Lorie from Be Different, Act Normal shared her tip for introducing new routines to her kids. "I had my daughter start wearing deodorant in first grade, when the weather was warmer, and I am sure I will do the same with my youngest. It is easy to introduce new routines when they are young and it makes them feel like they are getting to do something grown-up. This option is much more appealing then waiting until middle school when it might just come out sounding like I was telling them they stink."
Amy from Super Healthy Kids was glad that the opposite sex was so influential when it came to her son's deodorant use. "We ask him often if he remembered to put deodorant on. He had been forgetting a lot, until the last few weeks, as he started Jr. High and apparently likes girls now. Lucky for the world, girls in Jr. High don’t like boys who smell. They have been more influential than I can ever hope to be."
Charlotte from The Great Fitness Experiment was unsure of how to best address personal hygiene with her tween. "Anyhow, I've long appreciated the ability of my kids to make me sweat but until now I'd underestimated their ability to produce it. My oldest son is 9. He is officially a tween, complete with eye-rolling, sarcasm and, oh yes, body odor. But how does one talk to a tween about personal hygiene? Am I allowed to use eye-rolling and sarcasm too? Because if so, I've totally got this one covered."
April from Coal Creek Farms loved it when her son expressed interest in a nice smelling product. “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."
Kristen from Swistle revealed that she favors an unlikely place to talk to her kids about personal hygiene. “Perhaps it's puberty that flips the cleanliness switch, or perhaps it's the feedback their peers will soon start casually flipping their way. I'd like to protect them against that sort of feedback, so for right NOW, what I do is wait until they're buckled into the car and I'm going about 60 down the highway, and then I make them listen to me discuss whether they DID or DID NOT manage to address the SCENT issue that morning...”
Susan from Eat Your Flowers wrote that the beginning of puberty can be quite an adjustment for everyone in the family. “While we can read books, and visit websites to find the proper words, the timing, and tact to use when telling our kids, that they basically “stink” – the truth is, we, as parents, need to get ourselves ready, emotionally, for the fact that our baby is just not a baby anymore.”
Angie from The Homeschool Classroom approached personal hygiene as yet another lesson on the way to adulthood. “When thinking of teaching life skills, it can be easy to let your mind wander to activities like cooking, cleaning, or even changing tires. One vital life skill to teach, however, can be about self-care. While it can be easy to remember to teach about washing their hands after the bathroom and covering their noses when they sneeze when children are young, self-care issues definitely don't end when those early elementary years are over.”
Andrea from Simmons Family Update found the Don’t Fret The Sweat Facebook page to have useful information for her tween. “The Don't Fret The Sweat campaign provides parents with necessary tools to help build confidence in our kids. Kamryn loved the "product matchmaker" that allowed her to answer a few questions to recommend the right deodorant for her. She is an active tween and is constantly on the go, so she wants something that is going to last throughout the day.”
Shauna from ShaunaGlenn.com was amused by how mature her daughter felt after getting to pick out her first deodorant. “We stood in front of what seemed like hundreds of options for antiperspirant/deodorant. She picked out a pink bottle marketed towards teens. It was the first time in her young life she felt like a grownup. I know this because the whole ride home she explained in great detail about how it wouldn’t be long before she had her own apartment. She was nine.”
Sharyn from Live From Tormville explored the Don’t Fret The Sweat Facebook page to find information and tips on talking about hygiene with her tween. “Unilever is the leading manufacturer of deodorant and antiperspirants and the makers of Degree® Men, Degree® Women, Degree® Girl, Dove® AND Suave®. Their goal is to ensure that parents and their kids remain cool and confident throughout the day... AND - Unilever also has a Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/Don'tFretTheSweat where you can find expert tips, tools and real-life stories about how parents are communicating and transitioning their tweens into confident and self-reliant teens.”
Elizabeth from A moon, worn as if it had been a shell shared that her son was not too sensitive when his body odor became a topic of discussion. “The onset of puberty appeared to happen just like that, in a car, running errands, one of those errands becoming a stop at a drugstore to purchase some deodorant for the boy. Surprisingly, telling my son that he smelled bad, which meant that he was growing up, becoming a man, was not a sickening blow to his self-esteem. He was still a little boy in many ways, and there was a certain cachet to smelling bad.”
Carmen from Mom To The Screaming Masses discovered how tween boys preferred to solve the odor problem while employed at her kids' school “In particular, I noticed that the boys were especially, um, fragrant – but it wasn’t just typical (and natural) body odor. No, it was more of a perfume-y odor. Upon investigation, I discovered that the boys knew that they smelled odiferous and so they had begun to pass around several cans of strong smelling body spray in an attempt to both cover the smell and attract the girls. Neither effort was successful.”
Elizabeth from Busy Mom did not need to convince her daughter to start using deodorant. “Awareness of the body odor issue appears to come a little earlier with girls than boys, and we bought her some deodorant as soon as she asked for it. I'm not aware of her having had an issue that prompted it, but it was all the rage with her friends, and I think she felt more independent and grown-up as she incorporated it into her routine.”
Fiddledeedee also found the Don’t Fret The Sweat page a useful resource for herself and her tween daughter. “Also thank goodness for the Don't Fret The Sweat Facebook page, and for the panel of experts who have put together a wonderful resource for moms in my position, looking for guidance and information as we help our kids transition to those all important teenage years.”
Liz from This Full House recalled that her introduction to issues of puberty and hygiene would have been easier if resources like Don’t Fret The Sweat were available. “I, on the other hand, remember being herded out in the middle of health class, with the rest of the girls and learning about (ahem) a woman's menstrual cycle in a very clinical-type film, locked away in a smelly locker room, sometime around 4th grade, I think. My mom and I never spoke about our bodies on such [clears throat] intimate levels -- frankly, not sure if I really would have wanted to...”