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How can I get my 19 year old daughter to shower & groom herself on a regular basis?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

When my daughter was 9, I would try to get her to shower on her own every day - without success. I gave up and thought, by the time she reaches puberty, SURELY she will want to shower every day. 11 years old came, no showers. 12 years old came, no showers. 13 years old came, and despite bribing, screaming, positive reinforcement, even cussing because she stunk so badly and LOOKED soo horribly, still, NO SHOWERS! Then I thought, Okay, CERTAINLY when she reaches High School? Nope...then I thought - FOR SURE FOR SURE FOR SURE when she becomes interested in boys, she will want to shower....JUST ONCE A WEEK EVEN IS ALL I WANT! Still nope. I have begged and pleaded, punished and embarrassed her, bribed her with MONEY ($10 per shower), bribed her with TONS of compliments when she does shower and still nothing. She goes between 3 and 8 weeks without showering. I don't understand it. YES 3 TO 8 WEEKS!!!! I AM NOT EXAGGERATING! HELP!!!!


Asked by Anonymous at 5:03 PM on Jan. 12, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

This question is closed.
Answers (26)
  • OMG I don't know what I would do??!!!!!!! Good Luck to you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:08 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • That's just not healthy. I would start imposing punishment (if she lives under your roof) for inability to respect herself and the other people around her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:04 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • Okay, that's kind of disgusting. Personally, I'd take her out back and forcibly hose her down... Same as I do with the dogs.

    I wish I had an answer for you, but for the life of me I can't understand why anybody would want to be all smelly and gross... Good luck.

    Answer by Anouck at 5:04 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • She is either depressed, has some sort of mental illness or is just the most disgusting person on earth. In this case, if the first two do not apply you need to allow for natural consequences. She has to just stink and be rejected by her peers and potential employers.

    Answer by IamPatSajak at 5:05 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • There are a lot of people who choose not to shower/bathe. Bathing too often removes natural oils that protect our body. If she lives independently, I'd respect her desire to be natural; however, if she lives in your home and it still offends you ask her if she would be willing to compromise to keep peace in the family.

    Answer by admckenzie at 5:06 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • This is more than just being unwilling to take a shower. Get her to a doctor...this is a sign of mental illness.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:07 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • Yeah I think she has some kind of mental illness. No normal person goes that long w/out bathing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:16 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • I agree with the thought about depression. I went through the same thing with my son, he's almost 25 now and living with his dad. Even after a stint in the navy...I'm not sure he's showering on a regular basis.

    I do have to admit that I go through the same thing some times, although trying to fit in a shower all the time with two whirlwind toddlers (4 & 5) in the house is a challenge. Some nights I fall asleep right after they do, not even bothering to set the clock cuz they wake me up about 6 every-single-day!! I have pmdd, pms, anxiety, clinical depression, diabetes and some ptsd. So daily life is not always pleasant.

    I'd suggest taking your dd to a doctor, but being is her choice. We even threatened to kick my son out of the house when he didn't shower...he just started sleeping in the yard.

    Answer by daisy521 at 5:27 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • You cannot punish her but you need to encourage her to be evaluated by her doctor--this is a sign of mental illness and she needs treatment. She hasn't showered regularly in 10 years and you didn't see that as a problem? This should have been taken care of a long time ago. Good luck.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 5:47 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • I do believe those women on here saying it is depression or mental illness are correct. Please for her sake take her to a doctor even if u have to drag her. I suffer from depression and bi polar and sometimes I just feel like doing not a thing but laying down waiting to die but fortunatly for me I am on meds which help out and I have a son who I know needs me (he's almost 2) so I know I need to just keep going but maybe she feels like there's no point. She really needs to be evaluated and medicated for her own sake. Please take her to a doctor.

    Answer by Peekalou at 6:07 PM on Jan. 12, 2010