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any tips for encouraging teens hygiene

(10 Posts)
Gingerbics Thu 28-Apr-16 10:38:41

Hi I work with teenagers in care and wondered if anyone had any strategies or suggestions that may help motivate teenagers who have poor personal hygiene to the point where they smell very sweaty and others have told them this?
I did discover a phone app to encourage teeth brushing called My Teeth but couldn't find anything similar for general care such as showering, brushing hair etc.
Any suggestions would be most welcome. Obviously there are many complicating factors for many of the young people. Many thanks for your help

louiseaaa Fri 29-Apr-16 09:10:28

Just a thought, how about giving them some premium wash stuff? From my experience (two boys) they are more likely to use the fancy stuff they get in their christmas stockings than the run-of-the-mill stuff we purchase for them every day.

I resorted to a star chart with both of them between 12-14 with rewards (would you beleive) as they were so reluctant to get in the shower. Also using HALO (sports wash) on all their shirts/tshirts seemed to help. It's specifically designed to attack the bacteria that cause pongs and does work


Gingerbics Fri 29-Apr-16 20:13:59

Thanks Louise that's great advice! I'm
Thinking of contacting Lush to see if they would be able to help my donating some bath bombs that I could give out for the young people to try.
Think you're right about giving them special products to make them feel special.
Star chart is also a great idea, interesting how older kids still like that motivation - thank you! smile

sunnydayinmay Fri 29-Apr-16 20:19:12

Only have experience with my DS, but I bought him some nice shower stuff and shampoo (he likes the Dove men stuff), and just told him it was like brushing teeth - twice a day, no matter how tired or busy. He likes trying different shower gels.

mathanxiety Sun 01-May-16 23:02:26

Make sure the bathroom is nice and warm. Some teens like a bathroom to be almost sauna like.

For all of them, nice new underwear, bras, t-shirts/camisoles, socks.

After shave and perfume and nice deodorant.

Maybe new bathrobes and fuzzy socks or slippers so they don't have to change in the bathroom or wander around wrapped in towels.

Laundry baskets and use a star chart for doing their own laundry and putting away.

abbsismyhero Mon 02-May-16 10:30:40

i have done all of this and my teen still prefers to be a sweaty betty she showers daily refuses to use deodorant won't use anti spot treatment etc etc ive threatened her with throwing her clothing away because i can't get the smell of sweat out i might have to carry this threat out ive tried every positive strategy on the planet she still smells

Gingerbics Wed 11-May-16 22:26:45

Thank you Math and Abbs for your replies, sorry to hear you're struggling Abbs it really is a tough one to crack. Thanks all for the great suggestions I've made a note of them all. smile

mathanxiety Wed 11-May-16 22:37:34

It strikes me that sometimes teens suffering mild depression can get sort of lost in their own little world and can find transitioning from warm and dry and watching TV to cold and in the bathroom and stepping into the shower. If the teens you work with are in care, I assume they have not had the sort of encouraging upbringings where anyone really cared about their hygiene for them as children. Sometimes it is hard to convey to them that they deserve to be as clean and smelling as nice as anyone else, and self care is a problem because they didn't get care from others when they depended on others to care for them.

Self care/taking initiative for themselves can be an issue for women who have been abused too -- they can be disorganised about contacting agencies, paying bills, getting to grips with cleaning, and they can go through periods where they let things slide. It's a symptom of a post abuse range of self neglecting behaviour. Inertia exerts a strong limiting force. Maybe your teens are in the same boat?

Sometimes guided meditation and group work with affirmation can help people who have absorbed a message that they are not worth it (the opposite of the advert)..

Gingerbics Thu 12-May-16 22:07:43

Thank you Mathanxiety, yes I think what you are saying really applies to many of our young people in care. I love the ideas you have suggested thank you. You speak very wisely smile

brotherphil Sun 05-Jun-16 15:16:13

Similar problem with DS1(12 & AS) - agressively refuses to wash, and will happily wear the same clothes for ever if I don't swipe them while he is asleep.

He says that he wants to be smell as it keeps people away from him.

If I push the issue, he starts with the usual adolescent rants, and if threatened with consequences (eg loss of xbox) say he wont obey me if I do (tough luck for him on that).

I do keep telling him that I should take him to the doctor (ie may be depression?), be he says he wont go, and wont take pills if any were prescribed.

Any ideas?

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