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How do we get our 9yo (ten in a couple weeks) son to have better hygiene habits??

Our 9yo-almost 10 yo son drives me crazy with his hygiene habits. EVERYDAY I have to tell him to brush his teeth, put deoderant on and I swear he would wear the same clothes for days and not shower if I didnt tell him to! He also has a terrible issue with keeping himself clean after using the bathroom, thus causing him to smell and then he lies to us all the time about it. OMG! I think that is the worst. He has had that problem for some time and we tell him all the time other people including friends will not want to be around him if he is smelly! What in the heck do we do?????


Asked by kristysue68 at 11:41 AM on Jul. 19, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (12)
  • I think this is a phase that all boys go through. I'm having the same problem with my 12 yr old...and dealt with it when my older one who is now 18 was that age too. He should grow out of it, thank God, as soon as he starts developing an interest in girls. Then he'll be showering 2x a day or more and wanting a cologne collection that will be bigger and more expensive than yours. But, in the mean time, I agree with the chart idea. Try also, getting him some special body wash like AXE or something like that--all the boys are using it. If that doesn't help, as embarassing as it will be, talk to his teacher when school starts up again. Let her know your struggling with it. Any adult male role model in his life? That could help too. If there isn't, try getting him a BIG Brother through the Big Brother/Big Sister organization. These issues are frequently better handled by an older male that he respects and trusts.

    Answer by Kat4162 at 7:04 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • Maybe try making a daily chart for him or something. I know it all seems time consuming and stupid to kids but he needs to know how important it is. I have a problem with my 3 year old never wanting to change his underwear. I have to check everyday to make sure he did it. You could have him lose a privlage each day if he does not do all the things on the chart.

    Answer by klpeter at 3:09 PM on Jul. 19, 2008

  • start telling him how gross it is and how his friends dont want to be around a smelly, non clean boy!!!!! :) lolz... i throw my sister in laws in the shower if they dont shower, and when i was living with my mother in law, i was basically playing mommy to them, and i ould have to tell them to shower, brush their hair, brush their teeth, put on deodorant and finally i started telling them that they smell and its gross!!!!! i kept telling them to not sit by me cuz i dont want to smell them!!!!! lol... good luck!!! contact me if u need further info!!!!

    Answer by Ms.Beth1214 at 6:27 PM on Jul. 19, 2008

  • OMG! I have the exact same problem. Mine is 12 and does all the same stuff. When he does get in shower he usually just plays and doesn't even wash. I have talked and talked, I guess they really don't care.

    Answer by Rhonda35 at 3:01 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • I have a 10 year old and he's the same way....My mom says it's a phase....both of my brothers were the same him his butthole will get infected and he'll have to have a huge needle stuck in it....Scare tactics

    Answer by love_my_boys at 8:01 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • I think the chart is a good idea, but also maybe give a reward when all items were completed for the week. Maybe an extra 30 minutes of tv/computer/video game time - whichever he likes. I don't think that telling the teacher is a good idea, you don't want to embarrass him further. I think that it is a phase that he's going through, but you still have to try to curve the behavior.

    Answer by uniquecarper at 8:41 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • Oh thank you so much to each of you that answered my question! What a big help! I have thought of the charts for chores but not his "siuation". Im glad my son isnt the only one doing thisI I thought for sure it was! Thanks!

    Answer by kristysue68 at 9:44 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • Its a boy thing! I have a 13 and 9yr old and my 13yr has grown out of it he is into girls so now we cant keep him out of the shower or to stop changing clothes...but the 9yr old would never bath,change clothes,or brush his teeth unless we told him to...they grow out of it as soon as the interest of girls start!

    Answer by pleonard at 9:49 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • I have a teen daughter who went through this too. The problem was cured one day when a man with foul body odor was standing in line ahead of us. And I told her to take a sniff! Well then it clicked for her.I have not had to tell her again. As for the poor guy, well I am not so sure about him!

    Answer by Tuniebird at 9:58 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

  • Tell him if he can't keep himself clean you'll have to wash him in the bathtub yourself. If that doesn't work, go ahead and do it. One or two times of that and he'll decide it's a lot easier to keep clean himself.

    Answer by surobb at 2:16 PM on Jul. 20, 2008