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Teen with chronic headlice - won't do anything about it :(

(33 Posts)
nimbs Sun 23-Aug-09 19:59:53

Can anyone advise us please, my 13yr old step sister has had headlice for months now and seems unable/unwilling to do anything about it. It's a very touchy subject with her and if anyone brings it up she says she is dealing with it.

My mum has bought every product under the sun and keeps telling her to use them but she doesn't. My other sister has even downloaded bits off the net about how having headlice for so long can affect you physically - but SS won't listen. I know she is beginning to feel that the family are picking on her but it's becoming such an issue. Every time we stay with mum, especially with the children we all get nits - it's horrid - even though I comb the children (including the 2 babies) every night when we stay we still end up riddled

It's becoming so that noone wants to hug/be with her because we are so worried about getting them - this doesn't seem to bother her though.

Her mum has washed her hands of her and my step-dad is next to useless when it comes to things like this - ie very blunt and not nice - so can't ask them to speak to her.

Apart from literally doing SS's hair herself mum is at her wits end - please can anyone help us?

Thanks

trefusis Sun 23-Aug-09 20:02:18

Message withdrawn

mumeeee Sun 23-Aug-09 23:27:48

Headlice can be very digfficult to get rid of. A 13 year old is still a child and definatly needs help from a parent to do this especially if she has long hair.

BonsoirAnna Mon 24-Aug-09 08:34:21

I think a 13 year old needs a mother or father to deal with her headlice - it is very unreasonable and uncaring to expect her to deal with them herself.

She needs help from an adult to properly deal with them. Your Mum needs to sit her down - explain that it has to be dealt with and get on with it.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 24-Aug-09 08:45:31

the mum should be doing it! Its very hard to deal with lice yourself. dd1 constantly got them because other parents left their teens to deal with it but I combed them out every day for 2 weeks. Then she'd get them again.

chamaeleon Mon 24-Aug-09 08:46:40

Bribery. Nice new haircut, some clothes, make up, whatever. Sounds like her self esteem isnt as good as it could be. And promise her it will never be mentioned again by anyone and no one needs to know when it is being done.

TheProfiteroleThief Mon 24-Aug-09 08:47:18

Very hard to de-nit oneeself. I know!

I think someone needs to check she realises it is not usually a one time treatment too. And get a nitty gritty comb.

I'd just refuse to accept no and insist on getting it sorted before gong back to school - then perhaps a trip out somewhere nice.

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 24-Aug-09 08:51:16

Her mother needs to do it for her!
She cant just give her the stuff and say off you pop, hell im 25 and when I used to catch them off my niece my mum would de-louse me, its near on impossible to do it yourself!

AmazingBouncingFerret Mon 24-Aug-09 08:52:40

Oh and I used to offer my niece money in exchange for a good comb through and de-lousing. They find bribery hard to refuse! grin

iceagethree Mon 24-Aug-09 09:03:13

Thirteen is far too young to take responsibility for denitting self. She should be "brought back into the fold"!

It sounds very uncaring if this hasn't been offered. I do it myself and ask one of the children or dh to check, it's so hard to know.

Time for them to start all over again with bribery and a smile. Denitting can feel like tlc, if she feels got at.

Lovely bath, loads of condy and sitting in front of a movie while being combed over and over. Sounds like she needs a bit of tlc but I'm sure it must be awfully frustrating for you.

SammyK Mon 24-Aug-09 09:10:41

I agree with the other posters, she needs it doing for her and it will be a good opportunity for her to feel cared for. I am assuming your SS is living with your mum and her dad (your step dad)? She must feel very sad about her own mum washing her hands of her. She maybe wants someone to physically look after her. I have step sons this age, and no way if they had long hair ( as my ds does) would I expect them to sort their head lice themselves.

I like the movie idea, sitting in front of a dvd with some chocs/popcorn while your mum combs through her hair. I use leave in tea tre detangler on DS's hair also every time I brush it to help keep them at bay.

I would be most worried about her being bullied about it TBH, 13 yr old girls can be so cruel to each other. sad

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 24-Aug-09 09:13:14

How sad. Of course she needs someone to help her. If my dd got nits, just because she is 13 I wouldn't expect her to sort herself it. She has very thick hair, I would need to sit her down and comb her hair through, like I did when she was smaller.

Very angry that your mum has washed her hands of her, and also that she is not being affectionately treated. 13 is a very, very vulnerable age. She needs a bit of tlc and encouragement, bless her.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 24-Aug-09 09:15:27

Apropos of not very much, I found that as soon as dd turned 12, the nits stopped. She used to get them all the time (like they do) at primary school, however she hasn't had them for the best part of 2 years. Thank god.

roisin Mon 24-Aug-09 09:16:46

De-nitting yourself is really hard. When a friend and I both got them (from the kids) shock, we did each other's hair and carried on checking until we were sure we were clear.

weegiemum Mon 24-Aug-09 09:21:15

If I get nits, (from the children, as you do!!) then I get dh to de-louse me, and I'm 38!

No-one can effectively do it themselves, except blokes who shave their heads!

Sounds like lots of combing in a non-threatening manner is a good idea.

With a nitty-gritty - nothing else works, IME.

TigerFeet Mon 24-Aug-09 09:21:47

The only time I've ever had lice is when I was 17. I still needed my mum to help me sort them out. I don't have a teenager (yet) but if I did I would still insist on sorting the nits out myself, whether she liked it or not. She will feel much better once their gone I'm sure.

Have you offered to help her yourself? Just buying the products for her isn't enough.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Mon 24-Aug-09 09:24:40

you're absolutely sure that sometihing else isn't going on? something that might make her want people to keep away from her?

posieparkerinChina Mon 24-Aug-09 09:25:19

If it were my dd I would probably threaten losing the hair (ie shaving it off) if she didn't deal with it. All I did when I had nits, with hair down to my shoulders, was wash my hair every day use conditioner and used a long tooth nit comb with ridges around the metal.... this I did for at least two weeks.

iceagethree Mon 24-Aug-09 09:25:52

just re read your post again

"apart from literally doing it herself my mum is at her wits end"

i think the answer is VERY simple and cannot believe it has got this far!

it should have been the first option -- now it's all got out of hand!

poor thing

TigerFeet Mon 24-Aug-09 09:26:23

once they're gone [shame]

posieparkerinChina Mon 24-Aug-09 09:27:22

Just rereading at 13 give the girl some help....thought she wasn't allowing anyone to help.

TigerFeet Mon 24-Aug-09 09:28:46

Perhaps she wants her mum to sort it out for her. I would imagine at 13 she still feels she needs help with things like this.

Babieseverywhere Mon 24-Aug-09 10:02:24

Poor child.

The movie and bath is a great idea.

Would it help if you combed and washed everyone's hair in the house, rather than just her hair. It might make her feel better.

Maybe just start washing hair/combing one of the other children first and tell her, she is next. So she doesn't have to say "Yes, I need help" which is hard for a teenager at the best of times, especially when her own mum has failed to step up to the plate.

nimbs Mon 24-Aug-09 13:27:52

thanks everyone for the advice - especially the movie and bath idea - think that might work

sorry didn't make myself clear - it's not my mum that's washed her hands of my step sister but her mother - we've tried and tried to get her to sit down so that we can do her hair - but she point blank refuses - think bribery probably the best way to go -

you read it right posie - she doesn't want anyone to help - we've all offered to do it for her as she does have long hair - mum even did mine (also very long) whilst we were staying as I know it's impossible to do it yourself properly but she just keeps on insisting that she is dealing with it.

iceagethree - what I meant was we would literally have to hold her down to deal with it as she would refuse to let any of us near it.

My post made it sound as if we hadn't bothered with her but it came across wrong - blame 9mth old twins and severe sleep deprivation- nobody ever expected a 13yr old to sort herself out she insists and is very difficult to persuade otherwise.

SammyK - that's what we are worried about - secondary school is tough enough without being bullied - and she is very vunerable at the moment - particularly because of her age but also because her mum has just dumped her with the one person she insisted was horrid/waste of space etc - ie my step father angry not that he is at all but must be so confusing for her.

getorfmoiland: it's not that she isn't treated with affection at all - very much the opposite it is just that when you see the headlice in her hair as you give her a hug it's horrid

Thank you everyone for your advice - will pass it on to my mum.

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