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What to do with perpetually smelly teenage boy?

(33 Posts)
Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 19:26:57

I'm reaaalllyyyyyyy beginning to get utterly fed up with DS now age 17.

He NEVER washes. He NEVER brushes his teeth.

I keep waiting for something to happen and he will suddenly realise the need not to stink, but nothing's happened yet. And I'm getting fed up with waiting.

People have said ah but when he gets interested in girls you won't get him out the shower but tbh, no girl would want him as his breath is so fetid, I doubt any girls would come near him.

I'd like to give him time but honestly, when he opens his bedroom door he absolutely stinks out the whole house.

I was really livid with him last year when he started sixth form. They insist on business attire and because he's a fairly small lad I had to get him one made (and bloomin' Next were out of stock). I said to him, this was an expensive outlay for me so I expect you to wash and keep yourself really clean. Well he didn't and the suit ended up being stinking BO laden garment that really needed burning.

So I have no intention of buying him any clothes at all for college because it will be just the same old thing again.

I'm ready to accuse myself of being weak although I've tried to follow what the majority have said which is just wait and he'll change. But he isn't changing and I actually find it disrespectful of others to not clean your teeth and wash to make sure you don't smell.

So what you guys done and what worked for you - just a massive bollocking, turning off the broadband until a full bath and hair wash (and teeth clean) was carried out, what? Did you just get tough or did something just happen and it changed and if so, at what age??

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 22-Aug-16 19:33:42

He's 17. He's not a child. Tell him plainly that it's fucking disgusting, and if he's going to live in your house, then he needs to practice basic personal hygiene! How did it get to this point?! Has he always been like this?!

daftbesom Mon 22-Aug-16 19:42:13

My mother introduced my DS2 to deodorant before he was mature enough to really need it iyswim which he uses assiduously and asks me to replace when it is done. I think the fact it was his gran on his case made him take notice.

He's now 15. If he doesn't bathe or shower for a day or 2 and starts to niff, I call him a soap-dodger and run him a bath.

Tell him his room smells and throw the window wide open.

I do try and keep it matter-of-fact or light hearted, I don't fly into a rage about it.

I get that it's irritating to be chasing after them at that age, but sometimes they are just not ready to fly on their own.

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 19:48:11

I agree MyBread - his dad is proper weak also and gives me no support on this at all - that would help, but I do agree, I need to lay down the law.

He certainly doesn't get that example from me (or his dad for that matter - we are divorced) so it's just developed over time really. He's one of these in his darkened bedroom all the time playing Xbox type kids so there's a considerable lack of fresh air as well.

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 22-Aug-16 19:54:48

OP, if he's going to act like a toddler that needs to be told when to brush his teeth or have a wash, then start treating him like one!
Start marching him to the bathroom in the mornings, "time to brush teethies now pumpkin!", in the most twee voice you can manage. Run him a bath, complete with bubbles and rubber duckies and do the same thing.....and when he starts with the "urrgghh muuuummm leave me alone!" - then tell him that if he wants to act like a toddler who needs to be washed by his mother because he can't do it himself, then that's how he will be treated. I am honestly flabbergasted by this confused

yodachronicles Mon 22-Aug-16 20:00:16

This was my brother growing up....I can't tell you how awful it was to live with.

Unfortunately he didn't change and now he's a 35yr old soap dodger with black teeth. He does have a girlfriend but they are both as bad as each other really. I can't be in an enclosed space with them...

No idea what to suggest but if you can stamp it out before he becomes a fully fledged adult - I would try!!

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:03:14

Yes yodachronicles, that's what I'm wanting to NOT happen!

I've just told him to get his ass in the bathroom - NOW.

I think I'm just often so tired from working and that, that it's an added drain on my energy to also have to faff about with enforcing a routine on him as well, on top of everything else. It's hard work.

I know it's not completely unusual - but I think I've just reached the end of my tether with it at the moment.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 22-Aug-16 20:03:15

The need to socialise usually kick-starts the desire to be clean and presentable. Does he have a part-time job? Does he go out with friends, or have friends round to the house? Does he play any sport?

I don't think you can make a young man wash, but you might be able to encourage things that would make him think about how others see him.

BusStopBetty Mon 22-Aug-16 20:04:10

Yes, turn off the broadband until he gets a wash. In fact, run a bath and turn off the electricity so he can't do anything until he's had a wash.

It's not unreasonable for him to be stink free. If he wants to be a fetid creature he can wait until he gets his own place.

WellyMummy Mon 22-Aug-16 20:05:10

The rule in our house is that if you don't fulfil the basic functions like teeth and washing then I don't provide basic Mum functions like cooking and chauffeuring, Bank of Mum also closes.

I'd take it back to basics, provide him with a routine/time table of morning/evening things to do and weekly things too. Guide him through what needs to done when and follow it up with checking his room is tidy before weekend free time etc.

Good luck!

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:07:53

ShatnersBassoon - no he does NOTHING. In Sept it will be home, college, home, Xbox, youTube, repeat.

He's a young 17 and has little confidence. Again, I've tried to work with his dad because I think if he got the joint message to go and do things for himself, it would be of GREAT benefit to him, but I get no support with it.

Only about 6 months ago I suggested DS start using the train (it's a realllly easy route) to meet his dad at the contact rendezvous point. Oh no his dad said, he can't possibly do that, thus reinforcing to DS that the world is a scary place to be feared.

A job - you're kidding?!! Nah, not a chance of that. He won't even go to the corner shop - that's how extreme his lack of confidence is.

He's absolutely happy within himself. I did, at great expense, put him through DofE. I found out later (school's communication wasn't very good) that he'd not done any of the volunteering, and I was LIVID about it. I didn't have a big reaction with him but what he doesn't know is the very next time he wants this or that, he'll be getting absolutely no help from me whatsoever, and I will reference the DofE and the not cleaning himself so his sixth form suit didn't start to stink, as the reasons why. Think that will actually be more effective.

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:08:48

Good ideas BusStopBetty and WellyMummy. :-)

LiveLifeWithPassion Mon 22-Aug-16 20:09:40

Ugh confiscate his Xbox (or at least the leads) until he sorts himself out.

And be direct with him. Tell him he's stinking the whole house out and it's disgusting.

Banana99 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:10:39

Do you/his dad give him money? I would say weekly money = 7 showers and 14 teeth brushed.

Banana99 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:10:55


LiveLifeWithPassion Mon 22-Aug-16 20:11:35

Actually I think you have bigger issues to work with him on. Getting clean and fresh will help to take some small steps.

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:15:16

I agree LiveLifeWithPassion - he needs a lot of support with socialising and confidence.

When he was screwing up his GCSEs and then did the same with his first year of A levels at sixth form, his dad was once again as weak as fuck with him about it. And I honestly do feel he just doesn't listen to me - but that he would if his dad would man up.

However, I'm quite happy at this point to remove Xbox leads and laptops and I am literally going to sniff his pits (wish me luck) and if he doesn't smell right after the shower or bath, he's bloody well going straight back in.

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:16:45

Banana99 - I don't give him any money, I've haven't got enough money to give to him so I can't relate it to that, but in any case, I don't particularly want to tie it in to a monetary reward (although I totally appreciate all suggestions).

A cattle prod would be highly effective.....

BusStopBetty Mon 22-Aug-16 20:17:53

Well yes, the self confidence issues definitely need to be resolved, but they're an awful lot harder to resolve when people recoil in horror at your stench.

LiveLifeWithPassion Mon 22-Aug-16 20:19:23

I think if you're a bit isolated and lacking real life social interaction and confidence, too much time in the virtual world is just a downward spiral.
You need to find a way to start seriously limiting the time he spends in the zombie world.

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 22-Aug-16 20:20:16

Polly Sounds like these confidence issues run deep sad could you try to make it clear that he will feel so much better about himself, and other people will automatically be more inclined to engage with him if he is clean.

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:20:33

DS has entered the bathroom......

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:27:08

MyBreadIsEggy - it's odd. When he was a little 'un we were SO close. But it staggered me when his sister came along. I was carrying her upstairs for a nap and she slipped her little arm round my neck and it struck me, DS had never ever done that. Sure, he loved me, he liked being cuddled and all, but he's never expressed that physically. Even now, if you hug him, he just stands there pretty much. He's very self contained, only has one good friend, and unfortunately him and any of his mates that he does have, are all xboxers - literally none of these kids go anywhere or do anything! I think it's a crap life but he seems to like it and so do the rest of them. I'm sure things were better when we went out on our bikes and so on, riding for miles and getting into scrapes!

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:28:07

No, I was premptive there, there's just been a significant deoderant spraying session from upstairs but no one has yet actually committed to the bathroom. He's going for fresh towels, maybe this is it....

Pollyanna9 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:28:56

The shower is running - praise the lord!

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