How To Talk About Hygiene With Your Teen

How To Talk About Hygiene With Your Teen

Cleanliness is not something we know how to do.  It is something that is taught.  Most of the time we learn by example of the people around us.  Sometimes though our teenagers aren’t always so keen to follow in example.  When children go through puberty it is a very different time all around for them.  As kids when they could run around outside all day long and never smell at all, they now just wake up sometimes and have an odor to them.  They went from having to bathe a couple times a week, to needing to shower daily or even every other day.  Sometimes teens aren’t even aware that they are needing to increase their cleanliness routine.  As our jobs as parents it’s to help them with this transition so they have good cleanliness. 

Your child may ask you why is it important to be clean?  Their bad breath isn’t bothering them, and their sweaty stinky sweatshirt they have worn all week smells just fine to them.  It’s important to remind our children it is socially acceptable to be clean.  Society holds a standard of what is good hygiene and cleanliness.  Good hygiene also helps us fight away unwanted germs that can live under our fingernails or on our skin.  Being clean and dressed nicely can also help improve personality, as well as make you feel more motivated.  Cleanliness has the ability to help boost one’s confidence as well.  

There still may be resistance after you lay out all the positives of cleanliness to your child.  It may be good to take a step back and make sure the fight your child is putting up is worth it, or if it’s not a hill to die on.  Meaning if your child doesn’t want to shower every day, they want to shower every other day.  You assess this.  Do they seem relatively clean after a full day without showering?  Is their hair clean?  Do they smell?  If they seem relatively clean, their hair isn’t a grease slide and with the use of deodorant, or antiperspirant they smell clean then maybe agree on a schedule that everyone is happy with.  

To help with some of the resistance it is important to talk with your child about what is expected of good hygiene and cleanliness.   They aren’t born knowing how to clean themself.  They need to be taught.  A good straight forward conversation is always a good way to start.  Make sure they are a captive audience, so when you are in the car and distractions are few is a good way to achieve this.  You can start by figuring out what your teen needs.  Do they have oily skin, dry skin, oily hair, flaky scalp, smelly after exertion of energy?  After you figure th