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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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My 13 year old has terrible hygiene. We have told him 100s

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My 13 year old has terrible hygiene. We have told him 100s of times. This morning he told us that he showered and brushed his teeth. His hair was wet, but did not exactly smell great. When he left for school, I inspected his bathroom. The toothbrush and soap was bone dry. There is no way they were used. Should we tell him that we caught him lying or should we just focus on some new method of getting him to take better care of himself?
How long has this problem been going on?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Probably a year or 2. Obviously, the quality of his hygiene fluctuates and is sometimes better than other times. We are just not sure if we should tell him that we caught him and now have to question whether he can be trusted, or focus on the future rather than the past.
Does he lie about other things?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Nope. He is a very responsible kid. Good student, etc. This issue seems to be an anomaly and we are perplexed by it. I certainly have my own theories, but am (1) looking for expert input, and (2) not really sure how to handle the fact that he told us he was "clean" when, in fact, we learned later that he was not.

Since your child is such a great kid, tell him that you know he did not brush his teeth or wash up. Honesty and open communication is always best. Ask him why he failed to perform such actions. Discuss the importance of personal hygiene. Make sure he is using deodorant. You may even want to take him to a department store and buy some cologne...not too expensive though. Additionally, create a checklist, that you copy for each day, of all the tasks that he needs to complete before he ventures out to school or wherever. He must check them off as he completes them. If he shows improvement in his personal hygiene, then praise and reward him with something he likes or a special outing. Don't think about the past. Focus on the changes that you would line to see him make. This is probably just a stage. When he becomes interested in girls, he will care more about his hygiene. :)
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