View Full Version : Shower wars


Cindypopz
05-23-14, 12:52 AM
I have an 11 y/o boy diagnosed with ADHD as well as a mild mood disorder and ODD. Shower time is a nightmare. He is very much against showering everyday. It is always a fight with a multitude of excuses as to why he won't get in and why he shouldn't have to. He will scream, hit walls, yell nasty things to me such as "screw you" and that he doesn't have to listen to me. What would you do in this situation? Would you back off and not make him get in or would you pick him up and put him in the shower? Spanking? Another solution? The thought that he will smell bad doesn't matter to him, losing privileges doesn't matter to him. It is very difficult to deal with this, please help.

Piper30
05-23-14, 01:53 AM
Have you asked him why he doesn't want to take a shower.

sarahsweets
05-23-14, 05:19 AM
At 11 its an iffy situation. One one hand puberty is starting, on the other hand some of the smelly boy hormones arent there yet. Honestly, unless he is filthy I would try and negotiate a deal. Every other day at a set time he must take a shower, no questions or arguments. See how that goes and come up with rewards for holding up his end of the bargain.

Cindypopz
05-23-14, 10:08 AM
Yes I have asked him and he always says that he hates showers or that he just doesn't like the cold. He already has to wear deodorant, though his odor is super strong yet, it is there. I have concerns with negotiating because that's all that he tries to do. He tries to tell me that I need to make a deal with him every time he takes a shower and that he should only have to shower every other day. If I make a deal like this and allow every other day, i'm worried that he will think he is in control and it will get worse from there. I hate to say it but he tries to be very manipulative.

Lunacie
05-23-14, 11:39 AM
Yes I have asked him and he always says that he hates showers or that he just doesn't like the cold. He already has to wear deodorant, though his odor is super strong yet, it is there. I have concerns with negotiating because that's all that he tries to do. He tries to tell me that I need to make a deal with him every time he takes a shower and that he should only have to shower every other day. If I make a deal like this and allow every other day, i'm worried that he will think he is in control and it will get worse from there. I hate to say it but he tries to be very manipulative.

What looks from the outside to be manipulative, from the inside is just trying to get what we need ... what we really do need.

Negotiating is an awesome skill to have. It can be a good way to learn self-control. And at 11 he should be encouraged to have self-control.

Piper30
05-23-14, 12:30 PM
My son hated showers also and we went through basically the same thing. He would end up with tears of frustration he would get so angry about it. Finally I had a talk with him and told him he could tell me what we could do to make showers easier or we can do it the hard way.

Ended up that he didn't want them in the evening he wanted them in the morning. Also he didn't like that he couldn't turn off the shower (facet was difficult) he didn't want to call me to do it he was a big boy. So I changed the facet. He even told me he didn't want me to tell him or remind him to take one. That he would remember on his own.

Oki doki ... we changed those things and now he showers without any issues.

LynneC
05-23-14, 12:50 PM
Yes I have asked him and he always says that he hates showers or that he just doesn't like the cold. He already has to wear deodorant, though his odor is super strong yet, it is there. I have concerns with negotiating because that's all that he tries to do. He tries to tell me that I need to make a deal with him every time he takes a shower and that he should only have to shower every other day. If I make a deal like this and allow every other day, i'm worried that he will think he is in control and it will get worse from there. I hate to say it but he tries to be very manipulative.
I think if he has agreed to take showers every other day that you should let him. And regarding the control, I know with my son that he is way less oppositional when he has choices. You could try something like, 'OK, I think that every other day for showers is fine. You can take your shower before we eat dinner or no later an hour before bedtime. Which do you prefer?'

If he's really cold, could you put a small space heater in the bathroom for him?

zette93
05-23-14, 01:10 PM
Go ahead and negotiate with him! Listen to him rant about what he hates about showers, ask if he has any ideas about how to make them less awful. Try some of his ideas before imposing your own. If you agree to showering every other day or 3 times a week, he'll be showering enough not to catch any skin diseases. When he becomes interested in girls in a few years he'll probably be more open to showering every day.

You might take a look at the Lives in the Balance website, or the books by Ross W Greene in my signature. He's got an approach to explosive kids and issues like these that might be helpful with your son.

messyme
05-31-14, 07:41 PM
I agree with seeing if you can talk to him about what he doesn't like about showers, and try to change those things (ex: turn on a space heater in the bathroom for 15 min. before his shower).

At a doctor's check-up, maybe beforehand you can talk to the doctor (or nurse?) about the problem, and they might be able to talk with him a bit about puberty, hygiene, body odor, etc. -- just in general as if they do this with everyone going into puberty. Hearing these things from someone else might help.

mildadhd
05-31-14, 11:49 PM
Does he like to take baths?

Could be a sensitive sensory thing, my son had the same issue, but much less so about baths.

I also have the same issue, more when I was younger, I hate the feeling of showers on my face, hard to breath aswell, etc, serious need to turn my back to the shower etc.

(I am also taller now)

Still like baths better. But like showers better now, to wash soap out of my hair.

I gave my son the choice of shower or bath, he always took bath, until one day he started taking showers and now he almost always takes showers.

Compassionately, give your son a choice and see what happens.

P

mildadhd
05-31-14, 11:54 PM
Not sure exactly sure what type of heater is being recommended, but portable electrical heaters in a wet bathroom makes me really nervous.



P

LynneC
06-01-14, 11:22 AM
Not sure exactly sure what type of heater is being recommended, but portable electrical heaters in a wet bathroom makes me really nervous.

P
Good point... :) , maybe not such a good suggestion on my part...

stef
06-01-14, 12:26 PM
maybe get him a nice warm terrycloth bathrobe? his own shower gel?
it really sounds like more of a sensory thing..
.

window
06-25-14, 07:36 AM
My son is younger than yours, only 5 years old, but he has the same problem. He is very scared of the shower and it is always a struggle before we go into the bathroom. He screams and cries saying that he is not dirty. I let him 'kick off' for a while and then explain that the shower is not optional and we must do it before we can do anything else. Eventually he comes into the bathroom and we can start from there.

I think he is scared because he can't control the water and he doesn't like the feel of the shower in his face. Instead, I give him a bucket and a small jug. He is happy with the contained water and he pours his own water over himself in a way that doesn't make him feel scared or anxious. He controls when, where and how much water goes onto him. Once he is comfortable with some of his body being wet, I can tell him 'OK, the water is coming on your head now' and I am able to pour water on his head. After he has got used to the water, he gets happy and doesn't want to get out. I can then leave him safely playing with the water and get on with making dinner or other work. After sometime I come back and suggest it is time for him to play with his iPad or another activity he likes and then he comes out to do that.

Maybe this can help with your son, or even instead if a jug give him a sponge to start.