When my children were sweet tiny newborn babes I remember taking long whiffs of their heads and thinking I had just sucked in a small bit of Heaven.
Fast forward 12 years and I found myself dealing with adolescent children that no longer found it fun to play with bath toys in order to soak long enough in a tub to get clean. If they could have gone undetected, they would go days without a shower or bath. I fought this with both my daughter and my oldest son and I’m finding that I will be battling with my two younger boys as well.
In my experience my children were never self-conscious about the change happening to their bodies. They didn’t notice that their silky hair had turned into a grease slick or that their innocent wet puppy smell suddenly resembled road kill.
I’m one of those moms with hyper-smell and it seems like one of my kids is constantly stinking, “Who stinks?! Where is that smell coming from?! Is it you? Or YOU?” This isn’t exactly the most gentle approach to telling a child that they reek, but it’s better than trying to sit in a room and ignore the giant stinking rodent. So, I’ve always been honest with my kids about their personal hygiene, “You may not smell yourself, but trust me, others do. Respect the noses around you and put on deodorant everyday. I know you don’t think sweating a tiny bit will make you reek, but think of it as mold, if you leave it alone, it grows rapidly with time.”
We live in a very small farm-house with two bathrooms shared by six people. Everyone knows where everything is, there are no secrets when new products come in the house. Deodorant is used to ward off smells and sweat, plain and simple. Body wash is used to clean your stinking body and stink they do. My kids play sports and they work outside on our farm, there is no shortage of unpleasant odors coming from their bodies.
We’re a family that fixes a problem when it arises. Body odor is a problem, not only for the kid, but for everyone around them. Let’s learn how to use deodorant and use it everyday. The everyday thing was not as automatic as I assumed. Just like brushing their teeth, they have to be reminded more times than you would ever imagine to wear deodorant, “Are you ready to go? Did you brush your teeth? Comb your hair? Put on deodorant?….Please go put on deodorant, so you don’t stink up the entire school.” I know, this is not the subtle approach that some parents might use as they try to ease their once little children into the adolescent phase, but it works for us. My oldest son now hops in the car after shooting baskets and proclaims, “Whoa! Sorry, I stink!” That is a milestone to me. He actually knows that he smells bad and is apologetic and eager to get into the shower once he gets home. The greatest moment was when he gave me a hug goodbye on his way out the door and said, “Mmm, Mom you smell good. What shampoo did you use?” He actually cared about what product smelled good! Hope springs eternal! They eventually do learn that good hygiene is a way of making life more sweet.
Hear what more real moms are saying about helping their tweens navigate body odors and other sweat-inducing moments at Unilever’s Don’t Fret The Sweat Facebook page
Now for the fun! Unilever the maker of products like Degree® Men, Degree® Women, Degree® Girl, Dove®, and Suave® — that help my kids fight off sweat and stink — and BlogHer are giving away a $100 Visa gift card and a Don’t Fret The Sweat gift pack. To enter this giveaway leave a comment. I’d love to hear how some of you are helping your kiddos learn good hygiene. Contest runs from October 4th- November 4th.
For additional chances to win visit the BlogHer round up page. Visit the BlogHer Prizes & Promotions section
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