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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Poor Hygiene--10 y/o daughter

Posted by on Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM
  • 29 Replies

My 10 y/o daughter is overall a very good kid, a straight A student, plays sports throughout the year, and has plenty of friends. However, she has severe issues when it comes to her personal hygiene. She will wear the same underwear for days, she does not wipe after using the bathroom, she does not wash her hands, and she does not flush the toilet which is a huge problem because she has her own bathroom in her room and I don't always catch it right away and her bathroom and room stink to high heaven. She does not shower unless she is being told and if she doe shower, she will barely get wet and that's it. I will need to stand right there to make sure she uses soap and washes all the nooks and crannies. She does not brush her teeth and if she does she does such a bad job that her teeth are starting to look yellow and just pure nasty. She will sleep in her street clothes unless I check on her and tell her to change into her PJs.

I am at my wits end. I have tried everything under the sun. I have tried to make hygiene more "attractive" by takingher to the store to buy fancy shower gels, soaps, tooth pastes, tooth brushes, etc., etc. I have explained in great detail that she can actually get sick if she does not brush her teeth and does not wipe after using the bathroom. I have discussed this with her in a patient way and things have gotten heated, too, afterall she is very capable as a 10 y/o and seems to understand but keeps resisting. I have discussed this with her pediatrician and she seems understandig but nothing ever changes.

I am so fed up with this. Yes, I am angry and disgusted. She is such a very smart kid, way ahead of her peers in many things and she knows very well that this is unacceptable but she does not seem to care. I know I should not feel that way but I find her behaviour, regarding her poor hygiene, extremely disrespectful.

How can I help her change and take care of her body?

by on Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:51 PM
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Does she suffer from depression at all?  Just wondering since that can cause a lack of wanting to maintain your hygiene.  Does she have many friends?   You may have to revert to toddler or early elementary supervision with her until she understands what is needed to stay healthy.  I would have her shower every other day since that is what i do especially in the winter time since every day would dry out my skin.  Make a time during the day that you and she will brush her teeth together and buy the mouthwash for kids that show where they missed on teeth.

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:54 PM
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Have you tried treating her like a toddler?  Go to the bathroom with her and either wipe for her or make sure that she does it, same with flushing and washing hands.  Be in the bathroom with her when she showers and wash her if necessary.  I had to do this with my oldest son when he slacked off on the tooth brushing.  He absolutely hated me brushing his teeth for him, so after a week, I let him try on his own and he has been doing an excellent job ever since.

Biene
by on Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

She lost her father when she was four and has been dealing with that the best she can. She's seen a few counselors in her young life. She has ADD, as did her dad and her step brother. However, since she is such a great student, her pediatrician acknowledges that she has ADD but refuses to make a diagnosis, and prescribe medication, because she does so well in school.

My daughter's selfesteem is practically non-existing. She is only 10 y/o but is already 5'4", weighs 170 lbs, wears a size 10 shoe and her clothes are bigger than mine. She feels bad about herself, she hides the fact that she is smart (she is a straight A student), she thinks she does not deserve anything good, she feels like nobody loves her. Yes, I believe she is depressed, too, and it has been discussed with her doctor and her counselor.

I realize that all of these things are contributing to her hygiene problem. There are a lot more issues I am/ we are dealing with that I don't want and don't need to list here. The thing is, she is 10 y/o, very self sufficient, very smart, and very capable. She does things other 10 y/o could not master by themselves. I am encouraging her every day, I try to not make a big deal out of it but just remind her that it is time to shower, brush teeth, brush hair, change clothes, etc.

I am just so frustrated that she absolutely refuses to even attempt change. She is on winter break and I am on vacation. I asked her three times today to flush her toilet. Am I wrong to expect to have that toilet flushed after the first time her mother reminded her? Again, I find her behaviour very disrespectful toward me as she refuses and successfully resists any change.

Biene
by on Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Excellent idea and yes, I have done just that. She absolutely hates it but as soon as we both agree that I will give her her privacy back, she goes back to her old ways. That's exactly why I am so very frustrated and feel disrespected.

soymujer
by Mikki on Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM


Quoting steelcrazy:

Have you tried treating her like a toddler?  Go to the bathroom with her and either wipe for her or make sure that she does it, same with flushing and washing hands.  Be in the bathroom with her when she showers and wash her if necessary.  I had to do this with my oldest son when he slacked off on the tooth brushing.  He absolutely hated me brushing his teeth for him, so after a week, I let him try on his own and he has been doing an excellent job ever since.


family in the van   Mom of four


aetrom
by Gold Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 3:59 AM
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Why not lock her bathroom and she has to use another? That way it is easier to monitor and the private bath is a privilege?
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Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM
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Imo...you need to work on the depression, self~image issue and that will help with the hygiene.

What does she excel at? Is there something she loves? Get her involved with something that will boost her self~image. Maybe volunteering somewhere (animal shelter, horse program, library), Girl scouts, maybe music or dance?
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Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Have you asked her why she doesn't want to be clean?

Have you talked about how people will avoid her and possibly make fun of her for smelling bad?
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DesireMM
by Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

 I had issues when I was young. I had lost my father when I was 3. My mom quickly moved on to another man. And then I turned into the outsider, a daughter from another marriage. So I was very depressed when I was young. Which in turn made me not care about how I looked. A good friend's mother got me a book called "The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls". It actually helped me see that girls need to take care of themselves. That even if I didn't care, my body cared. The book is worth a try. I looked it up and they sell them at Walmart and Target. I wish you the best of luck.

mommytoeandb
by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM
The book is a good idea. Have you talked to the school guidance counselor? Has she been to therapy? It sounds like she is depressed.

DD is 9 and forgets to flush the toilet. The only idea I've got is charging her when I have to flush it.
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