Jump to content

Menu

Parenting teens question - lying about hygiene and food


Recommended Posts

That type of habitual lying would trouble me greatly. I would try to figure out the root of the disconnect and move from there. Why does he not find hygiene important? Why does he not want to eat properly? Why is lying about it justified?

 

In the meantime, I'd keep a closer eye on things. Maybe brush my teeth at the same time he is getting ready for bed, and fixing him breakfast and eating together instead of leaving it up to him. Not in a hovering or helicoptering way, just simplifying the process for him while keeping him accountable in a gentle manner.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

His behavior is normal. 

 

Her worry is normal.

 

I have no advice.  I lean more "not a hill to die on".  I remind remind remind.  I tell my kid to do this or that and it's good for him.  I try my best to model good behavior in the hopes it'll wear off at some point.  I'm not perfect either though. 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is he also telling bigger lies, or just these minor lies of convenience?

 

If it's just these minor lies, I would switch from asking / investigating to reminding him *why* he should want to keep up with basic hygiene and breakfast.  I might just hold onto his electronics until the time of day for performing self care is past.  :)

 

I don't know what it is about teens and not wanting to be clean, but it does usually resolve itself.  :)

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you - she is setting him up to lie.  I think it is almost lying to ask a question that you know the answer to, expecting a kid to lie....

 

She needs to give directions, not ask questions.  He can't trust her, because she's always setting him up, and that's just as bad as her not being able to trust him.  

Edited by wendy not in HI
  • Like 14
Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I mostly wonder why she's asking a 14-yr-old what they had for breakfast, or if they brushed their teeth? Micro management can lead to lying just so the kid feels he has some space and autonomy. 

 

He will indeed get hungry eventually. I wouldn't ask about brushing teeth or showering, but I might give reminders that the dance is tonight, don't forget to shower. 

 

For the record, I wipe my toothbrush off every time I use it. It would definitely be dry 5 minutes later. A wet toothbrush grosses me out! 

  • Like 12
Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest was like this at 14.  LOL  They get creative in autonomy - spending half an hour with the water running, putting their head under, going to great lengths to smell clean without actually showering.  I don't know why, they just do.

 

I'm with you - I don't ask.  I tell.  "Kid, your teeth are yellow.  Brush, then come talk to me.  Now."  I'm not willing to nit pick every little thing, but I did when it would mess with his social life.  I figured when he was more interested in other things he'd shape up.  He did.  First time he really got serious about wanting to be around girls man, did his habits change!

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

And yeah - I don't ask my 9/10 year olds if they "really" brushed or ate breakfast.  It's part of their routine to brush (thankfully) but even if it wasn't, I probably wouldn't ask about that at age 14.  If I smelled evidence I would just comment that maybe it needs to be done a little more diligently.  :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a sign she needs to back off on the questions. 

I would gently call him out on the lies - "dude, quit telling me you've done stuff when you haven't because it's wrong & it's a lie & it erodes our relationship! Otoh, me nagging you is probably annoying & also erodes our relationship so how about we both change?"

 

 & then I'd stop asking so much.

If she can't stop herself altogether (& I totally sympathize because this is SO me), she can remind him instead. "Remember to brush your teeth." is better than "Did you....?"  He'll either do it or not.  Or they can switch to a checklist thing so all she has to say is "remember to go through your checklist" 

 

She can also laugh at herself while doing it..."yeah-yeah I know I'm a controlling & micromanaging mom but did you remember to put your deodorant on & is there clean kleenex in your pocket?" <---- things I say to my teen ds all the time.....

Edited by hornblower
  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is he also telling bigger lies, or just these minor lies of convenience?

 

If it's just these minor lies, I would switch from asking / investigating to reminding him *why* he should want to keep up with basic hygiene and breakfast.  I might just hold onto his electronics until the time of day for performing self care is past.  :)

 

I don't know what it is about teens and not wanting to be clean, but it does usually resolve itself.  :)

 

Yes, and they "fake" their hygiene.

 

Believe me, these boy teen creatures are kinda mysterious.  LOL

Link to post
Share on other sites

My 10yo will take a shower, but it is such a short shower I don't know how she gets anything done in there.  I figure as long as she does it every day, with a hair wash every few, the important parts will be hit sooner or later.  :P  At least she is socially aware and does not desire to stink.  :P

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think lies like this, which are really meant to avoid a fuss or confrontation, are very common.  And in a way similar to a lot of fibs adults tell. 

 

I think I would assume it will be grown out of.  Though, if playing video stuff is a common reason for not doing things, I might consider getting rid of that possibility.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey - not just boys.  These battles happen with the girls too.  Ask me how I know.... or just wonder why a perfectly normal 15yo girl chose to go four days last week without a shower.  Her hair got seriously gross.

 

1 - stop asking the questions.  Teens can smell a setup a mile away and the micromanaging drives everyone crazy.

 

2 - when it matters - tell them to do it.  Last week, I finally told DD - SHOWER OR ELSE.  WITH SHAMPOO.  We were not leaving for her event until she was clean.  It's perfectly OK to tell a teen to go wash... or put on deodorant... or brush their teeth because their breath is killing you.  Better from a loving parent than comments from other kids.

 

3 - the lying is probably a reaction to the micro-managing.  I wouldn't stress it unless the lying keeps going after she stops trying to trap him with the questions.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's laziness half the time, and it's worse to admit it than to lie to her. She needs to either help him remember to make time to do these things, like giving him unwrapped breakfast or directing him to brush his teeth and watching for followthrpugh (which I don't really recommend for a kid that age, but it will work better than the current setup if she wants to assure these things are completed) OR she needs to back off and stop asking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If she can't stop herself altogether (& I totally sympathize because this is SO me), she can remind him instead. "Remember to brush your teeth." is better than "Did you....?"  He'll either do it or not.  Or they can switch to a checklist thing so all she has to say is "remember to go through your checklist" 

 

Thanks for all of the responses so far.   I'm still processing the conversation in light of my own teen DS (and my own tendencies to nag), and I LOVE this idea.  A checklist would be a good thing for us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most teens I knew would lie so they didn't have to have discussions about it with their parents. They don't want a lecture on breakfast being the most important meal of the day, so to say, "I ate a granola bar," is easier.

 

I would nag about teeth brushing as cavities in adult teeth lead to eventual crowns, loss of teeth, and problems in older adulthood. But even once a day with an electric toothbrush is better than nothing, plus invest in sealants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I mostly wonder why she's asking a 14-yr-old what they had for breakfast, or if they brushed their teeth? Micro management can lead to lying just so the kid feels he has some space and autonomy. 

 

He will indeed get hungry eventually. I wouldn't ask about brushing teeth or showering, but I might give reminders that the dance is tonight, don't forget to shower. 

 

For the record, I wipe my toothbrush off every time I use it. It would definitely be dry 5 minutes later. A wet toothbrush grosses me out! 

 

:iagree:

 

I cannot imagine following behind my son to make sure he's doing or not doing something in that way.

 

If he doesn't eat breakfast, no biggie, he'll be back for second breakfast and elevensies and lunch and snack...

 

With the showering, I would NOT say anything about the soap not being wet, however, the next time I was running to wal-mart or target I might ask if he needed anything for the shower, like a new kind of soap or shower gel, or ask if his shampoo is running low.  

 

Now that I'm thinking about the shower thing, I'm thinking of my own DS and how he might really pile on the shampoo once or twice and then because he had so much of it, use it for cleaning his body as well.  Works for me.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's the micromanagement that's causing frustration in the teen. I'd probably react the same way.

My rule of thumb is: if something would drive me nuts, it will probably drive teens nuts also. Best to avoid. Golden Rule is a good guideline in many situations.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Recent scientific research showed what we all probably know anyway - that the more we lie the less we feel bad about it. There's a bit of the brain that lights up first time round that lights up less and less.

 

So if you don't want a habit of lying to form you need to stop it becoming a recurring thing. Best way would be to stop asking now and just tell. Go brush your teeth. Get through the shower. Also if she honestly can't tell whether he's showered without checking the soap how stinky is he really? maybe he's not really needing daily showers (although it's hard to imagine a teen boy that doesn't!!!).

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

She needs to change her approach.  If it were me (and it has been me!), I'd inform him that I do not like being around smelly people, and therefore if he wants me to do X (like drive him places), he needs to brush his teeth or take a shower or whatever.  I'd leave the food thing alone unless it was affecting me (like low blood sugar was making him a pain to deal with).

 

She should also stop asking questions.  If she wants him to eat breakfast and knows he hasn't, she should tell him to eat.  Ditto with the hygiene stuff.

Edited by EKS
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how asking if your kid has eaten breakfast is a "set up"? Isn't that kinda our role as parents, to make sure these things are happening? I mean, this is basic self care stuff, but teens...well, the brain fog can be pretty thick...it's easy for them to forget if good habits aren't in place (and even if they used to be). But if I'm not asking to make sure they happened, I guess I feel like I'm not doing my job parenting. 14 is vastly different than 19, living on their own.

 

I say make it easy. When they are in full blown brain fog mode, make their breakfast for them. Ask about the teeth and then tell them they have to, or hang around and brush teeth together to make sure it gets done. Call them out on the dry soap and the resulting stink. Ask if they need more deodorant. None of it has to be obtrusive or hovery. My teen appreciates it when I take care of the details when he just can't...and when he's out of the fog things go back to normal.

 

I don't set my kid up to lie, but I don't think it sounds like this mom is, either. Maybe I'm missing something?

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done the blunt thing: You stink. Go get back in the shower, use soap all over, rinse it all off, suds up your hair with shampoo, make sure you rinse it all out, and I expect you to look and smell clean when you are done. People don't like to be around people who stink. 

 

It has probably embarrassed him a time or two, but better me than friends. And he is "mostly" getting it right these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how asking if your kid has eaten breakfast is a "set up"? Isn't that kinda our role as parents, to make sure these things are happening? I mean, this is basic self care stuff, but teens...well, the brain fog can be pretty thick...it's easy for them to forget if good habits aren't in place (and even if they used to be). But if I'm not asking to make sure they happened, I guess I feel like I'm not doing my job parenting. 14 is vastly different than 19, living on their own.

 

I say make it easy. When they are in full blown brain fog mode, make their breakfast for them. Ask about the teeth and then tell them they have to, or hang around and brush teeth together to make sure it gets done. Call them out on the dry soap and the resulting stink. Ask if they need more deodorant. None of it has to be obtrusive or hovery. My teen appreciates it when I take care of the details when he just can't...and when he's out of the fog things go back to normal.

 

I don't set my kid up to lie, but I don't think it sounds like this mom is, either. Maybe I'm missing something?

 

:iagree:

 

 

 

I do not see anything this mom is doing as micromanagement, and I am perplexed as to why others would say it is. The teen is obviously not mature enough yet to make wise decisions about self-care or choosing to set aside games to be responsible for two minutes. A little coaching goes a long way, especially when done with humor and love. Choosing dishonesty is a mark of immaturity as well--it's a signal that he needs coaching to make better choices, as dishonesty erodes relationships.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 15yr old DS and all of this sounds normal. It's hard as a parent because with little kids it's easier to just get what you want done for the kid- the transition to being less of a director and more of a facilitator is hard! Similarly, the teen is like a new toddler flexing his independence and autonomy muscle and it's annoying for both people.

 

Parenting philosophy also can affect you see it. My DH absolutely sees it as disobedience and lying and laziness. He does not think we should move towards the role of facilitators yet.

 

My advice would be to quit asking leading questions, accept outcomes you don't like as your teen learns how to be independent, and increase positive interactions and activities- focus on the person and relationship.

 

I don't always take my advice. I tell my kid that now is the time to practice and try things and fail- we have to let them fail sometimes so they can learn how to be successful adults.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure it's so much an issue of lying as 'avoiding' in this case - avoiding doing what he should and avoiding confrontation over not doing it.

 

I'd call the child on it every time, because I think it's always good that teens know that their parents are paying attention. Then I'd redirect to make sure the action gets done. "You haven't brushed your teeth. Your toothbrush is dry and your breath stinks. Do it now." "You need to use soap in the shower. Just water isn't enough. Hop back in, please."

 

I also agree with instructing rather than asking "Go and brush your teeth" rather than "Did you brush your teeth?" Also, for something like the soap I might ask whether the child would prefer shower gel, or a different soap - try and get some 'buy in'.

 

ETA: I'm obviously in the camp that says it's not micromanaging. When they start to manage themselves is when I can stop. Using soap or brushing teeth is not tricky stuff - teens don't need time to 'figure this out for themselves' or 'learn from their mistakes' on this sort of issue. They're either ready and prepared to be responsible for themselves or they aren't.

Edited by nd293
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a sign she needs to back off on the questions. 

 

I would gently call him out on the lies - "dude, quit telling me you've done stuff when you haven't because it's wrong & it's a lie & it erodes our relationship! Otoh, me nagging you is probably annoying & also erodes our relationship so how about we both change?"

 

 & then I'd stop asking so much.

 

If she can't stop herself altogether (& I totally sympathize because this is SO me), she can remind him instead. "Remember to brush your teeth." is better than "Did you....?"  He'll either do it or not.  Or they can switch to a checklist thing so all she has to say is "remember to go through your checklist" 

 

She can also laugh at herself while doing it..."yeah-yeah I know I'm a controlling & micromanaging mom but did you remember to put your deodorant on & is there clean kleenex in your pocket?" <---- things I say to my teen ds all the time.....

 

I agree, especially with the bolded. 

 

She hasn't made the move to treating him like a 14 year old. (Is he her oldest by any chance?) She's treating him like he was 10 years younger.

 

 

It can help to ask oneself: What is the worst case scenario if he doesn't do these things? If he has bad breath and doesn't shower, worst case scenario is another kid tells him. Much higher probability of change. And if he doesn't eat breakfast? He's hungry...maybe... not everyone eats breakfast.

 

 She needs to divest. It's well into the transition where she can influence but not control and it's much more his life than hers. This only gets "worse." Kids grow up and make really important choices after they are 18 that we may prefer they didn't make. KWIM? You love them like you did when they were 3, but you can't protect them like that. 

 

A 14 year old being treated like a 4 year old is going to react in some way. (I think this is especially sensitive for sons and mothers)  Some lie to get their parents off their backs, some "talk back," others quietly comply and seethe. The most likely way to create a big future problem is to double-down. 

 

If I were advising her, I would encourage her to take him out to dinner, and say something along the lines of  "You know, parenting is a hard thing. I realize that I haven't made the switch into becoming the parent you need as a young man and  I've been treating you more like you are 4. I check behind you about basic hygiene and what you eat and stuff like that. Then I ask you about it and you aren't truthful. I'm going to work hard on backing off but cut me some slack, ok,  because it was my job to make sure all that and more got done for many years. And I would much prefer that if I do cross the line in your opinion, that you just remind me of that instead of lying about it. Deal? 

 

from a Mom of 4 sons, ages 18 and up, all of whom are decent young men. I don't know how many of them eat breakfast, though. :)

Edited by Laurie4b
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The lying would be a major hill to die on at our house. A boy that deceitful would in no way be considered trustworthy to drive ours cars or go out with friends etc.

 

Having said that; I don't tend to nag my kids about these kinds of things. I've never had a teen not care about hygiene and such thankfully. nothing more than a quick, hey go shower your hair is greasy wouldn't solve.

 

The teeth thing would also be a hill to die on for me because of the cost of dental work. Breakfast, not so much but my kids eat when meals are served and that's it. So if they wanted to skip fine but they are going to be hungry later. I would know if they ate or not since we all sit down together.

 

Since she's in this position, I would let the teen know she knows he's been lying about brushing teeth. Tease him a bit about girls not talking to him. And then lay down the law. He has cavities, he pays for them. The end.

 

And if I caught him in lies after this (I would stop with these kinds of questions though) I would come down extremely hard. Loss of phone and friend time for sure. For long enough to be very painful. Lying not tolerated EVEN IF he feels a certain way about the way he's being parented.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be extremely tempted to take away the phone or whatever it is that is more pleasant than actually showering.

 

 

ETA:  probably not the best strategy.  Being blunt is probably better.

Edited by Katy
Link to post
Share on other sites

that he's lying to her about such basic  things is a sign their relationship has a serious problem.   going after him, not trusting him, more supervision- could well blowup in her face.

 

does he have a sensory issue?  that's the only thing I can think of that would be independent of a problematic relationship.

 

eta: mom of four adults.

Edited by gardenmom5
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so glad I am not the only one with a daughter like this!!! I was reading through these responses debating on whether on not to reply because I have these issues with a dd and not a ds. It's a little embarrassing. 

 

I have had to stop with the nagging and punishment circle over lying and go with the direct #2 above. I tell her. Explicitly. I know Bill Cosby is not a good role model these days, but he had a skit back on his old records  about parenting that reminds me of my life when it comes to directing this dd. "Take off all of your clothes, turn on the shower, get into the shower. Please USE SOAP. Rinse yourself off, dry yourself off....." and on it goes. 

 

I do get that it's hard to let go on some things. We flushed 5k down the toilet because she lied about wearing her Invisalign. Then we finally threatened her into wearing them, but guess what? She didn't brush her teeth after every meal/drink.  This resulted in another 2k in dental work on top of the 5k. You know what I learned? You really can't make a teenager do something they don't want to do when that something depends 100% on their cooperation. If they really set stubborn against it, good luck to you.

 

So I echo most everyone else. I wouldn't make it a hill to die on. I might not drive her anywhere if she smelled, but it would be a non-confrontational either/or type of situation. "You take a shower and smell pleasant OR we are not going anywhere." That's it. No guilting, no cajoling, no threatening. When I want to scream at her "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHY CAN"T YOU JUST TAKE A SHOWER REGULARLY WITHOUT ME ASKING?!?!?!" I try to take a deep breath and tell myself she will grow out of it. I hope. If not she can be smelly at her own house. 

 

It kind of remind me of a friend's story. When she was a teenager her parents would leave and ask her to vacuum every Saturday as her chore. It needed to be done by their return. So she would drag the vacuum out, NOT plug it in, and push it around the house. Then she would put it up and lie about having vacuumed, taking great joy in having pulled one over on her parents. She said it didn't occur to her for quite some time that she was expending just as much energy to fake vacuum as to real vacuum. That was apparently epiphany moment for her around 15 or so. But, I think it shows, sometimes teenagers (some teenagers) do things simply to feel like they're getting away with something. I would rather mine be getting away with not showering than sneaking out with a boy or something as her rebellion..... (although the not showering helps with that greatly. ;) ) 

 

 

this. 

 

I had a dd I had to ORDER to put her clothes in the basket and put on something clean. hygiene wasn't her priority.  fine.  sometimes, as long as they're getting a shower a couple times a week - let them.

you know what? she was a very dedicated student and is entirely self-supporting.

 

we're going through this now with dudeling.  he will put showers off as long as possible (which is funny considering when he was little he'd be happy taking a bath twice a day. and he'd be shivering when I'd make him get out.)

I don't have a problem  telling him his hair stinks.  neither does his favorite big brother have a problem telling him  if he wants him to snuggle him - he has to wash his hair.  (we keep it short so it's easier for him - and it doesn't matter if it's combed.) favorite big brother thinks it's funny he's starting to turn into a teenager.  :glare:

 

I actually would be more irked when we'd be clothes shopping and I'd hold something up and they'd say "we like it".  then it goes to the back of the closet never to be seen until it's thrown in the charity pile.  I learned to add the "don't tell me you like it becasue you think that's what I want to hear. if you're never going to wear it, that will not make me happy." :toetap05:

 

I did hold up a hideous lime green fleece once as a joke.  :tongue_smilie:  she loved it.  wore it everywhere.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

ETA: I'm obviously in the camp that says it's not micromanaging. When they start to manage themselves is when I can stop. Using soap or brushing teeth is not tricky stuff - teens don't need time to 'figure this out for themselves' or 'learn from their mistakes' on this sort of issue. They're either ready and prepared to be responsible for themselves or they aren't.

How does this work with someone who is uncooperative? With a 3yr old, I simply brush their teeth for them and throw them in the tub myself if I want something done and they aren't doing it. I'm not going to do that with my 15yr old. I have no actual ability to make sure that what I want happens and if I did, it would certainly cause more bitterness than it's worth. I can try to threaten and compel, persuade, and beg, but some kids will dig in more with that and then ditch the behavior when your back is turned or once they are away from home. I want him to figure out he wants to do those things for himself and maybe he needs some negative feedback from others before it will sink in.

 

Maybe my DS is especially difficult, but I don't want to go around all day nagging him about things he should be doing himself; things he knows full well the reasons he's supposed to do it. I will remind and tell him he needs to do stuff, but I can't do it for him and I've got bigger issues to deal with. I pray, pray pray, that someday soon he will discover that he's interested in someone and he will be better motivated to see to his appearance and organization. It may be different if he had signs of anorexia or his teeth were literally rotting; he's just not doing things the way I'd want them done and the way I think most adults expect.

 

My DH is in your camp, but he's not home with our DS all day- if I had to follow him around calling him out for everything he wasn't doing we wouldn't be able to have any kind of positive relationship. I'm already on his case about other stuff that I can actually control a little bit.

Edited by Paige
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advise him he pays for his fillings at the dentist.  Let him know how much it costs.  Otherwise possibly remove his electronics if they are distracting him to the extent that he is not eating or taking care of basic grooming. 

 

My son (adult, 25, but autistic) had to "enjoy" getting two teeth filled (he HATED it) before he understood what would happen again if he did not take better care of his teeth.  I also got a set of fake chompers from Amazon to use to show him how thoroughly to brush.  I also stood there counting slowly to 60, pausing to remind him to move the toothbrush around to hit every spot. 

 

He started trying to fake showers, too, so I sent him back in,and had hubby go in to supervise (Mom doesn't do that!) Didn't take long for ds to figure it was easier to just get himself clean from the get-go than be sent in to do it again under supervision.

 

I figure, if you are going to revert to a toddler when it comes to grooming, then you must need Mommy/Daddy to step in again, right?  Oh, is that too embarrassing? Then do it yourself! 

 

 

Edited by JFSinIL
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love reading this. No teens yet but nice to have some ideas when we get there. I used to lie about food when I was a tween and teen because I just didn't like people being so nosy.

 

As a mom who has already spent over 4k on just one kid's teeth, I'd probably consider tooth bushing a hill to die on but that's just our experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How does this work with someone who is uncooperative?

My DH is in your camp, but he's not home with our DS all day- if I had to follow him around calling him out for everything he wasn't doing we wouldn't be able to have any kind of positive relationship. I'm already on his case about other stuff that I can actually control a little bit.

 

Let your dh do it when he is home. When something HAD to be addressed with our Ds's, I let it be DH. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My teens are the owners  of their bodies (with the exception of illegal activities while they live in my home or I pay for a majority of their stuff). That includes food, hygiene, intimacy.

 

That, however, is a parenting paradigm. More generally, I'd caution her (or other readers) from reading anything into his character based on this. Technically, I suppose they are lies. But they are lies born in a particular situation, following a known and common parent/child pattern.

 

It suggests nothing accurate about his adult years or character.

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

He's lying because it's convenient a way to get her to leave him alone.  He's at the age where he needs to start being in charge of himself even if he sucks at it.  The hygiene, other than teeth brushing, should be left to him as should the eating.  If he starts to stink she can direct him but don't set him up for a lie.  The only thing I'd make a big fuss about is the teeth brushing, it's non-negotiable, unless he wants to start a savings account for future dental work? 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

And yeah - I don't ask my 9/10 year olds if they "really" brushed or ate breakfast. It's part of their routine to brush (thankfully) but even if it wasn't, I probably wouldn't ask about that at age 14. If I smelled evidence I would just comment that maybe it needs to be done a little more diligently. :P

I do. Ds9 had no fillings until this year then got five at once. He was claiming to clean his teeth but after he was asleep i would discover his brush was dry. He would never shower if i didn't check which isn't good in a child with bedwetting issues.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How does this work with someone who is uncooperative? With a 3yr old, I simply brush their teeth for them and throw them in the tub myself if I want something done and they aren't doing it. I'm not going to do that with my 15yr old. I have no actual ability to make sure that what I want happens and if I did, it would certainly cause more bitterness than it's worth. I can try to threaten and compel, persuade, and beg, but some kids will dig in more with that and then ditch the behavior when your back is turned or once they are away from home. I want him to figure out he wants to do those things for himself and maybe he needs some negative feedback from others before it will sink in.

 

My kids have quite a few outside activities that they love, so "I am not taking you out in public until you XYZ" works pretty well around here.  It doesn't quite apply when we're sitting around the house for a couple of days, but I think that's where our open, snarky-ish, playful relationship comes in handy, because I can still tell them their stank is grossing ME out and needs to be fixed before we can proceed with ABC.  (I can't say they've never pointed out my occasional stinky breath when working in close quarters after lunch!)

 

That said, I have given older children (not 15, but double digits) refresher courses in hair washing in the shower with bathing suits.  Nobody enjoyed that AT ALL, but the problem went away!

 

If a kid would rather sit in his or her own stink than hang out with friends or have a family popcorn and movie night, I would have them screened for depression.

 

  He's at the age where he needs to start being in charge of himself even if he sucks at it.  

 

Yes!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My teens are the owners  of their bodies (with the exception of illegal activities while they live in my home or I pay for a majority of their stuff). That includes food, hygiene, intimacy.

 

That, however, is a parenting paradigm. More generally, I'd caution her (or other readers) from reading anything into his character based on this. Technically, I suppose they are lies. But they are lies born in a particular situation, following a known and common parent/child pattern.

 

It suggests nothing accurate about his adult years or character.

 

I agree.  Yes, basically lies, but not nasty lies.  I was a good kid and rarely got into trouble, but when I felt like my parents were harping on me too much, I lied. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

They're MYOB lies. What you'd tell to a stranger who asked the question. So don't ask. I wouldn't necessarily drop it though, depending on the kid. Some need scaffolding later than others. Teeth are expensive, and one of my kids turns into a raging jerk without food. Forcing her to eat turns her back semi-human. By forcing, I mean she's told to eat or go back to her room where she isn't sharing her unpleasantness with the rest of the family. She's a very young teen and has ADHD.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...