How to Talk to Your Daughter About Personal Hygiene and Deodorant


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In Teen Talk

My daughter just turned 11 and she stinks! How do I talk to her about wearing deodorant without hurting her feelings?

Finding a girls deodorant is easy, but figuring out how to approach your daughter can be a struggle for most parents. Believe me when I say, “You’re not alone in seeking this guidance!” Through the process of puberty, girls’ bodies change quickly, but their self-awareness may not keep up. This is when you have to step in to offer advice and guidance. You are right to be concerned with her feelings, as this is a delicate conversation to have!

My biggest advice for talking to your daughter about wearing deodorant is to choose a quiet, private place, making sure there is enough time to discuss the topic more if she has questions. Essentially, don’t wait until ten minutes before you have to leave for soccer practice, or when any siblings are within earshot. You don’t want your daughter to feel ashamed or alone. Show her that she has your support by adopting a calm and non-accusing tone. Using phrases like, “everyone gets smelly” or “I remember when I was your age” is an excellent way to avoid making her feel singled out. It’s important your daughter understands she’s experiencing a natural process that is part of growing up.

A quote explaining that if you are supportive when talking to your  teens can help them grow

If your daughter’s maturity level seems too young for the conversation, try to frame it in a way that will help her understand. For example, if your daughter plays with dolls, ask her about how her doll smells and what she likes or doesn’t like about the fragrance. Lead the conversation to focus on how you smell and relate it to how she smells.

Remember that this conversation is often a good starting point for keeping the lines of communication open with your daughter. This first step will make it easier to continue discussions about all the other changes she will be experiencing as she matures. Maintaining a great relationship and parent-daughter trust throughout puberty can make all the difference in parenting teen girls. If you’re supportive and understanding, an initially awkward talk about scent can lead to great conversations as she grows into her new body. Now that is worth more than a few sticks of deodorant!

Pro tip: End the conversation by getting her excited about how fun it is to pick a scent. Give her the freedom to choose her own grown-up fragrance or youthful scent and offer to bring her shopping to pick some out!