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How to Get Your Kid to Wear Deodorant

Being a mom stinks. Wait, let me rephrase that: your kids stink. Adolescents spend all day running around, their hormones are going crazy, and they haven’t yet mastered the art of adult hygiene. Here’s how to get a handle on the smell, with cures for five of the top reasons your kid is resisting wearing deodorant.


  1. They’re forgetful – Being a teen or pre-teen is hard, and that growing mind has a lot to do, so it’s understandable that they haven’t gotten into the habit of wearing deodorant every day. After all, their growing body is all new to them.

    To help them get into the habit of wearing deodorant, set up reminders. Write a sticky note that says something as simple as “deodorant” and leave it on their bathroom mirror. Or set up a reminder on their smart phone. Even a verbal reminder helps. Just like any habit, over time, it will become second nature.


  1. They’re embarrassed – We all know that bodies are high-maintenance. But some kids are uncomfortable with their changing bodies, and the last thing they want to do is get into an embarrassing discussion about their body odor.

    If they seem hesitant to discuss it with you, they might open up to another trusted adult. Here are some other ideas:

  • Buy a book they can read on their own that does a good job talking about changing bodies.

  • Buy a deodorant and leave it on the counter with no discussion. Or, let them choose their own. That way, they feel empowered and the whole thing feels more treat than taboo.


  1. They don’t know they stink – This is a tricky one because body odor has an easy solution, but you also don’t want to shame or embarrass them so we asked Kim Cook of Teen World Confidential for some advice:

    "Feeling normal is often a concern of kids this age, especially as they enter puberty. When you talk to your child, be sure they understand that everyone goes through puberty and that the changes their body is going through, including body odor, is perfectly normal. If you begin to notice your child’s body odor, it’s time for a conversation about hygiene and deodorant. How you approach your child about their body odor depends on your child: Some kids can handle a little joking around. Others are more sensitive. If you have a child who might be embarrassed about their body odor, gently take them aside and explain that you have noticed a change in their body odor. Exclaim that you are excited for them to enter puberty and that it means they are healthy and normal. Keep it casual and don’t body shame. When you’re low-key, your child will be less embarrassed and more likely to listen."


  1. They’re a little lazy (or so it seems) – There are tons of things to do when you’re a kid, and deodorant can sometimes feel like one more chore. Some kids will avoid doing anything they they can get away with not doing. This is not so much of a problem just something that needs to be understood. If your child is acting lazy, read this for some perspective and this for some insight. The good news is that, once they begin to notice someone else as more than a friend, they begin to take personal hygiene more seriously 😉 


  1. They’re depressed – Poor hygiene can be a sign of depression. If you suspect your teen may be experiencing depression, it’s time to seek professional help.


Body odor is inevitable and totally normal, but to your tween, it’s all new. That’s why being tactful and respectful is always the way to go. And talking to them about body odor is good practice for other difficult discussions and can be an opportunity to bond and grow together. So stop putting off the discussion and end the stink! Want to make it even easier? Start withour line of natural deodorants just for teens." 

Kathryn Holdforth is the founder of JK Naturals. She writes about her experiences of running a business, being a mom of a preteen and teen and the products she creates for them. She’s been making clean natural and organic skincare and personal care products for over 20 years.

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