It doesn’t happen every day, but Kelly has noticed that her daughter sometimes smells bad. “Meghan sometimes smells like sweat under her armpits. I kindly tell her and tell her she can use deodorant, but she doesn’t want to because she thinks it’s not necessary, and her friends don’t either. How can I fix this tactfully?”
First thing Annelies Bobeldijk van amazing! Parenting training The questions are why this matter should be handled tactfully. “Just explain it like it is, without hitting around the bush. Tell your daughter that her body is changing and she’s sweating more because of that. And that sweat can start to smell. Make it clear that it’s not good for her if someone next sits for her at school and she smells that smell, and then Shout it out loud to the whole class. Emphasize that sweating is really normal.”
“Many parents are afraid of making their children insecure if they say something in a straightforward manner, and handle everything with velvet gloves. But if you are too fussy and veiled about this, you make it awkward and difficult. And vice versa: the less stressful you do, the better. With the message that there’s nothing crazy about it.”
Bobeldijk says this is sometimes difficult for a child who is precocious to handle. “Maybe she compares herself to her friends. Explain that they don’t use deodorant yet, as maybe next year. Everyone develops at a different pace. The changing body, including sweaty armpits, is just part of it. You can look up information about this together on the web” .
“If your child isn’t sure how to use deodorant, start the conversation and tell him there are several options, like a roll-on or a spray. And choose a gentle, scent-altering kind at the store. Don’t make it laden. Sweat is natural and so is deodorant.”
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