As you probably know, I have two daughters. They are almost 9 and almost 13. My oldest has always been very quick to grow up, while my third grader wants to stay small. She already thinks she is to old. Thinking back to how my 7th grader acted in third grade is unbelievable to me. In third grade she started driving me crazy to wear a bra and wear deodorant.
I personally felt third grade was too young. She had those undershirt type bras but she wanted a real bra. My lovely daughter went to my mom and told her, and she somehow convinced my mom to buy her both a bra and deodorant (against my wishes but anyway). I believe that same year, my daughters dance teacher handed out samples of deodorant to her students. My daughter was in an advanced class, so she was the youngest. I figured I lost the battle and embraced it.
I got pretty lucky with my tween, she is super open about all of this type stuff. She will talk to me, her dad, my mom. She says stuff in front of my dad, my brother and on. I was the total opposite. I was totally embarrassed to talk about anything like this with my mom. I don't think I got deodorant until like 7th grade, I tried giving hints but they never worked. I think that is why I was even more annoyed that it was my mom that bought of my daughters first in this kind of department.
My now third grader has no interest or need yet in anything like this. When she does though, I think it will be easier since she does have an older sister. If you have a kid like I was though, then the Unilever company, the makers of the ONLY deodorant/antiperspirant that I will use (DOVE) is helping us parents of tweens out a bit.
Recently, Unilever the makers of Dove, Degree and Suave deodorants released the Tween Confidence Index, which suggests that tween confidence is short-lived but can be safe-guarded by maintaining strong communication between tweens and parents. With this and more resources available at DontFretTheSweat.com, Unilever hopes to show parents that they can talk to their tweens about how the right deodorant can keep them free from odor, embarrassment and discomfort along the way.
The biggest thing when dealing with tweens is keeping the embarassment down. This is a super touchy age when you are growing up, but are still struggling with staying young. Plus if you recall, everything embarrasses you at this age. Don't Fret The Sweat has a great FAQ section, along with expert advice for parents to read.
Read about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. We actually started my daughter on deodorant in third grade because she wanted it, but didn't need it yet. Around 4th or 5th grade, I don't recall we made the switch. I usually buy her what is on sale, but she prefers Degree and Dove. If you have a child like one, consider yourself lucky. This can be such a touchy subject, I have found that I really had it good that she pushed for it. I still remember my sixth grade homeroom teacher giving us the "talk" because we had one boy that stunk really bad. Everyone knew it was him, and she didn't want to embarrass him by talking only to him. We all got the talk, but we all knew why as well. I always remembered that poor kid that way. I'm pretty sure that for the most part though, kids felt sorry for him and didn't make fun of him. Nowadays, I'm not so sure he'd be that lucky. Kids seemed to have gotten a tiny bit crueler in my opinion.
Be sure to check DontFretTheSweat.com. If you have a tween, have you approached this subject yet? If so, how did you handle it?
PS. I was sent the Pomegranate & lemon antiperspirant and body mist. My daughter let me keep the deodarent because Dove is the only brand that does not make me break out in a terrible rash. She kept the body mist and absolutely LOVES it. It smells super yummy, I would suggest trying this sent! Another I like is the Cucumber, yum and of course baby powder I think is the best for the hotter months. Seems to cover any odors a bit better :)
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