How to deal with hygiene issues (12, boy) - Mothering Forums
Preteens and Teens > How to deal with hygiene issues (12, boy)
Mama Soltera's Avatar Mama Soltera 06:29 PM 09-13-2010
I am not uptight about it and I try not to nag. I have explained all the health, social, and logistical concerns I have about him failing to shower, wash his ears, brush his teeth, etc. It is a battle every step of the way. I'm hoping that some mothers who have been through this with boys this age can help me out. What to do? I want him to brush his teeth twice a day, but would settle on once. Still, he thinks that's torture. Help!

mazajo's Avatar mazajo 08:37 AM 09-15-2010
As a mother of 18, 16, 15yo DSs & 11yo DSD, I can assure you that some of this will fix itself when they become interested in the opposite sex. Some of it, not all... I thought my boys were completely past the hygeine issues and I just had an argument over why my 16yo needed to brush his teeth. *sigh*
Mama Soltera's Avatar Mama Soltera 03:40 PM 09-17-2010
lol Thanks for the commiseration!
TiredX2's Avatar TiredX2 04:40 PM 09-17-2010
Does he go to school? In 5th grade DD's teacher read them the riot act in the spring saying that they all (no one in particular) were getting older and were starting to NEED more hygiene. None of the kids seemed offended, but they all started making more of an effort. Of course, the next year the 6th grade teacher NEEDED to do the same thing I'll bet you're not the only parent facing this problem (now that DD is in 7th grade she is doing a MUCH better job, but DS who is 9 still needs to be convinced each and every time that he does NEED to clean himself) so you might just dump it on the teacher if you can

If it is exclusively a tooth issue, can you have the dentist talk to him? Or offer him cash if he "avoids" cavities by brushing consistently. Is there any body wash/tooth paste/etc... that he would like that you could buy? I know that DP actually loves the Old Spice commercials enough that he actually wanted to the body wash--- Yea! My 35 year old is finally showering!
sewchris2642's Avatar sewchris2642 05:43 PM 09-18-2010
You're not the only one. I've even threaten to wash/brush Dylan as if he was 2 instead of 12. That usually works for a couple of days. What does not work for him is a polite reminder. He wants clear orders--"take a bath; you stink", "your breath smells; brush your teeth", "your hair feels awful; wash it", "it's 9 pm, go take a bath. And wash your hair with shampoo". I also asked him what soap, shampoo, deodorant he wanted. He now has a mens shower/hair gel and deodorant instead of the kid stuff he used to use. I think that helped. He now feels more grown up instead of a kid. But he still needs to be reminded. Invoving his teachers helps as well. Reminding him that teaching in a classroom of sweaty boys is no fun is a nonconfrontational way of letting him know that his actions do have impact on the world around him.
Mama Soltera's Avatar Mama Soltera 06:19 PM 09-18-2010
My kids get really hurt feelings if I tell them they stink. I have to tell them they can't be near me until they brush/wash/etc. They still get offended but not as badly. Thanks for all the ideas. Unfortunately, we have no dental insurance of any kind (and I've even appealed to him on that level) so, no dentist to tell him. Hmmm.... maybe someone can pretend to be a dentist... lol
Milo's Avatar Milo 08:41 AM 10-01-2010
because he was such a big boy now, and didn't need to share his little brothers' "little kid" shampoo, etc. Anyway, I just used a plain black toiletries bag from a suitcase, and gave him his own shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, floss and of course new toothbrush. Oh, and some noxema, for avoiding acne, and a comb for his hair.

Then I explained that he could carry everything with him into the bathroom when he takes a shower before bed ( because you don't want your bed dirty after working/playing all afternoon ) After he's done, it all goes away in his drawer, and this way the little ones wouldn't get into "his" stuff.

Also, it helps that his daddy gets dirty at work and showers every day, and we've included nightly washing up as part of the routine from babyhood.

Now, his younger brother is looking forward to being "big enough" for his own clean up kit.

hope this helps,
Teenytoona's Avatar Teenytoona 05:55 PM 10-01-2010
We just joke about it. DH might say "you stink, boy" and DSS will giggle. DH will say, no really - go take a bath. It's all good natured, but that may or may not work.
34me's Avatar 34me 06:36 PM 10-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo View Post
because he was such a big boy now, and didn't need to share his little brothers' "little kid" shampoo, etc. Anyway, I just used a plain black toiletries bag from a suitcase, and gave him his own shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, floss and of course new toothbrush. Oh, and some noxema, for avoiding acne, and a comb for his hair.

I did the same thing with my now 12 yo last Christmas (he was 11.5ish). His 14 yo brother plays hockey and the rule has always been, "you play hockey that day, you shower" so we never had the geez boy you stink talk with him. But both boys appreciate some "Manpoo" instead of mom's flowery stuff. We use Suave (cheap) or Axe with coupons and sales is pretty cheap too. I am still on everyone about tooth brushing so can't help you there.
Mama Soltera's Avatar Mama Soltera 04:28 PM 10-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo View Post
I just used a plain black toiletries bag from a suitcase, and gave him his own shampoo, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, floss and of course new toothbrush. Oh, and some noxema, for avoiding acne, and a comb for his hair.

Then I explained that he could carry everything with him into the bathroom when he takes a shower before bed ( because you don't want your bed dirty after working/playing all afternoon ) After he's done, it all goes away in his drawer, and this way the little ones wouldn't get into "his" stuff.
Wow, what a great idea! Thank you! I also love the idea of giving it as a "young man" gift.
arcenciel's Avatar arcenciel 05:38 AM 10-06-2010
My 10 and 11yo DS have not liked washing for some time now! I've never really been fussy about LOTS of washing but there's a limit for everything! They are supposed to take a shower or a bath twice a week. I tried being flexible with my oldest and saying he could have his when he liked as long as he took responsibility for it. But then he didn't bother at all... So we're back to Sunday and Wednesday night washing. My oldest doesn't like to be forced so I let him choose whether to shower before or after we eat, but any more choice than that and it just doesn't get done.

I like the "own toiletries" idea too, I could see that helping a little...

For tooth brushing. Mine have to brush twice a day. It's part of their morning and evening routine and whether they do those regularly is one of the things that affects how much pocket money they get, without being too fussy about any single event...

It's not really ideal but hey
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