Personal Hygiene and an 11 year old

Rhianna - posted on 02/24/2010 ( 69 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 11 years old and it is a fight with her everyday to brush her teeth, brush hair, flush the toilet, change her underware, even wipe after going to the bathroom and a few other things. My question is how do we get her to take better care of herself? We have tried adding it to her weekly chores and deducting allowance, that doesnt work, we have talked to her numerous times about how important it is and we have tried letting her be a slob but it has begun to relfect how we look as parents. We really need some suggestions, we don't want her to start middle school in the fall and be made fun of. Please help!

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Erin - posted on 02/27/2010

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My 11 yr. old does the same exact thing, his reason not to flush especially at night or early morning is that he does'nt want to wake up anyone and to get him to brush his teeth is like I asked him to Bungey jump off the bridge, and everyday it was a battle to the end, finally I said fine don't brush your teeth or flush I won't either, that got his attention, he said but your my mom and an adult you have to , I said nope not gonna, that really bugged him , so he did'nt brush his teeth for 2 days , I of course was brushing mine but he did'nt know , while a school going on the 3rd day fianlly one of his friends told him his breath stunk like dog poo and none of his friends wanted him to talk because it was gross, that's all it took after school he spent 15 min brushing and wanting me to smell his breath, Then w/ the not flushing thing, I would put dirty water , like from moping the floor and some hersheys choc. syrup in the toilet before he'd come home, so it looked real bad, the brown color really grossed him out, I told him I was'nt flushing either, he then panicked because our cat likes to drink out of the toilet if the lid gets left open, he says , what about Simba , did he drink out of the toilet today?? I said probably., he ran to call the cat gave him a bowl of clean water ran back in the bathroom and flushed it , then he got my gloves and dish soap and was going to clean the toilet..... he did'nt want his cat to get sick, he now brushes his teeth morning and night w/ out me even asking and he flushes and now makes sure i clean the toilet every day, or he will. Now thats not to bad:) and it only took about 3 days of that compared to months of yelling to brush and flush.. Hope somehow that helped.

Anna - posted on 05/16/2012

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Mine is going on 9 and already pulling the stuff, she makes me so mad when she don't do it and I tell her that she don't smell to good and she just tells me to leave the room. Like really

Julie - posted on 02/24/2010

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its not a matter of punishment. the more you punish a teen the more they rebel. take her on a shopping trip and let her try the smells of all different hygeine products and suggest to her what you think would be best for her and even smell better on her. you could even suggest a new hairstyle to match the new image and maybe a nice new top so she will start to feel better about herself. dont nag because she will then feel embarassed. she doesnt know all these things its up to you to guide her not make her feel worthless. doing girly things together will start to build up her confidence a bit and make her feel good about herself. critism will have the oposit effect.

GAYLE - posted on 03/01/2010

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Nagging doesn't help at any time. This just makes the kids rebel. They will eventually come round to understanding why you are so concerned then they will tidy themselves up. it is a teenage thing, I think. Stop stressing as it really will sort out without your nagging. Think back to when you were a kid then maybe you will realise they are normal. It just takes time. All we can do as parents is encourage them without nagging and let them get on with it. Their friends will also encourage them if they start to smell. There is nothing worse than embarrassment to make a person change their ways. Good luck.

Lynn - posted on 12/10/2012

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LOL I show my kids gross photos on the internet of what happens if you don't brush your teeth...they both brush everyday, just google "meth mouth images"...nasty! Did the same for son with his lazy eye...wears his glasses all the time! Also if we are somewhere and smell someone stinky like on the bus or subway, i tell them to take a big whiff because that is how they will smell if they don't care for themselves. I think this is an instance where you can use fear to motivate them...kids don't like seeing ugly. Same with junkies on the street...i tell them if you don't want to end up like that, don't use drugs.



Also i liked the other lady's idea about having a young mentor speak to her about grooming.

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Marie C - posted on 12/09/2012

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As for brushing the teeth I supervise daily and I but the spinbrush battery operated

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Good luck !

Jamie - posted on 11/04/2012

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My daughter is 11 and finally uses the toilet after wearing pullups for so long, not to school though, she would hold it in and she became impacted more than I can count - I worried about her and still worry about her. She now uses the toilet,however, she refuses to wipe her behind herself and calls for my husband or me. I have brought up with her the fact that she will be having her period soon and she should be more self-sufficient and she just groans and rolls her eyes. She changes her underwear twice a day for why? I don't know. I can also use advice, any at all. My husband is not on board with me because he doesn't like to see her uncomfortable and I told him that he created a monster. I three other children and they did not have this problem. She is the youngest in the family and I'm at my wit's end. Help please!

Barb - posted on 08/31/2012

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I have an 11 yr old step son who does not like to shower,brush his teeth, etc. He has asked for deoderant but his father and I both feel that until he starts taking care of himself there really is no point. I have gotten him to make a list of things that he is expected to do on a daily basis and write what he feels the consequences for not doing them should be. This has just been put into practice, but I'm hoping by giving him the "control", he will not only take better care of himself but also become more responsible.

Brooke - posted on 06/12/2012

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Hi Rhianna, I work at a dental clinic and the majority of people we see are children. I understand the hassales when it comes to oral hygiene.

I have a two year old and I struggle with getting her to clean her teeth regularly, I have now put a toothbrush in the bath, she knows when its bath time, its time to clean her teeth.

We also have another tooth brush with ours, and we like to include her when we brush her teeth, I ask her If I can 'tickle' her teeth by brushing them, and reward her with 'lollies' which are actually vitarmins (those kids ones that look like gummy bears)

Maybe a visit to the local dental clinic could help the situation, kids are generally scared of the dentist, it might help if she sees what will happen if she doesnt brush often.

In the meantime, Try only giving her cordial or sweet drinks at mealtime, and water in between. Rinse with water after foods or sweet drinks. Cheese is a great snack for teeth. Hope I have helped a little, Good luck =)

Amy - posted on 06/08/2012

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hello this sounds nasty have you tried telling her that - brushing her teeth her teeth can fall out she is getting older now she has to learn how to care for herself have you tried talking to her about how she is getting older and she dose have to look after herself you could take away that tv or even her phone, computer untill she dose brush her hair ....
for rewards you could take her to a shop and buy her some of her own product maybe a new toothbrush, shower gel ,some nice soap , bathbombs, her OWN packet of wipes only she can uses you could even buy her some new clothes i hope this works

GOOD LUCK !

Love, Amy x

Amy - posted on 06/08/2012

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hello this sounds nasty have you tried telling her that - brushing her teeth her teeth can fall out she is getting older now she has to learn how to care for herself have you tried talking to her about how she is getting older and she dose have to look after herself you could take away that tv or even her phone, computer untill she dose brush her hair ....
for rewards you could take her to a shop and buy her some of her own product maybe a new toothbrush, shower gel ,some nice soap , bathbombs, her OWN packet of wipes only she can uses you could even buy her some new clothes i hope this works

GOOD LUCK !

Love, Amy x

Amy - posted on 06/08/2012

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hello this sounds nasty have you tried telling her that - brushing her teeth her teeth can fall out she is getting older now she has to learn how to care for herself have you tried talking to her about how she is getting older and she dose have to look after herself you could take away that tv or even her phone, computer untill she dose brush her hair ....
for rewards you could take her to a shop and buy her some of her own product maybe a new toothbrush, shower gel ,some nice soap , bathbombs, her OWN packet of wipes only she can uses you could even buy her some new clothes i hope this works

GOOD LUCK !

Love, Amy x

Leanne - posted on 06/07/2012

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OMG! My son is 9 going on 10 and he doesn't care if he's clean or dirty. I have the same problems with the teeth, flushing the toilet, changing socks and underwear and the wiping too! Everyday is such a battle and I'm trying not to make him feel like crap about himself but it almost seems like he doesn't get it. "Hey did you brush your teeth?" "Yes.." " with what? butter?", "Hey mom my feet kinda hurt..." " Well maybe because you haven't changed your socks for three day and you have raging athletes foot." I swear my son's underwear should join NASCAR because there's more racing stripes there than the Daytona 500. I'm about to pull my hair out! I want to be positive and keep his self esteem up but I can't help but to be disgusted at the same time. He also still has night time bed wetting and knows he does it and will lay in it! ARRGGG! Personal hygiene is not an option but mandatory in my home but I just wonder when the battle will stop, how to help and encourage him without wanting to plaster his butt to the shower wall with a pressure washer or loose my sanity at the same time. Suggestions PLEASE!

Ellie Richardson - posted on 05/10/2012

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I have the same issue with mine. My oldest just turned 11 and my middle daughter is 10. My youngest is 8 and I have to force them to brush their teeth, sometimes wearing the same pants over again . I believe that sometimes they wanna learn the hard way an it becomes out of our control. We teach them right from wrong and then the choices they make will be ultimitley up to them.

Michelina - posted on 05/07/2012

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Sorry continuation: i suggest going in the bathroom with her and watch her shower.. if you keep doing this everyday she will omost likely do it on her own. After shower brush your teeth comb there hair she should start this on her own in fear youll remain doing it for her or watching her. Instead of toilet paper use wipes to help maintain cleanliness. And freshneas. Hope this helpes! Good luck

Michelina - posted on 05/07/2012

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Some moms may not agree with what i will suggest, but hygiene is extremely important to my family and myself. Since my child was born it is routine to bathe every night before bed no exceptions and my daughter looks forward to bath time every night. Now she is about to be six and she started showering alone. I think as a parent it is important to enforce it rather than making it an option. Kids as they get closer to puberty "smell" without proper.hygiene. No one wantd their child to be picked on kids can be cruel especially at middle school ages. I know my daughter is young but when she showers i sit in the bathroom and dictate what to wash. Example: top to bottom, hair first down to your toes, bar soap first than body wash. Before she uses the body wash i check shes covered in soap before she can proceed, and help with her back if she needs it. My suggestion is to save the embarrassment from school and do it at qhome. Assure her that it is for her best interest and although it may take up your time.. but most 11moms year olds dont want there mothers to wash them or watch them shower but o. you should tell

Cynthia - posted on 09/01/2011

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My suggestion is get a calender chart right down simple things as hygiene first , mouth , shower, deodorant, hair, clothing. Then for each one she does put a star to it. By the end of the week she earns a day out . Where ever she / he wants. It's a incentive. Or a movie night or make it no clean day for her on a Saturday. Now the incentive to this if she/ he misses any of the days like of any of the stars then she doesn't get the slob day. So she has to work hard for it. I tried it with my son and step daughter and it worked. Good luck. Oh if she complains, show her the chart and say hey look, you didn't do this because you didn't clean yourself on this day . Make it simple start simple don't over welhm her with alot at first. Ok. Good luck

Corey - posted on 08/31/2011

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OH WOW!!! Ok, at risk of making myself look disguisting, i was that way as well - but only during theschool year.. over summer, i went to campo and had a huge crush on my counselor, so i showered every day, or at least every other day.... but for some reason, up through part of 6th or 7th grade, i was just like ur daughter.. i would turn the shower water on so my parents would think i was showering, run the blow dryer for a bit after, and brush out my hair with a fuzzy brush so it would be foofy and sleek looking for when i went into my parents presence... i hated wiping if i just went #1 (#2 always), i didnt even like changing my underwear. to this day (i am 30 now) i do not know why.. we switched classes when we got into 6th grade and i remember one day sitting next to my bff in one of our classes, and she was like, "sniff sniff" omg, i think someone pee'd themselves in your chair...!!!!! and started laughing cuz of course, it was hilarious that i was sitting in it... and i ran with it that day.. i believe i took a shower that night, and told her that i hoped they cleaned up thepee chair in class the next day! i think it really changed when i was in 8th grade - boys were more real and we were gonna be in HS with a whole bunch of new ppl we didnt know... i think with my sisters son, this type of ickyiness lasted maybe through 15 or so, but he too, grew up and out of it... i dont know if myparents knew or not - they picked their battles and somehow kn ew which ones i would figure out on my own... i guess its like, when ur friends start to notice and ur on the verge of having a really gross reputation, prolly makes u take a look at urself....

Anna - posted on 08/31/2011

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I hope this doesn't give me a bad reputation, but I read another problem I suggested the only proper response is to give more severe discplinary punishment for failing to live up to expectations. Stop making it an "option" and let her know its expected. Spank if its needed. Money doesn't seem to make a difference, so stop her allowance all together and she can start earning her way by living up to expectations. I would have to say you need to ground her, as well. No television, no phone, no internet, except as required for school work. I know, I sound like a nazi as far as some kids would think - but its unfathomable that this young lady can continue on as she is. Its for her own good.

Myra - posted on 08/24/2011

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Rhianna, I strongly agree with Julie. Punishing is not the answer at all, building a bond can show some progress. My daughter is eleven and I have had similar struggles with her and I even had to take time and show her how to bathe properly but it's as if her self esteem is so low that she still expects to be babied at her age. I am in the process of having her talk to a conselor to see why she does these things and hope that we can find a solution once we know why. Good luck

Jamie - posted on 08/19/2011

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my husband's daughter is 14 and her particular problem is nothing but laziness. She won't wash herself or her hair. She won't brush her teeth, wear deodorant, or even brush her hair. Her mother thinks the solution is to keep telling her. In my opinion, it hasn't worked so far so it probably won't. Her mother also thinks it's perfectly normal to have to tell a 14-year-old when to change her pads! That's just ridiculous. I know we ALL have leaks during our periods, but every single month she has to have clothing brought to school. We have talked and talked to her, and nothing works. I would personally be mortified if my father had to have that kind of talk with me, but she doesn't care. I don't go anywhere with her when she's here because I am totally embarrassed to be in public with her because of it all. I have given up. (I'm no one in this). I asked her mother if we are still going to have to call her when she is 20 and remind her to change her feminine products. She laughed and said, "Probably." What on EARTH am I supposed to do? I have tried to tell her how kids are and that no one is going to want to be friends with someone who smells so terrible, and they are going to make fun of her. I suspect kids already are whether she knows it or not.

Annette - posted on 04/05/2011

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It almost sounds like you are talking about my daughter....about 3 years ago! My daughter is 15 now and I remember being very frustrated at her lack of hygiene. I remember once that I was so upset that she wouldn't shower. I made her write me an essay about how important hygiene is and what dangerous things can happen if you don't keep yourself clean. It worked for a while. The girly girl stuff didn't work with her (she is a tomboy). She eventually came around after watching me and my routine. What has helped tremendously is giving compliments, "your teeth look great today!" "your skin looks so clear, what have you done differently?" I may get a snotty answer like, "washed my face...duh mom", but then I see her doing the right thing that night. good luck, but I really think she will outgrow it.

[deleted account]

My sister-in-law is a stylist (almost 30) and she has had the talk with our daughter (soon to be 12)-doesn't work. I agree that nagging doesn't work. We have to constantly remind her of her hygiene or lack there of. I even bought her the hygiene book by American Girl and the journal to go with it. Everyone has talked to her until they are blue in the face but nothing works. She is also ADD. I don't know what else to do abou it either other than to let her be and she will come around on her own time.

Jennifer - posted on 03/31/2010

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We got out daughter the book at Bath and Body Works "The Care and Keeping of You" - it is fantastic. I also recommend taking them to a salon and have the stylist (preferably a young one) talk to them about grooming - they will take advise from them before you.

Roberta - posted on 03/28/2010

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I feel better knowing that this is happening with others too! She has a checklist of what she has to do in the morning and if it's not done she's grounded (from everything) for 3 days and those day accumulate. If during those 3 days she still "messes up" an extra day is added..When she is off grounding and "messes up" again, even if its the next day, it's an automatic 3 days more. I have taken her to buy her own products and have allowed her to wear a little make up (tiny bit of nice light eyeshadow and a little mascara) with the understanding she needs to wash her face every day or it's done.

Joanne - posted on 03/28/2010

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My son who is now 19 was a bit like that. When he turned around 14 he started taking more care of himself by showereing regularly. Maybe it is when puberty hits when kids start to take care of themselves. However, persist with basic cleanliness

Lori - posted on 03/27/2010

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Cold showers. When you notice that she's not bathed even after you saw her get in the shower~Send her right back in. After a few cold showers she will stop. Also, rotate bath and shower nights. Monday-shower Tuesday-bath etc. It will give her personal time to shave her legs and underarms. Be strict with deoderant. Also, you can encourage her to use a small amount of body sprays, lotions or perfume. Keep building her up. If she hasn't begun acne treatment or began her period yet it will be soon and personal hygeine will have to take a step up. I highly recommend a book from the American Girl Series called "The Care & Keeping of You". My daughter is a year older but she keeps that book on her nightstand like it's her bible.

Melanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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can i suggest that mommy drag her to the bathroom and bathe her. or even threaten too. if she cant do it herself than maybe she needs help like a little kid. that ought to be enough humiliation to get her to believe you mean business.

Becca - posted on 03/24/2010

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I have an 12 yo son and we have been going through the same sitaution w/ Body Odor I just keep expressing to him that he smells and it isn't healthy. For a while I don't think he was even using deod. or washing very well in the shower, but in the last couple of weeks it has gotten better I think. Another problem we have is that he despises lotion but his skin gets so dry and yucky looking that I end up having to put the lotion on for him and that doesn't go over very well but i don't know what else to do i am not gonna let him go out with dry scaly skin. I really hope we have turned a corner and things continue to go good. He showers at night and we put a timer in the bathroom so that he brushes a full 5 mins which is what the dentist suggested.

Kim - posted on 03/22/2010

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I found that my ten year olds hygiene routine changed for the better after the sex education talk from a specially trained nurse coming into the school. She had taken her first period and I needed to explain fully to my daughter about personal hygeine. She seemed to take in everything the nurse had told them this really helped her. Im not saying you need to ask a nurse to talk to her Im just suggesting that you could source a book on body matters and sit down with her.and read it together. Also how is your daughter in general? the reason why I ask is that sometimes when a child begins to neglect their hygeine they are suffering from low self esteem.

Kimberley - posted on 03/18/2010

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If she is the oldest find a teenager that she admires to come over and spend time with her doing her hair make up and such things maybe this teenager can help her realise how important it is to shower brush her teeth and everything else you mentioned.. almost like a big sister program. Maybe shes just looking for extra attention and with doing this it is someone that she might look up to and think that i want to be like her. It just might work try it.

Terralyn - posted on 03/18/2010

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only thing I can think of is what I used with my son, keeping in mind that my son has special needs so its qute a different situation. I made him go to the bathroom every hour on the hour and supervised to be sure he wiped himself, reminded him to flush and to wash his hands it didn't take long to change his habits and have him taking care of things himself after all what kid wants to be treated like a baby and be told when to go to the bathroom. He was quite admant that he was grown up and didn't need help in the bathroom so I told him that when he remembers to wipe and flush without me reminding him he would get to be a grown up. I understand the idea that she will get the idea when kids start talking about her at school but do you really want your child to be bullied at school? If she gets a name at school for not taking care of herself changing her habits won't necessarily change how other kids treat her I think you should take care of it at home before it becomes a problem at school.

Jenny - posted on 03/18/2010

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Don't bug her. She will get the picture when the kids do start talking about her. If you know an older child in her school have them talk to your daughter about how different middle school is and how the kids are not as nice as in elementary school. She will be more out to take advice from a friend rather than a parent.

Chandra - posted on 03/17/2010

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Hi! My soon to be 11 yr old had a similar issue, but not as bad. What worked was taking her to the store and letting her pick her own soaps, deodorants,lotions, body washes and sprays, etc. Of course she went for the really girly girl stuff. She got all the scents she liked. Best part of it was she couldn't wait to use them! My girls still have an issue flushing the toilet sometimes though, strangely.

Brenna - posted on 03/17/2010

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i have a 11 and a 13 year old, my daughter doesnt have a problem taking a bath or a shower, yes she is afraid to flush the toilet... i talked to her and it was what happened to her when she was younger that got her afraid to flush the toilet, and that was with the toilet that flushes by itself... go figure that, it scared her like anything, it took time for me to comfort her and let her know all will be ok...
now everything is fine now, thank the Lord and i really thanked him to help me with that...

now my son whos 13 he doesnt like taking a bath or shower, he wanted to still feel young, so what i did is to make it fun for him is get him the crayon bath stuff, thats (HIS) time to do what he wants in the bath, and make him feel young again... thank the Lord for that help as well, and its just a matter of time that they will want to take a bath on there own, and then you cant get them outta the bathroom after that :S... as for me, i talked to my children to understand them more on how they feel, that helped me to help them to get them to do the things i want them to do...

Hazel - posted on 03/17/2010

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my boy will turn 11 this April and guess what??? his personal hygiene is good though he's coming home after school smelling like i dont know what, still, he manage himself good...he knows all the household chores as well (cooking, cleaning, washing the dishes, go to the supermarket)...he never left any mess around the house...i trained him to be independent...i started when he was around 3 when i deliberately donated his new toys for not cleaning the mess after playing...from then on he never left anything messed up/cluttered...for me punishment and reward technique worked well...

Dawn - posted on 03/16/2010

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i have the same with my 10 year old son. my daughter who is nearly 13 went through that stage but now she is always in the bathroom i think they soon realise that people will be nausty and they will stat doing it and for there teeth i told my son that the dentist would take all the bad and ones that have not been brushed very good out . i now it was not nice but he is slowly starting to do it now though so it is a case of be cruel to be kind i think

[deleted account]

I am pretty sure she will just grow out of this phase. We sometimes think of girls as the neat and tidy gender. I have had more problems with my daughter with hygiene than my three sons put together. I have tried almost anything and everything that was said by others who wrote on here and nothing worked ...I really was at my wit's end. I was stunned that any girl would walk out in public looking like that...but have any of you looked at the girls in high school, lately? It seems to be a bigger problem than just for middle school kids. I hoped that peer pressure...something...just something would work....finally a teenage girl(high school sophmore age)...my friend's daughter noticed her problem. She took her aside and talked to her. She struggled the same way with this problem. We have noticed that she has started to care. My friend's daughter compliments her when she can tell that she is trying and caring. My daughter doesn't have a sister...so my friend's daughter has really been good for her. We got to be the broken record that kept sounding in her head...she just heard...blah, blah, blah. But when someone cool noticed and she didn't want to be embarrassed in front of her...it started to change. She still is doing some of it...but gradually, it is getting better. Time sometimes helps....keep talking to her...keep helping her along. She will come around. I just think that it is one of those quirky maturity issues. Some girls are beyond maticulous...others..bone certified slobs. I don't know that punishment works..I tried that too...It really just created more resentment. So, my teenage friend has been a great solve to my problem. Something will kick in...and it may have to be a hard lesson. They will come around when they are ready.

Debra - posted on 03/12/2010

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Doing hygene battles can be very distressing for you and your daughter. If she thinks she has to shower etc because you make her she will only rebel, for how long who knows. Kids don't always have the concept of how to be hygenic and I have found that if I explain why then ususally my kids will co-operate. Here are some examples. I have two boys 10 and 12 and for a while they wouldn't lift the seat to pee, and being the only female sitting on a wet seat in the middle of the night was just gross. I reminded them both that pee breeds bacteria and even when it dries will spread onto that all of us. I reminded them that they also need to sit on the toilet eventually and each others pee. So I made them both clean the toilet. If they were going to make a toilet toxic then they sould clean it so we don't get sick. After a few times of having to clean the toilet that seat always got lifted and no more wet seat. If she CHOOSES not to flush the toilet she should clean it, or charge her a $5 cleaning fee to do it for her, or she can flush the toilet after each use and she can keep her $5. As for showering, dental hygene, you could tell her that she is old enough to decide for herself weather she should shower or not, and that if she does not shower or brush her teeth, that her breath will stink,teeth will rot, gums will become infected and she will loose friends, but hey its up to you kiddo since you seem so smart I am sure you will figure it out. See how long she lasts. As for social functions she will attend tell her that it is not fare to her friends to have her sooo stinky and unless she bathes won't be able to go, after all it is her friends that will suffer with the stink not her. Do reverse psycology and if she wants to take matters into her own hands let her, step back and see. Also tell your family and friends what you are up to. Get them to act dumb and say things like, your hair looks so greasy and messy, it used to look sooo nice, what happened? When my boys do shower I make such a big deal of it. I bury my nose into their clean hair and take the deepest breath and tell them how fabulous they smell and how gorgeously handsome they are. They love this attention. It works!

Michelle - posted on 03/12/2010

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I have an 11 year old daughter myself. And I feel like I am a broken record reminding her to do things. Especially now that she has started her period early, I am constantly reminding her to change regularly, have a shower, shave her armpits. I found that my daughter went from this flat chested, flawless skin, hairless, evenly tempered child to what only seems a few months, to a bra wearing, pimply, hairy, fiesty child. Where did she come from? Research together on the internet what the consequences are if you don't brush your teeth, wash regularly, change underwear etc. I took my daughter out myself and spent a few mum and daughter hours to go and get her some bras, and new undies and deoderant and body spray to smell nice. I have also had to buy her pimple cream to combat her skin blemishes. Just give her support and reminders about her personal hygiene. My daughter would be really embarassed if I brought in anyone else to deal with or help with the problem. But maybe a doctor or another family member like an aunty or a grandmother would help your child. As our kids usually feel like we are nagging them for no reason, they may listen to someone else they know and trust!

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Maybe get her teacher involved. My 11yo daughter is the same way. Her teacher and the school nurse know that we have been having this fight for quite a while, and brainstormed an idea.



Heather now has a checklist that has to be completed and signed by me each day. For each day that showers, brushes teeth, etc, she gets a sticker. When the sticker sheet is full, the school nurse is bringing in her small dog for Heather to care for during half of the school day. If she fills a second sticker sheet, she will get to care for the dog for a full school day. The length of time will increase with each sticker sheet she fills up. At the end of the school year, as long as she continues to bathe regularly, her teacher will donate $25 in her name to the Adopt a Seal Program at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, NJ. To really keep her motivated, the nurse will give her an hour each week where she will do Heather's nails, or do her hair, whatever.



Hope this helps someone. So far, the positive re-enforcement is working a lot better than the punishing did :)

Suzanne - posted on 03/11/2010

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My son went through this phase and I tried everything also, finally one day over the weekend I told him to get into the vehicle we were going shopping. He said but Mom, I haven's showered in a day and a half, I said too bad we are going, if you can't take care of yourself thats your problem not mine, lets go grease ball head...lol. I also told him I hope we run into all those cute girls you like in school while we are shopping, I haven't had a problem since that day with him keeping clean. :)

Diane - posted on 03/11/2010

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I have the same problem with my 11 yr old son! I think it is just the age! I wouldn't worry to much about how it reflects on you, but remind her on how others look at her! She might become more aware of her hygiene if friends comment on it! Getting made fun of in middle school is a given! Even if you're perfect some kid will find something to make fun of, So don't stress it. I always have my dentist and doctor talk to him about how proper hygiene can be good for your health. Sometimes they listen much better to doctors then their parents.

Toni - posted on 03/10/2010

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I am not saying this is the case,it could be just a "stage" she is going through but i have been told from a friend who went through the same problem with a foster child she was looking after that children (especially girls) with poor hygiene have usually been abused at some stage or they have had some kind of "trauma" happen.You may need to delve deeper into the conversations you have with your daughter,maybe even try seeing a counsellor.Good luck! :)

Caroline - posted on 03/10/2010

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Hi Rhianna

I can't believe i am not the only one with this problem, my daughter is 10 years old and she is exactly the same, she has poo marks in her knickers most days and a few times i have gone in the toilet and there has been no toilet roll been used. I couldn't understand why she was like this, especially when the toilet roll is right next to her and i would feel dirty if i didn't wipe myself. I got very angry with her and explained the reason i was getting angry is because she could get ill and smell and get infections and that other children would make fun of her at school if she starts smelling, i am also worried when she starts her period that she won't be clean.
I don't know what to do either but i do know that nagging and getting angry doesn't work, please if you find a solution please can you email me and if i find one then i will email you.

Thanks Caroline xx

Lisa - posted on 03/10/2010

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Well, my daughter is 11 yoa and is in Middle School. She doesn't do the exact same things. I don't get it. Her hair smells so bad. She gets very defensive when you call her on it at all. If you have ideas, please share.

Jill - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have an 11 year old son...boys are different, I know, but I had to talk to him about his teeth just the other day. I told him, "You're teeth are yellow and covered with grime. they look really gross buddy, and they're probably giving bad breath too. Mommy's gonna brush them and floss them tonight for you so you can see what they should look like." I spent 10 minutes flossing and another 5 of gentle brushing...including his tongue! After I was done, he said, "Wow...they feel so good! And they look whiter now..." So I told him he needed to make sure to continue. When he commented on sore gums after the flossing I told him it was because they weren't healthy for lack of flossing and they would stop hurting if he did the flossing every night. My husband insists "when girls become important, he will begin to care more...trust me!"

regarding the wipe thing....my younger son has had issues with that. The way I dealt with him was for him to suffer the natural consequences.....I made him rinse his underwear if they were covered with poop before I would wash them with the laundry. I also threw away some of his favorite underwear when they were badly soiled. Those both work really well for him! Occasionally I have to refresh his memory (about every 6 mo. or so) and that gets him right back to wiping and going to the bathroom on time.
I also explained to him how not wiping properly will cause him itching and eventually pain on his bottom. Sometimes kids just need reminders for awhile.

my sister was like your daughter and she began to outgrow it around puberty...when boys began to matter. So don't stress too much. You can't worry about what you as a parent looks like, because that will probably make it worse. Your daughter needs to hear the message that you accept her as she is, but that poor hygiene will cause her illness.

The other thing I would do with an older child is send her to the internet to look up poor hygiene and have her write a report, or read aloud of the effects of bad hygiene. Not as punishment, just to inform both of you. You may find yourself relieved in some ways and she may have a light bulb turn on in some ways. Good luck! I know this is a more challenging situation with a girl. I hope this helps in some way.

Becky - posted on 03/10/2010

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maybe about the wiping herself she is scared she will get it on her hands or something!

Becky - posted on 03/10/2010

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OMG my daughter is the exact same way! I guess you have to try to add some fun into it, like buying the Hanna Montana shampoo's or deodarants and the toothbrushes that play music LOL! i also try to express the importance of smellling nice and how her body is starting to change and its all a normal part of life and growing up!

Jodie - posted on 03/09/2010

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i think this has more to do with self worth and self esteem and i dont believe removing priviledges is the way to go here... counselling may be the way to go here

Jackie - posted on 03/09/2010

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Ive raised two girls and in my experience ask the girl herself she may giggle a little about it ask her how she feels about it , as for her hygene thats a difficult one as both mine use to hog the bathroom from a young age be straight with her I guess just say the kids will call her names and not nice ones unless she trys to clean her act up bathroom wise, sounds like on her part it just a case of cant be bothered they all go through it with differnt things , luckly with the hygene thing shouldnt last to much longer as she will start to gain an intrest in the boys and want to clean her act up one way id do it is no TV no Computer no nothing till she has had a wash and done her hair and teeth each morning or whatever her fav thing is .But what you cant do is give in or stress to much over it keep calm when you tell her stay firm and shell know you mean business.
Hope this helps good luck Jackie

Cindy - posted on 03/09/2010

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You might take her to the doctor and talk to them about it. It might be a depression thing. That is a very trying time and I know most girls go through it a bit about that age. She might just need someone to talk to out side the home about it. It is nothing about what you can do or what you didn't do. She just needs to learn how to take pride in what she is and sometimes an outside voice can change that.

Connie - posted on 03/09/2010

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I give my daughter a "little" reminder every morning before school. She is starting to turn around now but I notice she still doesn't remember to flush the toilet in her bathroom! I think this will change though. Taking her to the dentist every 6-9 months seems to help because she wants to make sure she doesn't need to spend alot of time at the dentist (who does?) and I think she is trying to prove a point to her older brother of what the consequences are when you don't take care of yourself.

Kenitra - posted on 03/08/2010

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I had the same fight with my son, now 13. I could not make him take a shower. But now that he has developed a real interest in girls, I can't get him out of the shower. My 11 year old girl wet the bed until when she was 10. She reaked like urine in the morning, but still didn't care. I completely understand. With my 11 year old...she is dying to have braces, mostly because she needs them, partly because all of her friends have them. I told her that I will not get her braces until I know she can properly take care of her teeth. As for her hair...if she does not keep it brushed, it gets cut short. And I still have to fight her to get a shower, but I guess when she starts wanting to impress boys, the fight will be over.

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