17yr old Daughter won't wash!

(82 Posts)
mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:08:51

I have battled with my daughter all her life about washing. When she was little bath time was a nightmare with lots of screaming and tears.

She is now 17 yrs old, working and growing into a lovely young lady. She has lots of good qualities and I am proud of her, her bedroom is a tip but I understand that is just a teenage thing and I just close the door on it.

I can't, however, ignore the poor personal hygiene. If I didn't nag her then I'm sure she wouldn't shower at all. Sometimes she will go a whole week if I let my guard down and that includes the weeks that she has her period :-(

Her hair is long and is visibly greasy and she smells of BO and just dirty ness. If she leaves her bedroom door open you can smell it as you come up the stairs. Her work uniform is worn 6 days a week and she only parts with it occasionally for me to wash, yes the same top and trousers for 6+ days.

I have two other children, one older and one younger than DD and all of us including my husband shower every day.

I have compromised and said that every other day is ok but she will not have it. When I talk to her gently, kindly, tactfully or whatever, she says that I'm just being horrible and its horrible to say that someone is dirty etc!

Help, am I being unreasonable, I hate to think that others may be talking behind her back because they can smell her.

ZZZenagain Thu 25-Apr-13 11:13:03

I don't know what to do about it. When did she stop having regular daily washes? If it has become entrenched to live like this, it may take time to turn it around.

I suppose she will hate it but you will have to tell her that she smells of BO, blood, grease and that everyone around her can smell it.

Is there some reason why she doesn't actually want to wash?

SignoraStronza Thu 25-Apr-13 11:22:01

You need to lay out on the line. Not the time for tact or diplomacy. She needs to know that she stinks, it won't be long before her boss/colleagues/friends say something and, yes she might say you're being horrible but not as horrible as she is too be around.

My six year old is a little grimwad given half a chance, but I have no qualms about nagging her to get in the shower and explain quite clearly why being filthy is not acceptable.

mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:23:40

I can't remember when it started it seems to have always been this way, I suppose since I started trusting her to do it herself.

I have told her that she smells and that when I put her clothes in the wash I can smell them. If she's in a bad mood then she says that I am being horrible and just having a go at her, if she's in a good mood she laughs!

And the reason is laziness, she says that she just can't be bothered.
She starts work at mid day and lays in bed until the last minute then literally gets out of bed and puts the dirty work uniform off her bedroom floor on and goes out the door.

She was supposed to shower this morning and I have nagged her and she just won't get up. It's now 11.21pm and too late to shower.

dontmeanto Thu 25-Apr-13 11:24:50

Right, here's what you do:

When I was that age I was pretty freaked out by illness/disease. So I would google and then print out information on things she could come down with by having poor hygiene.

Things like scabies, pubic lice, trachoma, etc.

Maybe if she realised she's putting herself at risk of getting some weird conditions it will freak her out enough to wash.

It sounds like she might either have massively low self-esteem or washing/water phobia. Might need help from a GP if she's that reluctant.

How is she confidence-wise?

mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:34:15

Her confidence is good, she works in a shop and is very good with the customers, her boss is very pleased with her and is giving her more responsibility.

I just want her to take pride in herself, she's not a girly girl and that's fine, she can be grumpy but she can also be a good fun, that's completely normal, she's a typical teenager except for this one thing.

My son who is 15 can't understand it, he says "why is she like that none of the rest of us are".


Surely work must have said something to her? If she works in a shop she's breaking her contract!

ajandjjmum Thu 25-Apr-13 11:55:53

I'm surprised no-one at work has spoken to her - not a nice conversation, but we've had to do it.

I don't think you can give up nagging though OP, this is going to really hold her back personally and career wise.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 12:08:32

I shall out myself as a self-confessed bath dodger here <waves wiffy pit>. I've always been that way. I could think of better ways to spend my time, quite frankly. The only time that changed was when I worked in an office and when I was pregnant. Then I was clean as a whistle. But now I work from home I can easily stink up the joint for days on end. It is a running joke in my family.

So now I am the self-appointed spokesperson for BO Anonymous <stinky and proud> I'd like to stand up for your daughter. Back off a bit. If she wants to be a smelly beast, what's the harm? All it will take is a boyfriend making a comment about it and she'll be in that bath quicker than you can say Imperial Leather.

Bonsoir Thu 25-Apr-13 12:11:25

Tell her that you refuse to house her unless her personal hygiene (including her room) do not improve. You are doing her no kindnesses by tolerating this.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 12:41:40

That's it. Threaten to kick her out. That will foster healthy associations with staying clean. Good one.

mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 12:51:45

Well sheshelob, thanks for your honesty lol

ajandjjmum Thu 25-Apr-13 12:54:05

Wow Sheshelob - three minutes out of the day for a quick shower - 5 minutes to throw in a quick hairwash - why wouldn't you? How that can be a 'joke' is beyond me. Glad I'm not in your family! grin

Bunbaker Thu 25-Apr-13 12:58:42

"If she wants to be a smelly beast, what's the harm?"

Well it isn't very nice for everyone else who lives in that house is it?

Cerisier Thu 25-Apr-13 13:03:09

I agree with Bonsoir, you are doing her no favours tolerating this. She is fit and well and is perfectly capable of standing under a shower for 10 minutes a day. She also has easy access to a washing machine so she has no excuse for dirty clothes.

I am surprised her friends don't say something to her. How do they cope with hanging out in her smelly bedroom?

I am another one wondering when work will take her aside and say someone has complained. Will she just laugh that off too?

I would be reminding her at 10pm to go and have a shower. Or I would be insisting on a morning shower. No shower then she moves out.

In our house you don't even sit on the sofa if you are grimy, you immediately go for a shower and put on clean clothes.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 25-Apr-13 13:04:07

Having a tip of a bedroom is not a 'teenage thing'. It's a teenager being allowed to get away with living in a pigsty. I would sit dd down and have a serious talk with her, no namby pamby fannying ab

FFS fostering health whatever. She stinks. You are neither going to send her OCD by nagging her or cause her to never wash again.

Tell her that she stinks and to live y see your roof she needs to remedy this.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 25-Apr-13 13:04:48

out or beating around the bush. It's gross, she needs a firm talking to.

TheRealFellatio Thu 25-Apr-13 13:06:07

I think she is so used to you being the one to tell her that a pattern has been set of her ignoring or defying you on a principle. I hate to say this but what she needs is for some of her peer group to start taking the mickey out of her a bit, or saying 'God, you stink!' If she's interested in boys and they won't touch her because she's manky that should be the kick up the butt that she needs.

Is she she completely neuro-typical or does she have any behavioural/oppostional issues? This could be some weird kind of control/comfort thing for her.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 13:12:02

<removes stinky socks and throws them at thread>

So no takers for my support group, then? There's a free bar of soap for everyone who joins to grow dusty on the shelf

everythinghippie29 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:15:28

I was a grungy teen with very much the same issue. My friends were all similar in our hoodies and baggy jeans. I don't think il ever be a pristine princess but I did grow out of it.

I found my mums comments at the time cruel and hurtful and I did feel bullied ( although looking back I see she was only trying to help). prehaphs buy some funky body wash and nice shampoos, (dry shampoos might be a nice way to start off and ease her in) for your daughter and see if this gives her incentive to try it out. It was only really when I became a little more fashion confident and picked some punky girl idols that I started to make more of an effort. Not sure if your daughters case would be exactly the same but encouraging role models that are accessible to her and not being too critical ( even if that is difficult) she will probably come around. wink

TheRealFellatio Thu 25-Apr-13 13:15:54

Sheshelob re: your post further upthread - ARE YOU SERIOUS?

How did you even get someone to impregnate you? Jeez. shock

TheRealFellatio Thu 25-Apr-13 13:16:51

Wearing grungey fashions and messy hair etc, is hardly the same thing as refusing to wash for days and days on end.

everythinghippie29 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:17:06

Sheshelob, I still induldge in my Lister from Red Dwarf slovenly days. I hear ya sista'

Is she depressed? How is her self esteem? Self worth?

Laquila Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:05

Sheshelob I feel you. Everyone's different. I generally have a bath or shower every other day but because I have ridiculous curly thick hair that takes at least three hours to dry I only generally wash my hair every few days - it's just too time-consuming otherwise!

My husband has to shower at least once a day, otherwise he is waaaay too fruity to be in normal society (manual labourer so not surprising he sweats a lot) but it by much annoys him that even if I didn't shower for three days I still wouldn't seem all anywhere near as bad as him.

If you ask me, personal hygiene is just that - very personal - and it's not fair to judge everyone by the same standards.

OP, I do feel your pain on this one and I'm afraid I don't have any miracle suggestions but I think she will probably grow out of it. As someone upthread said, all it will take is for a boyfriend to so much as mention it and she'll soon change her tune. Either that or she'll find an equally casual boyfriend, either way she'll be OK smile

everythinghippie29 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:13

TherealFellatio, if you read my full post I said that I was into grunge AND had very much the same issue. Not sure which was cause and which was effect though! Either way I was certainly a bath dodger like OP's daughter for quite some time...

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:39

<high fives hippie> Yes!

Fellatio I know, right? Because I obviously never wash. Never. Not before sex or work or parties or weddings or funerals. I don't even know how a tap works.

He impregnated me the usual way. With a clothes peg on his nose. And his eyes watering.

forevergreek Thu 25-Apr-13 13:26:52

I would also have a proper sit down and chat about it

It isn't pleasent for anyone. She could loose job over it, friends, or get ill more often.

Now the warmer weather is approaching it will only get worse. It's literally 3 mins to jump in howler and wash. Add 15 mins if washing and drying hair

LeChatRouge Thu 25-Apr-13 13:28:42

How about a shopping trip, not only to increase her work wardrobe, but also stock up on some nice goodies for shower/bath/perfume? Does she like that god awful shop Lush? Bath bombs?

I think you need to be a little firmer as well, however hard this may be. Tonight tell her that you've had enough, on her next day off you will both be tackling her room together, give it a good clear out and a spring clean. Tell her from now on, she has to get up at a normal time and that she must both shower and rotate her daily clothes. Open the window every morning, make her bed etc. No arguing. Even at her age you might have to shut off the Internet or something to show her you are serious.

Does she have friends round?

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 13:29:26

<bumps fists with Lalquila> Love it.

That's two bath dodgers. I might get my deposit back on the hall at this rate.

Any more? Surely there must be more stinky sisters out there.

TheRealFellatio Thu 25-Apr-13 13:30:48

But it's all very well saying you wash before sex and parties, but if you don't generally wash the rest of the time and you admit to 'stinking up the place for days' then franky I'm surprised you are invited to have sex or go to parties in the first place. What you are doing is anti-social and ufair on those who are forced to be around you. I don't know how you can treat it as some kind of joke. It's minging.

SeventiesBush Thu 25-Apr-13 13:36:54

Maybe you could point out that she probably won't notice the smell so much because she's surrounded by it all the time, but everyone else will have done, and they will talk about her behind her back. I worked somewhere where someone had really bad BO and the boss even bought him a new shirt when they had to have a client meeting. He was oblivious though.

I worked with a woman who never washed either and always had greasy hair and grubby clothes - she liked to maintain that her looks had nothing to do with her ability to do her job; no one cared what she looked like, but she stank!

She needs to understand it's just something everyone needs to do, like teeth-brushing (she does brush her teeth, right...?). She needs to make it a habit, like everyone else, and it'll only take a few minutes every day.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 13:37:39

Your right. Again. I should have an AS B.O.

mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:38:49

everythinghippie29 she bought herself some dry shampoo and said "yay now I don't need to wash my hair!"

Pattieofurniture not depressed as far as I know

SeventiesBush Thu 25-Apr-13 13:39:19

Also, why does she only have one work uniform, can't she get at least a second set of work clothes?

mrsm68 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:44:06

SeventiesBush I have told her to ask for more uniform but she they haven't got any. And yes, she's does brush her teeth lol phew!

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 25-Apr-13 13:47:47

Going back to what Felly said, does she have any behavioural/oppositional issues? Could she be depressed? Lack of self-care can sometimes go hand in hand with depressive episodes.

Does she make the most of herself in other ways? Is she interested in clothes, makeup? Could it be that she's using the lack of hygiene as a way of keeping people/relationships at arm's length, sort of avoiding growing up?

SeventiesBush Thu 25-Apr-13 13:51:02

I think you might have to forget the diplomatic approach and just say something like

"Look, I've tried to say this nicely, but it's obviously not getting through to you. I'm not calling you dirty to be horrible, I'm saying it because I love you and I hate the idea that people are talking about you behind your back, which they will be doing, because you smell really, really bad. Your hair smells, your armpits smell, your clothes smell and your bedroom smells. Everyone needs to wash every day, it's as simple as that. It takes a few minutes to have a shower, you need to build it into your routine. If you want I can get you out of bed 5 minutes earlier so you can go straight into the shower in the morning".

pickledginger Thu 25-Apr-13 13:52:32

Could you buy her a shower cap and some Mitchum deodorant and say that she needs to shower at least twice a week and do her hair at least once a week and in return you will bite your tongue and stop nagging about it.

Remind her that you love her and you're telling her because other people won't say anything to her face about it. Thought her boss probably will if this carries on over the summer.

lljkk Thu 25-Apr-13 14:33:00

It sounds like the only people in her life who have a problem with it is her family. She's fine at work, fine at school, presumably has lots of friends.

I know you didn't ask, but YABU.

ajandjjmum Thu 25-Apr-13 17:32:39

But you can only rely on family to be honest lljkk - we don't know she has lots of friends - and I certainly wouldn't assume that.

Must be hard OP.

Does she work full time OP?

If so the company are obliged to provide more than one set of uniform. she needs to chase it up.

livinginwonderland Thu 25-Apr-13 18:20:23

I know I went through a bit of a manky phase, but I was about 12/13, not 17. It was because my hormones kicked in and all of a sudden I had greasy hair and acne, but I didn't connect that with needing to shower more often for a few months. But at 17, that's not really a reason, it's just plain laziness/nastiness.

I agree with the people who've said to take her shopping for nice bath stuff - soaps, bubble baths, etc. It might encourage her to actually get in the shower so she can try them out. Otherwise, I don't see what else you can do - if she meets a boy, she'll be in the shower pretty much straight away - maybe you could set her up on a date?!

specialsubject Thu 25-Apr-13 18:31:26

your house, your rules. As diplomacy has evidently failed:

'you are stinking out my house and you are really unpleasant to be around. When you have your own place you can do what you want. While you live in my house you bath or shower every day. And you are also risking losing your job, as your boss is no doubt trying to work up the courage to give you a warning. you must be revolting the customers.

desert island behaviour for those who live on one. Hope the smelly woman is joking, I also cannot understand why anyone would have sex with her.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 18:49:04

I'm not actually joking. I don't bathe every day. I didn't bathe this morning. But I will bathe tomorrow because I have a meeting. And I'm not even going to have sex with them. But given how clean I will be, I'm not sure how they will resist.

But in the meantime, I shall enjoy stewing in my own personal marinade

<wafts armpit in direction of special>

grassalwayslooksgreener Thu 25-Apr-13 19:06:10

I agree with Sheshelob I don't bathe everyday I just don't have the time. When I've finished doing everything I need to do for the day I'd rather sit and chill.

But I do have the excuse that we don't have a shower and the bath takes ages to run.

I do wash twice a day though. But it is also a running joke in my family ;)

LJBrownie Thu 25-Apr-13 19:22:09

I couldn't be bothered with too much showering when I was a teenager. Just sprayed deodorant on top of stinky clothes. I wasn't depressed, was generally happy and went on to live a reasonably successful and slightly cleaner life. It seemed to be some kind of inherent laziness. I think she's far too old for talk about "not tolerating this" etc. Let her make her own choices, she'll grow out of it (at least a bit...)

njaw Thu 25-Apr-13 19:23:25

I think it falls into two seperate categories.

- Her personal hygiene as it relates to her work and her relationships with others
- Her hygiene as it relates to your home.

I get that one does to some degree cross into the other but with 17 year olds, its kind of about boundaries. I think its important for you to have clear rules that it's not acceptable for her room to stink and for that to have an impact on her family.

If she pays rent, it goes up by x amount to cover the cost of a cleaner/your intervention. If she's not paying rent, you just remove home cooked meals until such time as she falls into line with the rest of the family as regards to cleanliness.

And then for the other side, you have to bite down hard, accept you can take a horse to water but not make it shower (a pun, not calling DD a horse honest!) and leave her to come to it of her own accord. I would personally be tempted to maybe have a spa session/home pampering session to see if you can make her feel really good about herself in the meantime.

LJBrownie Thu 25-Apr-13 19:31:41

I would have been highly amused if my mum had thought a nice shopping trip for 'lovely smellies' was a good idea and it would not have made me wash more. In fact, I'd have found it very weird! I think that for the majority of very clean people, it's just really hard to imagine that some of us choose to be a bit dirtier so you imagine there must be a deep, dark reason beyond general laziness. Even now I don't usually shower every day when I'm not at work. Perfume is my friend smile

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 20:48:15

Well hello Brownie and Grass! I knew some other reasonable smelly people would come and speak sense eventually!

Hygiene is a spectrum, not a dichotomy. I am absolutely startled that some of you take it so seriously that you think it is a reasonable response to threaten to evict her/charge her a stink tax/humiliate her/examine her for mental illness. She's a bit stinky. Who cares? She obviously doesn't.

And in my day (the 90s) she would have been all the rage. And had a boyfriend called swampy.

njaw Thu 25-Apr-13 20:55:25

Stink tax? Its called giving her a choice. She can choose not to wash but it's not right for her to inflict her lack of hygiene on others. Therefore she can keep her room clean enough that it doesn't have an impact on others OR choose not to and if she won't do it, pay for someone to do it for her.

Choice and consequence - teaching her how to be an adult.

Sheshelob Thu 25-Apr-13 22:04:53

Oh. Being an adult. How does that go again?

I'm not sure ultimati are particularly grown up, nor making a teenager feel uncomfortable in her own home. If it were really a problem, do you not think her teenaged mates - a demographic not know for their tact - would have told her.

This thread is silly.

<airs rancid arsecrack for no apparent reason>

ripsishere Fri 26-Apr-13 02:55:36

Coming late to this. I shower twice a day, since it's so hot here (Malaysia). DD who is 12 next week showers in the morning, swims in the evening.
I honestly can't imagine spraying perfume over the stench of unwashed bodies and hair.
Surely the OPs DD must be depressed?

toffeelolly Fri 26-Apr-13 03:04:09

Why does she still work in a shop people must smell her, if she were my daughter i would be getting her help. Does not sound normal for a 17 year old girl.

TheRealFellatio Fri 26-Apr-13 03:56:48

Sheshelob you are sounding like a teenager trying to be outrageous for attention. I completely agree that hygiene is a spectrum - I am not a smelly/sweaty person by nature and if I missed a day showering for some reason it would not be the ned of the world and no-one would be able to tell. Some people could not do that - they'd be unpleasant to be around within hours. But if I missed three days it would be an issue.

I am amazed that you don't seem to think it matters if you stink. It may not matter to you but it certainly does matter to the other poor people who have no choice but be around you. I hope to god you don't work for a living.

You seem to think it's some kind of joke, or badge of honor. It isn't. And it was NEVER, EVER 'all the rage' as you put it, to have BO. the idea was to look grungey and dishevelled in oyur style of clothing, not to smell like a rancid old tramp with filthy fingernails and minging genitals. You are sounding like a selfish idiot and slightly unhinged.

TheRealFellatio Fri 26-Apr-13 04:08:49

And if you really are as bad as you are implying then I think you should be very careful that you do not inflict your awful standards onto your poor children, who will get picked on for being the class 'fleabags' or the 'smelly kids'.

If they grow up thinking it is normal to not wash much and to wear filthy clothes and have the same bedsheets on for months at a time, or no bedsheets at all, (if what you say about your personal hygiene is not a wind-up then I imagine your standards at home are pretty grim as well) they will go through hell at school before they are old enough to cahnge things for themselves.

I may be being particularly easily wound up by you but I am extremely irritated by the fact that you think can brush this off as other people not being 'reasonable' or 'sensible' you are tying to defend the indefensible and making yourself sound like a jerk.

Sheshelob Fri 26-Apr-13 09:14:35

Woah, Fellatio. For someone with a "comedy" name you sure lack a sense of humour.

I think you are being too easily wound up by this, and by me. I was making light of a situation because I think others are overreacting. My first post was a light hearted attempt to say to the OP that perhaps her DD having a personal hygiene problem isn't the end of the world. I wasn't expecting the reaction it got. I think it was pretty clear from my tone that I was being playful, but apparently a matter a serious as personal hygiene does not allow for humour.

But I'm afraid that my reaction to people taking themselves too seriously is either to tell them to fuck off, or to take the piss out of them. I chose the latter.

I am being completely serious here: if you were one of those kids who was picked on for being smelly, I am really sorry. Your last post makes it sound like you have personal experience of it, which would explain your massive over-reaction to my posts.

Let's leave it now. I've got to wash my hair.

Laquila Fri 26-Apr-13 09:35:14

Sheshelob I think you have stayed remarkably calm on this thread given that a) you were trying to play things down for the OP/empathise with her daughter; b) you've been called "a selfish idiot", a "jerk", "seriously unhinged"; and c) compared to "a rancid old tramp with filthy fingernails and mingling genitals"!

OP, I think the one thing you can definitely take away from this thread is that as others have said, hygiene is a spectrum. Elizabeth I apparently only bathed once a year, and she was famously fairly successful in life (although no-one ever impregnated her, thinking about it...) Some people have (to my mind) an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness, which at the far end of the spectrum can end up being a problem, OCD-wise, and no-one wants that. Some people at the other end of the spectrum can definitely have an equally unhealthy approach, particularly if their lack of hygiene leads to infection, ostracization (sp?) or similar.

My point is that she will probably grow out of it, and if her friends aren't mentioning it and she isn't the butt of nasty comments then it might not even be as bad as you think. Not to play down your worries, but it may be that you feel it's more of an issue partially because you've been trying for so long and so hard to rectify it. I think you've done all you can do for now, and just have to let it work itself out. You sound like a good mum smile

Sheshelob Fri 26-Apr-13 10:00:47

^^YES, Laquila!

The reaction has been pretty extreme for what in the grander scheme of things is not a big deal. But I guess the mere thought of filth makes some of the Dettol Collective start to itch.

The tramp one made me laugh the most. She actually gave the state of my genitals some serious thought! I guess I should be flattered...?

vitaminC Fri 26-Apr-13 10:02:52

Ugh. I can sympathise as my 14yo DD is exactly the same. Right down to hating bathtime as a child.
We were asked to leave waterbabies after 3 sessions when she was a few months old as she screamed blue murder the second any water touched her skin!

I don't have any advice but I'm hoping those who have said she'll grow out of it are right. I'm actually pretty embarrassed by her to be honest blush

mrsm68 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:12:01

Laquila you said:
"My point is that she will probably grow out of it, and if her friends aren't mentioning it and she isn't the butt of nasty comments then it might not even be as bad as you think. Not to play down your worries, but it may be that you feel it's more of an issue partially because you've been trying for so long and so hard to rectify it. I think you've done all you can do for now, and just have to let it work itself out. You sound like a good mum"

You are right, no one has mentioned it and it is probably the fact that I have battled for so long and had expected her to have grown out of it by now that makes it seems so much worse.

To everyone else, thanks so much for your input even you 'stinky' ones lol.

To update you: I sort of lost it with her yesterday, told her that I wasn't putting up with it etc. She showered last night without a mention and this morning she has gone off on a driving lesson and I said that when she gets back if she tidies her room then I will polish and hoover it. She was reluctant at first but then agreed.

It probably won't last but it's a step in the right direction, I just need to keep the momentum going.

Sheshelob Fri 26-Apr-13 10:14:43

Stinkies at your service, Mrs.

Hope you find some common ground soon.

Laquila Fri 26-Apr-13 10:25:27

Sounds like a good results, mrsm68, well done! Hell I can't remember the last time I polished anything - am off to attack something with a duster...

LeChatRouge Fri 26-Apr-13 11:45:59

mrsm that sounds like progress.
I read on here once something wise. That teenagers are very much like toddlers and despite being our height and old enough to drive/marry/vote, are actually craving boundaries and guidance. They just can't articulate it. So, you putting your foot down might create an argument (or not), but it also might be just what she wanted.

mrsm68 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:43:36

Phew, just finished her bedroom, it took 3 hours but we hoovered every nook and cranny and did lots of sorting and chucking.

It looks lovely in there and DD said "it looks like an IKEA showroom in my bedroom" bless her.

Thanks again everyone x

specialsubject Fri 26-Apr-13 15:06:41

excellent news! The air is fresher already. :-)

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 15:18:25

Yay! I wonder if she'd get a second uniform if you'd pay for it? Or let her off whatever she chips in for 'keep' to match the cost?

TheRealFellatio Fri 26-Apr-13 17:17:24

I apologise Sheshelob I am afraid I was a bit rude to you. Although I saw the humour in what you wrote I did think (and sort of still do) that you were completely serious about your point - which is that it doesn't matter if you smell; it's ok to not wash. You made some jokey flippant comments about you 'rancid arse crack' and your 'stinky pits' 'stinking up the joint for days' and how it is a running joke in your family. I tactfully suggest to you that you may think it's a 'running joke' but if others who love you have noticed and commented, then you can rest assured that others who don't love you will be being less kind.

Now perhaps you were hamming it up a bit and all of the above in not really true, in which case you played your part a bit too well and I missed the irony. But if they are true, then personally I could not bear to think of people laughing at me being my back for smelling, and I also could not bear to think that I was causing others a degree of discomfort and embarrassment when in my company, but hey, if you are ok with that then carry on. confused

I was never the smelly kid thankfully, but I have seen what happens to the poor children of very slovenly adults with low standards at school and it is not pleasant. I've seen an entire family of six kids with ears so black with mank you could scrape it off with a spoon, and with school uniform that they clearly slept in of days on end, stinking of piss, because their mother and father just didn't think it was a big deal, so long as they had lots of love to give. hmm

I am not a member of the Dettol Collective, or whatever you called it - I bathe or shower once a day as a rule but I will occasionally skip a day without having a nervous breakdown over it. There is a balance, you know, between being an obsessive clean freak and having BO for days on end.

Anyway, I apologise if I was unnecessarily rude, and let's beg to differ.

Sheshelob Fri 26-Apr-13 18:12:49

Apology accepted. I'm sorry I was such a goady old bastard.

I was being ironic. I don't smell but I am known as someone who proudly doesn't bathe everyday, hence the pride in being a bath dodger. I have always been that way and my family think it is funny that I haven't changed my socks.

I'm glad you weren't a child who was teased for being dirty or smelly. There were some kids in my school who were, and who were bullied mercilessly for it. But it was largely a symptom of some other breakdown in their families.

This isn't a serious subject in the context the OP presented. It sounds like it is their flashpoint and always has been. If the OP had been worried about a dirty child that wasn't her own then I would have been much more sensitive. But it isn't. It is about a girl whose chosen form of rebellion is a dirty protest. As rebellions go, it is a pretty mild one.

I guess that is what I was reacting to. At your worst, some of the posts sounded like the kind of things you were supposedly protecting the OP's DD from. And then when it was aimed at me, I thought I'd take the piss out of you all.

But let's let it lie. Life is too short. And I have my gloriously clean hair to whip around a la Timotei.

specialsubject Sat 27-Apr-13 15:34:12

being disgusting to live with is not 'a chosen form of rebellion'. Or indeed a 'lifestyle choice'.

it is just disgusting.

how often you wash doesn't really matter, as long as it is sufficient to stop you smelling.

lljkk Sat 27-Apr-13 15:43:15

I enjoyed SheShelob's humour.

ZZZenagain Sat 27-Apr-13 15:43:56

if she finds it hard to get up in time to wash in the mornings, I would insist that she does it when she gets in from work before the evening meal, that way there is no chance of her running out of time. In the morning, she needs to clean under her armpits and put on deo. That would be ok.

In the same way, you can wash your hair in the evening. IT doesn't have to be done in the shower in the morning. Maybe she needs set days. So Tuesday and Friday evenings for example, she washes her hair. I don't know if it would be enough but it would be an improvement. Her work clothes need a wash during the week. Maybe on Wednesday, she puts them in the wash as soon as she gets in, irons them damp and hangs them up to dry overnight.

Sheshelob Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:26

Thanks, lljkk

I'm here all week!

unquietmind Tue 31-Dec-13 00:01:14

Laughed my knackers off after googling / searching for help with a teen ds and would love to have the answer. Eldest humdinged worst in early teens but gets it now and racks the gas bill up now. The other tries to trick me with wet fringes, running the shower empty for ten min or washing hair only in the sink. For all the palaver he could just wash?

He is happy has a gf and stays at mates regularly. Really surprised no one says anything. Wouldnt mind infrequent washing but its getting silly now with weeks on end. Also 17. .

Sheshelob I was difficult to get into a bathroom aged 13-15 until fellas came on the scene but dont know what my pre male bathroom issues were.perhaps 2 inch lukewarm baths because of the bills and parents set the water limits? Not sure what today's issues are
for teens

HowlingTrap Tue 31-Dec-13 00:14:45

I dont bathe/shower everyday I physically don't have time but I always without fail sinkwash if I cannot have the above,

teeth, face, underarms, and the undercarriages so I'm not funky lol does your DD even do that?

I'm another who doesn't really smell in comparison to DH.

mathanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 03:18:49

I would say depression is at the root of this, or a failure to advance beyond childhood, emotionally speaking. Appropriate self care is the mark of a grown up. It seems to me she is in some sort of denial about being on the cusp of adulthood and will not embrace the responsibility that brings, or the potential for sexual relationships that also goes hand in hand with growing up.

Make an appointment for her to be assessed for depression or emotional issues.

This is not normal and her response to your requests isn't reasonable. She is resisting something that washing signifies.

Claybury Tue 31-Dec-13 09:23:09

I would make it easy for her if she is lazy - one evening run a bath for her and persuade her to get in. It doesn't need to take long. Make sure the bathroom is warm so it's a pleasant experience.
I thought DD14 was odd only having one bath a week....

Deathwatchbeetle Wed 01-Jan-14 07:40:10

Sheshelob - love the commens! Really made me laugh.

However - Although not an obsessive (though I do shower/wash all over every morning) -I do notice in supermarkets at the weekend that the great unwashed come out to play. They are rank -their hair, clothes and parts we won't mention. Ok some are obviously 'not the full shilling' but others seem quite well dressed and compos mentis but still rank!

Claybury Wed 01-Jan-14 14:10:16

Highly amusing thread. I'm simply amazed that people are saying they don't have time to shower every day.
I have always promised my DC's I will tell them if they smell so they never have any BO anxiety which was common when I was a teen. Teens will NOT tell their peers if they smell. They will talk about them behind their backs and choose other friends. It is really hard to tell someone they smell - I have had colleagues with BO and nobody likes to broach the subject, it's awkward. Oh and I'll never forget my physics teacher - she stank.

It's a parent's duty to teach self care out of kindness to your DC's. Like teaching other life skills- nutrition, chores etc. Who else will?

I train for triathlon and it can be tedious in that you are showering often at least twice a day, after running/cycling and later after swimming. The people on here who are not washing are presumably not exercising at all as well as not washing every day ?

Here's hoping I never have to share a swimming pool with a bath refuser - yuck. In fact this thread had made me think about public pools which I have never been keen on ......

AdoraBell Wed 01-Jan-14 14:16:41

Clay you don't need To worry about public pools, that what the tons of cholorine is for.

OP any progress?

Remotecontrolduck Wed 01-Jan-14 17:13:06

Old thread but there's something wrong with a 17 year old that won't wash to that extent. Depression, not wanting to grow up etc. It just isn't normal to not want to wash at all!

You can understand maybe a 13 year old going through puberty, lots of changes etc to be a bit slack with things, but 17. Nearly an adult, especially if she's out working!

Hope it got resolved OP and you told her she must wash and looked for the reasons behind her refusal. I can't believe people tried to excuse it on this thread. Ok, maybe not everyone is an 'every day without fail' type like myself, but not washing at all unless forced is the mark of something not being quite right.

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