Parenting will always have its ups and downs. You’ll end up dealing with everything from quirky issues to full-on exhausting problems that take real work to solve. What makes it all worth it, is your love for your kids and your desire to help them grow into capable, happy, and good people.
A seemingly small but very significant part of life in society is… remembering to shower. Good hygiene leaves a good impression on others. Bad hygiene, however, can lead to some humiliating situations. Oh, people will definitely remember you, but for all the wrong reasons. Teenagers often have trouble with this.
Sometimes, however, a simple reminder from one’s parents won’t work. It can take an extremely embarrassing situation to get you to change your habits and start taking better care of yourself. That’s exactly what happened to one teenager who got completely humiliated by his friends after his mom stopped reminding him to shower. Scroll down for the full story and how the internet reacted to it, as shared on the massively popular AITA subreddit.
Showering daily seems like a no-brainer to most people. Some teenagers, however, completely forget all about hygiene
Image credits: Alexander Kovalev (not the actual photo)
Here’s what happened to one teen when his mom stopped reminding him to shower
Image credits: We (not the actual photo)
Image credits: showerproblems25
Parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, who runs ‘Walking Outside in Slippers,’ shared her thoughts about hygiene and having those tough conversations with our kids.
“Hygiene is an ongoing issue with my kids. Mostly it’s their dirty fingernails that gross me out. I don’t even know how they get all the dirt packed in there!” she told We what things are like in her family, and many of you reading this will probably relate if you have kids of your own.
“I’m always on them to wash their hands better and to scrub thoroughly in the shower. I feel like sometimes reminding our kids to keep themselves clean and practice good hygiene is all we can do,” she said.
“I would never encourage kids to tease another kid for hygiene issues. But that sort of teasing might be an inadvertent push to encourage our kids to clean themselves better.”
Blogger Samantha had this to say about social rejection and embarrassment that our kids might feel: “This is a tough topic because I understand well the feeling of annoyance at a kid refusing to practice good hygiene.”
She continued: “But I also feel for my kids, and any kids, experiencing social rejection. I would probably explain to my kids that bullying is never ok, whether giving or receiving. And if we’d need to talk to the teacher, we’d do that. That said, cleaning well is not optional.”
The basics of hygiene come down to showering every day, washing your hair regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and grooming yourself properly. It also means putting on clean clothes, instead of wearing the same few garments until they’re completely caked in grime, soaked in sweat, and begging for a wash.
Look, we all sweat and it’s completely natural. Some sweat more than others, depending on genetics, lifestyle, and other factors. It’s important to be aware of how your body works and to make changes so you feel more comfortable and confident in the company of others.
Generally speaking, cleaning up your diet (dump the junk food and soda!), drinking enough water, and moving away from a sedentary lifestyle can improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Eating certain foods and avoiding others can also help regulate how much you sweat. Dealing with stress and anxiety issues can also help with this. However, if you feel that nothing much has changed and that you’re still sweating excessively, you may want to see a doctor. There may be some underlying health issues, like diabetes, at work here.
Being a teenager is tough and you don’t always learn the lessons you should the easy way. Which makes parenting extra challenging! Tackling topics like hygiene can be a bit embarrassing, but it’s an issue that needs to be tackled, nonetheless. One passive way to let your teens know that they need to take better care of themselves is simply buying them the hygiene products they might need. Leave them in the bathroom or their room. They may or may not get the hint.
If you decide to have a face-to-face conversation about hygiene, it’s important to steer clear of shaming your kid. Tell them why it’s important to stay clean, both for the sake of their own health, as well as for social interactions. An alternative to this can be asking a relative or a family friend to have this conversation with your child. It can work wonders, especially if your kid looks up to them. Other times, even that’s not enough and you may need the help of a professional’s input. You might consider getting in touch with a counselor.
Being embarrassed in front of your peers or complete strangers is a horrible feeling. However, these moments are great learning opportunities, as well as a chance to forge deeper bonds with others. Instead of shying away from embarrassment, you should ideally embrace these complex feelings, and perhaps even try to laugh at yourself. That way, you prevent the embarrassment from morphing into deep-seated shame that might follow you for years (and even decades) to come.
Psychologist and well-being consultant Lee Chambers explained to We that if the matter isn’t particularly serious, laughter can be a great response to embarrassing situations. This type of response “instantly makes you feel better.”
“If the feelings are intense, try taking a few slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, calming your nervous system and physiological response. In a similar way to laughter, smiling can be effective in shifting your state to the positive,” he told us.
“There are times when playing down or even ignoring the feelings can be helpful in the moment, taking the edge off, but it is important that you accept them and express them if it’s something significant. Because the feelings of embarrassment are generated from a past event, anything that brings you into the present moment can bring relief. Try to avoid saying sorry, as it will keep taking you back to the moment. You can even keep your biggest embarrassing moments top of mind, having reflected and realized that in hindsight, they weren’t as big an issue as you felt at the time,” the psychologist mused.
“We can even reflect back on our blunders from the past, and with the emotion dampened, take some of the lessons and observations forward for next time we feel like we’ve messed up. By doing this, you will feel more courage even when the fear of embarrassment strikes, and sharing these stories will elicit others to share, quickly realizing we are not alone, and that nobody is perfect.”
Most internet users who read the story were on the mom’s side. Here’s what they said