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My 11yr old daughter wont wash!

(30 Posts)
Tilly333 Wed 22-Jun-11 22:12:17

Help! - We have constant rows in our house about taking showers, refusing to wash, washing hair brushing teeth etc etc.. Today was the last straw - dentist told her off for not brushing properly. Where am I going wrong - why is she refusing to wash ? She has not started her periods yet and I am very open about what will happen and that it is / will be very unhygeinic if she doesn't wash and she will smell - but still no use. I think I am more surprised as she is a girl, and I would expect her to want her to wash more... any ideas or has anyone else had this problem? I am sick of having to tell her to be clean...

pengymum Wed 22-Jun-11 22:19:45

I sympathise and am just hanging about to see if anyone has a failsafe solution as I have same issue with 2 DDs 10 & 13. Won't wash, when do make them go to bathroom, they are out in 2s after just waving something wet in vague direction of their bodies. In fact DD1 insists on going to bed with wet hair rather than drying it with hairdryer!!!!
I cannot understand this at all! confused

plonker Wed 22-Jun-11 22:26:09

I have an 11yo that I have to literally force into the bath. She will brush her teeth (when reminded) but that's about it.

What surprises me about her is that she's such a girly girl and has really high standards with regards to her appearance/fashion/hair etc, confused

Marking my place

SaltNSauce Wed 22-Jun-11 22:31:54

I have one of those too. Have tried getting her her own products but nope. She has black fingernails after a bath. The sweatiness!

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 22:35:30

i was that child!

and you know, i am not sure i can even tell you why, or give any clues as to how to help tbh

i can say that now, at nearly 31, i still HATE having to have a shower, wash my hair, go to the toilet, cut my nails... i do it, obviously, but i really iwsh i didn't have to.

no amount of begging or cajoling or threatening or discussing from my mum and dad helped at all, in fact, it probably made it worse because then i knew that if i did go and have a shower it would be this massive deal and they would notice and stuff.
the only thing i can think that might help would be to have at least one designated bath night? so no tv, no console games nothing, until baths are done. baths might be followed by hot chocolate with marshmallows in or some other lovely treat.
also, how about doing each others nails and hair? that might help??

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 22:36:36

actually, you know what, maybe i just didn't want to grow up? i didn't want to have to make those decisions myself and have to decide when and how to do stuff.. maybe that was the problem

<goes off to find psycho-analyst>

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 23-Jun-11 05:24:35

My DD is that grotbag too. We have compromised and she either bathes or showers and hair wash on alternate nights.
She is of an age now, where her hair gets a bit greasy by day two and is positiviely lank if not done by day three.
This morning she is going to shower and then we are going to the hairdresser where she'll have it washed and cut.
No answers I am afraid. Looking on the bright side, at least she bites her nails so much there is no where for the dirt to stay.

Wormshuffler Thu 23-Jun-11 06:20:53

My dd now 12 would get up, then put fancy hair clips in unbrushed hair and make up on an unwashed face!
Now she has hit 12 and at secondary school she has suddenly changed and takes herself to the shower every morning un prompted.
It won't last forever OP

cory Thu 23-Jun-11 08:59:24

I was that child too <waves at thisisyesterday>. I think in my case, it was about being stuck in a negative behaviour and not knowing how to climb down without losing face. A firm schedule and a reward might have helped me.

PurpleLostPrincess Thu 23-Jun-11 09:07:03

Hang on in there! DD1 was exactly the same - even had to have extractions due to not brushing her teeth properly. I was beside myself as she just seemed soooooo dirty!!!

When she hit 12, she suddenly started going super-clean, I have no idea what changed! She was constantly in the shower, to the point where her skin started coming out in strange dry patches and the doctor told her not to shower too often, and to shower every other day instead as she was stopping her skin from building up it's resistance to day-to-day bacteria!!

She started getting clean a few months before her periods started, not sure if that has anything to do with it hmm

She'll be 13 in August and wouldn't dream of not washing or showering at every given opportunity - it will get better, I've spoken to lots of other parents who have been through the same with their DD's...

PrettyCandles Thu 23-Jun-11 09:12:47

Another of those girls here. Just like thisyesterday, still have ishoos. Don't know what to suggest and am worried that dd will turn out like me.

The pressure to conform was upsetting, it sort of magnified my difficulties without offering a solution, but being allowed to take control of my own personal hygiene did nothing, either. I think maybe it's part of a bigger picture of feeling utterly powerless in your life and having absolutely no control over anything. Keeping your own grubby fug, like overeating, is something nobody can take away from you.

The 'bath night' idea works, to an extent, but it's not enough. I remember thinking "Why do they call me smelly? I wash every week?". Of course, that says as much about being a victim as about understanding and accepting personal hygiene - but why give ammunition to the bullies?

Maybe an opportunity to glow and take pride in herself - unrelated to personal hygiene, and under no pressure to perform - would help? It did me, and still does.

Fennel Thu 23-Jun-11 09:16:57

My 11yo dd also doesn't really wash or brush hair except when pressured. She is very small and nowhere near puberty, I used to say to my dc that when they start secondary school they'll need a daily shower etc, but actually dd is so far from puberty that maybe it doesn't matter for the moment for her, though she's starting secondary this autumn, but maybe tying it in with secondary transfer for each child makes it less personal, less about being smelly or dirty, more a general habit that goes with secondary school.

cory Thu 23-Jun-11 09:20:21

I don't have issues any longer btw; I rather enjoy a nice warm shower. I think for me it was realising that I could grow up into a different person, and leave that whole uptight insecure personal behind. And the fact that I wasn't bullied once I got to uni. I think if you are a certain type of person and you get bullied over something it's going to make it almost impossible to give it up. Think professor Snape; he hasn't really got the choice to have a haircut and start wearing pretty colours because he's been backed into a corner. That was me. But not any more.

Amaretti Thu 23-Jun-11 09:24:13

I second those who recommend a regular routine, that way there isn't so much thinkng about it all. they just do it before Scouts because that's when they do it. Or whatever.

mrsrat Thu 23-Jun-11 09:41:12

Oh how I loved this message. I cannot believe that my daughter isnt the only mucky pup aout threr. When I have spkone to her friends mothere's from school i have been greeted with "i dont have a problem with ........... " leaving me feeling very disloyal to my daughter. At least noe i have realised that I too was that person and in secret still would be if I could !!!!!

MumblingRagDoll Thu 23-Jun-11 09:46:31

I was like that! blush I remeber that for me showers wer just bloody uncomfortable! i hated the chill....getting out shivering and about getting the bathroom warm for them and heating a towel up? I KNOW it's a bit mollycoddling...but maybe they need it still?

sandyballs Thu 23-Jun-11 09:47:01

Another one here, she's 10. Will change pants and socks but happily put them on a dirty body! Her twin sister loves washing.

Lancelottie Thu 23-Jun-11 09:51:54

We're not the cleanest of households, but what works for us is making the scruffbags shower after swimming, dancing, cycling etc., or 'to clear your head' when someone is having a homework strop. Nothing to do with appearance or avoiding bullying that way.

thisisyesterday Thu 23-Jun-11 11:21:38

phew, am so glad i'm not the only one who has admitted being a grotbag child! lol

definitely agree with the not wanting to "lose face" by backing down and taking care of my own hygiene.

and I think maybe going a step further and running a bath for your daughter and just nagging her into it maybe 2 or 3 times a week would help. maybe she just needs to be looked after still?

pollmeister Thu 23-Jun-11 14:26:59

When I was 12 or so - I hated having a bath. I could not come to terms with the changes in my body. I didnt like getting breasts, pubic hair or anything like that (still dont have any tits now hahaha). Also my parents were quite liberal - theyd walk around naked in the house without a care etc. THey were quite upfront about puberty and this made me withdrawn about it. I didnt want any attention regarding puberty. Id wear the baggiest of tops, stuff like that. Also the bath was were the only toilet in the house was and Id be petrified that whilst I was in the bath someone would come up desperate to use the toilet and I hadnt locked the door etc. So rather than go through all that stress I would just put off having a bath until as long as possible. ERGO - this could be a reason for some of the lack of hygiene problems your daughters are having.
Obviously Im fine now * grunts, twitches *

QOD Thu 23-Jun-11 14:32:44

My dd thankfully now, toward the end of yr 7, is embarassed when her oil slick hair looks greasey so we can force her in the bath. She averages 2 a week? She doesn't smell smell but she looks greasy - they are jkust grot bags
She goes to bed with wet hair and yet hates having big hair.

mrsrat Thu 23-Jun-11 19:15:11

Just seen all the spelling mistakes in my message. Sorry !

Tilly333 Thu 23-Jun-11 19:22:07

Well thanks for all of your replies - I am so glad I am not the only one to experience this. I shall persevere, and fingers crossed will get there. The dentist gave her disclosing tablets to show her how dirty her teeth are, so that will help hopefully. I just hope it is a phase and she will grow out of it sooner rather than later!

SaltNSauce Fri 24-Jun-11 10:45:33

Oho, my daughter loved her disclosing tablets and for a while she did brush well. Worn off now mind you. Must ask her if she still has some.

mindgone Fri 24-Jun-11 13:02:43

My DS suddenly got into the "washing habit" I think in year 7 - 8 when he began to notice other people smelling, and didn't want to join them!! He tends to have a break from daily showers at the weekends though! I think it helps that he has quite a few good friends of the opposite sex!!

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