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DD in complete denial about BO

30 replies

PantsInWash · 19/11/2013 17:52

DD (11) has terrible BO on some days, but steadfastly refuses to acknowledge it. She throws a complete fit however gently we try to tell her. We've tried using a 'code phrase' which she suggested ("when did you last have a shower?") rather than saying "I've noticed you have body odour today", and have avoided all references to 'stink' or 'pong' or anything that could be construed as insulting.

Today she absolutely honks but denies it. I've tried explaining that sometimes you can't smell your own body odour, but that it's very strong today and that it's better for her to wash and change her clothes. I've tried to tell her that other people WILL notice, and may talk behind her back about it if she does nothing about it. I've tried being gentle, forceful, buying lovely shower gel, getting her her choice of deodorant / anti-perspirant, reasoning with her - and she's now upstairs in floods shouting for me to go away.

What next?!

OP posts:
ITCouldBeWorse · 19/11/2013 18:04

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arcadian · 19/11/2013 18:50

Have you bought lots of deodorant and given them to her. Seems simple, but if she's left to her own devices, she might take responsibility into her own hands?

If she's got deodorant and is refusing it, I'd be forcing her into the shower. Like the poster above - tell her that people don't like smelly people.

stargirl1701 · 19/11/2013 18:54

I think you need to get someone else to have a word. A young aunt, an older cousin, a Guider, etc. Someone she looks up to but is closer to her in age. If it is a family member, they could possibly take her shopping for product.

Iseeall · 19/11/2013 19:05

Get her a selection of Impulse body sprays(not the best deodorant I know) but teen girls seem to love them.
Tell her to spray on her body, armpits and clothes. Remind her to use liberally after p.e.
Is she actually using a soaped sponge in her armpits when she showers, obvious to us, but worth a check with her.
The other thing teen girls like is the latest 'celeb' perfume. She might like showing of/spraying a perfume at school.

Fairylea · 19/11/2013 19:07

Her suggesting the code phrase says to me she's embarrassed about it. That's a good thing - there's hope!

I'd start by making a shower every day compulsory. Otherwise things get withdrawn - ipod type things, no internet blah blah. Make it non negotiable. Same with wearing deodorant. Maybe get her some of the mitchum roll on (as long as it doesnt irritate her skin) as its very strong and will last even a couple of days if she forgets to put it on.

I have a stinky dd too :) she is in year 6 and getting her to have a shower is a daily struggle!

PantsInWash · 19/11/2013 20:51

She's just been in the shower and put on smelly PJs... just got her to change and she still smells a bit. Iseeall that makes me think she isn't washing properly - I heard her tell her best friend that 'it only takes me 2 minutes in the shower' Hmm- quite how she washes and conditions her lanky hair and soaps everywhere in 2 minutes I have no idea!

Showers daily from now on. And I might just buy some Mitchum too, see how that goes. And Impulse. And put more in her Xmas stockings. Might just throw everything at it Grin

OP posts:
PantsInWash · 19/11/2013 20:52

Already got the 1D perfume on her Christmas list too...

OP posts:
TheCraicDealer · 19/11/2013 20:57

Is having to wash her hair every day putting her off? If she's literally going in for a rinse (with shower gel!) then it should only be a five minute job, much less hassle. Showercap! Then wash hair every other day.

PantsInWash · 19/11/2013 21:48

Just ordered pink sequinned shower cap Grin

OP posts:
Tuhlulah · 20/11/2013 11:37

Maybe if you put her stinking clothes aside, and then let her smell then later, when she is away from the smell. Then she will have a better idea.

Unless she has a malfunctioning nose/nonexistent sense of smell I find it hard to believe she cannot actually smell herself. Is she maybe embarrassed and therefore trying to deny problem?

I bet she isn't washing properly -I certainly notice the difference when DS (12) doesn't wash properly, or doesn't use deodorant. We say that he has to, for the sake of the community and mankind in general. Health hazard, etc. He is OK with the banter, and we tell him he stinks, which he finds a great joke (?!) but maybe girls are more sensitive?

All the lovely things in the world are not going to make a jot of difference unless she actually uses them properly. So maybe, as other posters have suggested, an older and respected role model could show by example, as opposed to telling her she smells. If there was someone she wanted to emulate actually showing your DS that she is taking care about BO, maybe your DS would follow suit?

There you go, gap in the market -cool girl (no doubt some B-list celebrity) who likes to shower and smell nice.

But seriously, do magazines aimed at girls not mention this, or push products at them?

MarjorieAntrobus · 20/11/2013 12:19

Somebody upthread mentioned that she might not actually be washing properly. Yep, certainly happened here. The DC were familiar with baths when they were small, and the bath water had bubble bath in it so they never really realised that they were actually washing when I swooshed the soapy water around. Of course, I didn't realise that they didn't realise!

A few (maybe many) showers later, we had a funny conversation where one of the DC admitted that they were just standing under the running water and thought that that was it, shower-wise! No shower gel. No shampoo. No soaping or lathering. Grin

MarjorieAntrobus · 20/11/2013 12:20

So, erm, to labour the point here OP, you might actually have to tell her to rub shower gel on all the key areas, and then rinse it off.

BananaNotPeelingWell · 20/11/2013 12:26

Maybe she's in denial because she's not feeling ready for the whole growing up thing, thinks this is just the tip of the iceberg, and is hoping the it'll all just go away.

This book is quite gentle but helpful. There's also a version for older girls.

My dd2 can be a bit like this, but I just reassure her that just because her body is changing and needs a bit of extra care, she can grow up emotionally at her own pace. Confusing time really.

BananaNotPeelingWell · 20/11/2013 12:28

Oh yes and I don't mince words about the technique required re washing. Ds esp needs to be reminded about the soap and flannel aspect of washing. Otherwise he'd run so fast through a shower he'd still be dry.

FiscalCliffRocksThisTown · 20/11/2013 12:34

I chant from behind the foor to my 11 year old: " pits, bits and bot! Soap em!"

The DC rightly think I am a loon, but having grown ip with stinky brothers who showered daily , but used no soap, I feel I owe it to society and the DC

"Pits and Bits darling! Pits and bits! Bits and Bots!"

I probably am nuts.... But it is becoming a habit now for them to do it :)

Theas18 · 20/11/2013 12:35

Honestly? nothing changed till we got very blunt. "you smell , shower and deodorant and clean PJs before you are eating tea"..

She needs to change clothes daily and maybe PJs too by the sound of it.

it seems we have finally ( at 14) sorted DD2 out most of the time with the sure deo spray in the purple /white colour. THat one ... specifically !

DowntonTrout · 20/11/2013 12:37

On the other hand. Are you sure it's not more of a problem than not washing properly?

DD started to smell at that age. And I mean stink. She would start smelling an hour after a proper shower and she sweated a lot. The GP (if I remember correctly) saiditvwas something to do with hormonal changes and over production of sweat. We were given some sort of anti perspirant on prescription, I can't remember what it was called but you can also buy over the counter. Quite expensive though. You put it on and had to leave it 20 mins before getting dressed. They talked about Botox injections if all else failed but we managed for a couple of years and then it calmed down.

Theas18 · 20/11/2013 12:37

And you can be blunt without squashing her self esteem or sensitive nature. No "denial about growing up " her, just a stinky child!

BananaNotPeelingWell · 20/11/2013 12:38

Of course give it a few more years and you'll have the opposite problem. I can't get dd1 (15) out of the bathroomHmm

VenusDeWillendorf · 20/11/2013 12:53

Bring her to a local gym and let her see the other women in their routines.

Make a big deal of washing bits and pits with the shower gel.

Ask her which deodorant she wants in boots, LOUDLY.
Show her the HUGE range of deodorants, explain that everyone uses them and she must too if she's acceptable in the tribe. Ask her why does she think she's not in a tribe?

Show her nature programmes of primates who isolate the sick, funny smelling ones.

Remind her we are all primates and we judge a huge amount about other primates in our group by smell. Ask her why does she think the perfume industry is so massive?

And be aware, though I'm reluctant to say it, but the start of mental health problems are signalled by the refusal to wash, and the denial or lack of awareness of smells.

Ask her questions about who else smells bad in her class, and would she sit next to a girl who smells? Does anyone else?

Tell her that no one can afford to be friends with the primate in the group who smells, as you're branded with the same brush. It's VERY urgent you get this sorted, especially as she heads into her teens and needs to be part of a same sex group.

See her GP and get a Mental health referral with her if she still refuses to smell that there is a problem. There is a big link with mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, and inability to smell a smell as everyone else experiences the smell. Research here and here

It's essential that this is sorted. I dropped a friend of mine at about 12 when I realised she stank. I couldn't afford to be friends with her. All hints fell on deaf ears, and indeed she did go on to have mental health problems. We are all primates.

cathyandclaire · 20/11/2013 13:03

The treatment antiperspirant is Drichlor or Anhydrol, apply for at night for a short time ( see instructions) then wash off, actually prevents sweating.
what about talking about hair removal too? It'll stop the hair trapping sweat and all that soaping and lathering to shave will make sure she properly cleans!

DowntonTrout · 20/11/2013 18:33

That's it Drichlor. I know people say only stale sweat smells but DD would smell pretty soon after washing and the Drichlor actually prevented her sweating.

PantsInWash · 21/11/2013 09:18

ROFL at FiscalCliffs - I must try 'pits bits and bot'!!

Small epiphany yesterday - she said she could smell herself and knew she needed a shower. Much relief all round... as Tuhlulah suggested, I think she's just embarrassed and not sure how to deal with it. Anyway, I've laid the law down about daily showers, and made her take a flannel into the shower yesterday. She said 'but Mum, my shower gel never bubbles in the shower" - I use the same shower gel and it certainly does, so I can only think that she pours a bit on her chest and watches it slide off under the water Hmm

Banana I've ordered the 2nd book in the series, it sounds like just the right thing for her at this stage. Thank you for the link. They've had talks about puberty in school but she didn't take them very seriously and I think they looked on it as a bit of a joke.

I feel like this is partly my fault for not concentrating enough on her and her growing up - it's all a bit scary tbh and I'm in denial a bit myself about my little baby girl moving into adulthood... Sad

OP posts:
Gatekeeper · 26/11/2013 09:23

Blimey...nice to know I'm not the only one with a soap-dodger! DD is 11 (yr 7) and a right stinker ! She pretends she has cleaned her teeth, washed hair/washed self etc but the evidence gives her away. I've had to stop buying her scented body sprays as she thinks it's ok to squirt half a tin over her unwashed pits, Only buy unscented mitchum now until she improves.

She is dreadful at changing her pads when on her periods as well and is whiffy, or just doesn't bother at other times when flow is lighter so her knicks are a right state. It doesn't seem to bother or worry her but I do incase people at school notice and start commenting about it

JohnnyUtah · 26/11/2013 09:30

I'm sorry to say this, but I still remember the girl at school who smelt when she was on her period (but not at other times). Everyone knew about it.

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