Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HaoZi, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    is the deal with difficult children and bath/shower? Why must every cleaning turn into a tantrum? She could have her choice of bath or shower. Simple, easy, clean, rinse, dry, put on jammies. It's not difficult. She used to love playing in the bath, now they're "stupid" and "useless". And I'm soaked as well. Not dealing with this tomorrow, so figured I'd go ahead and deal with the meltdown tonight.
    "I don't even love you anymore." Yeah, yeah... whatever. You're clean now anyway, deal with it.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If you're still washing her and/or doing her hair you might try leaving it all up to her and see if that helps.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She won't even get in without a tantrum lately, which is what I'm trying to avoid, but the child must bathe.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Mine (difficult child and easy child) wouldn't get in without a fight and/or tantrum. It was usually an hour of arguing about it. But, they always came out transformed into these little pleasant smelling angels. It was worth the fight for that.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Better smelling, but no angel (at least not right away). She was a giggler for a while tonight, then crabby again and now I'm not in a Santa mood. Meh.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well - You can offer her ONE MORE option - THE HOSE - OUTSIDE. See how that compares to a nice warm shower. - I am however inherently sarcastic.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Our apartments don't have outside hoses anyway. I would have suggested it a while ago if we did, lol.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    How old is she? I put bathing pretty low in basket B until the kids got to be of stinky age. difficult child, who almost got sent home from camp for refusing to shower when he was 12, was showering every morning by 13. At 16, he wakes up earlier than everyone else to make sure he gets his shower time in. Now, if I could get him to wear something other than boy scout shorts every day (he has 3 pairs at 40 a pop!), I'd be happy. He went out in the blizzard today in those darn shorts.

    14 year old easy child doesn't like to shower much either. I threaten to wash his hair myself. Even difficult child tells him to shower!

    The baby (11) is in the mid-stage. He won't voluntarily shower but he won't fight when we tell him to take one.

    Last Hanukah, daughter bought deodorant for all the boys (H doesn't believe in it but the boys use it).

    Good luck.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She's 9, and it is pretty low in basket B, but sometimes it's just gotta be done.
  10. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    OMG Star! Have you been listening in? difficult child 2 still has to be darn-near forced into the shower at 17. I have gone so far with the hose threat as to actually drag the garden hose into the kitchen and tell difficult child 3 to help me hold his "big" brother down. (difficult child 3 is now bigger than difficult child 2.) difficult child 2's response? "Alright already, Mom. I said I'd go." (Yeah, but I want to make sure you go TODAY. lol.)

    When difficult child 2 was younger, I spent a fortune on bath games, soap chalk, washable markers, anything and everything I could think of to make baths fun and interesting...even up until he was 11 or 12. (It's not easy to find "games" for a kid that age that make taking a bath less of a hassle.)

    I even went so far as to get one of those snapset pools like you find at Wally World for $40 and set it up in my carport, of all places. More than once while difficult child 2 was swimming in the evening, I'd toss him a bottle of shampoo and tell him...while you're in there... (And then proceed to drain the pool and refill it once he was done.) I've even been known to get the other kids to help me carry him, kicking and screaming, full dressed to get tossed in the pool. Even if he didn't use soap, at least soaking in the water would help dissolve some of the ick off of him. lol.

    Now, of course, you can't do that in the winter months...but...

    For us, bathing was a basket B thing most nights. But like you said, sometimes it just has to be done. I always took the approach that once I said it was going to happen, it would happen. Even if that meant calling in back up to help hold him down while I sprayed him with the hose...and I was darn willing to follow through with it too. lol. Eventually, he learned that when Mom said it would happen, it was in his best interest to do it voluntarily. (It took two or three times getting thrown bodily into the pool by his siblings and I, or his brother and I literally holding him down while he sisters started yanking shirts, socks, etc. off of him. Granted, it was always done playfully, but the point was made. He knew he couldn't fight all of us and we WOULD strip him and bodily put him in the shower to save our own noses...better to save himself the embarrassment of being stripped to his skivies by his sisters...who would never let him live it down...EVER. lol)

    I will say, it always worked best for us to come at it from the angle of being playful with the forced bathing thing. It kept it from becoming a nasty power struggle. It's hard to keep a straight face when Mom says "gear up kids, time to give M a bath!" and the girls come jumping out of the bathroom with old army gas masks, or bandanas tied around their mouths & noses, with bathroom scrub brushes in each hand, screaming "On guard Stink Monster! Unhand our brother before we're forced to scrub you out!" lol.

    It was all fun and games...but in the end, difficult child 2 knew he was going to get a bath...like it or not...no matter how wet the rest of us got or how creative we had to get with it...we were getting that boy in the tub no matter how we had to accomplish it. Mom's minimum (until he hit the funk smell age) was once a week. Now, it's a minimum of every other day...or it's the hose, buddy. lol. We joke about it, but difficult child 2 also knows that I mean it. Fun and games aside, Mom's requirement for nontoxic children will always win...always.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She has bath toys, bath paints, non Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)-causing bubble bath, you name it. Even those sponge animals that come from the little pill looking things. I have placed her in tub fully clothed when I've had to, which always leads to me having her wet clothes thrown at me, of course. Since it's just the two of us and a very small apartment, some things are simply not an option any more. She'll agree to taking her bath or shower (her choice) at (between hours of my choosing for her to choose from). And she's fine until it's time to follow through. *sigh* Luckily she's at the minimum of once a week stage if she hasn't done a lot of running around or getting dirty, and I can generally get her to "wash up" the potentially stinky or unhealthy parts a few times on top of that, too. I never stopped buying baby wipes or flushable wipes, either, because I use them myself, so she stays sanitary if not totally clean.
  12. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Does she like pajamas at all? I know we went through a similar stage with difficult child 1 for awhile. It didn't last long, but it was still a battle for a year or so. I found (quite by accident) a pair of pjs she absolutely loved because they were satin and looked a lot like some of my pjs. She loved them, but because they were pretty, special pjs, she couldn't wear them if she didn't take a bath first. She wouldn't want to get all the pretty bows and bits of lace nasty, now would she? Then they wouldn't be pretty any more. It didn't always work, but sometimes it did. She ONLY got to wear her pretty pjs on the nights she took a bath before bed.

    Maybe something else would do the trick for her? I know I used to love the smell of my grandmother's powder. She had one of those big, huge, fluffy powder puff things. It was in a big round cosmetic box with a lid. I remember every morning she used her powder puff after a shower and it smelled wonderful. For me, as a little girl, I used to think when I was grown up, I'd get to wear make up and have powder puffs that smelled pretty too. My Mom bought me my own little powder puff thing (with baby powder, as opposed to the perfumed stuff my grandmother used) for Christmas one year. Looking back now, I realize she was trying to break me of my tomboy rolling-in-the-mud and climbing into bed habits. It was special stuff I was only allowed to use after I took a bath. She even bought me a matching perfume bottle...the kind with the little bulb you squeeze. (I'm sure it had some kind of watered-down kiddie perfume in it...but to me, this was all grown up stuff and SUCH a big deal.) Thinking back, that was about the time I stopped idolizing Laura Ingles and her tomboy image and started being a little more "girlie." (As in, taking baths regularly and wanting to smell pretty like a grown up...I never really gave up being a tomboy, completely. lol.)

    Is there something she likes about grown up girls/women that might entice her into taking a bath with less of a fight? Something she could have or do, only after bathtime, that would make her feel like she's getting to be a grown up? Special pjs, some kind of smell pretty something, maybe even rolling her hair after a bath so it's pretty and curly in the morning? (I know that was something my sister loved doing when she was younger...putting her hair in rollers so she could have curly pony tails the next day.) Something she'd only get to do/have/wear after she takes a bath?

    Maybe even a special snack? (To this day, I still crave fish sticks when I smell strawberry shampoo because my best friend's mom growing up, always made us fish sticks after bath time when I spent the night.)
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    She's very NOT girly. The only "girly" thing she likes is certain conditioners because they smell good, but not in warm months because it attracts bees. She got two pairs of soft pjs for Christmas. The first pair has caused some type of breakout on her chest, I'm guessing because it's somewhat embroidered and rubbed against her too much. The second pair isn't embroidered and is also very soft, this is the pair she looked at, said, "Oh, Disney Princess" with a grunt, put it aside and won't even look at now.
    She does have a powder puff thing she hardly ever uses, though. Maybe I'll bring it back down and see if she would like it, but she may be sensitive to it, too. Great idea and I'll try it! Her only interest in growing up right now is getting to make her own rules and bedtime. I think she'd be quite happy rolling in the dirt digging for T-Rex bones in a place they could only bathe once a week due to water shortages!
  14. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I would sometimes tell my kids they could have ice cream but only in the tub and then they'd have to bathe as soon as they were done. I would wet their hair and pour shampoo on before they got the treat and wash them off afterwards.

    I remember when I was about that age, I had something wrong with me that I couldn't shower for a few weeks. My mom found this powder shampoo that you rubbed into the hair and then combed or brushed out. Maybe she'd agree to something like that?
  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    When difficult child II starts cycling showers are the 1st thing to go....I swear it's symptomatic! He literally refuses....it's on his point sheet at the IOP he's in right now actually "Take shower" = 3 points
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Good try, but she also considers brushes to be torture devices. You would not believe how much detangling spray we can go through. Detangling conditioner? Don't make me laugh, it's useless. Poor kid has that fine hair that tangles if you look hard at it, and she's tender-headed, too. We have to start early with a lot of spray and a wide-toothed comb and the softest brush I can find. Reminds me of me at that age. Maybe I can find her some new rubber duckies.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We've found a brilliant detangling product. I wish we'd had it hen I was a kid. I don't use it according to directions, because too much doesn't work any better, but makes hair greasy. It's heavy on the dimethicone, but I trickle a drop or two on the hairbrush (I use a soft-britled full round brush) and it brushes through. Even with a head full of tangles, this stuff seems to make them magically untangle. I have very fine hair that forms knots if I wear knitted tops (especially acrylic) or let it blow in the wind. I stopped using my wide-toothed comb when I found this stuff.

    When we were trying to win over difficult child 3 to regular baths, the incentive was bath bombs. I'd get small ones, or break a large one in two, and let him put it in the bath himself once he was in the tub. He loved to watch it dissolve and loved the feel of it dissolving.

  18. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We went through stages where baths were sources of tantrums due to sensory issues, and again due to anxiety. For the latter I took a Sharpie and wrote "ON" and "OFF" on the shower wall with appropriate arrows and it helped a lot.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keyana went through a stage where she was scared to freaking death of the bath. Normally little ones love the tub and she did as an infant but by about a year she started freaking out. She especially freaks out having her hair washed even to this day. Hates to do anything with her hair much at all and I cant say I blame her. She has this really curly hair that gets tangled up so badly that brushing her hair is misery. Even brushing her hair immediately while wet doesnt really help and most of the detangling sprays are less than useless. We do have one that works a bit that we use but it still isnt perfect.

    Now she is pretty good about the bath...she will play in there with her dolls and plastic toys but she wants someone nearby.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Brushing isn't good for wet hair, it breaks more easily. Wide-toothed combs are best for wet hair. This child wants her privacy in the bath BUT she doesn't want to be alone. Hello? How does that work? I asked if checking on her every 10 minutes would work for her, and she said yes, but it didn't work out that way. I really think she needs an extra medication for the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), because the Abilify isn't catching the anxiety.