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Step Daughter issues

(58 Posts)
Camelia3 Sat 11-Jan-20 05:10:16

We are both in our 60's but my husband has a 16 yr old daughter from a previous relationship. They have a fairly new relationship of 3 years. She visits us every 4 weeks for a weekend. They are generally speaking, happy visits. However, her personal hygiene is poor. In all her visits I can only count 6 times that she has showered and even fewer times that she has brushed her teeth. We have tried leaving her own specially bought products on her bed, new shower gel, toothbrushes, pretty towels etc. But she goes home and they are untouched. We have hinted through conversation ' oh isn't a shower refreshing? Etc etc. I used to take her a cup of tea in the mornings and suggest a shower before we head off out for the day, but she out-foxes me and gets dressed while still in bed !!!! Even when I know she's having her period there's still no attempt to bathe or shower. My husband is embarrassed and has admitted that her mother may not be a great role model in this area. Our relationship with mum is tentative so we don't feel we could raise the subject without verbal consequences. Any suggestions team Gran ??

Itsnotme Sat 11-Jan-20 06:05:33

As they say, the apple doesn’t far from the tree. So maybe she doesn’t see it as being important.

I have a step mother and it would really irk me if she suggested I do things that are none of her business. So maybe she’s less likely to do as you want now she’s been told.

BlueBelle Sat 11-Jan-20 07:06:39

I don’t think you can do anything more than you ve done without embarrassing her and maybe risk losing the relationship
Have you tried turning the shower for her and wake her to ‘your shower is ready’ or run a bath for her and say the same she ll probably ignore it but that’s the only think I can think of
Do her clothes smell? can you whisk them off for a wash, as she’s only 16 she ll still sort of expect her washing to be done
It’s a really hard one

Calendargirl Sat 11-Jan-20 07:11:55

Does she actually have BO? If not, I suppose it’s up to her really how often she washes. If she does, then it’s awkward. I don’t know what I would do in that case, sorry, not much help!

gmarie Sat 11-Jan-20 07:22:23

If she left the bath products and towels on the bed, perhaps arrange them in a little basket along with a treat (chocolates/special tea?) and/or other small item (perfume/locket/small nosegay of flowers?) and leave it on the bathroom counter so it looks more like a welcome gift than a hygiene hint.

16 is a delicate age rife with self-esteem and social-emotional issues. If I were you, I wouldn't force the issue beyond that. She will eventually come around on her own.

Tedber Sat 11-Jan-20 08:10:48

If she doesn’t smell I would ignore it - she’s only there for a weekend.

If the smell was knocking me out I would have to have a little chat - even if it meant she took offence and stopped coming! (If it is so bad her friends will be noticing as well and she may thank you for it eventually)

Depends just how bad it is really.

tanith Sat 11-Jan-20 08:14:32

At 16 it’s really her choice to shower/wash or not it’s really not up to you to interfere. If she lived with you maybe, you’ve tried now leave it up to her.

Tedber Sat 11-Jan-20 08:16:56

Just another point, she may be incredibly shy about her body? She may feel frightened someone may walk in on her? She may just get dressed in bed for that reason? All possibilities.

Also when I was 16 we only had a bath once a week! Gosh seems unbelievable now, but we did! Everyone is so used to daily showers now they’ve forgotten! We didn’t go around smelling I do think 🤔

sodapop Sat 11-Jan-20 08:24:23

I agree with tanith and everyone else. You have done all you can now it's up to your stepdaughter. I wouldn't make an issue of this unless there is a real problem.

Hetty58 Sat 11-Jan-20 08:34:53

She must think that you're very interfering and bossy. You've provided what she needs if she wants to shower. Leave it at that - unless she really stinks. At 16, she'll resent being told what to do. She probably washes before she comes and when she gets home.

Hithere Sat 11-Jan-20 09:19:01

She only spends there 2 days a month. She is 16, almost an adult. Your relationship with her mother is rocky and your relationship with the dd is only taking place for 3 years. Is that right?

Pick your battles. Teaching her a new standard of hygiene is not one of those battles.
It is not ideal what she is doing right now, bo or not. You cannot force her to take a shower, brush her teeth or anything if she doesn't want to.

I would be mortified if I visited my sd and sm and they presented me with hygyene products. Ashamed and mortified.
Don't mention it again. Not a hint. Not a suggestion how nice a shower is. By giving it so much importance, she may just dig her heels and not take a shower just to prove you wrong.

She is 16! You cannot make her do anything she doesn't want to do. She is not 5.

Let her visit every month and do things you allenjoy.

It is more important to build a trusting long lasting relationship with her than being seen as the stepmother and stepfather she has to visit and push their standards (whether they are reasonable or not)

What is your goal for the future? Want to continue seeing her after she goes to college/becomes of legal age?
Guide your actions by the future you envision for all of you

Cabbie21 Sat 11-Jan-20 16:40:59

She’s only with you a couple of days. Maybe she showers before she leaves home, and bathes when she gets back. Leave her to it now, you have made your point.

Bibbity Sat 11-Jan-20 16:49:58

There’s no need to shower every day. Some people’s skin doesn’t react well.
He barely sees her so he has no clue about her hygiene. Does she smell? Does she look unkept?

H1954 Sat 11-Jan-20 16:55:12

Could you perhaps arrange a spa session for just you two? I might be barking up the wrong tree but thought it might promote some pride in her appearance, encourage personal hygiene and educate her at the same time. Could also serve as a bonding session between you two?
Hope you get things sorted out though.

Summerlove Sat 11-Jan-20 16:59:27

Perhaps she feels awkward using someone else’s shower?

I’d leave it alone for now. Anything else could ruin the relationship

notanan2 Sat 11-Jan-20 16:59:40

I think as shes only at her dad's once a month, I would let it slide.

In my experience teens either go OTT with grooming and get neurotic about germs and hygiene, or else they are completely disgusting.
It tends to balance out once theyre a few years older.

notanan2 Sat 11-Jan-20 17:01:29

Whatever you do, stop with the "hints".

Doodledog Sat 11-Jan-20 17:48:33

How on earth do you know when she's having her period?

At my advanced age I would be horrified if pretty much anyone other than my husband made comments or dropped hints about my personal hygiene, and at 16 I would have been mortified.

Give the girl some space, and yes, stop with the hints. There could be all manner of reasons why this is happening, and none of them are your business.

Grammaretto Sat 11-Jan-20 18:00:46

It's all been said but I never shower at my DD's because I hate her shower/hot water system. I tried once and froze in ice cold water.. I have a stand up wash.
Also they have no locks on the doors.
At 16 I would have been mortified had an adult suggested I take a bath or a shower.
Personal comments are not on.

I have suggested to our volunteer helper (aged 23) that he uses less perfume/aftershave because it goes up my nose in a horrid way. Now I only smell it when he's about to leave the house for a date. Each to their own but I dislike perfume.

chelseababy Sat 11-Jan-20 18:17:14

She's only there for the weekend - why worry?

V3ra Sat 11-Jan-20 18:24:18

My only question would be is there a lock on your bathroom door so this young lady feels secure? Other than that I'd just make her welcome and not mention it again.
It's surprising how different people's attitudes to personal hygiene are.
Many years ago I went to stay with my (now) husband's family and he asked his mum if there was a clean towel for me as I wanted a shower.
"What's wrong with the one that's in the bathroom?" she replied, "It's good enough for the rest of us, does she need one of her own?" I always took one with me after that, and still do, as does my husband!
A friend never let her children have a shower after 7:30am as that's when the cheap Economy 7 electric meter switched to the more expensive daytime rate.

Septimia Sat 11-Jan-20 19:02:07

I'd drop the subject and leave her to it.

She may be resisting just to be teenage awkward! Pushing the subject is possibly making it worse and I'm surprised you haven't out her off visiting altogether.

Or maybe she hasn't so far found a reason to upgrade her hygiene habits - no boys or girls to impress yet.

Having grown up in a house that had no bathroom until I was 11 (tin bath in front of the fire), I'm inclined to have a good wash and not shower every day.

Septimia Sat 11-Jan-20 19:02:34

PUT her off !!

phoenix Sat 11-Jan-20 19:09:10

Give her 2 options, i.e ask her bluntly "Would you prefer a bath or a shower?"

Barmeyoldbat Sat 11-Jan-20 19:19:42

Many of our generation got through life with a bath just once a week. I would just leave it, she will soon change when she is older or gets a boyfriend then ou won't be able to get into the bathroom.

Just a point my son was awful, so bad we banned him from the sitting room when his feet smelt so bad. It all changed when he started meeting girls.