OK, I'm pretty new at this job, and I need some input. Our principal and a teacher at the high school where I work asked me to call a student into my office and discuss her hygiene (or lack thereof). I was wondering what is the best way to approach this without causing the student a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. :imbar Thanks in advance.
Nov 14, '06
i have had that request before. I bring the girl (or boy) in and discuss how as one ages one needs to take better care of themselves, discuss how they as adolescents perspire more ,etc; i usually kept samples of soaps, shampoos and and deodorants in the office; would then give her/him a little goodie bag.
Dec 22, '06
I do the same as above. I also try and remind them that other kids notice these poor hygiene habits, and that it would hurt me if other kids made fun of them.
Don't forget, some girls who are being sexually abused keep themselves dirty on purpose, in hopes of being unattractive and repulsive to their abuser. I've actually had that happen at my middle school once and she finally spilled the beans on the abuser. I'll never forget having to send the police to the house because her little sister was kept home from school by the abuser one day, and my student had finally felt comfortable getting it off of her shoulders.
Dec 22, '06
Especially with boys I often call the mother and suggest that Dad or an older brother have a conversation with the offender. It might be less embarrasing for the boy than having the female nurse discuss such a sensitive issue with him. I, too, always stress that a big part of the issue is to prevent others from teasing or avoiding the smelly kid. (it usually is a body odor problem with pre pubertal 4th and 5th graders). And of course, we discuss hygiene as part of our growth and development ( i.e. sex ed) classes which I give.
May 8, '09
I pretty much do the same as stated above also..In my older grumpier years I have been wondering about something....Whats wrong with the teacher addressing this issue????? Why do we get this job when we haven't even witnessed it??? I have spoken to kids before at the teachers request that I personally didn't see a problem with.. I am starting to feel that if it offends you address the problem! Stop being scared..treat them like you would your own...If I have a student that comes in and I notice a smell or dirty teeth I address it right then just as I would my own child. I don't mind talking to the student but I think the teachers should jump on board too.
May 8, '09
I also call the parent. I objectively state the problem and ask if there is anything I can do to help. I did this last year and the grandma told me that they were having a tough time since her husband's heart attack. Grandparents raising 4 grandchildren because dad in jail and mom disappered. They had to choose between food and the water bill. They chose food! I got them in touch with the correct services and me and the teachers bought laundry detergent, bath soap, some food and took up money for them to get their water reconnected.
That was at this time last year. The family is doing much better and there has never been another hygiene issue. Grandma always makes a point to come see me if she is in the building. I always get a hug and another thank you! The child involved comes breezing in every morning with his big smile and a good morning!!
May 11, '09
I do the same as the above posters. I think its more challenging when the students are young. I had a fifth grader last year who had a hygiene problem, and as a result she was getting teased on a daily basis by her peers. I sat her down in my office and we calmly discussed the issue. I described how our bodies change as we get older and blah blah blah.
I assessed her daily hygiene regimen and we went from there. I also talked with the parent as well. The parent and I came up with a solution, which was to wear stronger deordorant ( spelling
). This seemed to work !
May 11, '09
I have had to do this several times as well. I think I'm pretty blunt about the issue. Most of the students I've had to talk to have been high school age so by then they know better! However, the students I've had to deal with are mainly very poor, rarely have running water, a broke washer, and sometimes no electricity. Not to mention no money to buy deoderant, etc. I've given out hygeine products, made suggestions for better care etc. I can't say I've had too much success out of my speaches unfortunately.
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