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Personal hygiene issues

(10 Posts)
2blessed2bstressed Sat 06-Apr-13 15:15:10

I don't know if this is normal or not, but I don't remember being like this, so I'm a bit worried and a lot fed up. Dsd1 is 15. She likes clothes, make up, Justin Bieber, her friends, going shopping and boys.
She does not like brushing her teeth, changing her underwear, or disposing of sanitary towels and stuff properly.
If we don't insist - over and over again - she will not produce any knickers or bras for washing, and will happily wear same knickers for days on end. She hides dirty underwear and used sanitary towels in her room, even though she has a supply of the wee disposal bags, and a bin with a lid in her room, and another bin in the bathroom.
She will spend a good hour or so doing her make up, but when she opens her mouth it is obvious to anyone in the same room that she hasn't brushed her teeth...for days.
Her mum has complained about it to dp, so it clearly isn't just happening when she's with us, but I'm not sure how it should be tackled. I don't feel it's my place, but try to encourage positive behaviour by buying nice underwear for her every now and then, making sure the supplies of towels etc stay topped up, and leaving nice shower gel and stuff in the bathroom. She split up with her bf last year, and the girl he started seeing tweeted about dsd leaving dirty knickers and sanitary towel in his bedroom floor for his mum to clean up shock, but dsd didn't seem to care, and bf asked her to go back out with him after a few weeks, so presumably he doesn't care either.
Is this normal behaviour? Or is it a sign of a problem she's having? She isn't particularly communicative with us or her mum, but seems perfectly happy with her friends, and not depressed or anything.

2blessed2bstressed Sat 06-Apr-13 16:58:07


specialsubject Sat 06-Apr-13 20:05:59

it's hardly normal behaviour!!

have you explained simply and politely why what she is doing is wrong? (filth, wrecked teeth, BO, infections etc).

if she wants to be Miss Skank, she does it when she leaves home. How romantic that there is a Mr Skank...


Quak Sat 06-Apr-13 20:18:29

I think it can be hard for some young people to realise that they alone have to take care of themselves. If you think about it hard, it's a fair bit of effort! (for example, 5 mins brushing teeth = 10mins a day = approx 60 hrs a year...) If I think about it like this, it gets me down.
It might be that she just hasn't twigged that it's just not socially acceptable/healthy to be this unhygienic. If she trusts you and you have a strong relationship then I would take her aside, and tell her very clearly and directly exactly what the issue is. Be kind with your words though. smile

2blessed2bstressed Sat 06-Apr-13 21:27:54

Well, I didn't really mean normal behaviour in general....more normal behaviour in teenage girls I suppose. I've got 2 boys, the oldest is asd and is scrupulously clean all the time - he will stay in the shower til the water runs cold given half a chance, and his little brother needs reminding about teeth brushing but is pretty good really - puts washing in basket, uses large quantities of lynx after showering grin
I get on fine with dsd mostly, but I'm not sure how that sort of chat would go down, and I don't want to be accused by her mum of overstepping my boundaries. Her mum seems to do a lot of complaining about it to dp, but apparently she doesn't make either of the dsds shower every day at home, and expects them to produce their washing when it needs done. I kind of agree with that one tbh, but on the the other hand, if you notice that no underwear is appearing in the wash, then I think you need to chase it up. She did say to dp today that dsd has been wearing the same clothes since Monday - I don't understand why she has allowed that to happen.
The dsds are off to their gps for a few days, so i'll maybe see how the land lies when they come back. Or maybe I should have a word with mil and see if she can have a chat?

Quak Sat 06-Apr-13 21:54:57

Well you know your family dynamics best. However, at 15, her actions are her own. I expect at some point someone who she respects and admires will react negatively to her behaviour and that might help her change her habits. Don't immediately dismiss things like depression/cries for help. Like I said, looking after yourself is an effort, and might seem too much for her.

Corygal Sat 06-Apr-13 22:06:58

Leaving rank knickers and stinking used pads out is unacceptable. You poor things. "Tact" won't help here - it's awful for you and not doing DSD any favours.

No one else has to clean them up - please don't. Explain to your DP that no one can live like that under the same roof. Mention hygiene and rotting teeth etc.

Some of the infections you can get are very catching, by the way, eg skin infections like impetigo. Can he not talk to the Ds mother?

Deal with it matter of factly. Ask her to clean her own stuff up. Open windows when DSD is around (she must smell). Keep her room door shut and use disinfectant washing her sheets and things.

Corygal Sat 06-Apr-13 22:17:14

Oh, and sometimes it doesn't wear off with age. I worked with a smelly, dirty girl in her early 20s. The directors (small company) assumed she was a druggie, incorrectly, and wouldn't promote her, reasonably enough.

Things improved when she broke out in crusty sores - she was terribly keen on keeping things 'natural' but they took several antibotic jabs to heal. Of course they were catching, so no one wanted to get too close, which in an office can be a problem.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 10:28:46

you have to tell her before somebody else does , like a friend at school, dd 2 is 15 and has dyspraxia she can't or won't organise herself she would wear a rank t shirt til it walked to the washing machine if I let her, I just tell her she needs to clean her teeth etc etc, and I will tell her she smells, I know it sounds harsh and a bit mean, but if i don't help her look after herself, somebody at school will tell her she smells or is scruffy, OP kjust tell her tact and hinting doesn't always sink in ,

whirligiggle Sun 07-Apr-13 19:42:54

Not suggesting you actually follow through on this, but if she won't listen to your requests, you could mention to her that as she is obviously not bothered by the towels being left around, you will leave them in her room & it will be up to her to sort them out. Explain that she may not be bothered by them but the rest of the family are, therefore you are not going to put up with it any more.

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