My daughter does not care about her appearance..

Cari - posted on 09/12/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I have an 11 yr old daughter, will be 12 in December. She does not care at all about her appearance, meaning, she will go out in public with mismatched clothes, unkept hair etc.. How can I get her to care more about her image?

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Flora - posted on 05/09/2013

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I have a 22 years old daughter. She is a college student. She takes shower only once or
twice a week. She is very active too. She dances 3 times a week and she really has a
"BO". I don't want to treat her like a child, but is very difficult to be around her.
I have tried to tell her in a very loving nice way. She says nobody thinks I smell bad
except you. What can I do?

Brenda - posted on 03/27/2013

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yeap, this has been my problem for years, I can't fix my daughter, she has to be willing to do it herself...but she is 20, will it get better?

Mary - posted on 04/19/2014

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Hi, I'm a teenage girl, and I stumbled across this post. I know I'm not a mum, but I just thought I could help. I very much do take care of my appearance now (At age 18) but I remember when I was 15 my mum very much had the same issue. I was going through me "emo" phase, and I didn't want to brush my hair, wear nice clothes, makeup or anything like that. Even now sometimes I can't be botherd to look great everyday for college. The truth is, the most important thing in the world is not looks, and I've seen over and over again, you mums worrying about your daughters appearance reflecting badly on you. Trust me, it won't. The thing that will reflect badly on you, is if you push your daughters away/make them resent you, by putting to much pressure on them to look "nice." When a girl is young, teenage/pre-teen, there confidence, (as I'm sure you'll all remember from your own teenage days) tends to be low, and easily dented. And for girls, and women in general, so much of our confidence is linked into our appearance and how we look. For some young girls, struggling with their confidence and how they appear, it's easier to just give up on the appearance thing all together and not care about how they look. This is there way of dealing with all the pressures society puts on them, and whilst all your concerns are extremely valid (It's important to be clean, and smell good) being on your daughters case about the issue is just going to make there confidence and self-esteem lower. For most teenage/pre-teen girls, this just a phase, but if it's not does it matter? As a mother your job is to be a good parent, not your daughters stylist. The most important thing is that your daughter is happy and confident in herself, and that she has a good realtionship with you, where she feels she can talk to you about any self-esteem issues she is having, rather than resenting you. I hope this helps, like I said I'm not a mum, but I thought a teenage girls perspective on the issue might help you all to stop worrying. Much love and good luck!

Sherry - posted on 10/01/2012

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How can you get her to care about her appearance? You kinda can't. Set a good example, and leave it be. Force her into it and she will rebel and end up resenting you. Believe it or not there are things in life that matter more than looks.

ROBERTA - posted on 09/13/2009

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I think it is wonderful that she is not overly concerned with her appearance like some girls are. She must be comfortable with herself and I don't think that is a problem. I would be afraid to get too upset about this and push her the other way. Is there a chance she may be depressed. How she feels about herself is more important then the way she looks.

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LATUNYA - posted on 09/13/2013

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My daughter is 15 going on 16. I HAVE the same problem. I've tried everything!!!! It make me sad because I know how kids can be cruel at school and I don't want her to go through it. I don't fuss with her because that will make it worse. All I do is give her the things that she needs to do her hair and let her make the choice. I say to her, "choose your individual styles but keep it neat".I have a 8 year old and she is the complete opposite of her.

Tamara - posted on 08/11/2013

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Almost every teenager/tween goes through this phase at some point. Perhaps get her some new simple makeup, such as, lipgloss or lip balm. New clothing, overall just something to motivate her to care for herself. Btw, I know this is WAY late.

Amy Nicole - posted on 05/04/2013

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Well,It's tottaly normal for a 12 yr.old too be mix matched I still love mix matching my clothes too this day and so do my kids.My kid is tottaly in Love with this kid in her class and i asked her "Do you think he would wanna be around somebody who dosen't brush there hair and take a shower?" she said "i wouldn't.I said niether would i and so you need too take care of yourself.-Im not incourging my kids too date at such a young age.

Sharon - posted on 04/25/2013

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My daughter now 12. She still does not care about the way she looks. I have now gotten to the point where I am taking away her Ipod, which is her most prized possession, if she does not shower or wash her hair. On Tuesday she went to school with greasy hair and she not look neat!

Finally I sat down with her and told her that if she wants to live in my house, she needs to take a shower every day and wash her hair. I expect that from her. I feel I have been letting her make choices she is NOT ready for. I am the parent and I need to be the parent. My daughter needs to know what is acceptable and not acceptable.

I told her that this isn't about "looks", this is about her telling others how she respects and values herself. When she does not care about her hair or body being clean, she is telling others that it's okay to not care very much about her, because she doesn't and she shows that she doesn't.

She has now been taking a shower and washing her hair without being told. And last night she told me that a boy in her class told her she looks pretty with clean hair!!

Brenda - posted on 03/27/2013

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I feel the same way , the way our daughters dress is a reflection on us and their weight too. Yet, my daughter has been in college for 2 years now, living on campus, shouldn't she be responsible now for her own appearance. Her hair basically, she won't curl her bangs or brush her hair before putting up in a pony tail. I also have a special need's daughter with frizzzzzyyyyyyyyy hair and I have to help her too with shampooing to putting it up. There is a new brush called the wet brush (for dry or wet hair that helps brush through tough hair. I bought one from The Wet brush company on amazon.com for almost $9.00 and The shark for $5.00, I think the same type of brush. Amazing how it helps!

Brenda - posted on 03/27/2013

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I have a 20 year old with issues, I still have, her bangs/hair looking decent, dressing appropriately. Overweight and have been trying to get her to work on herself for years. She was accepted into Nursing School and couldn't be more PROUD but want her to understand her appearance and weight is a reflection on her and may stop her from getting a job after she graduates. I thought in High School when she was all dressed up for Prom, and my husband's aunt, a hairdresser made her look great, this would turn things around, NOT :(! I push and push and it just upsets her more and then she doesn't want to talk to me, no win situation :(! A friend told me its like a diet, a person has to have the mind frame to want to do it themselves. My daughter is losing weight but has cheat days infront of us, its the weekend or a break from stress. I guess for your young daughter Cari, show her photos of herself and ask how she feels about the way she looks. If you have photos of her younger dressed up nicer ask her which ones she thinks she looks better in. Good luck to us both!

Lori - posted on 10/30/2012

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My dd was the same way between ages 9-11, she is now 12 and it is slowly getting better. I don't ever get on her too much over it. I think a lot of it is just the age. I also don't want her to think that looks are most important.

Deborah - posted on 10/29/2012

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I also have an 11 year old daughter who always cared about her appearance. This year she entered middle school and does not want to bathe, brush her teeth, or use a little makeup and earrings to improve her appearance. She also wears mismatched clothing and will not do her own laundry, but just wear dirty clothes that she sleeps in. Every night is a battle for me to get her to shower, put on deordorant, and brush her teeth. This is atypical of my daughter. She used to be very popular and involved with her friends. Now, I suspect she doesn't have friends this year. I can talk to her until I'm blue in the face about what she needs to do, but when I ask her why she makes these choices, her response is, "I'm lazy." I know she wants friends and likes boys, but she makes little to no attempt to interact with kids from school. She no longer is invited to dances, sleepovers, or parties. I am at my wits end. What do I do?

April - posted on 09/20/2012

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We are a family of 5, myself, my 3 daughters and my son. I refuse to mate socks. We have a sock basket. Mismatched socks is a family trend here. :)

K - posted on 09/19/2012

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Hi. I notice that this is an old post but Im looking for some advice too. Pretty much from what I gather, we want the girls to be confident in themselves and not let the cares of the world to bother them. But I do think that when my daughter (nearly 13) leaves the house with or without me that she is a reflection of me. I think that when people look at any of my children they think, " oh, she let them come out lookin like that?" Also, I didnt see anyone specify this so forgive me if Im wrong, but I and my family are black. Ok, yes, I said it, we are black and it takes a little more work to do our hair in some cases. My daughter has veeeeeerrrry thick hair and has no desire to learn how to work with it. If I test her and see if she will take the time to attempt to do it with out me telling her, she wont even do it. Wont even shampo it if I dont remind her. When I do, do her hair, she wont even care for it so all the hard work I put into it will last!!! And trust, it could take hours to shampoo, deep condition, blow dry, and braid. ANY suggestions are welcome.

Becky Louise - posted on 09/18/2009

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hi wat i would do is let her be her own person bt just try encourage her to match her clothes up

Cortney - posted on 09/18/2009

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I have been going thru this with my 12 yr. I constantly have to tell her to get a shower after basketball and soccer. every morning telling her to brush her hair n teeth. i dont worry so much about her clothes because she is very pick n will only wear what she likes. I have always told her to be who she is n dont let people try to change her to suit them. she knows that im different from most people n i wont change who i am for anyone. she also knows that i love her no matter what and i will always love her. im hoping in time that i wont have to constantly tell her to do that stuff. good luck

[deleted account]

Hi all. I just joined but am sooo glad to see that it's not just my tween! It has been a constant battle on teeth brushing for about a year and she will be 13 in Dec. But what seemed to get thru to her the most was her dentist telling her if she did not take better care of her teeth she would have to have dentures! Apparently she never considered being a teen and having false teeth! I have seen a HUGE improvement in brushing & flossing.

Jesseca - posted on 09/17/2009

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I always need to repeat to my daughter to shower and brush her hair and brush her teeth...she will be 12 sept 29th...i hope she grows out of this stage soon!

Cella - posted on 09/17/2009

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I think it's great that your daughter isn't into appearance. FWIW, my daughter's the same age and just started to take responsibility for her appearance within the last six weeks. I think that it's just overwhelming for them, with all those changes to their bodies, to take on the responsibilities that come with a preteen body (like, in our case, daily showers).

Cynthia - posted on 09/16/2009

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My daughter will be 12 in November and I have the same problem. If I didn't make her get dressed, she would go out in her pj's (pants & tshirt). She has vey thick hair and hates to brush it because of the tangles and she won't let me touch it. She's doing better with the hair so I don't say anything about the close now. I would rather her be comfortable with herself and not care about what other think. I'm also hoping this is the phase of her life that she choose to stand out and not when she's older.

Jaya - posted on 09/15/2009

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I faced the same problem with my daughter. She is going to be 12 by December 1st.

A month back I casually discussed with her about this and then I came to know that she was feeling bad about her looks and was under the impression that she can not improve her looks. She has curly hair and wheatish sin tone and crooked teeth. Then I decided to work out on the issues. I promised her that her teeth can be corrected in a years time with the help of a good dentis. I straightened her hair. She is a tall and slim girl. I bought her some trendy clothes, got her little personel touch ups. she was surprised to see her own transformation into a beautiful tween. Now for the past one month she is very happy and looks pretty al the time. talk to your child gently address the issue, she will understand.

Ruth - posted on 09/15/2009

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my daughter 12 years old has been doing this since she was 4, i have no worries about it at all. pippi long stocking wore mis mached socks no big deal. the colthes dont matter not in the long line of things. just make sure she brushes her hair and teeth, and washes her face and no prob. it takes a lot of time for kids to know what they like and they mix and match a lot of the time to find out. its not a big deal.

Becky - posted on 09/15/2009

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Having the same dilemma with my 11 year old daughter but what bothers me is how the kids at school tease her because her hair is "flat" or "mousy-brown" or her clothes don't match. What about THAT end of the spectrum? I couldn't care less if she wore dresses or sweats, as long as she's comfy in & happy with what she chooses, but the kids these days are AWFUL to anyone who crawls outside the line of what they think is "normal"...

Erica - posted on 09/15/2009

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I have the same problem with my 16 year old daughter. She doesn't care what her clothes look like, what her hair looks like or what other people think of her. It has been a fight for the longest time to get her to put on matching outfits and to brush her hair and teeth. Her attitide is that if people don't like how she looks then they don't have to look at her. I guess it is good that she feels that way but it gets so bad that we have to make her take a shower because of body odor. I could use some advice in this area also.

Becky - posted on 09/15/2009

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My 10 year old daughter is the same way.My friend's daughter is as well.It makes them feel independent I think.It's almost like an extention of her personality.As long as she's clean I just let her do her thing.As parents we worry about what others think about our kids because it is a reflection of us.My daughter has reminded me to lighten up.If she likes the way she looks then I am one happy mommy:)

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2009

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My 10 yr old does the same thing. Just be happy that she's confident enough to be who she wants to be. She'll probably change it up as she gets older. I would always buy sets for my daughter, and she would always take them apart and match them with other things in her closet! I kept on her about her clothes and she ended up walking out in the same color top, bottom, socks, etc. My husband said to let it go and for the most part I have, but I always remind her everyday, to put on deodorant, her little spray scents, and I still have to remind her about her hair. But she's happy and that's all that really matters.

Shea - posted on 09/14/2009

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My daughter went through the same thing and my son did too. No worries I just keep repeating comb your hair , brush your teeth, take a shower, do have perfume/cologne, do you need some deodorant ..you can pick out your own! LOl A freaking robot that's what I was like! LOL Now it seems as though repetition paid off. as for clothes I compromised and said oh well what the heck at least their clean. lmbo. Now however they both do well in that area as well. I guess my best advice is repetition and giving them space to be themselves in short compromise.

Michelle - posted on 09/13/2009

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I have a daughter that is 10 and all she wants to do is wear clothes that are comfuy!! It would be soccer shorts and t shirts all the time. It drives me crazy!!!!! Sometimes she would leave the house with notty hair! I can totally relate to your issue. I too need some advice on this!!!!!!

Brandy - posted on 09/12/2009

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I had the same problem with my 11 daughter who will be 12 in November. I found some books from American Girl that talk all about girls growing up. You can get them from American Girl or I found mine at the local Meijer store where I live. They are inexpensive and are really good books. They are all about girls growing up at this age and what to expect and how to handle things. There is also a book on personal hygiene and what to expect and how to deal with it. My daughter loves these books. I read them first and then gave them to her as a gift to read. She read them and then we went out for a girls day out and discussed the books and I answered any questions she had. The books were a great way to open the conversation about this issue as well as other issues for girls this age. I hope this helps and good luck.

Bobbie - posted on 09/12/2009

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Cari,

noone can know exactly what goes on in your home. without knowing what your relationship is like with your little girl, it's hard for me to say. I have found it helpful to show appreciation for femaninity infront of my daughter. making suddle positive comments about her EFFORTS to others more than comments that focus on her. I'm no psyc and still I find that again with anything that we want to see our children improve in, requires the right kind of encouragement on our part. for example, "you should be really proud of yourself, your room looks great, I can tell that you really used diligence." comments like this have given my kids a sence of pride in their abilities to do things without being asked or reminded. you don't want to send the message that mom only loves me when I look pretty. You might try showing her some 'appropriate' ways that she might express herself i.e. does she like scarves,hair ribbon,beeds. This could be really fun for you guys and you get the priveledge of watching your flower blossom.

[deleted account]

Yeah, I try to split the difference. As long as she's clean and brushed I try not to mind mismatched colors or strange style combinations. She does stop me in my tracks sometimes with her choices! But I am glad it comes from a security in being herself and not from trying to draw attention. That would have me more worried. I do try to emphasize the health aspects of my insisting on her being clean and brushed, so that it doesn't become totally an appearance thing. And it is hard to remove myself as it reflects on us as mothers. Best of luck! Lichen

Cari - posted on 09/12/2009

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Thanks for your advice..her dad tells me that I should just let her be her own person, i really don't know why it bothers me so much, maybe because of what you said about it reflecting on how she is cared for at home..I will try to be more lenient with her about certain appearance issues.

[deleted account]

My 11 year old daughter does the same thing and I have struggled as I don't want to make the issue bigger than it needs to be. And I've thought a lot about why it bothers me. I make her brush her hair before we go to town, but I have been trying to sigh and find eccentrically charming her mis-matched socks and inside out shirts. With all the other messages our daughters receive about their value being based on their appearance (300-400 times per day from media), I don't want her to feel unaccepted if she doesn't measure up to the appearances I want. Then she would be primed to alter her appearance for what a boyfriend prefers, etc. I figure she has plenty of time to gain awareness of what others think and decide when she's ready to present herself in a more orderly fashion. But I draw the line at things that appear unhealthy, like dirty face, unbrushed hair, rumpled clothes that look uncared for. She knows that that reflects on how we take care of her. She's becoming famous for her mis-matched socks. We've threatened to get her all one color. She's just fine with that, doesn't care if people think she is strange. As long as she is healthy and happy, I hope she stays that way for a long long time.

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