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My 9 year old... where do I begin???

Our 9 year old has no respect for anyone or anything, the only time she seems to do anything is when it would benefit her. She backtalks regularly, lies frequently and doesn't even take care of herself. We are concerned becuase it is begining to effect her hygeine levels, she won't wipe herself correctly or wash properly and she is begining to smell. Does anyone out there have any advice? We have tried everything to correct this problem. Is this puberty? Growing up? HELP PLEASE!


Asked by Anonymous at 9:17 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • About the hygiene thing, it isn't uncommon for girls this age to go through this faze. My oldest did, but we were in the midst of some pretty traumatic emotional stuff in our lives at that time and it was effecting every area in her life, hygiene was one of them. Just you and her go for a girls date night, take her to get a manicure/pedicure, then to dinner where you can talk to her about how she is feeling. Promise her that you won't judge her. Find out what is really the core problem. Then take her shopping for her own "special stuff", like her own girly soap, loofah, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotions....they love Bath and Body Works, all the fun smelly stuff. Make it her own. About the back-talking, make it an intolerable offense and take away whatever her currency (what is important to her) is. Lying, well, a mouth washed with soap worked for me! lol This is serious actually, she is doing it for attention, (cont)


    Answer by blessed5x at 1:55 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Really, I'd talk to her pediatrician and she may need some strict boundaries to reign her in a bit but it could be something has happened at school and she's depressed or angry and acting out with you at home. I'd prod her gently and maybe talk to teachers to see how things are going. could just be a phase.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 9:48 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • i would definately take away privledgesif she is being so disrespectul and lying. i would ground her for however long it takes. i would make her get a shower or bath at least every other day - i dont know if i would go as far as cleaning her vaginal area because i only have an 8.5 yr. old SD and the step part makes a difference i think in how much intimacy i am comfortable with. make her change her clothes and underwear everyday - do it yourself if you have to. and since everyone told me this, i would go to the doctor about the smell thing because everyone told me she probably has an infection. your doctor might even be able to convince her to wash better.

    if the behavior continues after the grounding, you may want to consider talking with a therapist. but that mgiht be extreme. i don't know.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 9:52 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • if she smells i would spray her with a hose (if you live somewhere warm) and tell her she'll get it daily if she doesn't start showering and wiping... just my opinion...

    Answer by pringles_697 at 9:55 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • (cont), find out why. Have her do a study or an essay on pathelogical liars and their impact on lives. What impact on her life would be if you could never believe her or never trust her! She has gotten away with it this long, you'll have to retrain her and it will take strength and consistency!

    Answer by blessed5x at 1:57 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • I went through a similar thing with my son when he was younger. I took two very different approaches.
    After speaking to him in a calm tone (very important) and explaining what he was doing wrong, I gave him an option. Either he learns and gets his "Life back" or he continues, and misses out. "Life back" meant he was grounded from everything....from TV, elctronic games, playing with friends, computer time...anything I could think of! You'll be surprised how much kids value these things. The hardest for my son was interacting with his friends.
    I also showed him how to have his own "me" time. I would ask him to sit on the floor with arms and legs crossed and eyes shut. I would then ask him to put one thing in his mind like a rainbow or stars or space ships....any one thing, and keep it there until it was time to get up. I would get him to sit for 10 minutes creating a kind of meditation time. It's amazing how well this works.

    Answer by Noosh at 2:35 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Take her out to dinner and give her wonderful smell-goody stuff to help with the hygiene problem. Tell her she can keep this, and get special nights out once a week (or once a month, whatever you think is good) if her behavior his good. This should work well. She will think it is benifiting her, but you are actually getting her to behave!

    If it gets extreme, take her to a therapist.

    Good luck!

    Answer by A.W.96 at 8:31 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • hi i have an 11 yr old who seems to have a similar probelem with some stuff. the hygeine actualy took her therapist to get her to see. she video taped a session and then played it back so she could see herself and how she carried herself and looked bedraggled and such. it seems to have helped some. another was a checklist to go over of things like teeth hair fresh clothes so she didnt forget anything in the am. if this is a new thing i would see if you can find out what the trigger was. is she beig bullied? abused? is she depressed? school problems? boy problems? just make sure its not a cry for help!! dont miss the forest for the trees!! anger issues are not uncommon with these isssues. also mood swings are normal if she has hit puberty. its early but not unheard of at her age,. if this is not a new thing you have your work cut out. lay boundrys and be consistant more one on one time might help too.

    Answer by allforthelove at 5:11 AM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Wow, I thought my 9yr old daughter was different. I want her to take a bath/shower every other day. Last week she gave me such a hard time I let her go without it, but on my way to school I pointed out how greasy her hair was and itchy it is, how other people will remember when she didn't take a shower and smelled and how boys like girls that take care of themselves ( she is not allowed to date-ever ) but alot of her friends are boys.

    As far as talking back a good old wack with the wooden spoon once a year keeps the threat alive.

    Answer by JMOW at 11:42 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Maybe she is trying to say "I don't care about myself". Take her shopping to find some things to perk her up....take her to lunch to talke about what might be going on. Get her a diary to write down her feelings and some good books for her age (Care and Keeping of You which is an American Girl Book about hygiene). This link has the book and others which are appropriate fo for her age (feelings, friends).  We also have girly soap and a diary on  All are on


    Answer by momjs at 12:50 AM on Feb. 28, 2009