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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: How to approach an 11 year old about Personal Hygene.......

 xxkool_aidexx - Sun Nov 07, 2004 8:51 pm

My sister is 11 years old. She is very much aware of her body.... however, claims that she is NOT a "girly girl". Nothing wrong with this. Being what she claims is a "tom boy" suits her. Her involvement in sports and whatnot keeps her away from the "girly girl" status, and she LOVES being just one of the guys per say.

Okay- You may think to yourself, "am I worried about her being a lesbain.. "... well, NO.. she's very very interested in boys.. which is why I believe she try's to hang with them.

My problem is this. She looks up to me for advice and whatnot. However, with her claims and wishes to not want to be to girly, she will lack on her personal hygene, claiming that *QUOTE* "only girly girls do that kinda of stuff".

I've tried MANY way's of approaching this issue with her... asking her to come with me to my bathroom, and letting her try on my perfume, makeup ect.... I've even tried to get her interested in wearing some more form fitting shirts and pants.. (not as baggy as she likes, but then again, not so Feminen(SP)....... ) She just simply LACKS interest!
I've even tried to just very bluntly talk with her about it.. but she just get's upset to the point of crying and yelling about how she's a tom boy.

Is there a way, that maybe someone could suggest to me, to approach her more directly and actually get a point across that being a woman, or in her case, a very pretty young lady, that there are just SOME things you HAVE to do, because it's good for your body!?
I don't want to invade her personal space, but I think it's just time. But I don't want to upset her anymore... I hate the look on her face. I hate to see her embarrest.

SO PLEASE.. some one suggest something. Thanks a TON!
 Dr. A. Saif - Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:58 pm

User avatar Hi Kool_aide,

Hah, interesting "problem" if problem it is. Speaking as one who is "not all there" himself, I would say that your sister seems absolutely delightful. I would further suggest that at 11, it not uncommon for girls not to have found their "feminine" side...I should know, living in a house where I am the only male, as I do. It may be that she does not fit into the Barbie doll image, that many girls aspire to...personally I don't think this is abnormal at all, and is as special a characteristic as any so called "typical" girly behaviour.

I would say, don't worry about proud that she is an individual who has decided that at this point of time in her life, she has different goals. I bet you will find that she will change, and transform into a young woman before you know it.


 xxkool_aidexx - Mon Nov 08, 2004 10:00 pm

Thank you for the information!

I agree. Someday, sooner than I'd like it to be, This little girl will turn into a woman. I'm not so much worried about her taking on the charteristic's of a "typical" woman as I am worried about her personal hygene though.....
SO- after I posted my first comment lastnight, I spoke with Her privately about my concerns. #1- she had the BIGGEST knot in her hair, so as I was talking with her, I brushed her hair.. LOL best way to get the ball rolling....

Anyway, as I talked, she didn't get upset. She simply listened to what I had to say. I told her that she was going to become her own person in due time, and that I was proud of her for bleh bleh bleh ect. Then, I did some of that oh so common reverse phsycology to the best of my ability..... I told her that we could work TOGETHER to better our personal hygene, As many of us COULD use an extra teeth brushing a day LOL... she seemed to respond with gratatude this time rather than with her ususal rebelious yell of "IM A TOM BOY". I thought that it was best to tell her just very simply and plainly how I felt, and low and behold.. I think I may be getting somewhere!

Call me completely nuts but I just was concerned with the fact that all to often for example, she would come out of the shower and not brush her hair... or run off to the school bus claiming to have brushed her teeth when I knew she hadn't. Perhaps the problem wasn't her at all? maybe it's me that is to "girly girl"........... :oops:

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