking will be getting harassed by peers(kids are SO MEAN yet helpful..lol)
A hygiene kit is a good idea,his own stuff in a bag might be fun for him,maybe take him with you and let him pick stuff out.
I would not MAKE him tho,then it turns into a power struggle,then they do it to annoy you(ask me how I know..lol)

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