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Hygiene Issues...

squeegie_beckenheimer's picture

Yeah, I just did blog entry, I know. It's a two-for-one morning today! This is sort of jumping off from my other entry because many of the issues SD8 gives me back talk on are related to hygiene. From reading posts from others on here, this seems to be pretty normal. And I, too, finally get to the point where I think, "You know what? Fine, be the stinky, dirty kid! See if I care. I'm not your mother!".

SD8 likes dressing up in nice clothes, so I know that part of her likes to look presentable. So there's some hope. And I'm not trying to turn her into a little preppy kid or anything like that, though I can guarantee that's what BM thinks. BM's whole perception of me is so off. She has no idea of who I am or where I came from. And in some ways, I'm sure she & I actually have some things in common, though I'm sure neither of us would ever care to admit it!!!

Looking at pictures of SD8 when she was really young make we wince. BM was adamant that SD8 keep her hair LONG & never cut it. So SD8 looks like a ghoul in most pictures because she's so short, pale & has this long, scraggly mass of hair. The poor kid. BM isn't big on hygiene, so she never taught the kids how to take care of themselves. My husband has had to do his best with that.

When SD8 is with BM, she sometimes doesn't bathe all week. So, SD8 bathes the night before going to BM's & then doesn't bathe again until she's back with us a week later. BM doesn't make sure SD8 does anything. BM apparently assumes that SD8 is 100% self sufficient. So, this means that SD8 rarely brushes her hair when she's with BM. (SD8 admits this.) BM likes SD8's hair long, but then doesn't remind her to wash it or brush it. Are you getting a visual yet?! So, my husband & I are in charge of getting SD8's hair cut above her shoulders several times a year because this is the only way her hair is manageable. (Plus, it looks way better short & SD8 likes it.) When we remind SD8 to brush her hair daily & after showers, SD8 puts up the biggest fight & has a million excuses of why she doesn't need to brush her hair. I think she does this because she knows that if she fights enough or takes too long, my husband will brush her hair...she likes being pampered by him. Sometimes this is ok, but not every day, especially in the morning when all 3 of us are in a hurry to get out the door.

BM's way of dealing with the hair issue, by the way, is to suggest SD8 getting dreadlocks. I'm not kidding. My husband tells me the story of BM giving SD8 dreads when she was 2 years old. Her super long, scraggly hair in a giant knot at the back of her head! That's not even dreadlocks! I've seen people with dreads that looked nice...but it takes some effort. BM probably assumes this would only be more of a reason for SD8 to skip bathing. So, last weekend, SD8 mentioned BM wanting to do dreads in SD8's hair again. My husband just said, "NO." in a no-nonsense tone. SD8 quietly said, "OK.". The idea of SD8 having dreads makes my skin crawl. It would be so nasty.

For whatever reason, my husband had grown up thinking you only need to brush your teeth once a day. And let me tell you that before he quit smoking, once a day was definitely not enough! After quitting smoking, going through extensive (& EXPENSIVE!) dental work, and getting reamed out by the dental hygienist, my husband started brushing his teeth at least twice a day & flossing. And god only knows what BM does. So, needless to say, SD8's dental habits aren't all that wonderful. She brushes her teeth before bed, but that's it. When the school does their dental program, SD8 will get better about it for a short time. I've been on my husband to help me enforce having her also brush in the morning. I tried this morning & SD8 gave me nothing but attitude, took forever brushing her hair to avoid brushing her teeth also & made up excuses. I gave up because we were in a hurry. The main reason this concerns me all of a sudden is because several of us have noticed that SD8's breath is HORRIBLE, especially after coming from BM's (because I'm willing to bet she's not brushing much, if at all, over there).

There are just so many issues. Part of me wants us to have full custody of SD8 just so she can have consistent parenting & maybe have a chance to grow up & not be a carbon copy of BM. Then that other part of me (that gets tired of the back talk), wishes BM got full custody. Let it all be her problem. But it wouldn't be because we'd still have to deal with it every other weekend. And I'd be afraid of how SD8 turns out with BM being her sole role model. So, yeah, either it's 50/50 custody or we get her. Otherwise, it's going to be a nightmare!

What are some of the hygiene issues/stories you guys deal with & have any of you figured out how to address/deal with them???


LotusFlower's picture

Ok, so I have a skanky BM who NEVER washed her kids sheets, or made them brush their teeth, or washed their clothes, had them wear dirty underwear to the point that the youngest got a urinary infection....ok, so she's a POS and we get full now...I am like the SM from clean town.....I have relaxed a little bit, but I am to put it totally a "neat freak"...well...let me just say, if u DO take that on as custotial parents its ALOT of work....its basically like re-training kids...mine r SD17, SS15, and SD11...and I am STILL having hygiene issues with the 17 yr old....old habits die hard and trust me....I have learned when u don't start off with a really good regimen as to hygiene and personal is SOOOOO hard to really train them...the key, I have found is to make them really want better for themselves...personally...not for anyone else but themselves...sure we are very strict and have serious consequences for breaking our rules, but I have found that when u show them yourself that you REALLY want them to be awesome people that everyone will want to be seems to work did for me, anyway....also saying things like.."well if u choose not to brush yur teeth, then we CHOOSE not to take u to the dentist and we'll just let all yur teeth fall out...its yur choice"...for some reason, that made them shape hang in there....just make sure u want them 24/7...cuz its alot of work to try and fix all the problems a defective BM has caused....

"Sooner or later, everyone's bill comes due"

Serena's picture

Of course, I can't help what goes on at the other parents' houses, but in our house, we use a dry erase board in the bathroom. They each have their own and I used a permanent marker and made a list of what they needed to do every morning and night (hint - make the list on paper and use it a couple times. After a week or so, use the permanent marker because new stuff will pop up). The kids love check-marking their tasks as they complete them. Then I do a periodic inspection. If they mark something off that they didn't do, that's lying and they get the lying punishment. In our house that's one whack with a paddle. Lying is a BIG NO-NO!!

It makes it kind of fun for them and it saves my sanity from the constant... did you put on deoderant, did you brush your teeth, did you brush your hair... did you brush it all the way to the ends, and so on.

Sasha's picture

Here in the US we bathe more frequently than people do in other countries. I can't find the article, but I remember it said that in most European countries people shower or bathe maybe 1-2 times per week and just sponge bathe in between.

Brushing teeth: I brush my teeth a lot. Too much, in fact, the dentist said it has caused my gums to recede. But I cannot stand stinky breath, and am so self-conscious about my own. I always carry gum with me cause I hate the thought of talking to someone with bad breath.

See if you can find pictures on the internet on what happens to teeth if you don't take proper care of them and show the pics to SD.

ferretmom's picture

I agree with the not wanting stinky breath. It seems that I spend a fortune on mints and gum. Then I remembered what my Grandmother used to do. She grew several types of mint and would pluck a leaf and chew on it. Cheaper than gum and better for your teeth. I do it now and the scent lasts longer than gum.

Gia's picture

"When SD8 is with BM, she sometimes doesn't bathe all week." And I thought that BM not bathing her daughter for 36 hours (she wasn't even working) it was outrageously irresponsible, let alone anti hygienic.

No child in my house, mine or not mine is just NOT going to bathe and be all stinky... HELL NO... when they are teenagers, is harder to control, but when my SD4 is 8 if I have to drag her to force her take a shower and make her feel ashame of me "bathing" her I'll do so... I'm not teaching them how to bathe twice a day and look decent for no reason... hopefully she never turns out like her filthy mother, sometimes she is the one asking me to take a bath, but then again she is only 4, they change a lot, and they get to this age in which they "pretend they take baths" but they don't.

BridgingTheGap's picture


Rags's picture

rash, lice, grungy hair, grungy half inch long finger and toe nails, BO (Body Odor) that could gag a maggot, yellow goo covered teeth, diapers that had not been changed in more than a day.

This is how we would get him back from 6week summer visitation from the time he was 2yo until he was nearly 5yo. The only reason that he did not come home from Xmas and Spring visitations in the same condition is that those visitations were only a week long.

He would leave talking, 95% toilet trained, trimmed hair, trimmed nails, no but pustules, no diaper rash. he would come home a grunting, crying, smelly mess.

And what did the Judge say when we brought it up in court? "Any child would be privileged to have the love of this family!" :jawdrop: Idiots in robes. Gotta love them. And we have photographic proof.