14 answers

How to Get a 12 Year Old Boy to Take Care of His Body

My 12 year old son, will not take a bath, wash his hair, brush his teeth unless my husband or I tell him to. How have other parents handled this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! This is great. Thank you to all who responded. My husband and I were starting to think there was something wrong with him. Or that he was just blowing us off. It makes me feel a lot better knowing this is normal 12 year boys thing!

Featured Answers

This is hard time but it will pass. My son and actually my daughter was the same. Around 13 or 14 things change and they are more worried about their bodies being clean. I know you think you shouldn't have to tell them to because of their age. But at 12 they are kinda like in between being a child and yet close to being a teenager. Just keep telling him and one day you will be amazed they he will take a bath everyday without being told. It is just a normal thing. Good Luck and just remember that it does sink in sooner or later.

More Answers

SET UP A DAILY SCHEDULE FOR HIM TO BATHE, TEETH, ETC.
DAILY TRACK IT. IF HE DOES NOT DO IT, TAKE AWAY SOMETHING
THAT IS IMPORTANT TO HIM FOR A REASONABLE PERIOD UNTIL HIS
BEHAVIOR CHANGES.

UNTIL YOU WORK OUT THIS PROGRAM HE HAS THE POWER,
BECAUSE HE DOES AS HE WANTS, AND YOU NEED TO TAKE BACK THE
POWER, YOU ARE THE PARENT.

MAKE IT REASONABLE, BE CONSISTENT, PERSIST, AND YOU WILL
SEE THE BEHAVIOR CHANGE.

I AM A PRACITICING PSYCHOLOGIST, AND I WOULD BE WILLING
TO TALK, BY PHONE, (AT NO COST) IF YOU WOULD CARE TO
CALL ME. MY E MAIL: ____@____.com TELE: 816-847+0410.

E MAIL ME YOUR TELE#, BEST TIME TO CALL YOU AND I WILL
CALL ON MY PHONE AT NO COST.

THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO SOLICIT A CLIENT, IT IS TO HELP!

MY BEST, N. J ANDREW, PhD
OF

1 mom found this helpful

I learn the teens are really hard to handle. I belive he is doing that for attention , maybe is a way of him to show how he is feeling. Teens are in a different world but if you talk to them they open a little bit . Also soon he will see a girl he likes and trust me he will be really clean and will like to smell good. Im not trying to make fun of the problem but I did leave with a teen and was the same problem know he is different but try to look if is any reason why he is doing that.

This is hard time but it will pass. My son and actually my daughter was the same. Around 13 or 14 things change and they are more worried about their bodies being clean. I know you think you shouldn't have to tell them to because of their age. But at 12 they are kinda like in between being a child and yet close to being a teenager. Just keep telling him and one day you will be amazed they he will take a bath everyday without being told. It is just a normal thing. Good Luck and just remember that it does sink in sooner or later.

I also, have a 12 year old son and a 15 year old daughter. My son doesn't take a bath, brush his teeth or wash his hair w/o me telling him, I believe that it is pretty normal. I know that my daughter started doing it sooner b/c girls usually mature sooner than boys. I also have 2 nephews who are now 14 years old and their moms say the same thing. The boys are now spending hours in the shower where as a year ago it was the opposite. Hope that helps

J. ~
My son is 14 and we went through the same thing, sometimes still do. We established a routine he gets in the shower at 9:00pm every night, except weekends. After he showers and brushes his teeth he can come watch tv with us until 10:00 or more often he just heads to bed and lays up there and reads until 10:00 when we say goodnight and lights out. One of the other things that helped was we took him with us shopping. I let him smell the different shower gels and pick out one that he liked. Axe has a lot of flavors that the boys like, plus they have coordinating deodorant and body sprays. My son picked one and then everytime they came out with a new one he would have to smell it to see if he liked it better. He varies between about 3 now, he just let's me know which one to buy when he's close to running out.
I hope this helps! I think they are much more inclined to do something that you want them to when they have some sort of choice in the matter. Good luck!

Believe it or not, but my daughter went through this phase. She has greasy hair and her face would break out all the time. I had to practically force her to take a bath. But eventually she got over it and now I couldn't get her out of there. I think he will also eventually get over it. I just stopped harping her with baths, but made sure she at least took one every other day. IT wasn't easy.

Boys at this age are very sensitive and often shy about their personal cares. Try fixing a special gift box full of all the personal care products he will need (deoderant, soap, maybe shaving stuff, good nail clippers with a cleaner bar, shampoo, etc.) All stuff he would use not your choice-ask some young people what they like to use for the right names. Then give it to him wrapped in his very own large bath towel Maybe for fun throw in a cd he likes to hear and let him know he has that much time in the bath while he listens to (oh say) 5 or 6 of his favorite tunes if this is a morning routine make sure you cut the time to maybe 1 or 2 tunes so he has time to get to school-just make sure he knows to keep the music away from the water and put cotton in your ears if he wants to sing also. This too shall pass. Good luck.

Make a chart for him for the things he is suppose to do and have him check the things off after he has done them. Let him know he wont have many friends if he is smelley. He can get infections if he dont stay clean.

Sorry if I wasnt more helpful.

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