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Personal hygiene

(12 Posts)
GoodOneGoyle Wed 27-Jul-16 12:07:16

Hi, I'm new here so I'm sorry if this comes up lots. I'm not a mum, my niece (10) lives with me after her mum (my sister) died in December. Having had no kids myself I'm learning pretty quick, although I work with teens who have been in trouble with the police so there are some transferable skills there.

L is brilliant, she's so resilient and is fast developing into a young woman that her mum would've been proud of, however I'm struggling with getting her to wash and habitually use deodorant. As a result, she sometimes seems to be carried along by an obnoxious odour and has spots (which she has insisted I touch to experience just how massive they are). However when I suggest she wash, clean teeth, put on deodorant etc she has a mega strop.

I don't want to give her a complex or ruin our relationship by going on about it or forcing her to do it but equally I don't want her to be bullied and I don't want to smell her either.

I refuse to pay her to do things she should do anyway and I lead by example (showering at least once daily, although I don't expect her to be THAT good). I have tried to hold a 'stinky protest' by not washing myself but she was oblivious and I was rancid. I also told her that if she could prove to me that she was responsible enough to wash regularly with minimal promoting or fuss then I'd consider allowing her to pierce her ears (as hygiene is important with piercings) but none of this has been effective.

Someone once suggested I do an experiment with her and make b.o. (apparently this is easy grin) to help raise her awareness. I like this idea but can't seem to find instructions for such an experiment. Can anyone help? Or you might have other suggestions on tackling this?

I know that in the scheme of things it's not the most important issue for us but I believe that being smelly is disrespectful to herself and others and being clean can make such a huge difference to how you feel

Thank you smile

dothedab Wed 27-Jul-16 13:06:54

I have a dd older than yours and I still supervise bath time, washing and using deodorant otherwise she wouldn't do it. She would either forget or not bother. Sometimes she will shower or bath without actually using soap or water under her arms!

My dd is very needy generally but she could never be relied upon to do it herself.

Can you run the bath for her at a certain time each day and put out everything she needs?

dothedab Wed 27-Jul-16 13:08:20

Btw this is a common problem as children reach puberty as I discuss it with friends who have daughters the same age. Like mine, they are made to do it. Hopefully one day they will do it as a matter of routine.

GoodOneGoyle Sat 30-Jul-16 22:49:12

Thank you dothedab, you'll never guess what, she volunteered to shower today! Progress is good !

dudsville Sat 30-Jul-16 22:52:25

Do you know if she was this way with her mother? Is that so recent massive loss a factor in this at all?

dementedpixie Sat 30-Jul-16 22:56:59

Dd is 12 and I get her to shower every 2 days. She needs encouragement and reminders to go in the shower though. Teeth are done twice a day.

chattygranny Sat 30-Jul-16 23:00:58

I found in both genders of children that as they approached puberty this changed suddenly to never being out of the bathroom, especially once they have their first crush. Sounds like you're being a brilliant Auntie too.

madmother1 Sat 30-Jul-16 23:42:11

Was just discussing our teenage DD with a friend today. Both our DDs suffer from BO. We have to quite bluntly tell them that they stink!! Mine us getting better at actually washing with soap/shower gel now. Keep up the good work flowers

NoahVale Sat 30-Jul-16 23:52:32

i agree with simply running a bath, as a matter of course. She must have been brought up to have a bath so it should come as no surprise that she still needs to wash.

chattygranny Sun 31-Jul-16 00:22:21

By the way, should have said so sorry to hear about your sister. It's a wonderful thing you're doing. Did your niece have any counselling after her mum died? Just thinking, like dudsville mentioned, that bereavement could be part of this.

PollyPerky Sun 31-Jul-16 09:11:06

Could you have a 'girls' shopping trip' and get her to choose really nice smellies-shower stuff and deodorant? Or maybe even a day at a spa or something to get her in the mood for this? or buy her a book on puberty - find a fun one- which gives advice on personal hygiene, so the nagging isn't coming from you?

sonlypuppyfat Sun 31-Jul-16 09:25:34

My DD doesn't use deodorant I find she doesn't need it and she baths twice a week her eczema flares up terribly if she washes more and she doesn't smell

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