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How do I explain to DP that kids being clean matters?

(157 Posts)
bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 09:47:58

DP doesn't seem to see dirt on the DC.

DP had a very outdoor childhood, I think he associates being dirty with DC having fun. He thinks I'm fussing for insisting on ironing their school uniform and humours me doing it. He has started to do it himself sometimes though now (badly!).

I was away for 2 days this week. DP brought the DC to pick me up from the station and go to the shops together.

When we got out of the car and went to the shop I realised my DS stank of wee, both DC had food all over their tops and DD had food and pen on her face.

It was heartbreaking to see my DC like this sad

DP has very poor sense of smell but he knows DS often wets himself.

DP was oblivious to how badly turned out the DC were and when I said something DP only seemed to take it as me having a go at him, not thinking about the DC's needs.

If it was me I would have got the kids to change their tops, washed the food off DD's face (would probably have ignored the pen till bathtime).

And I don't know what to say about the wee. I get that he can't smell it but I don't think he's doing enough to compensate for that. If DS wets himself somtimes, just saying "but I can't smell it" means it'll always be missed when It's just DP. (DS is embarrassed about it and won't admit it).

I felt so bad for my DC.

Am I overreacting about the food on clothes? Obviously the wee needs dealing with.

Is this a difference in parenting styles or is keeping DC's clothes clean just a basic thing you should do for self respect?

Neither of the DC seem to notice or care FWIW.

bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 09:48:40

DC are 5 and 8.

AnotherEmma Sat 24-Feb-18 09:51:01


Difference in parenting styles?!
No, leaving a child in wee-soaked clothes is neglect.
That’s a pretty basic need.
Why shouldn’t you have a go at him if he neglects them?

KnockMeDown Sat 24-Feb-18 09:51:18

How old is the DC who is wetting himself? Can he get himself changed, or say to their Dad that they want to get changed?

Countingsheeeep Sat 24-Feb-18 09:53:20

Putting the wee issue to one side, as quite obviously this is not ok, i personally think life is too short to worry about food stains on clothes.

I mean if they were actually wet clothes from food with big bits on them then yes of course they should be wiped down, but if it's just stains...unless you absolutely love washing, then it wouldn't bother me.

Having said that though I have lots of friends who are the total opposite, can't bear any stains anywhere, wipe noses as the first sign of the tiniest bit of snot, so I would agree that it's more a parenting styles (excluding the wee issue).

bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 09:54:48

No, leaving a child in wee-soaked clothes is neglect

I was specifically asking about the food on clothes NOT the wee, about parenting styles.

My question about parenting styles was - is not changing clothes with food on them an issue? Obviously the wee is, but what about food on clothes? DP thinks I'm fussing about that.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 24-Feb-18 09:54:59

the wee is concerning especially. makes the poor little thing sore. and it is unpleasant socailly for him. When I was five non of the other children wanted to play with the boy who smelled of wee.

food on the face would make the skin sore.

Food on clothes/face, being dirty in addition to smelling of wee would be a cause for concern and may make people think they are being neglected.

felt tip/pen, would be, to me, fine if they were otherwise looking clean.

TroysMammy Sat 24-Feb-18 09:56:02

Nothing wrong with a bit of mud when playing out but smelling of wee and covered in food debris is wrong.

bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 09:56:57

It's my 8 year old who's wetting himself. (We're investigating bladder issues with the DR).

DS won't ask for help with it. He will deny He's had an accident till he's blue in the face, while standing in front of me with a huge wet patch. He needs to be talked I to changing his clothes.

KochabRising Sat 24-Feb-18 09:57:00

Bit of pen, not an issue
Food it depends on how much, how messy and where we are going.
Smelling of wee and being left in wee soaked clothes - not on. To be honest it’s neglectful.

Casmama Sat 24-Feb-18 09:57:29

I would go with “it is our responsibility to teach the kids how to keep themselves clean and presentable. They won’t learn this if we don’t consistently show them and they will suffer as a result. DS is humiliated when he eye himself and while you might not smell it, others will. This increases his humiliation and other people will judge us negatively as a result. You are letting him down by not doing more to help him”.

As an aside 5 seems pretty old for frequent wetting if there aren’t medical issues. What sort of support is your de getting?

BrainlessDailyMail Sat 24-Feb-18 09:57:56

Is the weeing child non-verbal? Why wouldn't he tell Dad?

Food on face is pretty gross. I can handle mud & muck & even a wet bottom, but... wearing meal on face = Yick.

I often have a bit of my own food on my own clothes. The whole family despairs of me. No judgements there. blush

selftitledalbum Sat 24-Feb-18 09:58:05

Sounds like neglect

RebelRogue Sat 24-Feb-18 09:58:25

Since you said to ignore the wee,no the other things wouldn't bother me unless they were literally wearing their plates.

Casmama Sat 24-Feb-18 09:58:58

Sorry xpost with you op

BrainlessDailyMail Sat 24-Feb-18 09:59:43

xpost... ask your DH to be more proactive about checking for weeing. Also, regularly checking & asking will encourage your son understand that there's no shame & that he (your son) can take some control over dealing with it by sharing the problem with his parents rather than hiding it.

Mumofboys89 Sat 24-Feb-18 09:59:49

I wouldn’t change ds for most food stains tbh, he’ll only be dirty again 5 minutes later. He is only a toddler though and if his clothes were very covered or wet from the food of course I would.

I also iron all my kids clothes as I like to start the day with them looking clean and tidy not rumpled. And it only takes a minute to wipe their faces so no excuse for that!

Luckily their dad has mostly the same standards as me.

bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 10:00:18

I'm not an overly clean person!

The food stains were bright red pasta sauce on a white school top and what might have been custard on DD's top. Not tiny stains. I dealt with DD's by simply doing her cardi up. Doesn't seem to occur to DP.

BrainlessDailyMail Sat 24-Feb-18 10:01:07

wait... so list a load of thigs but really you only care about food on clothes? Come on, upload a picture.

My DH is a fussbot; he had conniptions once over a "MESS!" on the counter. His MESS! wasn't enough crumbs to excite a church mouse. I need a pic.

insancerre Sat 24-Feb-18 10:01:57

I don't see any issue with kids being mucky
It doesn't bother me at all
Smelling of wee is different

BlackeyedSusan Sat 24-Feb-18 10:02:34

some things are parentiung style.

obvious mud from recently playing garden park on otherwise cleanish well turned out kids would be fine. (parenting style) (Better be or else school are failing given they send ds home after sport club, which is obviously not the case.)
if they were in the same muddy clothes the day after... or two days after... not so much.
felt tip: parenting style as it does not really hurt the skin
maybe a small stain at home, or after a visit out to eat, or whilst eating, but not to wear for the next day and change if wet.

Icequeen01 Sat 24-Feb-18 10:03:05

I would feel the same as you Op. I would certainly expect my DH to have changed my DS's clothes if they were covered in food. I used to have a friend who I would meet up with for afternoons out with the kids. Her two would turn up with half their lunch down them - horrible and lazy parenting in my eyes. Food smells too! But then I am the type of parent who ironed my DS's pants and I'm still doing it and he's 18 now blush

Lalalaleah Sat 24-Feb-18 10:03:59

I certainly don't iron school uniform.
I try not to let my kids go out with stained tops and food on their face but sometimes life happens and the youngest does. I do care about it, I think being completely oblivious is a bit crap.
DD3 went to school with a stained top on Friday because the tumble dryer had turned itself off. It's a red top and had toothpaste and some dark marks on it. I gave her a quick wet wipe rub but it didn't look brilliant. I would have preferred her to go in a clean top but life. I sent her in and didn't worry.

bridgetbishop Sat 24-Feb-18 10:04:42

Is the weeing child non-verbal? Why wouldn't he tell Dad?

Because he's massively embarrassed about it and in denial that It's happening. He won't admit he's wet himself.

Missingstreetlife Sat 24-Feb-18 10:04:51

Explain that stale wee smells so it's best to change or everyone will know? Not shaming but just info and how to manage. Can he change himself privately? Without a big fuss.

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