Author Topic: Your daughter smells  (Read 12158 times)

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jedikaiti

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #90 on: February 19, 2014, 11:24:18 AM »
I guess it's kind of off-topic, but I get so confused when people talk about not washing their hair for several days or a week. By "not washing," do people mean they just aren't using shampoo? Or do they mean that they quite literally don't even get it wet?

I literally don't even get it wet. And I never use conditioner anyway. I heard it was bad for the environment (worse than shampoo anyway), stopped using it, and discovered I couldn't feel the difference in my hair, so never took it up again.

Well, it might depend on hair type. Giving up conditioner would lead very quickly to an unbrushable rat's nest on my head.

Likewise - it's better now that I cut it short, but it still tangles easily. Rinse & condition is a must; shampoo can be kept down to once a week (or sometimes even less), and daily shampoo generally dries my hair out (unless I'm going through an oily patch, in which case it's at least daily).
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Teenyweeny

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #91 on: February 19, 2014, 12:44:05 PM »
I always take "might be a medical issue" not as "do nothing," but rather, "don't leap to abuse/neglect conclusions." Could also be another reason why it would be better to approach an authority figure about it rather than the parent directly, because a parent might feel uncomfortable talking to a peer they don't know well about their child's medical condition, especially in a semi-public place on the spot. An authority figure (teacher or principal) could organize a private conference time with explicit guarantee of confidentiality, and they generally have a socially-recognized role as overseers of child welfare.

And yeah, if the symptoms are still so noticeable, any medical intervention hasn't worked yet, but you never know what stage they might be at--maybe they are desensitized and haven't noticed, maybe they are still going to doctors to figure it out, maybe they just started a treatment last week and it hasn't kicked in yet, maybe they have been trying several different treatments and none have worked yet, etc.. So again, not "do nothing" IMO, but even more reason to make sure the proper authorities are aware and monitoring it.

Absolutely. I don't know anybody else's business, and as you rightly say, maybe the parents are still at the "we're trying everything but nothing's working" or "we still don't know what's wrong" stage if it is a mesical issue. Regardless, making the teacher aware of the problem is the right thing to do.

If there are medical issues at play, the school will know, and the extra information will be, at worst, superfluous.




LeveeWoman

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #92 on: February 19, 2014, 01:22:25 PM »
I always take "might be a medical issue" not as "do nothing," but rather, "don't leap to abuse/neglect conclusions." Could also be another reason why it would be better to approach an authority figure about it rather than the parent directly, because a parent might feel uncomfortable talking to a peer they don't know well about their child's medical condition, especially in a semi-public place on the spot. An authority figure (teacher or principal) could organize a private conference time with explicit guarantee of confidentiality, and they generally have a socially-recognized role as overseers of child welfare.

And yeah, if the symptoms are still so noticeable, any medical intervention hasn't worked yet, but you never know what stage they might be at--maybe they are desensitized and haven't noticed, maybe they are still going to doctors to figure it out, maybe they just started a treatment last week and it hasn't kicked in yet, maybe they have been trying several different treatments and none have worked yet, etc.. So again, not "do nothing" IMO, but even more reason to make sure the proper authorities are aware and monitoring it.

Absolutely. I don't know anybody else's business, and as you rightly say, maybe the parents are still at the "we're trying everything but nothing's working" or "we still don't know what's wrong" stage if it is a mesical issue. Regardless, making the teacher aware of the problem is the right thing to do.

If there are medical issues at play, the school will know, and the extra information will be, at worst, superfluous.

What kind of medical issue would have her wearing ratty, unwashed clothing, particularly when  her sisters are dressed better?

Teenyweeny

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #93 on: February 19, 2014, 01:32:40 PM »
I always take "might be a medical issue" not as "do nothing," but rather, "don't leap to abuse/neglect conclusions." Could also be another reason why it would be better to approach an authority figure about it rather than the parent directly, because a parent might feel uncomfortable talking to a peer they don't know well about their child's medical condition, especially in a semi-public place on the spot. An authority figure (teacher or principal) could organize a private conference time with explicit guarantee of confidentiality, and they generally have a socially-recognized role as overseers of child welfare.

And yeah, if the symptoms are still so noticeable, any medical intervention hasn't worked yet, but you never know what stage they might be at--maybe they are desensitized and haven't noticed, maybe they are still going to doctors to figure it out, maybe they just started a treatment last week and it hasn't kicked in yet, maybe they have been trying several different treatments and none have worked yet, etc.. So again, not "do nothing" IMO, but even more reason to make sure the proper authorities are aware and monitoring it.

Absolutely. I don't know anybody else's business, and as you rightly say, maybe the parents are still at the "we're trying everything but nothing's working" or "we still don't know what's wrong" stage if it is a mesical issue. Regardless, making the teacher aware of the problem is the right thing to do.

If there are medical issues at play, the school will know, and the extra information will be, at worst, superfluous.

What kind of medical issue would have her wearing ratty, unwashed clothing, particularly when  her sisters are dressed better?

Some kind of developmental/mental/neurological issue causing the kid to only want to wear those clothes? My sister insisted on only wearing purple when she was that age. Now, it's easy to give in to that (it's a pretty strong preference, but there's no harm in a 6-year old only wearing purple), and my mum just bought her a ton of purple clothes and that was that. But if it had been a case of having to physically force her to wear something different (e.g. what if she would only wear bathing suits, even if it was the depths of winter?), then that might be tricky.

ETA: Of course, we have no way of knowing *why* this particular kid appears dirty and unkempt, just that she does. That's why the best thing to do is bring it to the attention of somebody who can deal with the problem appropriately.



citadelle

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #94 on: February 19, 2014, 01:46:27 PM »
I always take "might be a medical issue" not as "do nothing," but rather, "don't leap to abuse/neglect conclusions." Could also be another reason why it would be better to approach an authority figure about it rather than the parent directly, because a parent might feel uncomfortable talking to a peer they don't know well about their child's medical condition, especially in a semi-public place on the spot. An authority figure (teacher or principal) could organize a private conference time with explicit guarantee of confidentiality, and they generally have a socially-recognized role as overseers of child welfare.

And yeah, if the symptoms are still so noticeable, any medical intervention hasn't worked yet, but you never know what stage they might be at--maybe they are desensitized and haven't noticed, maybe they are still going to doctors to figure it out, maybe they just started a treatment last week and it hasn't kicked in yet, maybe they have been trying several different treatments and none have worked yet, etc.. So again, not "do nothing" IMO, but even more reason to make sure the proper authorities are aware and monitoring it.

Absolutely. I don't know anybody else's business, and as you rightly say, maybe the parents are still at the "we're trying everything but nothing's working" or "we still don't know what's wrong" stage if it is a mesical issue. Regardless, making the teacher aware of the problem is the right thing to do.

If there are medical issues at play, the school will know, and the extra information will be, at worst, superfluous.

What kind of medical issue would have her wearing ratty, unwashed clothing, particularly when  her sisters are dressed better?

Some kind of developmental/mental/neurological issue causing the kid to only want to wear those clothes? My sister insisted on only wearing purple when she was that age. Now, it's easy to give in to that (it's a pretty strong preference, but there's no harm in a 6-year old only wearing purple), and my mum just bought her a ton of purple clothes and that was that. But if it had been a case of having to physically force her to wear something different (e.g. what if she would only wear bathing suits, even if it was the depths of winter?), then that might be tricky.

ETA: Of course, we have no way of knowing *why* this particular kid appears dirty and unkempt, just that she does. That's why the best thing to do is bring it to the attention of somebody who can deal with the problem appropriately.

I am a middle school teacher, and I have many students who are dirty/messy/unkempt to varying degrees. They are old enough that I can typically talk to them about it directly. Some of these kids have little to no parental supervision. As far as CPS, I've called regarding kids who are left alone - at 12 years old - for entire weekends. The response? As long as a there is a jar of peanut butter in the house (ie, something to eat), there is nothing they can do. Smelly kids aren't going to even be on their radar.

It is great that you care, and you can bet her teachers are aware. What they can do to help is really another matter, though.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #95 on: February 19, 2014, 01:56:11 PM »
Some people recommend washing the hair in washing up liquid once a month to clean off any residue from shampoo and conditioner.

Actually I heard that you can 'solve' that problem by just having 2 different kinds of shampoo and alternating them.  That's what works for me.  My very expensive salon stuff, and the cheap Suave on alternate days.

Yvaine

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2014, 02:04:42 PM »
Some people recommend washing the hair in washing up liquid once a month to clean off any residue from shampoo and conditioner.

Actually I heard that you can 'solve' that problem by just having 2 different kinds of shampoo and alternating them.  That's what works for me.  My very expensive salon stuff, and the cheap Suave on alternate days.

I figure that kind of takes care of itself in my life, because once every few months I'm low on money and buy the cheap stuff instead of my usual stuff, plus I make a point of using the hotel shampoo anytime I stay in a hotel; I figure that gets me to a decent frequency of switching.

K_Bear

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #97 on: February 19, 2014, 03:11:54 PM »
Here is another idea. You don't mention what kind of activity you lead, you mention co-leader so I'm taking a guess. If something like Brownies/Cub Scouts, or an after school club, maybe incorporate a hygiene lesson. I know that there used to be badges to be earned at the Brownie and Junior level that talked about basic hygiene. Do it in such a way as to not single out the one child. And it is good for all the kids to learn the basic tooth brushing, hair brushing and handwashing routines, it doesn't hurt any of them to relearn.





Twik

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #98 on: February 19, 2014, 03:50:20 PM »
That's a good point - the OP is a leader of a group (and it does sound like Brownies or a similar type organization). That would, I think, give her the authority to either (1) discuss the situation with the father at more length, or (2) discuss it with the school administration.

Honestly, if the smell is, as the op said, "eye-watering," the child is going to be tormented by her peers, who will be much less concerned about being polite about it.
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heathert

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #99 on: February 19, 2014, 06:36:35 PM »
I am a middle school teacher, and I have many students who are dirty/messy/unkempt to varying degrees. They are old enough that I can typically talk to them about it directly. Some of these kids have little to no parental supervision. As far as CPS, I've called regarding kids who are left alone - at 12 years old - for entire weekends. The response? As long as a there is a jar of peanut butter in the house (ie, something to eat), there is nothing they can do. Smelly kids aren't going to even be on their radar.

It is great that you care, and you can bet her teachers are aware. What they can do to help is really another matter, though.

Is it possible that this is just how things are in your area?  I'm always reading about parents going to jail for leaving their kids alone.  Your area's CPS may be overwhelmed. Not saying OP should report this to CPS, by the way.

Eden

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2014, 10:02:30 AM »
I am a middle school teacher, and I have many students who are dirty/messy/unkempt to varying degrees. They are old enough that I can typically talk to them about it directly. Some of these kids have little to no parental supervision. As far as CPS, I've called regarding kids who are left alone - at 12 years old - for entire weekends. The response? As long as a there is a jar of peanut butter in the house (ie, something to eat), there is nothing they can do. Smelly kids aren't going to even be on their radar.

It is great that you care, and you can bet her teachers are aware. What they can do to help is really another matter, though.

Is it possible that this is just how things are in your area?  I'm always reading about parents going to jail for leaving their kids alone.  Your area's CPS may be overwhelmed. Not saying OP should report this to CPS, by the way.

I don't think it is. I'm not in a major urban area and even here it's pretty extreme circumstances that lead to a child being taken from the home. Again, if this child attends a school, if there was something to be reported, the teacher has. They're mandatory reporters. Plus someone has already mentioned this to the father so I don't think there's anything more to be done either from an etiquette or ethical standpoint.

fountainof

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2014, 11:42:07 AM »
In my area, at 12 a child can be left alone.  While I probably wouldn't leave my child for a whole weekend just because he/she may sit around and do nothing but watch tv the whole time, that is the legal age hear kids can be left alone (and babysit other kids as well).  I would have no problem leaving a kid home before and after school at that age though, or for evening here and there.  When I was a kid at that age I took the public bus and went shopping on my own with friends.

So I'll agree that possibly the smell wouldn't be a CPS issue, but sometimes abuse does take that form.  I would never start with CPS though unless I saw real obvious abuse as lots of things go on that I just wouldn't be privy too and I would never assume abuse first. 

ETA: I don't wash my hair everyday and I don't get it wet as that would defeat the purpose of not washing, having your hair stay styled.  However, I also don't use hair products like mouse, gel, hairspray generally so the hair is still soft and nice the second day (actually day 2 is better hair than day 1).  I workout and sweat in my hair most days and I just let that dry and still wash only every second day, the odd time on the third day.  If I thought the roots looked greasy I have a spray dry shampoo that absorbs the oil.  If I lived in a very humid area, I maybe would still wash daily.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 11:56:20 AM by fountainof »

Twik

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #102 on: February 20, 2014, 12:30:40 PM »
CPS involvement does not mean a child is removed from the home. It may mean an evaluation, an investigation, and possibly counselling for the family. I don't know of any area where their first response is "Whoops, let's get the child out of there."

In this case, where it may be anything from a child not wanting to bath to neglect or abuse, there's no reason to assume it's abuse, but it's not something that can be completely ignored either, which is why I recommend that the school be consulted.
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djinnidjream

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #103 on: February 20, 2014, 12:53:30 PM »
That's a good point - the OP is a leader of a group (and it does sound like Brownies or a similar type organization). That would, I think, give her the authority to either (1) discuss the situation with the father at more length, or (2) discuss it with the school administration.

Honestly, if the smell is, as the op said, "eye-watering," the child is going to be tormented by her peers, who will be much less concerned about being polite about it.

This is actually a good idea.  We haven't completely mapped out next months activity yet- I could include something like that.
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JenJay

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Re: Your daughter smells
« Reply #104 on: February 20, 2014, 01:02:00 PM »
That's a good point - the OP is a leader of a group (and it does sound like Brownies or a similar type organization). That would, I think, give her the authority to either (1) discuss the situation with the father at more length, or (2) discuss it with the school administration.

Honestly, if the smell is, as the op said, "eye-watering," the child is going to be tormented by her peers, who will be much less concerned about being polite about it.

This is actually a good idea.  We haven't completely mapped out next months activity yet- I could include something like that.

Could you make a project out of hygiene? I'm thinking of when my son was in Boy Scouts and they did a series on exercise, he was to keep track of his activities for 2 weeks. Then another time they did a series on eating healthy where he was to help plan a weekly menu, help shop, and track his meals for 2 weeks. When my DD was about 11 I got her this book all about girl stuff. It included bits on choosing good friends, babysitting, being a good student, etc. and also puberty and hygiene. You could do a watered down version and talk about general bathing and grooming habits and have them keep track for 2 weeks. If this is a case of the parents letting the child lead, and the child not realizing she's lacking in hygiene, some guidance and positive reinforcement might be a big help to her.