120: Hygiene Help for Tween & Teen Boys

The shower at Jen’s house

Have a boy who hates to shower?

You are not alone!

When a mom recently asked the Building Boys Facebook group, “Anyone else have a teenage boy who hates to shower?” she was quickly inundated with support and sympathy.

Personal hygiene, it seems, is not a priority for most tween and teen boys.

Lots of moms said they’re dealing with the exact same issue. Others said that their boys spend a lot of time in the shower, but come out with unwashed, still-dirty hair.

Is this lack of interest in appearance and, um, smell, merely a stage that will resolve without intervention?

Or should parents and teachers take a more active role in teaching and reinforcing hygiene habits?

Turns out, the best approach is actually a combination of those two strategies.

In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
  • WHY some boys seems oblivious to their own stench
  • The essential role of 5th grade teachers in the hygiene battle
  • How colored liquid soap can help boys shower effectively
  • “Man soap” vs. “girly soap”
  • Axe bombs (Don’t know what that is? Listen in at 12:41!)
  • When — and how — to have the hygiene talk
  • When boys should start using deodorant – & how to make sure your boys use it regularly (Listen carefully for Jen’s pro tips!)
  • The role of role-modeling in personal hygiene
  • How to get the stench out of your boys’ gym clothes and sports uniforms
  • Tooth brushing (Spoiler: Instill good tooth brushing habits when you boys are young!)
  • Hair care
  • How to combine male bonding and hygiene rituals (not as weird as it sounds!)
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 120:

Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. by Mayim Bialik — A great book to leave laying around the house. Includes detailed hygiene instructions for boys.

Parenting Teen Boys Is... — BuildingBoys post by Jen. Includes this pic:

Why Do Teenagers Smell Bad? Study Suggests They May Be Unable to Detect Own Scent — report of Danish research