Navigating the world of personal hygiene can be challenging for tweens and teens. Having a tween in the house can make things smelly, and as they face emotional and physical shifts that come with puberty, it’s essential to provide tips on personal hygiene for tweens and teens to help them through these transitions.
Some preteens are overly concerned with personal cleanliness, as evidenced by their frequent bathing and liberal application of fragrance. Some people don’t care that their bodies are changing and don’t even bother maintaining a regular hygiene routine. Even if your adolescent appears to be doing okay, they could use your help to maintain a positive outlook and healthy lifestyle.
It’s Time for a Discussion
There’s no time like the present to have that conversation with your preteen child about the onset of puberty. And even if you have already had the conversation, a refresher is to keep them feeling fresher. Teenagers’ changing bodies and hygiene habits are delicate topics to broach; approach them cautiously. Whether you’re a mother or father, having this kind of conversation around your kid can be embarrassing for them. If your adolescent is resistant to or embarrassed by this conversation, it may be helpful to bring in another parent or relative of the same gender to help break the ice. You should pick a time when everyone isn’t rushing around.
Fundamentals of Physical Transformation
Learn the proper terminology by doing some reading. Using the words “penis,” “vagina,” and “menstruation” may not be part of your everyday lexicon, so it may be helpful to practice saying them. During this time, your body is undergoing many changes, and you should let your child know that this happens to everyone at their own pace. Your presentation must include the following:
- The effects of your tween’s new hormones on their developing body.
- Your tween’s hair may start growing in different places, and they may want to know what they can do about it.
- Talk to your tween about the physical changes that are occurring and how she may be unique from her peers.
- The problem of perspiration odor and how to treat it.
- In what ways do boys and girls develop differently?
- Boys should be educated on such topics as erections and wet dreams.
- If a girl hasn’t experienced a period yet, she needs to know that it’s normal and prepare for it by learning about breast development and menstruation.
Make it clear to your kid that you want her to be prepared for anything that may come her way. The most important thing is to make your tween feel comfortable and secure, and you shouldn’t be surprised if she asks you a lot of questions. Don’t give up if you don’t know the answers immediately; instead, get to work solving the problem as a group.
You should remind your tween that their peers’ opinions on puberty, body image, and hygiene aren’t always to be trusted. Ignite your tween’s curiosity and encourage her to seek out additional information from you, another parent or trusted adult, or her doctor.
Exactly What Does “Squeaky Clean” Imply?
Establish some ground rules for adolescent cleanliness and what it means to you. You should also get your tween ready for milestones like shaving and menstruation. Instill in your adolescent the value of:
Bathing. Your tween should be taking daily showers or baths with soap. After exercise, this is more crucial than ever. She needs to be reminded to give special attention to washing her feet, armpits, groin, and bottom. Give in to her pleadings for more shower time by letting her choose her own fragrant bar of soap or shaving cream.
Skin care. When they reach puberty, tweens may need to start washing their faces twice a day. When pimples are picked at or touched, they can become inflamed, spread bacteria all over the face, and even leave scars. If your child has acne or breakouts frequently, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor. Your primary care physician may recommend a dermatologist.
Sweat and odor. Give an explanation of how antiperspirant works to reduce sweating and how deodorant works to prevent odor and bacteria from forming under the arms. Encourage your child to use it daily, especially before and after she exercises or showers.
Clothes. Try to discourage your tween from rewearing anything, even a favorite sweatshirt, before washing it. Please nag her daily to change her underwear and socks.
Hair. Remind your child that dirty hair can worsen skin conditions like acne. There are, of course, variations in needs depending on the type of hair being cared for. Determine how often your adolescent needs to wash and style her hair based on your best judgment.
Shaving. Prepare a razor and shaving cream and patiently instruct your tween on how to shave if she is ready. Don’t forget to include instructions on how to pick up the mess.
Teeth. Both brushing and flossing should be done twice daily, at the very least. Remind your child that good oral hygiene is essential for a lifetime of healthy teeth and breath. In addition to toothpaste and floss, mouthwash is another helpful item to have on hand in the washroom. However, be sure to remind her that it shouldn’t replace her regular oral hygiene routine.
Hands. Remind your preteen to wash her hands before and after eating, as well as after using the restroom, sneezing, or handling pets. Keep nails clean and discourage biting, as this can spread germs that could infect or irritate her gums.
Ears. If your preteen daughter or son wants to get their ears pierced, you should insist that the piercer observe all applicable safety protocols. Inquire about whether or not materials are disposable and, if so, how they are sterilized. Be sure your tween understands the importance of keeping the new piercing clean and free of infection by asking about aftercare.
Pleasant smell. We recommend using only a small amount of perfume, body spray, or cologne. Some institutions have policies prohibiting students from wearing scented products, so keep that in mind. When people with asthma or chemical sensitivities are exposed to excessive perfume, they can become ill. Be sure to stress that spritzing on some fragrance instead of a shower is not the same.
Sharing and germs. Make sure everyone knows they shouldn’t share anything, including food, drinks, hairbrushes, and makeup. Lice can be spread by sharing personal items such as hats, hairbrushes, and scrunchies/hair bands. Eye infections like pinkeye can be spread by sharing cosmetics, particularly eye makeup and mascara. Cold sores can be spread by sharing lipstick. Also, a common way to spread germs is through exchanging food and drink.
Advice on Personal Hygiene for Preteens
Your daughter may be confused about whether she should use a pad or tampon, how long her period will last, how it will feel, and when it will begin. Make sure your child understands that getting their first period is a natural part of growing up, as it can cause some social and emotional anxiety.
When they first start menstruating, many adolescent girls opt for pads, but some choose tampons. In other words, there is no “appropriate” time to introduce tampon use. Some preteens are reluctant to try them out for fear of making mistakes or experiencing discomfort. When your daughter is ready, she will make her own choice.
Putting together a small, zippered pouch that she can keep in her backpack will help her be prepared for her period. Put a change of underwear and some sanitary pads or tampons in this pouch. She should change her pad or tampon every four to six hours or whenever it becomes soaked with blood. The backing on the pad peels off so it can stick to her underwear. Make sure she knows to fold used pads or tampons and wrap them in toilet paper before discarding them in the trash. Let her remember that it’s not a good idea to flush a used tampon or pad down the toilet.
It Takes Some Time to Get Things Clean
Your preteen may require additional time in the bathroom to adapt to the requisites of adolescent personal hygiene. For children with special needs, this could be even longer. Have patience and try to get your child to bed earlier or up earlier so she can get to school on time.
It is important to understand that it will take some time to instill healthy habits in your tween. Keep up the positive reinforcement, and remember that compliments are more effective than nagging.
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