Q: Why is my 11-year-old son so completely oblivious to his own body odour? I don’t want to embarrass him, but sometimes he is uncomfortable to be around, yet he fights having a bath or shower.
A: When it comes to preteen boys’ hygiene, my best advice is “wait.” I promise you that in a fairly short time — when his friends tell him in a not- so-pleasant way that he stinks or he decides that girls are worth a second look — you will not be able to get your son out of the shower! In the meantime, you can buy him some deodorant, casually introduce the topic, then leave it to him. If he doesn’t like deodorant, you might suggest a body powder with baking soda. It may help and he may find it less offensive. But don’t be too surprised if he ignores that suggestion for a while. Meanwhile, hold your nose and keep hugging him.