It seems to happen overnight. That sweet little child, who always smelled like either summer day clover, or baby shampoo, or ice cream, or finger paints – ALL OF A SUDDEN smells like a professional basketball player after a double overtime playoff game in a 90 degree venue!
What happened to your little innocent boy or girl?
They grew up, that’s what! Once the door into smelly adulthood has been opened it can no longer be taped shut and ignored.
Like anything in life, you can head it off at the pass, anticipating what is about to happen in the near future and proactively deal with it, or you can sit back a bit and wait for the initial signs and then deal with it.
I think that the former is a better adolescent anti-smell strategy for a number of reasons.
First off, you really don’t want your kid to be the last – or even second or third – one to know they smell kinda bad. Kids can be cruel and even in this raised consciousness anti-bulling new age environment – all it takes is one person on the school bus to do a shout out of, “Hey Benjamin – you STINK!!!” Now scarred for life, with multi-million dollar intensive therapy in their destiny, your wonderful child harshly experiences what could have been an avoidable situation.
Secondly, close communication between a parent and child is a very important component of parenting, and now that grown-up-hood is pending, this body odor topic might possibly be one the first of many conversations necessary within the expected journey.
And thirdly, you and your kids are in rooms, on couches, in cars, at the dinner table, and close together for big chunks of the day – do you really want to continuously breathe in all that funky teen spirit?
So it’s easy. Don’t fret about it. Make them part of the solution while being a little sneaky. I suggest you casually go out shopping with your son or daughter one day very soon, and have the drug store as one of the stops on your list. Once there, walk down the deodorant aisle together, and out of the blue say, “Hey, why don’t you take a minute to pick out a cool deodorant – whatever you want – but make sure it is either Power Stick or Soft Whisper!!
This way, in addition to teaching your children all about personal hygiene, you will also be engraining the principle of being frugal, getting the most value for their dollar, and ensuring that they are purchasing the best product available!
There are no excuses for delays – ‘deodorant, birds and bees, don’t get in cars with strangers, and being sweet and wonderful to Mom’ are all conversations that need to happen without procrastination. Because before you blink an eye – the age of needing deodorant for the first time will quickly turn into the age of college graduation, marriage, and kids of their own that they will have to keep from smelling bad!
So be proactive instead of rolling down all the windows in the SUV after soccer practice, holding your breathe for over 5 minutes while you get them to bed, or coating your burger with a pound of gorgonzola to partially minimize the 13 year old’s presence at dinner!