Personal Hygiene for Tween & Teen Boys

We initially ran this episode in July 2018. But we’ve gained a lot of followers since then and tween & teen boys have not suddenly gotten better at personal hygiene in the interim. If you’re sick of fighting with your boy about hygiene, this episode is a must-listen.

Photo by Kasey Eriksen via Flickr

Have a boy who hates to shower?

You are not alone!

When a mom recently asked the Building Boys Facebook group“Anyone else have a teenage boy who hates to shower?” she was quickly inundated with support and sympathy.

Personal hygiene, it seems, is not a priority for most tween and teen boys.

Lots of moms said they’re dealing with the exact same issue. Others said that their boys spend a lot of time in the shower, but come out with unwashed, still-dirty hair.

Is this lack of interest in appearance and, um, smell, merely a stage that will resolve without intervention?

Or should parents and teachers take a more active role in teaching and reinforcing hygiene habits?

Turns out, the best approach is actually a combination of those two strategies.

In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
  • WHY some boys seems oblivious to their own stench
  • The essential role of 5th grade teachers in the hygiene battle
  • How colored liquid soap can help boys shower effectively
  • “Man soap” vs. “girly soap”
  • Axe bombs (Don’t know what that is? Listen in at 12:41!)
  • When — and how — to have the hygiene talk
  • When boys should start using deodorant – & how to make sure your boys use it regularly (Listen carefully for Jen’s pro tips!)
  • The role of role-modeling in personal hygiene
  • How to get the stench out of your boys’ gym clothes and sports uniforms
  • Tooth brushing (Spoiler: Instill good tooth brushing habits when you boys are young!)
  • Hair care
  • How to combine male bonding and hygiene rituals (not as weird as it sounds!)
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. by Mayim Bialik — A great book to leave laying around the house. Includes detailed hygiene instructions for boys.

Why Do Teenagers Smell Bad? Study Suggests They May Be Unable to Detect Own Scent — report of Danish research

ON BOYS on YouTube — watch uncut versions of our conversations

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