Is it normal for a 7 year old girl to....

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

Some friends of mine went on vacation and I took care of their 7 year old daughter for a week while they were gone. She is a well behaved, curious, smart little girl but I have a few questions about her hygiene. The first night she was here, I sent her off to take a shower. Literally 2 minutes later she emerged from the bathroom and claimed she was done. Her hair was wet but it was obvious she didn't shampoo it (it was still dry in a big spot in the back). I told her that it's impossible she had cleaned herself properly in only 2 minutes. Long story short, I sent her back to re-shower 3 times until I was satisfied she had cleaned at least her hair properly. I thought of getting in the shower with her (with a bathing suit on) but decided this wasn't appropriate so all week I just would smell and feel her hair after her shower and send her back in if necessary. Is this a normal struggle with a 7 year old little girl? I am good friends with her mom but we don't spend a lot of time in their home so I don't know what they are teaching her about hygiene. I just remember that when I was her age, you couldn't get me OUT of the bathroom. She said at home she takes showers but next time she spends the night should I offer her a bath?

Another thing I'm not sure about is also bathroom related. I realized one night that the toilet paper in her bathroom was low so I went and got another roll. The next day while she was at school I noticed that the toilet paper was as I left it...maybe 4 or 5 squares left on one roll and the new roll hadn't been touched. When she got home from school, she went to the bathroom and I went in after her....and still the tp hadn't been touched. I asked her if she had wiped and she lied. I told her that I knew she wasn't telling the truth and showed her the new roll of tp. I gave her a few baby wipes and told her to clean herself and wash her hands. Is it normal for a girl her age to not wipe?

I'm not trying to be a picky person and I don't want to overstep any boundaries with my friend as far as how she's raising her daughter. But in my house we shower daily and we always wipe and wash our hands. I just wanted to see if it's normal for kids (girls in particular) to go through this "unclean" phase? Other than these two issues she was a joy to have in my home.

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Rhiannon - posted on 02/26/2011




She sounds just like my daughter who will trying anything to get away with doing the bare minimum i often have to send her back to the shower because she didn't wash her hair, or send her back to brush her teeth because she has only used water.

I bet if you asked her mum she would tell you that she does wash every night at home she was proably just trying it on because her parents wern't there x

Erica - posted on 02/26/2011




My son is 11 and still have to check sometimes if he washed his hair....LOL. I do agree sometimes they are so worried about what they are going to miss while they are in there they forget what needs to why they are in the shower in the first place. I like the idea of sitting on the toilet and giving her the shampoo and body wash so you know it is being done. I also would talk to the mom, if you are true friends she will understand you concern and not take it badly.

Samantha - posted on 02/26/2011




i remember when i was little i had a similar problem with hair washing......until my mums friend who babysat for me taught me the "squeaky clean" method. basically its pulling your hair through your fingers till you hear it squeak. she said thats how you know your hair is free of shampoo and that its worked for me cus i spent ages trying to make my hair squeak (which being young is always a giggle..) as for the tp issue. is she raised in a house with boys??? i ask because they dont wipe their private parts and i did that too for a while i stood up and shook my bum to airdry lol i couldnt understand why i had to wipe and boys could just shake... wasnt till i was about 10 and had gf over for sleepover and they all thought it was hilarious. i stopped doing it then cus i didnt want to be different from my friends.

[deleted account]

Thank you so much for the replies! Part of me was worried that I was putting adult expectations on her but what it boils down to is that I just don't know what's "normal" for a 7 year old. Next time she stays with me, which will be off and on through out the summer because her parents both work full time, I'll just try to give her more reminders about the wiping and washing of the hands. I think I'll do the bath for her also, instead of a shower. That way I think it would be ok for me to be in there with her and help her wash her hair. As for the lying, she only lied that one time about wiping and I think maybe she was afraid I would make her do it again (like with the shower)...which I did lol. Thanks again for the replies ladies :)

On another note, I'm really glad I got to keep her for that week. It gave me a small taste of what it would be like with two kids. I really liked it! Although mine would be closer in age (my son is 19 months old) if I got pregnant now.....still, it was nice.

Wendy - posted on 05/19/2009




Well...I have a soon to be 7 year old girl and she has similar issues. I stand outside the shower and make sure her hair is wet then I pour shampoo in her hand and let her suds it up. Then I do the same with the body wash. My daughter frequently does not wipe or wipe well enough. It's a constant battle. Not sure why she has this issue other than being in a hurry. I often ask and remind her about wiping. good luck!

Sheryl - posted on 05/19/2009




First off....Good on you for taking her in while her parents get a little vacation time together!! YEAH FRIENDS!! I hope you get your turn soon too....Next, Kids need CONSTANT reminders. I think it's all part of what we call "training our children". Just last night, I was asking my 8 and 9 year old sons if they washed their hair in the shower to which both of them said "YES" and then when I smelled their hair and asked did you use shampoo? they looked at me like "why would we do that, we used water? " Drives me to laughter. I am constantly reminding them to do the simplest of things, so I really think it is just part of teaching and have to keep asking the questions and sending them back to do it again if need be. I think kids will always want to take short cuts and try and do the least amount possible and then move on to the next thing, so I think the little 7 year old girl is completely normal and you have every right to ask the questions and then make her get back in and wash her hair properly or wipe properly if it wasn't done.

Now the part I would be concerned about was her lying to you. I am sure she was embarrassed but lying is an issue of the heart and I would be sure and address that issue so that it doesn't cause any mistrust between you and her.

Amie - posted on 05/19/2009




It might be that at home she's not doing these things completely on her own yet? Do you know? My 8 year old LOVES to shower though up until this year she wasn't allowed to have them because she plays so much in there that it was a serious waste of water waiting for her to get herself cleaned up.

I would try offering her the bath next time and just sit in there with her or check on her every so often to make sure she's washing up. That way no wasted water and if she wants to play she can.

As for the TP issue. I really don't know on that one from any experience of my own. My kids were all taught how to wipe, flush and wash their hands when they were taught to potty train and all do fine with it now. Even our 4 1/2 yr old son. (though with him it's more an over use of the TP that is our problem lol.)

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