Last week, I had the opportunity to co-host one of the classes that The Motherhood is doing this month for their ‘Don’t Fret The Sweat Tween Academy’. The topic was Tweens & Personal Hygiene and this was a timely one for me since my oldest daughter is now 10-1/2 and we’re just getting into those types of issues. And with my middle daughter about to turn 9 next month, we know that she’s not far behind either. Every kid is different – and every adult has their own story about how/when/what she went through during adolescence and puberty – and it was fun to compare and share as we chatted about what our kids have faced or will face for issues such as wearing deodorant, showering, girls starting their periods, shaving, and more. It seems that stinky shoes and cleats are a widespread problem for most moms! 🙂
You can see a recap of the class that’s posted on The Motherhood, but I love this little blurb that really sums up the essence of the talk:
Respect their privacy. Don’t ever say anything around their friends or in any public place. Ever. Be patient.
Keep it light. If you’ve already noticed a new odor in his or her clothes, find a gentle, upbeat way to talk about some new things they might want to do now that their bodies are growing into adulthood. Think about how you felt when you were his or her age. You may want to share a funny memory about you or a classmate. Start the conversation and give your tween an opportunity to react.
Give them a say. Ask them if they want to go to the store with you to buy deodorant or other personal hygiene products for them or if they want you to do it. If they want you to do it, casually tell them what you bought and where they can find the items when you return.
It was great to have Rosalind Wiseman there to help us navigate all of these issues and concerns – she had a lot of really wonderful hints and tips, as did the other moms. I also wanted to highlight a few things that I thought were especially interesting or helpful to me…
- The idea of taking your tween out shopping together for some special mom-kid bonding time when they first need products like deodorant, pads or a razor. It’s a good opportunity to check-in with how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about all the new changes. I’m definitely going to try this with my girls!
- According to some of the other moms, electric razors are easier to use when girls are first starting out with shaving their legs. I would be hesitant to invest in an electric razor, but hadn’t really thought about it this way before and I think that makes a lot of sense. That way they can shave outside of the shower and it’s easier to show them what to do as well. Plus I suppose that way you don’t have to keep buying razors or razor heads either, so the investment pays off in the long run.
- When girls first start wearing pads, having them wear bike shorts over their underwear can help keep the pads in place better until they get used to them. I love this idea and will definitely plan on using them when my girls start their periods – I think it will really help.
- I shared about the American Girl book, The Care & Keeping of You that our pediatrician gave my oldest daughter at her 10-year well child visit. It’s been a great resource and I love that it’s written at a level that she can easily understand. Several other moms agreed that this book has been helpful for their tween girls too.
- Buy travel sizes of hygiene products like deodorant for kids to keep in their backpack or locker in case they need them while at school. I love this idea!
There were also a few things that surprised me:
- The whole stinky shoe/cleat thing! It really hasn’t been much of a problem for us, but I do think it’s probably more of a boy issue? We keep our shoes and cleats in the garage though (don’t have a mud room or anywhere inside to easily put them) so maybe I just don’t notice the stink, lol.
- Speaking of stink, it seems that some kids are hard to convince that they do actually smell – sometimes they just don’t understand, or they don’t care. I can see my oldest daughter being one of these, so it’s good to have some advice on how to the situation from moms who have been there.
- On the other hand, some kids and tweens bathe or shower every day… We have a hard time just getting the 3 of them through the shower a few times a week – I can’t imagine trying to do so every single day. But I know we might have to adjust once body odor does become a factor – which it will soon.
- I wasn’t sure when girls start shaving their legs nowadays – it was interesting to hear that it’s more of a social issue than a hygiene one, according to Rosalind. Kids are quick to tease about things like that, so it’s good to pay attention to whether classmates are beginning to shave yet.
Overall, I thought this was all very good advice and you can check out the rest of the recap at http://www.themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62265.
There is still one more class left in the ‘Don’t Fret The Sweat Tween Academy’ series – the topic is Tweens and Building Self-Esteem, on October 11th at noon ET. This is another one that I plan to attend (I’m not co-hosting this time) because with my oldest daughter’s social issues, I know things are only going to get worse as she gets older and into middle and high school.
It’s a giveaway!
Are you navigating these often complicated waters of having a tween in the house? Would you like a little bit of help from Unilever? I have a gift pack to give away to one lucky reader! The gift pack includes: a Vera Bradley bag; one sample each of Dove, Degree Girl and Degree Men deodorant; and Rosalind Wiseman’s books Queen Bees and Wannabes and Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials. If you’d like to enter to win this fun prize pack, here are the rules:
- Enter by leaving a comment here to let me know what hygiene issues you’ve had with your tween (or what you’re the most worried about navigating once your kids get to be tweens). Is there a particular tip or piece of advice that’s really helped you? This is required – please don’t just say anything like ‘choose me’, or your entry will be discarded.
- The contest will run until Saturday, October 15th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be selected through random drawing using the ‘And The Winner Is’ plugin, contacted by e-mail and listed on this post. US entries only, please.
- Please leave a valid e-mail address or other way to contact you! If the winner hasn’t responded within 2 days, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing.
- If you’d like extra entries (totally optional), you can:
- Follow @TheMotherhood on Twitter (leave a comment here to let me know – 1 extra entry).
- Become a fan of Don’t Fret the Sweat on Facebook (leave a comment here to let me know – 1 extra entry).
- Mention this contest on your blog with a link back to this post, and leave a separate comment with the link to your post so I can find it (1 extra entry).
- Tweet this giveaway – leave me a separate comment with a link to your tweet. For an easy way to tweet, just click the ‘re-tweet’ button at the bottom of this post.
- Subscribe to my RSS feed (click on the orange icon in the upper right sidebar) or subscribe via e-mail – leave me a separate comment to let me know (1 extra entry).
- ‘Like’ this site on Facebook – there’s a link in the sidebar or you can click here. Leave a comment to let me know (1 extra entry).
So that’s a total of 7 comments/entries if you do all of the extra entry options.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED – and the winner is…
- Ursula – Comment: Our biggest dillemma is finding a deoderant they actually like (smell wise) and then remembering to use it! Sometimes, by the end of the day, they are stinky but don’t realize it.
Congratulations and I will be e-mailing you shortly to work out the details!
This post courtesy of: Unilever and TheMotherhood, who is providing the gift pack for the giveaway. I received a similar gift pack as a thank-you as well. Although I am receiving a stipend to participate in and co-host the Talk and post about it here, all opinions given here are solely my own or those of my family.