my teen boy has terrible hygene..

Connie - posted on 01/11/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I feel like the biggest NAG always telling him to brush his hair, teeth, shower, ect. His horrible hygene is much like his messy room and his organizational skills (he lacks) when it comes to school and even as far as processing his thoughts. Is this something they tend to grow out of? Is there ANYTHING that could possibly intrigue him to change these behaviors?

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Deb - posted on 12/12/2012

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I'm always nag my 14 yr old son, both my husband and I. He smells badly, his room and his feet! I tell him every night to get into the shower and use the soap and wash his hair. he runs the water and pretends to be in or he gets in under the water and no soap. Uggh. I'm praying for a change soon. i actually scrubbed him in front of the sink then another time I got in there and scrubbed him. He was mortified! I couldn't stand the stench any more. I keep telling him to bath and brush his teeth and pray one day, just one day (sooner than later), it will kick in. I'm betting when girls kick in...

ML - posted on 10/16/2013

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don't know if it will work for you, I rally feel horrible and worn out. My 17 yo son won't keep himself clean:shower, hair, teeth. I just stopped bugging him. His room stinks. Homework , laundry, food/cooking, dishes ALL I have stopped doing! He won't do chores (I'm a single mom), just comes home, upstairs, down for food and bathroom, back up again. No TV, No Bike, No Allowance, No DS, No Computer, No library. NO arguments, I just leave where ever I am, "sorry not going to argue". Mad Mad Mad...oh well, when YOU decide to be a part of the family again, we will talk.

Lisa - posted on 01/12/2009

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My boys are the same!  The thing that tends to work for us is being quite blunt regarding their offensive odors.  If they reek, they may not get to play a game with us or watch a movie, because their odor is offensive to the rest of us.  Sometimes they even need to eat at a different table.  We tell them that if they don't want to take care of themselves and stink to high heaven...fine, but they aren't doing it around us.  They usually scamper right off to the shower.  Same with bad breath - my one son is horrible with brushing his teeth - I won't talk with him....or if i do, I stand far away or put my hand over my nose...he gets the point :-)

Nicole - posted on 06/08/2012

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I have two boys...12, 13..... a never ending battle......take away.....some things and have him to earn them back.......they will fall off, but continue to do the same cycle......until it change......work in progress for us as well

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Charlene - posted on 05/12/2014

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My guy is about to turn 15. Can only get him to shower once sometimes twice a week. I let this slide over the winter but now with hot weather coming, gym class and sports eeewww. I guess the battle is back on! It's funny tho he doesn't want to shower but always brushes his teeth, his hair, puts deodorant on. Idk I'm hoping it's just a life phase. Just wish it wasn't so frustrating and stinky!!

Bethany - posted on 03/03/2014

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My situation is quite complicated. My 15 year old daughter has been refusing to brush her teeth. I had not problems getting her to do this up til the past several months or so. Now it has come down to going days without it. She will say she has done it but I dont hear her and check her tooth brush--its dry. I am at a loss. She showers and looks presentable for school yet this teeth thing. She panicked and ran out of the dentist when she was suppose to get her cavities filled. I am at a loss, I cant physically force her, she is taller than me. I cant bribe her, she out smarts me. This isnt the only issue. She can be emotionally abusive at times. I just dont know what to do about her lack of care of brushing, it leaves me in tears. She is so beautiful and I dont want her looking like a someone who has a mouth full of rotting teeth. BTW, impressing a boy wont work either, she has a boyfriend.

Deborah - posted on 01/25/2009

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i have the same trouble with my son he is just starting to change and now showers with out my asking him here is a girl yes thats the answer girls , my friend has 3 sons and they were all the same it was her that told me girls she cant get in bathroom now lol

[deleted account]

I thought it was just ME!!!....



However, if they grow out of it WHEN!!?!?
Mine is 18. He stinks, his room stinks, his attitude stinks, he just stinks!



His stinky-ness will probably change when he gets a girlfriend, but since he's always in the house I don't know WHEN that will happen!



*dAnA*

Patricia - posted on 01/24/2009

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Juli Thurston is right. Quite simply, its girls.My Son was so bad that I had to physically fill the bath and frogmarch him to it.



As soon as he was interested in a girl, he had a shower in the morning and a bath in the evening.



I was gobsmacked!

[deleted account]

I have that problem.

I insist. It is my house and he will not smell as he passes me or he will be in the shower or move out.

He has grown to like smelling good of late and I have fewer issues.

You are boss and you can let him have a bed or not. Let him chose...bed or floor?

[deleted account]

I thought this would be a problem with my son, but once he got to high school, and noticed GIRLS it all changed. regular showers every morning, fussing w/ his hair, body wash, and of course, once he had a girl friend, the cologne. The orthodontist claims he is the model of good oral hygeine and I almost died of shock. He used to hate to brush his teeth, but it's totally whack to go around with gunk in your teeth, so he is totally dedicated to keeping his mouth fresh. Now if I could just get him to use an iron! :D

Seriously, tho', I think they do discuss this stuff in health class as well.

My theory is that the more places they hear the message about hygeine the more they will realize that it is a foundation expectation in life.



That being said, I'll tell you that at 4-H camp, where I've been a volunteer for 10 years, on the first day they cover hygeine/health issues:

1. Shower every day- period.

2. Flush the toilet, once for you and what you did, then flush again for the person who comes behind you, just in case the first flush didn't do the job. (and use common sense about what you put in the toilet- wads of teepee will plug the thing up!)

3. After you swim at the pool, shower and change out of your swimsuit.

Hang it up so it can dry.

If you leave it on you may get 'wet butt rash' and that's not fun.

4. Always wear a shirt and shorts to the pool and back again- it's calling dressing modestly- and it helps avoid awkward, embarrasing, and creepy situations.

Amy - posted on 01/16/2009

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I think most boys are the same. My 12, almost 13 year old is the SAME way. It drives my INSANE!! He will take a shower,but not really take a shower. Nothing gets washed!! I have to tell him to brush his teeth, etc. I have heard that they grow out of this...I'll be waiting!

Vicki - posted on 01/16/2009

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Mothers don't nag. We remind. It only becomes nagging when >that< tone of voice comes into play. We tried everything from gentle reminders to downright bluntness ("You smell bad and are not allowed to sit at the dinner table until you take a shower, put on deodorant, and put on clean clothes.") with our older son.



Giving him limited ownership of his own personal hygiene helped too. He likes Axe body wash and spray so I keep him in good smelling product, and continue to remind him every day. If you keep reminding, it eventually becomes a habit. Don't forget that positive reinforcement goes a long way too. "Wow, honey! You sure do smell nice when you're all fresh from the shower! It's a pleasure to enjoy your company up close as well as from a distance."

Michelle - posted on 01/16/2009

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My daughter just go to the point where I don't have to tell her to take a shower every night. She takes it in the morning before school, but on long holidays or weekends I will have to tell her that she needs to wash her hair because its looking a little greasy. And we are battling about the skin care regimen so that she can help her acne. I tell her the stuff won't work unless you use it.

DeAnn - posted on 01/16/2009

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If it makes you feel any better, I am a dental hygienist and I ALWAYS have to nag my 17 yr. old son to take care of care of his teeth. So it's NOT you...it's his personality type and his age. I see many young adults as patients and when I talk about my teenage boys they always tell me to keep on nagging. The teen may act like they hate it but they know deep down that it is an expression of love and  they count on a parent to help guide them.

DeAnn - posted on 01/16/2009

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If it makes you feel any better, I am a dental hygienist and I ALWAYS have to nag my 17 yr. old son to take care of care of his teeth. So it's NOT you...it's his personality type and his age. I see many young adults as patients and when I talk about my teenage boys they always tell me to keep on nagging. The teen may act like they hate it but they know deep down that it is an expression of love and  they count on a parent to help guide them.

Melanie - posted on 01/15/2009

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I am going through the same thing with my 13 year old son.... Unfortunately it seems to be one of those things that boys just go through... I basically just flat out told him that if he doesn't start taking care of himself, he will not be allowed to go places with me as I am embarrassed for people to see him (or smell him) the way he smells... He likes to keep his hair long on top so he can "spike" it, however due to the lack of showers and hair washing his hair just looks dirty and greasy all the time, so just last weekend I took him to have it all cut short and told him that when I see him starting to do something to take care of it better he can grow it back... The things I said may have been a little harsh, and he was crushed about having to cut his hair, but guess what.... He's been fresh and clean ever since!!!!

Helen - posted on 01/13/2009

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girls. It worked for my brother. Mum nagged and even embarrssed my brother by yelling out at school, "did you change your undies today". He and his mates grew out of it and now he has to do it with his own boys. My mum also use to spray smelly perfume around when he walked in the room. Girls can be the same.

Tina - posted on 01/13/2009

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Join the club my boy will not go near water thinks it not important but spray deodrant like it goin out of business no answers really but they do grow out of it

Michelle - posted on 01/13/2009

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I agree - besides we are supposed to protect our kids - even if they don't feel they need it - if we leave them to their own devices and they end up getting made fun of - doesn't seem like we are doing our job of protecting them. I guess it is just a matter of helping them make a habit of showering/brushing teeth/using deodorant. Some things in life are just non-negotionable - this is one of them! :)

Margaret - posted on 01/12/2009

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In my family I am known as "The NOSE" because I am super sensitive to odors. So living with 3 sons can be quite interesting, to say the least, when it comes to their odors, etc. So, honesty about their smells and basically making it a requirement that they bathe if they smell offenssive has worked quite well for us. In fact, one of my 9 year old twin boys automatically bathes every night even when he doesn't smell! My 14 year old is the one with the main problem and he'll take a shower, sometimes reluctantly, when told to because of his "aroma". I had a friend that used to handle her teenage son's bad hygiene by stating that his friends will tell him when he's too smelly. Since my older son has a friend that is quite "aromatic" because he does a lot of sports and I know, from talking with my son, that no one has ever told this boy that he smells, that waiting for friends to say something isn't/wasn't something I'm willing to wait for. We handle bad breath the same way and tell our boys to go brush and rinse with their flouride. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2009

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We have house rules - one of them is that no one can stink! (I try to be humorous...) Everyone has to bathe every day! Either at night before bed or before they can go to school if they choose not to the day before... It isn't an option to skip - seems to work so far! :) As a result - no stinky boys here!

Danette - posted on 01/12/2009

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My son is the same way, I usually have to tell him to shower, brush, etc or he will go for days without. I think it may be a thing with boys. I have to tell you that taking away something they really like might work like melissa stated below. My son likes to hang out with friends and I don't allow it unless he takes care of himself first so he will do it just so he can go out and play.

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2009

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Nagging is something I think we all find ourselves doing.  Something that can minimize the nagging is developing a system whereby he earns things based on his execution of showering, brushing teeth, etc....  For example, make it understood that he will get one reminder, and if he does not shower, he will not play video games the following day, his choice.  I think doing this helps because it places the responsibility on them...they are ultimately in control of whether or not they get to do the things they want to do.

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