How to Teach Personal Hygiene to Teenagers

By Todd Bowerman ; Updated April 18, 2017

Teenagers are in a rough spot when it comes to personal hygiene. Puberty causes a wide variety of changes to the body, and many teenagers find transitioning from the loose bathing schedule of children to the rigorous body cleansing of adults to be difficult and frustrating. To make things worse, these changes will often cause sensitive issues such as acne and body odor. While some schools make an effort to encourage hygiene among their students, parents should keep a close eye on their kids and work with them to build good habits.

Discuss the basics of puberty with your teenager. Explaining what is going to change, why it is changing and how to make it easier will help her understand why hygiene is important.

Make a list of the things your child will need and allow him to pick his own hygiene products at the store. The issue will feel less forced if he is able to make his own decisions about what to use to stay clean.

Work with your teen to develop a daily hygiene routine. At the very least, a teenager should brush her teeth each day, wear deodorant and wash her face to prevent breakouts and scarring. Ideally, she should also shower every day or every other day.

Be honest but delicate with your teenager if you see a problem. It is going to be easier on the teen to have issues brought up by you, his parents, than to be made fun of at school for being smelly or dirty. If you are upfront and caring, your teen will respond to suggestions.

Tip

Male and female teenagers have vastly different hygiene experiences. Make sure to tailor your discussions to the unique issues your children will face based on their gender.