Teenage and pre-teen boys tend to put their hygiene on the backburner, much to the chagrin of the people around them. One mom went to Reddit for solutions for her 14-year-old son who refused to shower, use deodorant, brush his teeth or clean his room—among other basic practices of cleanliness—she found a nearly foolproof solution for her technology-addicted teen.
In her original post, user terriblehygiene said her son had such bad body odor that she felt “sorry for anyone who has to sit beside him.” She echoed a similar sentiment about his bad breath. She also noted his hair was “so greasy it looks wet.” Yikes.
Most importantly, the mom noted that her son fundamentally doesn’t understand hygiene. She said she, her son’s dad, his doctor and his school nurse had all tried to ingrain in him the importance of personal hygiene to no avail. His peers had even made comments about his smell, which didn’t prompt him to make any changes—he always had excuses for not wanting to clean up. The mom had tried reward systems, but didn’t see any long-lasting results.
After nearly 60 Reddit users chimed in, Mom found the perfect solution for her screen-ager: She changes the WiFi password every day; only once he’s completed all of his cleanliness-related duties does he receive the password. And if he complains, he loses the password for the day, but still has to complete the chores that day for tomorrow’s password. Pretty genius.
After giving her son an honest talk about the new rules and the importance of taking care of himself, the hack yielded some positive results. In an update to her original post, the mom said he now does his chores without being prompted and without her having to nag. What more could a parent ask for?
The mom’s advice: “If you’re going through this problem with your own kids, make them earn something they want every day, like WiFi, by doing their hygiene chores.”
Hundreds of commenters chimed in on the post reflecting on what worked on their stinky teens and offering congratulations to the accomplished mom. What’s most important is that the mom is instilling in her video game-loving son a routine, and teaching him responsibility one day at a time. Well done, Mama.