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How can I get my 12yo sd to understand how important good hygiene is?

My sd has horrible hygiene. She has absolutely no interest in anything that has to do w/ being clean. We have to stand there and force her to shower, brush her teeth/hair. She wont use toilet paper AT ALL, and whats worse is that she refuses to wear underwear!! She picks her nose and eats it, or wipes it wherever she is sitting, she bites her nails and they are always sore or infected... I mean I could go on forever. She IS very underdeveloped(physically and socially) for a girl her age, but the things she is doing are behaviors of a 7 or 8 yo girl... we've gotten professional opinions on this. Although its been boiled down to a control issue w/ her (meaning no one can FORCE her to wear underwear or wipe herself) she still needs to start doing these things. Scaring her w/ facts about infection doesnt work, she gets made fun of in school... I am at my wits end and need HELP!!!

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Asked by 7mom1977 at 10:08 AM on Jan. 14, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (10)
  • Has she been to a psychologist? That really sounds like it could be symptoms of mental illness or something.


    Answer by MommaLucy at 10:18 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • She needs to be evaluated by a professional psychiatirist - not a pediatrician.

    How are her grades? Does she have ANY friends? What do her teachers say?


    Answer by Wimsey at 10:37 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • absolutely, see a before it is too late

    Answer by sweettea at 10:46 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • tell her if she dont keep goo hygene she can get sick from it and that other kids will start making fun of her and she doesnt want that to happen

    Answer by sandramcright1 at 10:48 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I did say in the post that we have gotten professional opinions, but I should have elaborated. Yes, we have had her to psychologists, this was not an opinion from our pedi. She refuses to cooperate w/ any of them so that is an issue all in itself. She will not open up or even talk to them for that matter. We know she has some mental issues, but she is a very withdrawn child and the ones we have taken her to have said they cannot help her if she won't even speak, which of course is understandable. She went to one for 6 months, and she(the therapist) discharged her because she said she was untreatable at that point... and she still has not gotten any better.

    Answer by 7mom1977 at 11:02 AM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • Since the psyc have pretty much giving up on her I'm glad you're not. Does she like to read? American girl has a really cool series of books. It's the Real series it talks about feelings, and self image, and stuff like that also there's The Care and Keeping of You these books are written for girls age 8-13 so they should be at her level.
    Since you've been told part of this is a power issue try to not make such a big deal about it, I know thats not easy, maybe try setting up a schedule so she has to shower on certain days and make a reward chart (since you say she acts younger) after so many times of her doing it correctly w/ fighting you on it she gets something she likes. That puts her in control of the reward and may take the strain off you. (to be cont)

    Answer by xmasbaby73 at 1:37 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • (part 2)
    I would also suggest that you maybe try to find a therapist who specializes in "play therapy" or another form of therapy that isn't just talking she might open up easier in that type of setting. I really hope you can find someone who won't give up on her and helps you find out what is the root cause of all of this.

    Answer by xmasbaby73 at 1:38 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • maybe a pro can help. but until you get in , have you tried a behavior and reward chart. put the behaviors down you want her to do/not do. when she does them for a day give her checkmarks then reward her w/ something she likes. oh and never underestimate praise. even if you have to 'make' her bathe, say thank you or something positive. you may have already tried this stuff. try bubble baths, toys, etc. good luck.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 8:57 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • i just read the above about the pros saying she is untreatable, have they tried inpatient therapy w/ meds? At this point, her health is at issue, it sounds like meds are an option.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 9:00 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • might sound far fetched but maybe dr. phil could help. or maybe if she could find a friend, ya know someone to smell good for and clean herself for. if she has a reason to that might give her more motovation.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:40 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

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