or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › daughter refuses to wear deodorant
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

daughter refuses to wear deodorant

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
My eleven year old daughter smells. Badly.

She just refuses to wear deodorant. I don't know why. She won't discuss it. I actually don't wear it, for some reason I don't really have a lot of body odor, but I do keep a tube of natural deodorant in the bathroom, mostly for show, or if I am going to be doing some sort of heavy exercise.

I don't know what to do. I cannot emphasize how extremely strong she smells.

She is a beautiful, sweet girl, but I think she is struggling with the concept of becoming a woman. She doesn't want to discuss getting bras, either (another thing she really needs).

I've tried to respectfully explain why she should use deodorant, but she just gets mad.

I'm worried that she is causing herself to be socially isolated.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicalmama View Post
My eleven year old daughter smells. Badly.

She just refuses to wear deodorant. I don't know why. She won't discuss it. I actually don't wear it, for some reason I don't really have a lot of body odor, but I do keep a tube of natural deodorant in the bathroom, mostly for show, or if I am going to be doing some sort of heavy exercise.

I don't know what to do. I cannot emphasize how extremely strong she smells.

She is a beautiful, sweet girl, but I think she is struggling with the concept of becoming a woman. She doesn't want to discuss getting bras, either (another thing she really needs).

I've tried to respectfully explain why she should use deodorant, but she just gets mad.

I'm worried that she is causing herself to be socially isolated.

Any suggestions?
My Ds started needing deodarent at a little over 11.

He was not opposed to wearing it, but he has trouble remebering things that are not important to him. In a way it makes sense, wearing deodarent is a new habit and it is goiong to take time to establish. On a daily basis for the last 9 months I have reminded him to put on his deodarent (and while I am not a fan of micro-managing, in this case the real and potential consequences of not wearing deodarent were too high for me to "let it go".) In the last few weeks, he has started remembering (occasionally!) on his own.

I have brought him to the store and let him pick which deodarent he wants. That helped. People also use a salt crystal, baking soda, witch hazel - hey whatever works!

My Ds also smells way more than his father or I. I only need to put on deodarent every second day. My DH, who showers daily, does not need it at all. Perhaps there is something about young teens and odour - perhaps it explodes as they hit puberty and settles down later? Just hypothesising.

I would let the bra one go for now.

Kathy
post #3 of 37
I do not wear deodorant. I do use anitipirperant soap and lots of essential oils.
From 10 on, I found choose my battles and empower them as much as possible. Around that age, my son loved the spray type deodorant. Sallie
post #4 of 37
Well we are used to our own smells because we are around them constantly, so of course we don't notice them.

Personally I am not forcing my kid to use deoderant or wear a bra.
post #5 of 37
I'd try suggesting spray kind as well. Maybe go out with her shopping for girly things, and let her pick new shampoo, toothbrush, etc. etc. etc.

I also wanted to say that when DSD was going through "no shower" stage, I just got her a book "The Care and Keeping of You" and it was a magical cure.
It's tough fighting these things... you have to find a round-about way to help here.
post #6 of 37
I second the shopping trip for girly things, letting her pick the brand/types things she wants. I wouldn't push the bra thing. Is she willing to wear a tight fitting tank top under her shirts as a compromise? I don't wear antiperspirant, either. I don't wear a bra, either. But I am only a 36 B when very full of milk. When non lactating, I am barely an A so it really isn't much of an issue. I do shower twice a day though, so I don't smell. I never really had much or any of a scent according to my dh.
post #7 of 37
Rather than telling her why she should, have you asked her why she doesn't, and then given her space to answer honestly? (That means really being open to the answer, with no agenda of changing her behavior or contradicting her reasons.)

Also, she really doesn't need a bra unless she wants one. Being bigger than an A cup doesn't mean one "needs" a bra.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
Rather than telling her why she should, have you asked her why she doesn't, and then given her space to answer honestly? (That means really being open to the answer, with no agenda of changing her behavior or contradicting her reasons.)

Also, she really doesn't need a bra unless she wants one. Being bigger than an A cup doesn't mean one "needs" a bra.
:
post #9 of 37
I was that eleven year old girl, and I remember it so clearly. It was just one more yucky step towards all the yucky, weird, unnecessarily sexual things that I knew were about to start happening to me, and I was NOT happy about it. So I tried to put the whole thing off by postponing deodorant and a bra.

Most of all, I was worried that consenting to deodorant would lead to a in-depth, intimate discussion of "my changing body." A discussion with my MOM, of all people. Eeeeew.

I have gotten over all of this now, FWIW, but I remember it very vividly.
post #10 of 37
I would let her decide in her own time when she wants to use these things. It is her body.
I remember that I developed breasts around the age of 11 but I never wore a bra. My stepmother and my father confronted me one day about it and embarrassed the hell out of me. I was mortified.
Don't force her to use deodorant or wear a bra. If you give her space you may be surprised to find that eventually she'll bring it up to you on her own.
post #11 of 37
I'd ask her why she doesn't want to and be open to her answer.

This age is hard because there are so many things you "should" do that you didn't have to just a year ago. She's probably thinking "Why do I have to wear deordorant? I didn't have to last summer." and it might be a mild regression in the face of growing up and facing puberty.

Personally, I pat some bakingsoda under the arms and I have never had a smell issue. (Can't say the same for some of the natural deordorants I've tried though.) Maybe that would be an acceptable alternative for her?

Don't push the bra thing, it isn't worth it.
post #12 of 37
Deoderants and antiperspirants are full of chemicals; so this is kindof hard for me to suggest; but seeing as how she won't talk about it with you; why not have another adult that she trusts and looks up to (big sister; older cousin; aunt; family friend...?); take her "beauty shopping"...and the deoderant isle can be on the to-do list. There are so many that smell so pretty and there are spray-on one's. Maybe she tried yours and doesn't like the feel of it. There are gels; sticks; spray on's....I'm sure she could find something she likes if left to her own devices with a little guideance (aka: "I LOVE this stuff") from someone she looks up to. You're mom; you might be too close to her in this stage to talk about this stuff.
post #13 of 37
My 13 year old is like this and I honestly can't figure it out. She won't wear deodorant, she won't shower, and she won't take care of her hair. When I was that age, I was into those things (I was never a hair and makeup girl, but I didn't want to smell or look greasy). It really baffles me.

Her therapists actually commented on her body odor, and she still won't do anything about it.

I have decided to just let it go, because it's not worth the arguments to me ... but I've also told her that there are certain places that I won't take her if she looks and smells dirty.

This is an issue for me because my dd was adopted; she is Ethiopian and I am caucasian and I do worry about people thinking I am not taking care of my daughter. In fact, someone said something to me yesterday about dd's hair and dry scalp. I said that I knew and that dd wouldn't do anything about it (or let me help her with it) and arranged for this person to talk to dd about it.

dm
post #14 of 37
From my own experience I think it's a fact of life that from about 12-14 all teenage girls reek. Something about hormones changing, maybe. She's probably just embarrassed to discuss it with you, or she can't smell it on herself, but you are right to at least try and bring it up, if you don't, someone else will and not in the nicest way. Maybe she doesn't like the smell of regular deodorant? Just a thought.
post #15 of 37
My 10 yr old dd has been smelling like an extremely raunchy goat for over a year and it was an uphill battle getting her to wear deoderant until very recently. I even bought her that Dri Idea super strong stuff that lasts three days (but only works on clean skin directly out of the shower) and that was great if used correctly but she would always forget it. I tried ignoring it and letting her choose but it was hard to ride in a car with her or be anywhere near her and it was offensive to the housemates as well as causing a huge increase in laundry. I finally picked up one of the new Secret solids and she loves the smell so much (vanilla chai) that I hardly have to remind her to put it on anymore....we are all breathing much easier.
post #16 of 37
I second (or third or fourth?) the suggestion of taking her shopping to pick some out. My 14 yo dd recently discovered natural hemp and tea tree oil products and we got her shampoo, facial cleanser, deodorant and soap from the local organic store. And toothpaste. My struggle with her has been getting her to brush her teeth and we have FINALLY found a toothpaste she will actually use.
post #17 of 37
I'm not sure I would fight this fight over deoderant. Mostly because, IMO, it's not that effective. It is not as though every scent gland in her body is located in her armpits, such that the application of a chemical grease would make her smell like Spring Rain, or whatever Mennen is selling this week.

She has BO, which is somewhat normal for teens. I might encourage her to shower more.
post #18 of 37
Would it wreck your budget to give her $20 to shop for her deodorant and soap herself? My mom gave me a little money back in the day to pick out my own hygiene supplies-deodorant, shampoo, etc. She also got me a make-up bag sort of thing to "hide" my stuff in so no one knew I "needed" deodorant and such. Perhaps you ccould just say "hey, Sweetie, here's your hygiene kit budget. I can take you to the store Saturday and you can shop while I shop."
As for the bras, mine just appeared in my drawer and I wore them-nothing said. No arguments. They were verry soft and so sparkly white, I couldn't wait to wear one.
post #19 of 37
My DSS was the same way around that age. We didn't talk about it with him, I just noticed that he was becoming especially fragrant, and bought him some deodorant. I left it in his bathroom, on the counter, and he started using it. I knew it would embarrass him to have a big talk about it, so I didn't bring it up. I let him choose whether he wanted to use it, but it was there for him. (I crossed my fingers that he would use it, though.) I did the same thing with acne wash - I could see that he needed it, so I just bought it and left it in his shower.

Now I ask him "what kind of deodorant (shampoo, body wash, etc.) do you want?", because if I asked "do you want XYZ?", he'd just say no.

Maybe you could just buy some pretty smelling stuff (I have some asian pear scented Secret that I love!), or the unscented if she's not into smelly products, and leave it in her room? No questions, no discussion.

As for the bra...I'd let that one go. Unless she honestly needs one for gym class (do they still require that everyone wear one?), I'd let her decide if and when she wants to start wearing one.

This is a really good book for girls. I bought a copy, and I'm so impressed with how honestly everything is discussed.
post #20 of 37
My ds started smelling at 8.5 yrs. I was very suprised as I have never (to my knowledge at least been a stinky person. We went and bought deodorant but even today, 2 years later she still doesn't wear it regularly. I would suggest a having her bath (and washing her armpits) every day or so. It helps enough and is easier to 'enforce' and less psychologically scaring than putting on deodorant every day.
A
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Preteens and Teens
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › daughter refuses to wear deodorant