14 Yr. Old GIRL refuses to cleanse herself... why????

Karen - posted on 08/15/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 14 year old daughter throws a fit if she is asked to take a shower. She has never been thrilled about it, but over the last few months it has become more and more of a fight. It doesn't matter how dirty she is or how long it has been. For example, she started working with horses a lot this summer for 10-12 hours a day... as well as spending a week at a time at a horse camp (4 times throughout the summer). Needless to say, she stinks when she comes in! We would say hi to her, ask how her day/week was, hear any stories she was dying to tell, and then tell her she needed to jump in the shower. At this point, she would go into "Why?"... well duh! It would be at least half an hour of fighting (if her dad told her, twice that if I told her) before she would finally get in the shower... meanwhile, she's sitting on the couch or laying on her bed (she shares a room with her sister). And her feet stink bad enough, on a normal day, to fill our entire house... no joke. She refuses to wash her feet or put powder, etc. in her shoes or socks. Last time she came home from camp her bags, sleeping bag, etc. stunk up the house and she refused to do anything with them. She doesn't care if she is on her period... she has complained that her belly button stinks and has "liquid" coming from it (which appears to be a slight infection from the dirt). She has gone so far as to bribe her little sister to tell us she took a shower while we were gone so that she didn't have to actually do it.

We don't allow it... we continue on her until it's done... she gets her phone, tv, etc. taken away. But it starts again the next time we ask her to take a shower. Yesterday it was seriously "I took a bath yesterday, why do I need to take one EVERY DAY????" (She is only asked to when we are going somewhere as a family, she comes home from sports practice or the horses, or if it's been more than 48 hours... It's not like it's a requirement first thing every morning just to sit in the house all day).

I know all kids go through this, boys especially... but a 14 year old girl? My 13 year old girl has to have a shower daily or she goes crazy. Even my 10 year old boys actually ask for one every now and then!!! Even stranger... she wants to wear makeup, name brand/in style clothes, etc.

Any suggestions?

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Cindy - posted on 08/15/2009

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um you are her mom, and she currently lives under your roof. If she runs away the cops will bring her back to you. Putting down the law "TAKE A FRIGGING SHOWER" is not child abuse. So...

Use your outside voice, and lay down the law. Take away EVERYTHING FROM HER until she takes a shower twice a day everyday. Unless she has a job and pays rent and utilities - guess what...YOU OWN HER.

Be her mom not her friend.

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Jen - posted on 04/26/2012

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She's probably just embarrassed. My daughter didn't shower regularly (every day) until she was in seventh grade. Before that she took a bath once every two weeks. And she wore makeup ever since age 10.

Kate CP - posted on 08/16/2009

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There is a condition called Ablutophobia which is specifically the fear of bathing or cleaning. It has nothing to do with the fear of water which is called Hydrophobia. I would contact a psychiatrist and ask for their recommendation.

Karen - posted on 08/16/2009

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As I have said... we don't allow it. We stay on her until she is in the shower and I even "conveniently have to use the bathroom" while she is in there to make sure she really is IN the shower. I wouldn't guarantee she is washing but I think actually watching her bath would be going a little too far! We do make her stand in the living room, dining room, kitchen, etc... she will usually get irritated and stomp off with the usual "I know, I'm going." in her snotty little tone... then go lay on her bed. We give her about 30 seconds to get to the shower before we are checking her room and then it's the same "I know". After about 20 min. of this, she will finally get in the shower.

You're right, I am her mom. But my question was not what to do each time she refuses... I have that part covered. My question was "How do I get it to stop?" and "Why is she doing this?" She is not afraid of bathing... loves swimming, etc. Just wants to be dirty. She is now even making it a point to comment on things that smell good and say it stinks... I bought new air fresheners and she swears the smell is so bad (same scent I have always had in the house) that she wants to puke... her sister used mouth wash the other day and she swore she couldn't stand the smell of it in the bathroom.. When she took off her shoes the other night and we told her they needed to go to the garage and she needed to wash her feet, she asked "How do you know it's not your own?" with a nasty attitude... uh... because we still had our shoes on!!!

Kate CP - posted on 08/16/2009

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Well, there is actually a condition where people are afraid of bathing. It's really rare but if you ask her why she doesn't want to take a shower what's her answer? I would make an appointment to see your GP and take her in. Have the doctor explain to her WHY she needs to bathe. Tell her she's not allowed to touch anything in the house until she's bathed: no sitting on YOUR furniture, no laying on any one's bed, if she wants to lay on her bed she has to put a tarp down first. No make-up until she can bathe herself every day. Can you imagine the kinds of skin infections and eye infections she would get by using make-up every day and NOT bathing at the same time? Yikes!

Google "skin yeast infections" and have her study the results (trust me, it's gross). I have a friend who is a nurse and she told me a FABULOUS story that makes me want to shower every time I think about it...

A woman who was highly over weight and in a coma of sorts came in to her extended care wing one day. They noticed she had a funny smell about her but figured she just needed a bath and had an aid come give her a sponge bath. A few days later she down right STANK and they couldn't figure out why. Turns out the aid hadn't done a very good job at bathing the woman and she had maggots MAGGOTS living in the folds of her skin under her breasts, between her buttocks, and in the folds of fat in her back and stomach. It's important to bathe...

Jill - posted on 08/15/2009

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It probably is just a stage but i mean if she doesn't want to take a bath it is unsanitary to go with out one i mean if she doesn't want to take a bath take her by all the homeless people that don't have water to get clean and ask is this how you picture yourself in 5 year. Taking a bath is the most important thing you can do if we don't get a bath then no one would live past 25 because of all the infections.

Christina - posted on 08/15/2009

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could she just be looking for some attention? maybe have a girly spa day at home, just the two of you. after she showers you can do her hair, teach her how to put on makeup, do mini-facials or your nails.

if she won't listen to you, take her to the doc and have them explain the importance of cleanliness.

Rebecca - posted on 08/15/2009

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tell her when she is old enough to shower everyday then she will be old enough for makeup.

also teach her the importance of a clean body.

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