I'm always telling to my eldest son to take gently take a bath and take his time to the bathroom to fully wash his body and head. But he is kinda like lazy. He took a bath for just 3 minutes. Then after few hours he smells like fish already. I really don't know what is he doing in the bathroom. I told him that I will be the one will take a bath for him but he said he is a big boy now he can take a bath by himself.
How old is your eldest son?
Perhaps he could choose some special male toiletries just for him to use and this would encourage him to spend more time in the bath. Does he wear deodorant? If he is going through puberty then his body will be going through lots of changes and he may be finding it difficult to know how to deal with them. There are some helpful books out there aimed at teenagers; such as the Usborne book for boys What's happening to me?
Another suggestion I have is that if he had a bathroom radio in there he may spend longer in the bath whilst he is listening to music.
I think you can gently talk to him about his personal hygiene and explain how he can care for his body himself as he gets older.
I look forward to hearing how you get on.
Hi LJ. Thanks for you advice. He is already 11 years old. I'm really having trouble talking to him regarding this issue.
He may be just starting to hit puberty at that age.
I'm sorry you are finding it difficult. Do you have any older male relatives or family friends he is comfortable with who could also chat to him about the changes his body is starting to go through? Otherwise it may be good to invest in some of the books like the one I mentioned above - perhaps puberty would be easier to talk about if you are looking in a book together?
I hope it gets easier for you,
I've struggled with my children spending enough time washing their body and hair. This usually seems to surface at a certain time (seems to be different with each child) but the thing that I've found that has helped the most is sending them back to take ANOTHER shower (or bath) if I suspect that they didn't clean well enough.
The parts of the body that need the most attention will be under arms, crotch area, and bottom, and it won't take more than a minute to wash all of those areas. The feet sometimes need a little washing if you're noticing that they are very smelling after a bath, but in general, smelly feet are most often noticed after the feet have been in shoes for a long period of time and bacteria or yeast has a chance to grow. So usually, washing the feet with soap isn't needed.
Other than the quick soaping of bottom and under arms, you're left with the hair. This is the area that my children will most often "cheat" on. They'll get their hair wet, but they won't wash with shampoo.
So… I make it a practice to smell their hair after their shower. If I don't think the hair smells fresh enough, I ask them if they washed with shampoo. If they say "yes", I send them back to the shower and let them know that it doesn't smell clean enough, so they may need to wash their hair with shampoo twice. In fact, if you know he has not been washing his hair well, just give him direction to wash his hair twice every time he takes a bath.
I found that my children didn't like to take the time to wash their hair TWICE, and they didn't like to take a bath TWICE, so they soon decided to wash their hair well so that when I checked it smelled clean. You will need to be consistent in checking his hair every time he takes a bath, and I would encourage you to have him bathe every day if this is possible. Usually by the time they are about 10 years of age, they are starting to perspire more and need a bath more often. I don't bath my children often when they are little, unless it is very hot and they get sweaty or if they get dirty from playing outdoors.
If you have him wear deodorant, you can also check by looking under his arms or smelling under his arms, to see that he is putting this on. He will soon decide to just do it so he doesn't have to go through your checking. Be sure to tell him that once you are confident that he is remembering to put the deodorant on and wash his hair, that you won't need to check.
I personally do not encourage my children to spend more time in the bathroom by giving them things that make them want to stay in there. The reason for this is twofold.
1. We limit our children's showers to 7 minutes or less because there are 7 of us, and longer showers increase the gas bill (for hot water) and the water bill.
2. For the boys, we don't want them to learn that the bathroom is a convenient place for masturbation (shower or sitting on the lu). So we try to encourage them to finish up if we think they've been in the bathroom longer than needed (they like to take a book or their iPods to the lu and we try to discourage this). Younger boys are just encouraged to go in, use the lu, and come out, without taking a book.
Also, I do find that my children take some time to learn to put deodorant on. When they're in that transition period, sometimes I won't notice that they didn't put it on if it's not hot and they haven't been running - other times I can tell right away that they forgot. So when I notice that they are smelling I encourage them to go and take a shower, making sure to wash under their arms with soap (a wash cloth can greatly help at removing bacteria under the arms) and then I remind them to put deodorant on (and a clean shirt).
And if you need an all natural, inexpensive bacteria fighting substance, you can just use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Just put a little of this powdery substance in the palm of your hand and put a few drops of water in it. Then rub it under the arms. If there is hair under the arms, the hair tends to trap bacteria, so the under arms can become smelly faster.
The commercial products tend to do a better job of keeping the smell away, but bicarbonate of soda works for some (I use it daily unless I know I'm going to be in a stressful situation where I will perspire more).
Hope this gives you some more ideas. Please feel free to post back if your son won't do what you ask, and we'll try to give more ideas.