OK--This might be a dumb question...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello All--

    There are a number of threads going right now about bodily functions/ B.O./ and refusing to wash, comb and deoderize. I am having the same troubles with my difficult child at home.

    But it begs the question:

    If the best thing for these kids is a steady routine and a predictable schedule....how is it that hygenic chores (such as brushing one's teeth)...which are about as "routine" as you can get...are so difficult to get our difficult children to do?

    I am sure that most of us get up in the morning and do our toothbrushing/face washing/showering so automatically that we don't even give it much thought.

    Shouldn't it be easy to get these kids on the same sort of routine?

    And if so--how do I do that? (Since it is certainly NOT happening at my house at this point...)


  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Depends. Some kids have sensory issues and dislike the feel of toothbrushing or bathing. How old is your son and does he have a diagnosis?
  3. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Not a dumb question. I have trouble getting my easy child son to do mundane things such as brush his teeth and take a bath. I think it's his age. He's 7 and does not care right now if he has pretty white teeth or if he is the smelly kid in class. I think once he gets into girls that will change. lol

    Ironically my difficult child daughter is very into her hygiene. There are times that she will take 2 or 3 showers a day. She keeps her body clean, it's her room that is absolutely disgusting!!!

    Good luck. :)
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good question.

    In our case, my son is stuck in whatever he is doing in the moment. If he's sleeping, he wants to stay asleep. If he's showering, he wants to stay in the shower.
    (Isn't that one of the laws of physics or something ... an object at rest remains at rest ... yeah, that's the ticket! :) )

    Transitioning does not bring rages any more but he's still stubborn.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    MW--It's my daughter that gives me the trouble...and I'm not sure about sensory issues. I am not aware of any at this time.

    Right now, we use daily reminders. As in "Time for toilet and teeth." She will dutifully go into the bathroom...but not always dutifully brush her teeth. So we often have to follow up with "Did you brush your teeth?". And the answer is, invariably, Yes.

    And it is the same with showering and using deoderant. However, we still notice unmistakeable odors that betray the fact that she is either NOT doing the task at all...or is doing it very poorly. At which point we send her right back into the bathroom. I feel that she is a little too old for me to actually supervise her in the bath or shower--so I am trusting her to do a good job.

    However, she will sometimes come out with statements that make me wonder...

    DS is now 10...and getting to that age where he needs to be concerned with B.O. as well...and so we got him a Men's Grooming Kit and deoderant and 'manly' shower gel--the whole nine yards. So that first night, he took a shower, came out of the bathroom all done up and smelling good and proudly announced that he had put on the deoderant after he showered.

    To which difficult child looked shocked and said "I didn't know you were supposed to put on deoderant after a shower!!".


  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Dylan is Aspie/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and doesn't have these issues, but, I do know there are children on the Spectrum that do.

    We started him very early with things like charts and rewards (probably age 6) for simple tasks like brushing teeth. I know alot of people don't like the idea of giving a reward or dangling a carrot for things that must be done, but in all honesty, we don't need to give rewards anymore. Now, he is stuck in the routine, and there is no reward. But, it took some time. At your daughters age, I don't know. My stepson is 12 (he doesn't live with us) and could care less about his appearance. He looks like a homeless child when he comes here - teeth are brown/yellow/turning black, hair is in a mess, wears the same shirt or two over and over and over, and he has no diagnosis. He just wasn't disciplined to do it. Doesn't mean he has a disorder. He doesn't care, because nobody ever made him (not saying thats the case with you, either, just pointing out that it can be something else other than Autism).

    Dylan's partial has their little routine they have to do in school before anything else, because there's a boatload of kids there that are the same as you describe. They have kids they have to send home because of odor - teenage boys. I don't get it. Wish I could be more help.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It was a battle with both of my kids to take showers. It would be an hour long battle, but they always came out a different kid. Like they went through some kind of transformation in there; although, with difficult child, I would smell her hair after she got out. She was famous for just getting it wet, but not washing it. If it didn't smell clean, back in the shower she went.

    I don't know why they resisted so much. It sure made me nuts, though. Fortunately, they have both outgrown it. difficult child only within the last 8 months or so. easy child won't even go out to get the mail without a shower. LOL

    One thing my mom did with the kids when they stayed with her: she got their toothbrushes ready for them at night - complete with toothpaste on the toothbrush so all they had to do was brush. It worked.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 14, 2009
  8. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    In our house the problem is that I have to heavily supervise every step of the process because difficult child is so destructive. He'll go brush his teeth, sure... but he comes out with toothpaste all over his shirt, in his hair, then it's on the mirror, the sink, and mine, his, and his sister's toothbrushes. Showers I have to go in every two minutes to check, measure the soap and shampoo into medicine cups or he'll use a whole bottle of shower gel, have to make sure he's not spraying water all over the bathroom, etc. Deodorant will get rubbed all over his belly, the walls. I have to stay right with him or I'll have a mess to clean up. Something as simple as washing his hands will mean half a dispenser of soap, water down his shirt and suds all over the bathroom floor. He's improved so much in some ways, but if I can't actually see the boy, then he's destroying something.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT wasn't able to handle more than single instructions. I would send her in to comb her hair and brush her teeth, and, more often than not, only one would be completed. Either that, or she found something to play with in the bathroom, and did neither one till I hollered in that direction. She would go in to feed AND water the cats, and though the bowls are right next to each other, she'd only fill one. And not always the same one.

    Ditto the supervision thing. At least for a while.
  10. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    I got my kids the battery powered tooth brushes and now they don't mind brushing. I just have to remind them EVERY night to brush. husband isn't so good so when I'm working - they don't brush YUCK.

    I also got hand sanitizer for them and it's improved the cleanliness of their hands. I'd have problems with- them wahsing after using the restroom! YUCK.

    As for showers, we'll there were no problems with- ds. He'd climb in the shower with me (clothing and all) so I just always had him shower with- me as a baby/toddler. He got used to it. Now he askes to take one almost every day (too young for that in my opinion) so I actually have to tell him no. difficult child is another story. She "forgets" deoderant and will only put it on when I tell her. We also went out and bought a bunch of stuff for her to look and smell pretty. Has any of it been used? not really....

    If I could only get husband to get on the ball!!! UGH.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Each of my kids was different with this. Wiz would fight tooth and nail not to shower. Partly sensory issues, partly because we wanted him to do it. This started about age 4 or 5. Before that we couldn't keep him OUT of the tub/shower. It wasn't unusual for him to take a bath, then if one of us was in the shower and the other one took their attention off him for 2 seconds he was in the shower with us, getting all sudsed up again. Since he didn't have eczema it was no big deal. But when he started balking, boy did he balk.

    Sensory issues were part of it. Also he was very much into doing whatever we didn't want him to do. By the time thank you could talk, thank you would go to the bathroom door and yell in "Wash your stinky bottom" and "Use soap" and other things. NOT prompted by us, but he would hear us coaching Wiz (husband from inside the bathroom or me from outside the door as Wiz was 8 or 9 by this time). By the time Wiz went to the psychiatric hospital at age 12 he was worse than ever about bathing/teeth/hair washing/deodorant/etc... At the psychiatric hospital they would have a male staff member stand outside the shower to check them. If they were not clean they had to go right back in and do it again, over and over until they actually got clean.

    At one point Wiz led his room mate and 2 other boys into a rebellion against the hygiene standards. So the boys were "schooled" as to how to clean themselves. They got lessons, had to write out the steps to showering, hair washing, deodorant, tooth care (including flossing), and getting their clothes into the dirty laundry. Even hwo to hand up towels. Then they had to DO it. And with this a male staff member stood in the bathroom on the other side of the shower curtain to check to see if they were soaping hair (they had to stick just their heads out to show the suds, then to show tehy had rinsed completely). Staff even made marks on their arms and legs and feet with an eye pencil that would wash off with soap but not just rinse off. This way after the shower they could check to see that they HAD soaped. (I thought that was GENIUS - a way to check that they were washing with-o actually watching them in the shower - before this the boys had to wear swim suits to shower so that they could be completely monitored).When a staff member had to be in the bathroom for this, parents had to sign a consent and they used a special bathroom with a camera set up so that it watched the staff and had NO view of the child. This was to protect the child from abuse and the staff from false accusations. Parents got to see this set-up and see the tapes (if you wanted to see the tapes). We saw the set up BEFORE they did this with our child.

    With thank you we have sensory issues with hair washing and bathing. If I am suspicious that he skipped the soap I lick his arm. If it is salty he goes back in. By this age (9) we don't have too much problem with washing his body. I just make sure he has teh body wash he likes (lavendar baby wash) and it isn't a problem. He even uses deodorant. He sniffed his armpit one day last summer and gagged. He came to me BEGGING for antiperspirant. Said he would sneak and use his dad's or Jessie's if i didn't get him his own. NOT A problem, LOL!!! I hadn't even noticed a problem yet. (FInally a time sensory issues came in handy, LOL!!!).

    Hair washing is a whole other issue with thank you. He has thick, thick curly hair. More wavy than curly, but very very very thick and coarse. It actually HURTS him to just wash it with shampoo. And I had a tough time finding a product with conditioner and shampoo in it that he could tolerate the scent of. For about 5 years I actually bought shampoo and conditioner in the same scent and mixed them together in a bowl, then put them into empty pump bottles (he had a hard time with the shampoo bottles). I found this way it hurt him less to have his hair washed. Right now he is using the Suave Men's 2 in 1 conditioning shampoo and conditioner. It is less of a hassle for me, though he told me tonight that it still pulls more than he likes.

    Looks like I will be mixing them together again. I actually used a little more conditioner than shampoo when I mixed them. Just had too.

    for teeth, well, thank you has always LOVED to brush if I had toothpaste that wasn't Mint. He hates anything Mint. Also hates bubble gum anything, so for a while it was hard to find something that worked. His all time favorite is the Shrek toothpaste that looks like snot. Gross looking, but it gets the job done.

    With Jess, she LOVES certain flavors of toothpaste. So I buy those for her. And the electric toothbrush is great for her. So is the ToothTunes brush. We have used various ones over the years.

    Wiz never did get braces because I saw no reason to put braces on teeth he flat out refused to brush. Ever. It was a major battle every time, no matter what toothbrush, toothpaste or incentive we used. Even the psychiatric hospital had HUGE battles over that. It may be sensory, it may not. I have no idea. But braces would have been a colossal disaster and waste of $$ that we couldn't afford to waste. If he wants his teeth straightened, he can earn the $$ and pay for it himself. The psychiatrists we have had, and teh tdocs have all backed us up on this. Even when a DHS caseworker tried to use that as neglect, the "experts" backed us up and so did the psychiatric hospital and the dentist!

    It is different with every kid. You just have to work to find a key. I have found that asking WHY something is refused can be helpful. But it isn't always helpful.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We struggle with this daily with difficult child. We are starting a level system soon that I hope will help with this as well as other things. I'll let you know how it goes with the hygiene stuff.
  13. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    This is also something we've decided not to do with- difficult child. I was so worried that we'd look like bad parents because we chose not to!
  14. cadydid

    cadydid New Member

    I too deal with this every day.. He just flat out refuses to take a shower and he is 13.. we have talked to him psychiatrist has talked to him, even his sisters. No amount of incentive, or flat out bribery works. Anfd I think I have tried just about everything and anything. Let him pick out his own body wash (to the tune of $7.00 a bottle), let him pick morning or night. He loves winter time because of his excema, he only has to shower evey other day... I will take just about anything but this.. I'm near the end of my rope with it.:faint:
  15. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I do think that may kids resist showers and teeth brushing....but with difficult child everything is a battle so it all seems so much worse. Somehow my difficult child manages to take shower every day....difficult child 2 takes it every other day which works for me...teeth brushing is another story.

    One thing that has helped is to have several tooth brushes around the house. I keep one in the kitchen sink...and I often pass it to them with toothpaste already on as they are finishing the end part of a tv show...right before they need to leave for school. I pass it over to them and threaten with the tv going off...generally they are already sucked into the show so rather than lose the show they brush.....

    no question is ever dumb....