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26 Mar 2003

Teenage Attitude
Hi there
Im at wits end, I have a fantastic daughter who is intellegent, beautiful and has been successful in a number of fields however she has no desire to be clean. Her personal hygiene is non existant. I have bought her the best of all but to no avail. The underwear is not rinse, the teeth not brushed, will wear the same clothes day in and day out. How do you change her outlook toward her person cleanliness. Her marks at school are average and she has no desire to succeed.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Capricorn, so your daughter is behaving like the goat ? It's hard to be sure what's going on. A Teenager is ( mercifully briefly ) a weird creature, and becoming, for a time, a slob, is on of the options some of them explore. Being grubby and grungy is a choice some make, for a time, and some find it rewarding when this sends their parents up the wall. ( Disturbing one's parents seems at times to be the primary hobby of adolescents ).
There are other posibilities, worth considering, however. Maybe she is having a hard time adjusting to being clever and beautiful, perhaps having some problems with self-esteem. Sometimes, if she finds that her growing attractiveness brings attentions from boys which she finds larming or unappealing, she may adopt the tactic of degrading her own image to become too unattractive and unwholesome to attract those lads.
And also, there are possibilities that she might be becoming depressed or Depressed, which can typically lead to self-neglect, and inattention to school-work and other tasks of life.
What one needs is to engage her in real conversation ( ie not nagging ) about these issues, to understand how she feels and how she understands her situation and the choices she is currently making about it. If you find more cause for concern on such an exploration, consider encouraging her to see a shrink for an assessment of her state, and advice on how to manage whatever, specifically, he /she finds.
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