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How would you deal with this?

(28 Posts)
GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 01-Nov-17 22:00:41

15yo dd is often not washing. Pretty sure she's brushing her teeth, because she has just moved from braces to retainers and the orthodontist is pleased with her dental hygiene. Also, outside home she is a strict rule-follower.

When she goes up to bed, we hear the shower going, but often when we go to give her a kiss goodnight we can feel on her hands that she hasn't washed, and her hair is also bone dry.
Her towel is bone dry.

There have also been skid marks on her knickers, which usually happens several times in a week, but not every week.

And I think she's still afraid of the toilet flush. Or she's in the habit of being afraid.

How to address this?

northlondonlassie Wed 01-Nov-17 22:05:24

Are you saying you think she’s depressed / ill? Or that she doesn’t want to wash because she doesn’t like you nagging her about it?

Trying2bgd Wed 01-Nov-17 22:30:47

Is she simply not washing or does she suffer from anxiety of some sort. Also what do you mean she is a strict rule follower? Have you tried talking to her openly about these issues?

Findingdotty Wed 01-Nov-17 22:38:36

Do you think anything would help like buying her a shower proof speaker and encouraging her to enjoy her showers/baths playing music, favourite scented shower gel, that sort of thing? The speaker helped my anti-bath 11/12 year old boy.
Also do you have a lock on the door so she feels she has proper privacy without the chance of being walked in on?

ineedamoreadultieradult Wed 01-Nov-17 22:43:40

Is she showing any other signs of not wanting to look her best? Such as not wearing nice clothes etc. Some children will try and make themselves unappealing in terms of hygiene, baggy old clothes etc if they are being abused or receiving attention they don't want.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 01-Nov-17 23:36:21

We don't think she's depressed. Nothing in her general demeanour has changed. She is finding Y10 a little stressful, but she always finds the autumn term difficult. OTOH she enjoys some lessons a lot more, now that they are all either set or only being taken by students who actively want to study those subjects.

She has never been hugely interested in clothes/fashion/makeup etc. She shows just as much pleasure and interest in them as she ever did.

There is a lock on the bathroom door, which she uses.

She dislikes constantly being told what to do, yet at the same time wants support and guidance. If we don't tell her to go to bed, she generally doesn't take herself off to bed. If we don't tell her to shower, she often goes to bed without showering. So much so that dh and I notice and comment (only to each other!) when she puts herself to bed unprompted.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 01-Nov-17 23:38:14

We think she has autistic traits, in the classic girls' presentation of perfection outside the house and going to pieces at home.

Trying2bgd Wed 01-Nov-17 23:59:54

Get her tested. Once you know for sure, you can get advice on how to support her best so she can develop habits in personal hygiene.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 02-Nov-17 08:50:33

But in the meantime?

Ttbb Thu 02-Nov-17 08:57:17

Does she realise that she's dirty? I mean have you told her that she smells for example?

magpiemischief Thu 02-Nov-17 09:11:43

Talk to her. Tell her you think her showers ‘aren’t cutting it’ because her pants are getting too dirty/stained. So she is not too embarrassed, say you’ve found you had that problem before. Get her to try baths. Run one for her, get her some nice smelling bath stuff if she likes it. If she likes reading she can just soak in there with a book. Talk about the MN soap thread and enthuse about how good soap is for stopping clothes getting too sweaty. You can even present this as a laundry not washing very well issue.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 02-Nov-17 11:07:15

MN soap thread?

She loves baths, and a favourite weekend activity is to have a leisurely bath. About once a month. Unfortunately we can't have smellies because of various family members' allergies/sensitivities. But we have plenty of bubble bath and toys.

I don't think she is particularly smelly, except armpits and feet at the end of a hot day. But her hair is often uncared-for and gets greasy and smelly.

Ironically, dd is a complete mermaid: swims like a dolphin and loves being in water. And going to the swimming class means that she showers and washes her hair at least once a week!

magpiemischief Thu 02-Nov-17 11:22:35

Soap thread, here:

So, soap (instead of shower gel) might really help the smelly pits and feet. Re. Hair, would having it shorter help her? Maybe moot the possibility of a leisurely bath before dinner. Might be a timing issue. You could just talk about hot water timings etc.

Titsywoo Thu 02-Nov-17 11:40:21

If she isn't wiping properly could you get her some andrex wipes?

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 02-Nov-17 11:42:43

I switched to shower gel years ago, because soap dried my skin out dreadfully. But I'll give it a try.

But what about the deception issue? That dd pretends she's had a shower.

Vitalogy Thu 02-Nov-17 11:44:45

My son went from one extreme to the other, not washing much then at one point 2 baths a day. I think it's best to take a step back because nagging as I've found just has the opposite affect. I know it's difficult flowers

magpiemischief Thu 02-Nov-17 11:48:14

Changing the routine might solve the deception issue. Timing probably means she can’t be bothered but does not want to admit it.

Kleinzeit Thu 02-Nov-17 12:05:31

I can think of two possible reasons for lying. Either she doesn't want to admit to you that she forgot/avoided yet again, or else she desperately hates showering and is lying to try to avoid a shower altogether.

Some people with ASCs find showering physically painful, but they don't say anything because they assume everyone else feels the same way about it but everyone else is able to overcome the pain and get on with it. Hypersensitivity to particular sensations, sounds etc is not unusual in ASCs, so she might also find the toilet flush noise physically unpleasant.

Anyway, since she likes baths, could you try doing a deal - she can have baths instead of showers if she actually has them? And if time is a problem then could you set a kitchen timer and add the condition that she can spend a certain amount of time in the water, plus maybe a weekly long bath when she can take as long as she likes? I'm not sure what to do about hair washing, maybe she can use a hand-held shower or a jug over the sink to rinse her hair rather than the shower.

magpiemischief Thu 02-Nov-17 12:18:50

I wash my hair in the bath. Just lie down to rinse.

Vitalogy Thu 02-Nov-17 12:19:32

I'm not sure what to do about hair washing, maybe she can use a hand-held shower or a jug over the sink to rinse her hair rather than the shower.

If I have a bath I wash my hair before I wash my body while in the bath, then use a jug to swill with clean water after.

countingthestars Thu 02-Nov-17 12:19:59

I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but are there learning difficulties at play?

Vitalogy Thu 02-Nov-17 12:22:18

Ps, my son seems to have some sensory issues and definitely prefers baths to showers.

somewhereawayfromhere Thu 02-Nov-17 12:28:23

Before you even said it I thought Autism (Autistic son). Try and introduce it gradually, you need to be there really. So having a bath and just running the shower gently in the bath, so she can feel it.. if it’s a shower over bath. Then gradually get to washing hair in bath with shower etc at her pace. Let her gauge the level and suggest shall we try this etc. But definitely speak to GP about referral to CDC.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 02-Nov-17 12:28:41

I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but are there learning difficulties at play?

Not by my understanding of what LD are. What would indicate LDs? She's bright, articulate, imaginative, academically successful (when she puts the effort in - dd could procrastinate for England). Her difficulties appear to be more social/behavioural.

countingthestars Thu 02-Nov-17 12:29:16

It was the mention of toys in the bath. A 15 year old wouldn't be playing with bath toys, surely?

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