Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Having a Gilly Water with McGonagall
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Well, I can tell you that for a little while after I had my first period, I was pretty messy (hadn't got the hang of timing the pads) and rather than put the bloodied undies in the laundry where Mom would see (11 y.o. dd has been able to do her own wash for half a year now, yay her!), I stuck them in the bathroom cupboard, fully intending to get around to washing them myself. This went on for a couple of weeks until my sister came across them and asked me what in the world was going on. I was sooo embarrassed! And I'd been hiding them because I was embarrassed to begin with! Ugh! What a disaster! I can laugh about it now, but I still remember how painful that was.
What it came down to was an intense need for privacy for my own body. Young teens are the most self-conscious, embarrass-able people on the face of the earth. I was trying to be in charge of my body and took a little while to figure it out. I was also experimenting with autonomy. My parents taught me to wash my hands properly, but when I was about 10 y.o. I quit doing that because I just wanted to do things my way. I eventually picked it up again because I saw my friends and siblings washing up after using the toilet. It was my idea, not just another rule.
I wonder if your dd is both a little uncomfortable about wiping properly because she doesn't want to accidentally soil her hands, and also self-conscious about the underwear (kind of ironic, since you're seeing her underwear) and so just ignores the problem. That's also what I was doing, ignoring the problem.
Yes, I'd be very surprised if she doesn't grow out of this problem by herself. But it's fair to gently, respectfully insist she do this right. This is one of those things that isn't optional. It's unhygienic and can get smelly, and it might be hard on her self esteem.
I think the wipes are a great idea, we have them in each bathroom. And your daughter definitely needs to do her own laundry.