difficult child and her hygiene issues.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I don't know what to do about difficult child 1's lack of hygeine. She refuses to put on deoderant and she will not wash her hair. Her hair gets oily really quick and right now it looks terrible. She is good at taking baths every night but will not wash her hair. Sometimes, if I can catch her in time, I will go and wash her hair for her. I shouldn't have to do this but what else am I supposed to do when she downright refuses?

    The last couple of nights she has taken quick baths and I couldn't get to her in time. Last night, when she got out, I told her to go right back in the bath and wash her hair. She refused. Said she was too tired. Her hair looks absolutely awful this morning. She also gets BO pretty bad and by the end of the day she stinks. She has couldn't care less what people think of her.

    There are a couple of the boys that she hangs out with that have crushes on her. I honestly don't know what they see in her. Half the time she looks like one hot mess. I wish she cared more about her appearance but she just won't. When she goes to high school next year I'm afraid she will get made fun of. I'm also worried that one of these days CPS will be called for neglect. At her age I don't know if they would, but you never know.

    I have already had the school psychologist call me and talk to me about this issue. She told me I need to make sure she takes better care of herself. I explained the situation and she finally saw my side. She says she had a sister who was the same way, just didn't care about how she looked. There was nothing her parents could do about it either. Her main teacher called my mom to discuss the same thing. I really hate it when the school calls her instead of me. If they have an issue, they need to notify me directly and not call grandma. Anyway, my mom tried to explain the situation too but I don't know if he actually got it.

    Thank goodness I don't have this problem with my son. He takes his baths on his own and washes his hair. My ex blames my daughter's hygiene on me. Go figure, he blames everything on me. Oh and by the way, she never pulls this **** at her dad's. She washes her own hair when she is there. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I don't know how to change her. Why does she always obey him and not me? I'm downright frustrated right now.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hmm, I could have written your post! My now 22 difficult child STILL is difficult about washing regularly and even skips brushing her teeth! EW and she smokes and drinks coffee nonstop so you just imagine how hideous her breath is. She uses deaoderant and I have a feeling it's because it's her way of disguising her odors. Gross.

    Like you, I tried everything, incentives, punishments, even shame, which I'm not proud to admit. Nothing worked. The only thing that slightly helped was allowing her to choose the three days minimum she had to shower. Does your daughter shower or only take baths? Showering may make it more difficult for her to skip her hair washing...my difficult child used to wet her hair and tell me she washed it, but it was clear she hadn't washed it and it smelled.

    Recently, my difficult child stated that she hates showering because she hates being wet. But I think she's BS-ing me because once she's in there, she's fine with showering, shaving, etc.

    Sometimes, the only thing you can do it allow natural consequenses to solve an issue, such as being made fun of or having an acquiantance or teacher comment to her about her odor. IOW, you cannot always save her from herself - she may have to be shamed or embarrassed by her appearance and/or odor before she realizes how important it is to practice daily personal hygiene.

    Like you, I often wondered why boys were attracted to her, what with her oily hair, hairy legs and smelly body. Her fiance (yes, she lives with him and they are to be married next year!) showers daily - he works outdoors and gets dirty. Maybe our difficult child's think because they aren't getting filthy there is no need to shower daily??

    Best of luck.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She takes baths instead of showers I believe because she is so lazy she doesn't want to stand up for any length of time. Yes, she is THAT lazy. I don't think showering will give her an incentive to wash her hair, even if it gets wet. She can't stand the shampooing and rinsing it off because it's such a "hassle." I was never like that at her age. I cared about how I looked and smelled. Oddly enough, she cares enough to shave her legs but she couldn't care less about the rest of her body.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sometimes dont you wonder what would happen if you said she was NOT allowed to shower/bathe or wash her hair anymore??? My son would start taking more than two a day!

    I know it is not a joke but I do have to fight the opposite, my son will take several baths a day at times and that is a lot of water to pay for. Right now he is just doing the daily shower. (He is afraid he will meet Selena Gomez some day and doesn't want to look awful in case she wants to marry him, LOL....not kidding though! I think he just always thinks, what if???)

    How can they call your mom??? does she have any legal standing as a guardian? There are laws about these things, yikes, I'd be bugged too.

    I dont know what it will take, I can't imagine. I actually hate it too, not being in the bath or shower but the cold of getting out when you go to dry off....the thought of that sometimes makes me crazy.... I love being IN the bath though. Has she had sensory issues before? Why do you think she does it better at dad's...maybe he is harsh and scary? Not saying he is, but if she is afraid of what he will say or do and hurt more easily by him???? She probably feels safer and more accepted by you so will push you further??? just guessing, may be way off with that.

    I really dont think it is that you are doing something wrong, it is just what our difficult child's do...they are oppositional and defiant for many reasons and it gets frustrating!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son has the same troubling issues. He always smells bad. Forcing him to shower doesn't mean much. He is eighteen and I sure can't wash him and he is much larger than hub and hub doesn't feel comfortable making him bathe by going in there with his grown kid. We do make him launder his clothes. Sometimes he will put old smelly clothes on. This is actually common with autistic spectrum kids (I was told) as they don't "get" social norms nor care much about them, plus some have sensory issues and hate the bath thing with water on them.

    At this point, he is eighteen and will be getting adult supports. They know about his hygiene issues. Amazingly he has friends at school and nobody teases him, at least not to his face. It is very difficult when they don't care.
  6. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She doesn't have sensory issues. She's just lazy. She doesn't mind getting wet at all. Sometimes she takes several baths a day because she is bored. difficult child 2 sometimes does too. They both love water and love to swim in the summer time even though the water is freezing. I won't go in with them. I get cold too easy so instead I sunbathe. Buddy, you hit the nail on the head with my ex. Both kids are scared of him and they are especially afraid of their stepmother. They would never dare exhibit their difficult child-like behavior their dad's house, although when difficult child 1's bipolar was unstable he has seen a few of her rages. difficult child 1 can manage to hold in his hyperactivity a little bit when he is there, although he has a hard time of it. By the time he gets to my house he explodes. Lucky me.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    uggg, so not fair. I am sorry for you...and for them.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My difficult child does some of these things. He'll shower, but sometimes he doesn't wash his hair and it smells and feels awful! And sometimes I know that he goes into the bathroom, runs his toothbrush under the running water, and puts it right back into the toothbrush holder. Eww!! Honestly, I would just let natural con sequences take over. Maybe someone will tell her that her hair smells or her body oder is really bad and she will take the hint. She's 14. It's not like she's 4 and you can pick her up and throw her into the tub.

    Why is the school calling your mom about her instead of you? That makes no sense to me. Do you have her listed as a guardian for her?
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    To answer the question about my mom being her guardian, no, she is absolutely NOT a guardian. My mom retired last year and she is practically obsessed with my kids' education (she used to be a high school guidance counselor) and she is constantly emailing their teachers. If the teachers do not respond fast enough, she will call or email the principal. To be honest, the principal has called me more than once and she is VERY uncomfortable having to deal with a pushy grandmother. My mom is especially obsessed with difficult child 1's education. She has gone to observe her classroom multiple times and she is in constant contact with her teachers. She also goes to every single IEP meeting and takes notes and the whole bit. The teachers are getting really sick of her, and yet when there's an issue, they call her first! It really irritates me. I have asked in the past that they contact me directly, but most of the time they don't. Hopefully it will be different in high school, but I don't know.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well they are breaking the law then. If she is on an IEP and you have not signed a release of information for her they are putting their entire district at risk when the communicate. The principal needs to simply send an email saying that district policy and federal/state law only allows phone/email and direct communication about students with legal guardians. They can be polite and appreciate her ideas but they can NOT engage in any communication with her. Can you possibly not even tell her when the IEP meetings are.? I am sure that is awkward when it is your own mom but still..... Maybe get an advocate to come for the note taking instead of her doing it...she is crossing too many boundaries. I'm sorry that adds a layer of stress. My parents would never consider doing that, they would come in a second if invited,sure....but never call on their own, yikes. I can imagine it is out of her trying to be supportive and loving but yeah, I'd be bugged too.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jett's showers are getting longer, but I kind of doubt that's due to washing more. He is 13...

    Anyway, we have to remind him constantly about deodorant, washing underarms, hair, pubic area, etc. For a while he would complain that people said he smelled bad, but then took 30-second showers. I explained that wasn't going to work and why. And if he did not want to shower properly, then not to complain about smelling bad. He quit complaining, but...

    His hygiene is horrible unless he is told. And he is too old for me to go in with him and wash his hair. So we keep it super short. He has pretty strong body odor, and hates brushing his teeth (would someone PLEASE tell me why he has no cavities?!). But Onyxx is so grossed out she tells him to do it. Onyxx: "Did you put on deodorant?" Jett: "I'll do it again." Me: "You wouldn't have to do it 'again' if you'd already done it." Jett: "I did!" Onyxx: "No you didn't. How about your teeth?"

    Yeah, it's gross to us but... All I can say is buzz her hair and see if that helps?!
  12. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I don't mind her going to the IEP meetings. Her taking notes is actually quite helpful. I have my own disabilties and I'm a horrible note taker. She is, however, overstepping her boundaries with the other stuff. One time she wanted to call an IEP meeting to discuss my daughter's grades because she didn't feel like the language arts teacher was responding to her concerns enough. Honestly I thought an IEP was completely unecessary. I had already gone to difficult child's open house just recently and I spoke to the language arts teacher myself. I understood everything just fine. My mom was the one who had questions and concerns that were not being met. She actually bribed me with money to request an IEP! I was reluctant but I needed the money so I agreed. I did not attend the IEP. It was not worth me missing work over. I already signed over a release so that she could be in contace with her teachers, but now I totally regret it. So do they, I'm sure. If I had of known we would have these kinds of problems, I never would have signed it. Right now it's just stressing me out and I feel really pressured by her when it comes to certain things.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh gosh, well I am sure this would cause a horrible problem with your mom, but if you can't tell her specifically what you want the boundaries to be, then you can always revoke the ROI. They are only good for a year by the way.... just forget to resign it in the future, smile!
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Because most cavities are caused by a specific bacteria/virus. The "theys" were very close to a vaccination a few years ago to prevent cavities, but I haven't heard anything since.
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Trust me, if I "forget" to resign it, she will badger, and badger, and badger me to do it. She puts the guilt trip on me constantly. Tells me I should be grateful I have a grandparent so involved with her grandkids' eduaction. She has insisted a couple of times that she comes to MY psychiatrist appointments with me. I feel like my doctor appointments are my business and not hers. Again, she makes me feel guilty because she visited me at the mental hospital when I admitted myself last year and she was there for me during my two year long depression. Last time she attended my psychiatrist appointment with me the doctor could tell that I was REALLY uncomfortable. He did me a favor and told my mom he could no longer discuss my mental health issues with her due to patient privacy. What relief. Oh and she also attends every single psychiatrist appointment that my stepdad goes to. He is also bipolar (runs in the family, can you tell) and she insists that she knows his moods better than he does. He lets her go because, like me, he is afraid to say no! She insists on controlling everything and everyone around her and it's stressfull. Whenever I've tried to tell her that she is overstepping her boundaries she gets offended, so for now I'm keeping my mouth shut.
  16. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Angel went thru a "walking slum" time too; I can remember once filling a bubble bath and throwing her in clothes and all because she hadn't bathed or changed for 9 days; not my best parenting moment but I just couldn't take the smell. It was past the visitors funny look and ? "do you have a cat?" and more like "did your cat die a week ago and you can't find it?"

    Good news is now the kid keeps herself clean, too bad her sister is in a slum faze now. Thinking about getting a full length mirror as 15yo isn't aware of the big picture when putting together outfits.

    I agree with the others unless it is medical emergency and you aren't available they should not discuss your child with grandparent unless you have requested them to.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    (you for sure do not have to answer this, I was just wondering....and it comes from my sisters and I going to therapy together to work on our boundary issues, we were all up in eachother's business if you know what I mean...just too close)

    When you said she gets offended, so what? That is her feeling and she has to work through it. I am not saying it is easy or fun, especially because in these situations our family members are only really doing out of their own view of "love' or "support" or maybe she got so scared when you were depressed and doesn't want to ever go through that again??? But obviously this is not healthy and you have enough on your plate. She may need to be an all or nothing participant. From now on, even if she is helpful at IEP's , get an advocate so that the lines are not blurred. I can see how it could be difficult for her when you signed the ROI and invite her to the IEP's....but she clearly has no common sense about the need to ask each and every time IF you want the help and IF you want her to participate.
    There is no easy answer so I guess you just have to decide if you want it to go on like that. I really mean it when I say I can sort of understand. My sisters and I cried so hard and we had good reasons for feeling we could be involved with each other's lives etc. We really have learned good boundaries and after a time of adjustment (yes, it hurt some of us) we are now closer than ever in a really mature and respectful way. My sister recently called to tell me of my nephews struggles, and the results I posted in watercooler, I simply asked for help from the law advocate and gave her the info we always give here and my nephew is in the middle of an assessment right now. I would never GO there though. (Unless SHE asked and then I woudl only do/say what she wanted done or said).... it was not easy getting to that point, so believe me when I say this is not a criticism. The freedom is really nice though.
  18. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    You're right, I shouldn't be worried about her being offended. It was actually an issue I was working on with my therapist when I could still afford to see one. Gosh I wish I had the money. Therapy sounds really good about now.
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I hear that. Q's psychologist just sent me to a place called Pathways and I think they are in other states and they have been and area always free...not an income thing. They do body mind work, group support, individual counseling etc. THey work with people who are chronically ill, in stress, emotional issues, caregivers of people who are ill or disabled, chronic pain folks, etc... I thought at first it was for only those dying but it turns out NOT. So, I go to an orientation on Friday. They do massage, yoga etc..too. Can't recommend them, but worth a look in case they are around the country...
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think I have some insight on this. It's not that she is "obeying" him and not you. It's not that you are doing anything wrong.
    How often is your daughter at her Dad's house? Far less than yours - right?

    Obviously, hygiene is a HUGE effort for her....and she knows that YOU know the truth about her hygiene habits because you see her all the time.

    But - right now she is making that HUGE effort to put on a "show" for her Dad. See, Dad? Everything is GREAT! Look how I am still your little princess! And she can keep that effort up for short periods of time, as long as little else is asked of her. I guarantee you that if she lived with Dad full-time and had all kinds of "regular teenage kid" responsibilities at his house....you'd see plenty of problems there as well.