Parenting through the “tween” years is full of twists and turns as your child’s body hits puberty and their bodies start changing right before their eyes and yours. It can be confusing, frustrating and sweat inducing for both parent and child. Speaking of sweat, that’s usually one of the first changes that we notice about our tweens, they stink. And for many of us, we are not only taken back by the odor but by the age of our child when we notice it. My daughter was 8 1/2 when I first handed her a stick of deodorant! I couldn’t believe it had happened so quickly. Turns out, the onset of puberty can begin at eight years old and even earlier in some cases.
One2One Network recently partnered with Unilever to promote their Don’t Fret the Sweat program. It’s a website geared towards helping parents navigate this tricky time in their child’s life. Bringing expert advice from educator, Rosalind Wiseman, Don’t Fret the Sweat has resources for parents who have just as many questions about what is going on with their tween’s body as the tweens have.
Many of our members have been blogging about their own tween experiences either by reminiscing embarrassing details from their past or sharing ways they’ve helped their own kids cope. Here’s a look at what some of them are saying:
Ashley of Blissful Reviews remembers what is was like to be a sweaty tween! – “I remember being in the 8th grade when I noticed I was growing underarm hair…I had no idea what to do and didn’t know how to cover up the sweat.”
Sometimes kids will just come right out and ask for deodorant! Elizabeth of Mom Reviews says, “I have two sons, and they both started asking to wear deodorant in the 6th grade. I asked my oldest son why he wanted to wear deodorant then in particular, and he told me two things that I thought might help other parents whose kids are approaching that age: 1. 6th grade was when the kids started being shown those videos in Health class that talk about changes to the body. The videos mentioned the wearing of deodorant. 2. He also said that it was important not to smell at all offensive, i.e. smelling like deodorant and not b.o.”
One day they are just sweaty, the next day they are sweaty AND stinky as Jenny of My Little Me has recently experienced, “My oldest boy is 11 and a few months ago I started noticing his odor changing. … It’s amazing how quickly they can go from smelling like sweaty little kids to “oh my goodness, when was the last time you took a shower?”
Tricky conversations oftentimes happen in unlikely places. Anne of Not A Supermom has found that the best place to talk to tweens about their odors is in the car…with the windows down… “We had a talk in the car today (with the windows down) about good hygiene. It was a good talk. I learned my girls didn’t realize deodorant needed to be applied to underarms that are: 1. clean, and also 2. dry, 3. and that it needs to happen daily, not weekly.”
Taking a cue from her own experiences, Holly of WomanTribune recalls, “I distinctly remember several highly embarrassing moments from my tween years and the only way I can think of describing that time in my life is by saying my brain and my body were not working together in harmony; in fact, they weren’t even close to meeting along the same wavelength. My brain was still a blissfully ignorant kid that didn’t have to worry about anything in the realm of cosmetic appearance. … My body, however, had warped into its own wildly out of control life form without letting my brain in on what was going on.”
Tammy of TammyMunson.com blamed left out food and then the dog before she could accept that is was her tween that was making that smell! “When our oldest started with body odor, I didn’t really think it was here. I thought it was some sort of smell coming from food that was left out, or even the dogs. I certainly didn’t think it was coming from “my baby”! Alas, it was and it was something pretty fierce.”
Want to bond with your tween? Wear the same deodorant! TerriAnn of Cookies & Clogs found that she and her tween like the same kind of deodorant – “We happened to come across Degree Teen and like the ‘Just Dance’ scent. Now we both use it and like it very much!”
If your child has entered this precarious time of life, we hope that you can find some encouragement and wisdom from Don’t Fret the Sweat! The website even covers issues like tweens using social media and cell phones and helping them decide who their true friends are.
‘Like’ Don’t Fret the Sweat on Facebook to stay up to date with new articles and products so that no one has to fret the sweat anymore!
photos from iCLIPART