Do you remember when your kids were wee littles and had that oh-so-sweet baby smell?
The kind that gave you all the joy when you nuzzled them close.
I swear there’s not a scent that can compare.
But, surprise! That sweet baby smell doesn’t last forever.
Once they get a bit older and spend the day running around outside, doing things that kids do, when they come inside, they STINK! With all caps.
Perhaps the worst offenders are teenagers. When you combine busy lives with puberty, it can result in you checking to see if there’s a literal stink cloud wafting around your teenager.
The thing, though, is not so much that the stinkiness itself is the problem. It’s that teenagers can sometimes lack awareness of it and not practice the best hygiene.
They skip showers and forget to put on deodorant.
They wear the same underwear for more days in a row than you care to confirm.
And shoes. Dear God, the shoes!
Overall, the teen years can be quite smelly.
Is your family dealing with that right now? If so, here are a few tips for teaching and encouraging good hygiene skills for teenagers.
Always shower when you sweat
Remind your teenager that out of all the times that they should shower, the most critical is after they’ve done any type of activity that causes them to sweat. Whether that’s simply going outside in the summer heat, playing sports, or exercising. If sweat hits the skin’s surface, they need to hit the shower.
Deodorant is not a cover-up
One thing that teenagers might do when they are in a rush is put on deodorant and spritz on body spray without taking a shower. In their minds, they may feel like those measures will get rid of any odors. In reality, though, when you mix deodorant or body spray with body odor, it’s not getting rid of anything. Let them know that these fragrant hygiene products are way more effective when applied to clean bodies.
Wash from head to toe
There have been a few viral debates about hygiene. One of them is whether you need to actually scrub your lower half if soap drips down your body from the top half. The answer is YES. Teach your teenager to vigorously scrub every is of his/her body with soap, water, and a clean towel. Make sure they don’t neglect their face or feet in the process (their face should be washed either first or with a separate cloth).
Boys and girls have different routines
Keep in mind that hygiene is a bit different for boys and girls once they hit puberty. Be sure to talk to your daughters about how to practice good (and safe) hygiene during their menstrual cycle.
Brush your teeth often
It may also surprise you how often kids will forget to brush their teeth. Makes sure they have the habit of brushing their teeth at least twice per day, paying attention to their tongue and the roof of their mouth as well. Preferably, they would brush their teeth after every meal whenever possible. Also, make sure they know how important it is to floss between their teeth.
Wear clean clothes
Have you ever had to ask your teenager how long they’ve been wearing a certain item of clothing? Or whether they’ve changed their underwear? If so, you’re not alone! This is a common problem and is even more prevalent during summer. Teach your kids to get fully changed into their pajamas each night and to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket. It can also help to have them prepare their outfit for the next day before they go to bed. That way, they’re not rifling through the laundry basket for something to wear. Another quick tip: make sure they wear socks with their shoes, especially in summer. Sweaty feet and stuffy shoes are not a good combo!
Hopefully, these tips will help you and your whole family to breathe easier. 😀