Author Topic: Your daughter smells  (Read 12093 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2014, 09:28:42 AM »
I appreciate the good intentions, but telling a teacher about a child's hygiene seems illogical and sounds like a busybody.  The reporter sees the child once a week, but the teacher already sees the child five days a week.  What could possibly be accomplished?

It's not illogical. The teacher sees that student more often, and is in a far better position to either help the child or set the appropriate wheels in motion if neccessary. (In fact, in the UK a teacher is a mandated reporter of abuse/neglect, and so would be a perfect person to raise concerns with.)

It's just that they may not have noticed that the child has been *that* dirty for *that* long, so if I can give them that information, I'd assume that was helpful. I'd then assume that they were doing their best to solve the problem, and I wouldn't interfere further. The worst that can happen by taking that approach is that the teacher thinks I'm a busybody. Oh well.



bonyk

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2014, 09:36:50 AM »
Telling a teacher about the problem is in no way being a busybody or illogical.  We (I am a teacher) have been trained on how to handle such situations.  We might also be aware of home issues that could be contributing to the issue.  Sadly, we're also used to some children coming to school rather unkempt, and it might take an 'outsider' to help us realize that a student has crossed the line from a bit dirty to unhealthy dirty.


Twik

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2014, 09:36:58 AM »
I appreciate the good intentions, but telling a teacher about a child's hygiene seems illogical and sounds like a busybody.  The reporter sees the child once a week, but the teacher already sees the child five days a week.  What could possibly be accomplished?

Sometimes an outsider sees things that schools can't, or won't.

In the book "What Lisa Knew," about the Steinberg case, the author tells of how a photographer coming to a very upscale private school saw a little girl who struck him as almost a poster child for abuse/neglect - dirty clothes, large and multiple bruises, her hair cut randomly. He thought the problem was so blatant that he never mentioned it to the administration at the school - after all, something *that* obvious must already be dealt with, right?

Of course, in the inquest after her death, the school authorities testified that they'd never, ever thought there was a problem - the Steinbergs seemed to be wonderful parents to them, and why didn't people like the photographer make their concerns known?

I think it *is* important enough to mention to the school that the child in this thread is coming to school dirty. It may just be a phase, and it may be embarrassing for the parents. But there are enough alarms that I think the school should have a frank discussion with the parents to find out what's going on here, because the worst case scenario, however unlikely, can be horrible.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2014, 09:51:54 AM »
Someone seeing a child every day may not notice the progression from dirty to really dirty.  But someone only seeing the child occasionally will see that difference.  And I think it is important to bring it to the attention of the people who are trained to deal with this kind of thing.  But that's all I'd do.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2014, 10:44:51 AM »
Someone else mentioned lice, which I hadn't thought about before. I realize that's not purely a consequence of one child being unwashed--I remember being in fifth grade and people still came around to check every single child in the classroom--but if there's an increased possibility of something being spread from the unwashed child to others in the classroom, I think it's important that something be said. I think it would probably be best to go to the teacher/appropriate school personnel if you notice her being dirty again--I think the OP said that it had been addressed with the father directly by the co-leader of the extracurricular group, so that might take care of it.
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LadyL

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2014, 10:47:25 AM »
It could be that her family only bathes little kids once a week and she is still considered little to them. I know a few adults that unfortunately only wash their hair weekly, which was what previous generations in their family had done.  My DM is one of them.  She bathes daily, washes her hair weekly.  I've finally just given over to highly praising her when her hair is clean, and ask her to wash it before coming to an event with me.  There is a girl in my DD's class, in middle school, who is doing the weekly hair washing (maybe bathing weekly also).  On Mondays she is clean, by Friday she reeks.  I am going to try telling the school nurse, that might be best for you?

Slightly off topic, but part of the reason daily bathing is normal now is marketing from the soap/shampoo/etc. companies. The idea of "squeaky clean" is actually not healthy for the hair and skin - essentially scrubbing with detergents strips the skin and hair of healthy natural oils, leading to it overproducing oil to compensate. I dye my hair red and only wash it every 5-7 days in part to preserve the color. I also use shampoo that doesn't have harsh detergents (sulphates). It took about 6 weeks for my scalp to adjust, but now my hair stays completely "clean" looking for the first four days, and days 5 onward I get slight oil at the roots that I use dry shampoo to take care of. (This article has a before/after that shows the amazing power of a good dry shampoo: http://www.xovain.com/hair/drybar-detox-dry-shampoo-review#awesm=~oweE2M9YilfNOY).  It does NOT smell (I've verified this with multiple people). Maybe get your mother a good dry shampoo? Psst is a good, cheap one but there are ones at Sephora made by dry bar that look pretty amazing (see link above).


MrTango

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2014, 11:20:28 AM »
I'd be really surprised if the school hasn't already at least taken notice.  All of my old dress codes included a section stating the basic understanding that students shall keep up with their personal hygiene.  Although maybe this case is a matter of enforcement.  If it's hard enough for a parent to force a kid to shower, how on earth would a school push the matter?

By suspending the student until they bathe.

(I'm not advocating it.  Just answering the hypothetical question).

jaxsue

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2014, 11:59:44 AM »
It could be that her family only bathes little kids once a week and she is still considered little to them.  I know a few adults that unfortunately only wash their hair weekly, which was what previous generations in their family had done.  My DM is one of them.  She bathes daily, washes her hair weekly.  I've finally just given over to highly praising her when her hair is clean, and ask her to wash it before coming to an event with me.  There is a girl in my DD's class, in middle school, who is doing the weekly hair washing (maybe bathing weekly also).  On Mondays she is clean, by Friday she reeks.  I am going to try telling the school nurse, that might be best for you?

My late MIL was like this. She bathed several times a week, but wore shower caps. She went to the salon once a week for a wash/set. She was very old-school Southern (for that area; that was common among women of that age). Several days after her last wash, she had a funky smell. It was all her hair, not her body. TBH, it was difficult to be downwind of her! Maybe in some climates this works, and with some ethnicities, but not in the deep south in the hot summer weather.  ???

Edited to add: MIL (and X-DH) had oily hair, so that was part of it.

White Lotus

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2014, 12:06:32 PM »
I don't understand why someone, even the OP, doesn't just talk to the child!  She is six or seven!  Perfectly capable of understanding the concept of being clean and why that is a good idea.  She is also capable of accomplishing much of it on her own.  This child is right at the age of being given privacy for bathing, dressing and grooming, and maybe she flat out does not know what, exactly, to do, not having absorbed it magically from having it all done to/for her.  Maybe she just needs someone to simply tell her The Rules and Procedures of Hygiene.  Brisk, matter of fact, clear.  I very much appreciated it as a child -- and to this day -- when people just came out and told me things, rather than expect me to guess or figure it out or absorb by osmosis. 

Twik

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2014, 12:12:38 PM »
Because it's not polite to tell strangers about their hygiene habits. If it were your child, yes, you could do it. But a stranger has no business saying such things unasked.

And if the child is truly being neglected, it may just make her feel very much worse. "Mommy and Daddy say I can't wash, but this woman came up to me and told me I'll stink if I don't. What can I do?"
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Yvaine

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2014, 12:14:54 PM »
Because it's not polite to tell strangers about their hygiene habits. If it were your child, yes, you could do it. But a stranger has no business saying such things unasked.

And if the child is truly being neglected, it may just make her feel very much worse. "Mommy and Daddy say I can't wash, but this woman came up to me and told me I'll stink if I don't. What can I do?"

This. And it doesn't even have to be neglect/abuse per se. We were sometimes gross as kids because of a persistent plumbing issue that there was never quite the money to fix right. A stranger telling me I stunk would have made me feel self-conscious but wouldn't have fixed the shower.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2014, 12:17:46 PM »
I'd have been mortified at 6 or 7 to have a classmate's mother tell me I needed to wash more.  If it was a close friend's mother, I'd have been OK but having the school nurse explain everything to me?  Perfect.  She's the authority figure who I would listen to because this is what she does.

Which is why I think the best course of action is to inform the appropriate people at the school and let them handle it.  Least embarrassment all round.

There is also the possiblity that there IS something going on.  The last thing I'd want is for those parents to know I was the one who pointed out the issue and make myself a target.  Again, the school personel are trained for this kind of thing and have protocols in place to deal with threats.
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esposita

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #57 on: February 18, 2014, 01:04:30 PM »
It could be that her family only bathes little kids once a week and she is still considered little to them. I know a few adults that unfortunately only wash their hair weekly, which was what previous generations in their family had done.  My DM is one of them.  She bathes daily, washes her hair weekly.  I've finally just given over to highly praising her when her hair is clean, and ask her to wash it before coming to an event with me.  There is a girl in my DD's class, in middle school, who is doing the weekly hair washing (maybe bathing weekly also).  On Mondays she is clean, by Friday she reeks.  I am going to try telling the school nurse, that might be best for you?

Slightly off topic, but part of the reason daily bathing is normal now is marketing from the soap/shampoo/etc. companies. The idea of "squeaky clean" is actually not healthy for the hair and skin - essentially scrubbing with detergents strips the skin and hair of healthy natural oils, leading to it overproducing oil to compensate. I dye my hair red and only wash it every 5-7 days in part to preserve the color. I also use shampoo that doesn't have harsh detergents (sulphates). It took about 6 weeks for my scalp to adjust, but now my hair stays completely "clean" looking for the first four days, and days 5 onward I get slight oil at the roots that I use dry shampoo to take care of. (This article has a before/after that shows the amazing power of a good dry shampoo: http://www.xovain.com/hair/drybar-detox-dry-shampoo-review#awesm=~oweE2M9YilfNOY).  It does NOT smell (I've verified this with multiple people). Maybe get your mother a good dry shampoo? Psst is a good, cheap one but there are ones at Sephora made by dry bar that look pretty amazing (see link above).

Thank you for pointing this out!  ;D I have been shampoo free for months, I use baking soda and vinegar/Dr. Bronners, and I have no need to wash my hair more than once a week. It looks worse if I do, actually.

djinnidjream

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #58 on: February 18, 2014, 01:08:25 PM »
Thanks for the input- I had not thought of a medical issue or bathing issues.  This is a small private school- so no nurses, social workers, counselors etc.

A bit more BG on Mary- strictly from an observational point of view from myself, the other leaders, and other teachers.  Mary is a "difficult" student- her desk is always positioned away from other children and close to the teachers desk.  My DD doesn't make it a habit of reporting day to day issues, but CL's DD does and says that Mary is always in trouble for something.  I can tell by watching her that something is not right- I just don't know what, and I don't care to speculate on it since I am uneducated in that realm.  Whatever her issue is, it is not severe enough that she needs intervention or special ed. She has two older sisters, one of whom is in my group- they are outgoing, friendly and usually dressed ok- not designer brand- but in good repair.  Mary, OTOH, is usually unkempt and well, to be honest, looks and smells homeless. Ratty clothes, unwashed, etc.  Her behavior at the beginning of the school year was pretty bad during our meetings- but she seems to have responded  to use- we are rather strict with her- keeping her on task and reminding her she's a big girl- no crying etc.  Her behavior this last meeting was actually pretty good- a few listening issues but nothing major.  I don't think I've ever seen her mother- but I think she is in the picture because Mary said she usually bathes with her Mom.   I've sort of met the dad- he keeps to himself and tends to let Mary run over him a lot.  I've also met Grandma- she's pretty useless.  Mary is also overweight- where her sisters, and her younger siblings who aren't in school yet are all fairly thin.
I didn't want to make this a discussion about CPS- I don't plan on doing that at all.  I don't think there is neglect there- maybe just parents giving up a bit when faced with a difficult child.  CL did say something to Mary about taking a bath- but with the way she listens, I don't think it made much of an impact. 

Overall, Mary can be just as affectionate as she is difficult.    You can tell that she wants to be noticed and be part of a group, but just goes about it the wrong way.  I worry for her in the future because right now, all of the little girls in the class are nice and share with her and play with her- but we're only a few years away from that changing. 

At this point, I will probably wait until the next meeting, which is early next month and see what happens.  If she is still dirty, I will probably talk to the teacher or principal just to let them know what we are seeing at our meetings
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jedikaiti

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2014, 01:09:55 PM »
I've found that while I don't need to *shampoo* every day, a good rinse and conditioner are pretty much essential once every 24-36 hours. Otherwise my hair might not look awful, but my head FEELS awful.
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