Similarly, Stacy S. says her 13-year-old daughter doesn't care if she takes a shower or not. "When I was her age, I was always taking showers, playing with makeup and clothes, and fixing my hair in different ways. But not her. I have to make her take a shower and wash her hair, remind her every day to brush her teeth, hair and put deo[derant] on," she says.
And Crystal H. says she's fresh out of ideas on how to encourage her 12-year-old son to keep himself clean. "He would rather sleep longer than get up and shower. If I make him get up and do it, he often times is not using soap or shampoo. He's not taking the time to use mouthwash. He will wear the same pair of socks for a week, etc. He does care about his appearance … I don't think he is hearing me when I am telling him that he stinks!"
Clearly you're not alone if you're searching for ways to help your big kid exercise better hygiene. For tips, we turned to the experienced Circle of Moms community.
1. It's a Phase
As you search for ways to help your child better maintain her appearance and level of cleanliness, it helps to remember that being unkempt is likely just a phase. "Almost every teenager/tween goes through this phase at some point," Tamara T. says.
Cella I.'s daughter, who falls in that age range, just started to take responsibility for her appearance within the past six weeks. "I think that it's just overwhelming for them, with all those changes to their bodies, to take on the responsibilities that come with a preteen body (like, in our case, daily showers)," she explains. "Just give it a little more time," and the disheveled and sometimes stinky phase will pass, Jennifer S. agrees.