this is not about one of my girls it is about my niece. she is 12 fixing to be 13 and her personal hygiene is so bad. you have to literally make her shower, brush her hair and teeth, she refuses to shave her legs and arm pits you have to stand over her she doesn't even want to shower when she is on her period. another big problem is she doesn't properly clean herself when she uses the bathroom, pee or poop. she doesn't care and gets an attitude when you try to talk to her about it. I am just curious as to what I could do to help change her poor hygiene habits. she is also ADHD and I don't know if that affects it or not I just don't want her getting picked. can anyone give me some helpful advice?
Is the lack of hygiene a new thing, or has she always been like this?
What is her home life like? Does her mom work with her on "healthy habits?"
I would work on the most important things first - like showering and brushing teeth - shaving legs isn't that important, and can be brought up later.
Sometimes breaking tasks down 1 by 1 can help. So the first day, just focus on taking a shower - she gets a lot of praise and positive encouragement. Maybe the next day she can skip a shower, but brush her teeth.....baby steps.
Some kids get overwhelmed easily and it all just seems too much - by breaking down tasks one by one and not forcing all the habits to be broken in one day, can be helpful.
This your niece and she's ADHD? Is she on meds? Has her mom talked to the mental health doctor about these problems? Have you talked to her mom about this? I know these are questions you have already been asking, but you didn't state them. Have her parents had her IQ tested? I'm not saying she's dumb, but I know some of high IQ people are so smart they are dumb about common items. I had a buddy in the service who was a complete brain and artist, but couldn't remember to wipe his butt. Literally. The service gave him a general discharge. Enforce restrictions on her to visit. Shaving is secondary, but has to bathe. I know you love your niece, but work on her mother also. She's your sister/in-law and see if there is anything you can do to help. One of the worst thing that could happen is a UTI or PID. If she's being raised by just a father, you might want really step in. He may not have a clue. Good Luck
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