She Asked Her ‘Smelly’ Stepdaughter If She Wants to See a Councillor or Therapist Because She’s Stopped Showering Every Day

A woman sought advice because she was worried about her teenage stepdaughter’s poor personal hygiene habits. The stepdaughter would not shower after exercising and only brushed her teeth once a day. Here is what the woman had to say about the issue:

She Gets on Well with Her Stepdaughter

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“I adore Sam; I really do. It’s so exhilarating to have a daughter to bond with, to put it selfishly. I love the woman she’s becoming because she’s sweet, generous, and quick-witted. We have lots of fun going out together, just the two of us. I think she’s a smart young lady with a generally good head on her shoulders, and I’m proud of her for her strength of character.”

The Woman Started Worrying About Sam

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The woman and her husband have a blended family with children from previous marriages and some of their own. The woman has a close bond with her stepdaughter, who is 16 years old. However, she has become increasingly concerned about her personal hygiene.

The Stepdaughter Smells but Doesn’t Seem to Care

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Sam, who is very active and involved in sports, has recently started to neglect her hygiene. She doesn’t shower as often as she should, and her breath often smells terrible. The woman has tried encouraging Sam to freshen up more often, but her efforts have only been met with temporary improvement.

She Couldn’t Take It Anymore

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One day, when Sam sat next to her at dinner, smelling particularly bad after a run, the woman felt the need to move away from her due to the unpleasant odor.

“Sam teared up, which I hated to see, and didn’t eat at all. She also didn’t leave her bedroom until around noon today. While my husband called me insensitive, he also couldn’t give me a better suggestion on how to handle Sam’s hygiene issue,” the stepmother wrote.

They’ve Tried Everything to Help Sam, but Nothing’s Worked

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The couple has tried various approaches, such as providing high-quality hygiene products and offering quick fixes like perfume and breath mints, but these have not been successful.

The Woman Wonders if Something Is Wrong

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The woman is worried about the underlying issues that may be causing this change in Sam’s behavior. She wrote, “I’m deeply concerned by the potential core issues surrounding this shift. It seems like she’s going for longer stretches and even going to school without showering for a few days. I don’t want her to have this follow her throughout school and for her to be known as the smelly kid. I want to understand why, when she’s visibly uncomfortable because of her lack of showering, she doesn’t clean herself up.”

She Really Wants to Help, but How?

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The woman feels bad about what happened at dinner and plans on apologizing to Sam.

She wants to be supportive and wants Sam to be able to talk to her, her father, or a counselor about any issues she may be facing.

The woman knows she didn’t react in the best way, and she hopes they can find a solution together.

She Asked for Advice Online

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One user said, “My son is 25 and very active, he works out or exercises almost daily, and he always showers after because he knows he smells. She needs to understand that poor hygiene will not bode well for her in the future; she will alienate future friends, roommates, and employers. She should hear about it now from loved ones instead of someone later when it’s embarrassing and more hurtful.”

Another commented, “It’s better to have instructive comment coming from a family member than to have wholesale derision from a bunch of kids at school. However, the OP could have been more diplomatic at the dinner table.”

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