Stress of getting 11 yr old daughter to shower

(35 Posts)
lottie63 Sat 20-Oct-12 20:24:30

I m fed up to the back teeth of having to hassle my 11 yr old DD to keep herself clean. It s a fight to make her shower, she knows she needs to moisturize her skin as she has bad eczema and scratches herself silly. Her bottom, thighs and backs if knees are begining to scar. She refuses to let me moisturize her. Her hair is greasy and she just needs to keep herself clean more. I m at a loss to know what to do. It always ends up in argument and I worry her skin is going to be permanently scarred if she doesnt start taking care of it better.

Any advice gratefully received.

Corygal Sat 20-Oct-12 20:33:15

I really sympathise - it's tricky.

Could you delicately mention the smell rather than the dirt? Because with eczema one does, often, honk a bit, and as for the hormones at that age... (altho family tend not to notice). Try and keep it light - focus on saying things like how nice other people smell and so on.

Is there a possibility she could be depressed? I know that's an obvious thing to say given that poor personal hygiene is a shoo-in for MH issues, but it might be worth a gentle enquiry.

lottie63 Sat 20-Oct-12 20:45:29

I don t think she s depressed. She s always suffered from eczema but it was fine when she was young and I cd moisturize and keep it under control myself. Now she s older she, understandably, doesnt want me to moisturise her. She d just rather watch telly or something else. I thought she d start taking care of herself more at this age and sometimes... Occasionally, she does. But not near often enough. It's wearing me down and I worry about her skin

VivaLeBeaver Sat 20-Oct-12 21:05:17

I've got an 11yo dd soap dodger as well. Dd gets a bit claustrophobic in the shower but doesn't like baths either. She's better if I sit in the bathroom and chat to her while she showers. I got her some nice shower gel from Lush as well which has helped.

botandhothered Sat 20-Oct-12 21:06:38

She will be ok in a couple of years, my daughter was the same, quite a filthy creature from 9 to 13 yrs after then I couldn't get her out of the bathroom! Perhaps you could show her some shock pics of eczema when it's infected? Could you make her shower before breakfast, rather than the evenings when TV is less of a distraction? Ban TV before school?

stargirl1701 Sat 20-Oct-12 21:07:21

Can you get an older cousin to talk with her? My aunt has called me to speak with my cousins if she can't get through to them.

lottie63 Sat 20-Oct-12 21:31:46

Tv s not allowed before school so that s not the issue. I might show her shock pictures though I hope she will grow out of resisting getting washed. I dread to think what it ll be like when periods come along sad

Corygal Sat 20-Oct-12 22:09:54

I'd show her pix. If that doesn't work, take her to the doctor and warn GP what the problem is so that DD can get a lecture from an authority figure.

An 11 year old should be keeping themselves clean and while it's an unusual request, I think GP wd see the necessity for cooperating.

I had awful eczema behind my knees at that age, spent many a delicious hour scratching, and am scar-free, so you should be ok on that front.

Nice bath products help. As everyone points out, it should wear off with age. OTOH you don't want it to get so bad that in the meantime she risks social death at school. If there are any signs of that I would make the GP appt now.

Are her friends cleaner? You could try broaching the subject by explaining how pleasing it is to be with people who are nice to be near, etc. How often does she shower and wash hair?

cece Sat 20-Oct-12 22:17:02

I've had a conversation today with my 11 year old DD about how she needs to wash more as I can smell her.

She rolled her eyes a bit but I'm hoping to see at least a couple of showers/baths next week.

dabdab Mon 22-Oct-12 00:00:47

Sympathies. Another soap dodger in residence here. I find she gets very offended when I mention the smell aspect of it. I use a bit of good cop / bad cop routine, such as 'You absolutely have to take a bath or shower tonight.' 'Shall I put bubble bath in / here is one of the big towels'. What about a trip to Boots to buy a bit of nice stuff to put in the bath? Would she be interested in that?

cynister Mon 22-Oct-12 00:17:28

I have a 15 yr old son who will stand in the shower, but not use soap. His hair always looks greasy, and his feet smell. My xhusband and I have had many conversations with him regarding personal care to no avail. I am not sure if this has anything to do with his Asbergers. I sympathise with you, OP.

lottie63 Mon 22-Oct-12 07:09:38

She has stuff to put in bath tho I get a bit worried about her eczema. Is there anything that would help eczema but is bubblebathy?

DeadTall Mon 22-Oct-12 17:23:27

And another soap dodger DD here too, with very dry skin and rough patches, and now a scalp condition too... sad She resists showers at all costs, but lots of compliments when her hair is nice and shiny and smells good seems to be improving things... We now also try to have set days for showers/baths so she knows when she's expected to wash! I can't remember the last time she washed her face in the mornings, her face cloth is permanently dry. Going to put Lush / Body Shop smellies on her Xmas list!

cece Mon 22-Oct-12 17:49:21

Since my talk yesterday morning about the whiff. DD has had a shower before bed and another this morning before getting dressed grin

lottie63 Tue 23-Oct-12 15:31:10

Well... Something s worked. DD got up at 6:30am to hv a shower this am. She even said she felt so much better after it!

ShaynePunim Wed 24-Oct-12 10:07:33

Same here with 11y-o DD!

Nice toiletries DO help but it still is a struggle. I have decided not to make it an issue unless it becomes too bad (hair so greasy it hurts my eyes ot look at it for example).

As others have said I console myself with the thought she will get out of it one day.

Sad thing is my soap-dodger younger DS never looks or smells dirty to DD can't understand why I'm harassing her more than him over it!

dabdab Thu 25-Oct-12 23:17:44

Another tip: we have a 1x week swim so when she and her sister are showering afterwards I just hand them the shampoo and conditioner. They are already there and wet, so it isn't that much more effort to wash their hair!

dabdab Thu 25-Oct-12 23:19:57

Maybe some bath oils, rather than bubbles for those that are eczema prone. Pain to clean bath after, but moisturising rather than drying.

CointreauVersial Thu 25-Oct-12 23:33:19

DD1, who's 11, will only have a shower if she is frogmarched to the bathroom, and always forgets to wear deodorant. She often whiffs, but just shrugs when I point it out. So I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. But I vaguely remember being the same at that age, until peer pressure at boarding school took effect.

Contrast this with DS (12), who is constantly in the shower, and keeps Lynx in business with the amount he splashes over himself.

Campari Sun 28-Oct-12 13:52:51

You need to be more firm & let her know that bad personal hygiene is unacceptable, not only for her own dignity, but out of respect to other people who are sitting next to her and noticing the smell.

It all very well not wanting to hurt her feelings, but she is 11, she needs to get into the habit of washing herself. Tell her you expect her to bath or shower everyday or you take away pocket money, days out etc. Sounds harsh but she is being lazy & needs sorting out. I did the same with my own kids & they soon got into the habit.

clippityclop Tue 30-Oct-12 19:36:58

Well done, now praise her to the skies! Tell her she's gorgeous, deserves to feel good all the time, and to keep it up or her friends might call her stinky if she doesn't have a scrub every other day or whatever. At our school the headmistress used to give us lectures on the importance of 'being nice to be near' which put the fear of god into me, don't suppose they're allowed to do that these days.

It may be that she would be better having a strip wash and doing her hair over the sink. It's generally not so good for eczema to have a shower or bath every day. Difficult to balance though.

Kbear Tue 30-Oct-12 19:42:59

Sanex Zero is ok for my dd's eczema-y skin - I would buy her a selection of nice products (check for soap free) and deodorants, hair products etc and it might encourage her to shower more.

mathanxiety Mon 05-Nov-12 05:03:28

I just did a lot of screeching when mine baulked at showering at age 10-11. I also picked people up and dragged them to the bathroom. They always refused my offer to help them take their clothes off..
Constant screeching really works.

I took them out shopping and allowed them to choose a deodorant for themselves. Also their own shampoo, conditioner, and soap.

It really helped that they all had a teacher who wasn't one bit shy of making remarks about BO to children in front of the whole class. She used to give them a talk at the start of the year where she outlined the hygiene standards she expected and the consequences for arriving in school smelly, greasy, with dirty fingernails, whiffy clothing and underwear, etc. Thank you Mrs L.

A lot of it is pure laziness at that age, and inability to resist the lure of the tv or the video game/inertia. I agree with Campari there -- forget about the nicey nicey approach. They have to get used to the habit for their own sakes and out of respect for everyone else.

With eczema, a strip wash can be irritating as it often involves a washcloth.

Cool to lukewarm water is often recommended for baths or showers.

nooka Mon 05-Nov-12 05:24:23

My dd isn't too bad, but ds has always needed encouragement. He just doesn't see washing as a priority in life. We just tell them it's shower night, and make sure the chore for the child that's doesn't opt to shower first is something neither of them want to do. Plus no TV/X-box etc. ds feels ever so put upon, but the shower happens so we really couldn't care less.

I can understand a child with eczema being more reluctant because the hassle factor is so much higher. When I was in my early teens I was a bit of soap dodger and had my hair cut really short partly to avoid my mum having a go (greasiness much less obvious with very short hair!)

sandyballs Mon 05-Nov-12 13:05:56

Interesting thread as I also have an 11 year old soap dodger with eczema. She is starting to smell and I've told her many times that she needs to bath every day and apply deodorant but she doesn't seem bothered. She puts deodorant on smelly armpits and wonders why it doesn't work!

JugglingChaotically Mon 05-Nov-12 21:08:49

Have been through this with my 2 eldest DDs. One with skin that reacts to everything and one with better but still not great skin. Not easy.
I went for stick and carrot approach too.
Warm fluffy towels warm bathrooms and E45 bath oil bubbles while I chatted or with music. Equally the sorry, you must now shower, could fry an egg on type hair.
DD2 almost there. And DD1 - still only 13...... I can't get her out of the shower!!
This too will pass.
Good luck!

mathanxiety Tue 06-Nov-12 06:36:15

There is a good book called 'The Care and Keeping of You' by American Girl press. It explains puberty, periods, etc., and also goes into the 'care and keeping' bit, explaining the importance of being clean, developing healthy habits. I recommend it, (along with screeching smile). It is a very positive book, helps girls embrace the changes they are going through and get on top of things.

Madmog Thu 08-Nov-12 10:55:22

My daughter is 11 and for her I think it's more a case of wanting to do something more interesting! At the moment I've settled for a bath/shower every other day and she gets told when she comes in she has to have a bath/shower that night. Now it's getting colder, I've noticed she will now do it straight away and then get cosy in her dressing gown. Inbetween I insist on a wash of hands, face, feet, underarms and between legs with a clean flannel and soap which seems to be working as the pressure if off every night of having to take too much time out. We're lucky in that she doesn't tend to perspire and doesn't smell (yet!).

Theas18 Fri 09-Nov-12 13:24:16

We are just through this, mostly with 13yr old DD2. We resorted to " you smell go shower" I'm afraid!

And no TV/No WII or what ever till you're done (or even dinner will be on the table in 15 mins, that's just enough time for a shower so you smell sweet and lovely at the table!)

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 20:35:51

Showering does not improve eczema, it makes it worse. Tell her to do a sponge bathe of pits and bits

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 20:37:12

wash her hair over the sink if she is super greasy, or maybe a dry shampoo?

feministefatale Wed 23-Jan-13 20:40:55

Ha just noticed how old this thread was, I clicked on the preeteen section and it was in the box that normally discussions of the day!

I am so glad I'm not the only one with a dd that has an aversion to soap and water. I struggle to get dd1 in the bath, her hair is terrible and I've found she smells a bit especially when she's been dancing or has done pe.

I had her hair cut to shoulder length last month which has made things a bit better, she wasn't able to wash it properly as it was bum length and very thick, it's much better and had made bath time less of an ordeal as she doesn't have me in there washing her hair for her.

I still have to nag though. My ds who is 13 spends an hour in the bath everyday so I suppose they do grow out of it.

CambridgeBlue Thu 24-Jan-13 16:21:43

How odd, I have just been having this exact conversation with DD (10)! She's basically lazy and wants an extra 10 mins in bed in the morning but as she's growing up it does notice when she hasn't showered so there's no way round it. She's got lots of nice toiletries that she was given for Xmas, there's a warm towel waiting when she gets out and I've stressed how unpleasant grubby people can be to be around - not sure what else I can do apart from nag so I sympathise with everyone else who's in the same boat!

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