16 answers

How to Introduce 11 Year Old Boy to Proper Showering and Deodorant - Need Advice

My son showed me his underarms the other day and they were bright red with a rash and some dirt/fibers built up. Yikes! I felt horrible!! I've shown him how to shower many times and thought he hand the hang of it. I walked him back through the process yesterday and with two attempts he got out of the shower clean. I'm thinking it's time to purchase deodorant for him too???? He does not have any body odor. Also how often should 11 year old boys be showering??

Any other hygeine tips will be appreciated!
M. M.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the good insight. I purchased some deodorant for him and talked about showering the three spots each time - pits, privates and butt. The rest isn't as important! He's showered daily the past two days and while really not wanting the deodorant...he is wearing it. He also mentioned some of the kids in his 5th grade class wear it. So obviously, he talked to some of the kids at school about this. I'm going to check out that book "No BO" that someone mentioned. It's time for a longer talk. Thanks!

Featured Answers

There is a great book called "No B.O. - the head to toe book of hygiene for preteens" by M. Crump and E. Verdick that might be helpful.
The redness under his arms may be related to a skin condition due to perspiration and may need some type of medication or cortisone cream. Once the regular showers start, I would keep an eye on that so it doesn't get out of control.
You are doing a good job.

1 mom found this helpful

ah boys...absolute humiliation works well! hahaha
my son was about that age...and one day he took a shower, and didn't even wash his hair...and it was obvious to me...so I said to him, "fine...if you can't do it right, I guess mommy(SARCASM) will still have to do it for you" and I actually stood outside the shower and washed his hair for him, soaped up the sponge and told him how to wash...he was angry....he took very thorough showers after that....i just threatened that I would wash him if he couldn't do it right...and how embarrassing would that be for him???
it might've been a mean thing to do...but it worked.
I started having my son use deodorant as soon as hair started to come in under his arms. so it was about that age. I just bought something very gentle, like a sensitive skin formula, just incase.
as far as how often, my son is 15 now and showers daily, and has been for a while...he has very fine blond hair though, so it looks terrible if he doesn't wash it and style it every day. my daughter is 8 and showers or takes a bath every other day.

More Answers

There is a great book called "No B.O. - the head to toe book of hygiene for preteens" by M. Crump and E. Verdick that might be helpful.
The redness under his arms may be related to a skin condition due to perspiration and may need some type of medication or cortisone cream. Once the regular showers start, I would keep an eye on that so it doesn't get out of control.
You are doing a good job.

1 mom found this helpful

My 11 year old showers every other day unless he gets dirty or sweaty with sports or something. I just went out and bought deodorant and showed him how to apply it (roll on) and each day reminded him while he was getting dressed not to forget his deodorant. Never had a problem. He doesn't shower so good either. I do a spot check on him also, mostly his hair. They are in a hurry and just want to get done. He'll get better with time. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.
I had a friend who had learning disability, she had a list of what to do to get ready for bed/the day taped to the mirror.
As for deodorant I'd suggest something natural. There are way to many chemicals in all our products these days. I think it's causing a lot of problems with kids. We use a liquid mineral salt deodorant from the health food store, and it's not to $$ either. I use teetree oil for skin problems (it's great for faces)it's an antiseptic and all natural. A few drops goes a long way.
A. H

1 mom found this helpful

Mine went through the not wanting to shower thing at this age too. Seems to be a boy thing. Let him go with you and pick out his own deodorant, since there are just as many or more scents for boys as for girls, it might help get him interested. My friends son has a mild autism and she was having trouble with him remembering how to shower and brush his teeth. She made some charts (with drawings or found some online) and printed them and laminated them (several layers of clear contact paper should work) and put them in the shower and on the bathroom wall for him to refer to when he was in the act. Good luck. They do outgrow this, and then you can keep them out of the shower when they turn 13 or 14.

1 mom found this helpful

I think an anti-persperant might help him. That rash sounds like a heat rash, probably from sweating. As for how often he should shower, I'd say every other day unless he's been physically active, then that day too. I think boys just naturally stink and are grody. My mom takes care of teen girls that have emotional and learning disabilities. She is constantly on them regarding hygene. So just remind him every time he gets in the shower "remember to wash your armpits, remember to scrub this or that", and be patient. It may take a few attempts and several reminders in the next months. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

boy sure can be stinky lol tween boys may need to shower every day depending on the boy!

With Kyle having special needs you will probably need to be more involved in his hygiene.
Not being able to see the rash, as long as it goes away you're good. If it hangs around and it stinky it may be a yeast infection on his skin and he would need a prescription from his doctor.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think the only thing you can do is walk your children through the process of personal hygeine and make sure they know to come to you if they have any questions, no matter what. My 12 year old son wears deoderant and in the summer showers every night. In the winter it's usually every other night. It depends on if he was out playing or lounging around the house. Every now and then I'll ask him to make sure he is washing properly, cleaning his ears, cutting his nails/toenails, etc. Good luck!!

hi M.~
My daughter is 9, and we recently got her deoderant! All of a sudden one day I noticed there was a tiny bit of B.O. and I was really surprised because of her age, but I know it's different for each kid. Then I happened to find a coupon for this 'cool girls deoderant' and used the opportunity to casually mention to her that I found the coupon and "why don't we go get some for you, because I think you're old enough for it now!" Luckily, she thought it was cool, and got to pick out 2 different scents. I told her she was pretty much a 'tween' and that's when a lot of kids start with this stuff (same with showering a little more often.) I don't know if this approach could work for your son, and if deoderant would help the problem he's having with the redness/etc., but approaching it at a level or way that would work for him personally and help him understand would be best! Good luck!!

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.