SHOWER OR NOT TO SHOWER…
(12 years old):
My mom is always nagging me about taking a shower on weekends. I shower
enough during the week, I think, but I don’t like to on weekends.
I like to just relax, sleep late, and play computer games. My mom
starts on me on Saturday and doesn’t let up until Sunday night.
I don’t even listen to her any more. She tries to get my dad
in on it and he just tells her to leave me alone.
son’s body is changing and frankly he has bad body odor. I go
into his room and it smells like a locker room. I try to get him to
shower everyday, but he refuses to do it. I take away his computer
time and TV time. But he still refuses to bathe. I go into the room
with disinfectant spray just to try to help the smell. I told him
his body is changing and he needs to shower more and put on deodorant.
I honestly don’t know what to do next. And of course my husband
is no help.
Dear Jerod’s Mom,
I appreciate your distaste for locker room smells. However, what you
are describing sounds like your son growing up. Twelve-year-old boys
often don’t value showers and neat rooms. He’s almost an
adolescent. Remember that teen-agers are very sensitive and that they
begin to rebel and want to decide on personal issues themselves. Your
son does bathe when he goes to school and has to conform to hygiene
standards. I would suggest that you back off of this argument and that
you don’t insult him about his changing body. Besides, having
a male (his father) help him in male matters would probably be preferable.
Punishing him by denying him TV or computer time will most likely only
bring tension, conflict and lack of trust into your relationship. It
would be better if you didn’t criticize and let him come to you
with questions and concerns.
If you find it so offensive, why not stay out of his room? You won’t
believe what social acceptance will do for his habits, especially when
it involves girls. Until that happens, how about letting him bond with
his Dad on male matters. Real locker rooms are not places we girls generally
To you, Jerod, I would like to suggest that you be somewhat sensitive
to your mom’s nose and try to compromise. Being locked in a head-on
collision about something as silly as baths is a waste of both of your