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How do I get my 21 year old step son to take a shower without being the "evil step mother".
Family & Parenting / 8:55 PM - Tuesday December 08, 2009

How do I get my 21 year old step son to take a shower without being the "evil step mother".

He lives with my husband and me. It's driving me crazy!! He never takes a shower or brushes his teeth. Yuck! When I say something to my husband, he just shrugs his shoulders in disbelief. Is this a phase? If so, how long will it last?

Update: December 09, 2009.
The thing is...His Father owns a business and he works for him, my husband. So, he gets up early, works all day, runs in, changes clothes and out the door he goes. He doesn't "date" but drags in nasty girls that hang out in his nasty room. We finally got a house keeper to come clean and do his laundry once a week and my husband pays her $100. I refuse to do it! He doesn't even pile it up. I got sick of picking it all up, carrying it to the laundry, folding and putting it up. It's all just too much! He doesn't eat at the house unless it's in the middle of the night even though I cook a good meal every night. He plays video games all the time, parties and runs around. We pay all of his bills. I've tried every way I know how to talk to my husband about this. He always makes excuses for him. My step son is very respectful to me and never says anything to hurt my feelings. I don't feel like it's my place with him being 21 and I'm the "somewhat new stepmom" to tell him in a firm way... TAKE A FREAKING SHOWER! I have dropped hints....I've even said things like, "you look so good when you clean up.." I've spent hundreds of dollars on nice clothes hoping he would want to do better. I bought him an electric toothbrush September 2008 and he really did brush for about a week...but he hasn't brushed since!!!!! My life is perfect except for this....He is driving me CRAZY!!!!

- Asked by Female, 36-45

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this is a deeper issuse then a swift kick in the ass and i highly doubt its a phase at his age... perhaps he needs a professional evaluation from a pshycologist... maybe he is suffering from depression.

- Response by donnapark62, A Player, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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He is 21 and still living with his parents, doesn't take care about his own personl hygene... WOW, sounds like a winner! That guy is going places...like to his bedroom to play World of Warcraft with his other soon to be 40 year old virgin friends.

Kick him out. There comes a time when you have to tood your kids into the pool to fend for themselves. He'll either sink or swim and it is his problem. You do your best, teach them and give them every opportunity you can, but there comes a point that you have to kick their ass' out.

- Response by A Creative, Male, 29-35

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Why do you let your 21 year old live with you and your husband. I can tell you, I've made it perfectly clear to my husband that when his son graduates from high school, and he still wants to live with a parent, his mommy can have him full time.

I had a son who had something of a denial thing about showering going on. Whatever I said didn't make much difference. It was when he moved out and started living with people other than family that he finally figured it out. Time to boot the fledgling out of the nest.

- Response by pandorasfault, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Teaching

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He sounds depressed.
I think your husband better get a darn reality check. Talk to him, by being concerned not coming to him as "take a bath"...it's deeper than you think.

- Response by pinknblu, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Hi I am 22 I don't think it's a phase. I take shower as well as brush my teeth. You could tell him that he'll have to be alone because no girl will stand for that...lol or you can put it to him as an altamatom if he doesn't start respecting yours and your husbands nose, he will have to move or camp it up in the back yard because you guys are doing him the favor by letting him stay there. He is old enough to be out on his own. Make it part of his chores...lol and if none of that works spray him with soapy water,perfume,anything good smelling any chance you get and lets hope it drives him crazy enough to want to take a shower...lol

- Response by violynce, An Engaged Girl, Female, 26-28, San Francisco, Other Profession

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He's 21, a young adult and old enough to be out on his own. He will never get a job or if he has one, he'll never hold it down. (his boss and co-workers will not be able to be around him because he will smell so bad). He never brushes his teeth, he will have his teeth pulled and have to have them pulled. Not my idea of a fun time.

No, this is not a phase. He is not a little boy who has to be made to take a bath. Tell him to clean up or move out.

- Response by A Married Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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be evil and flipout on him

- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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tell him he reeks of patchouli oil, and you don't allow hippies in the house.

when I was 21 I was on my own off from my parents in school, and I would be damned if I wasn't clean for work or school.

- Response by junkengineer, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 26-28, Charlotte, Science / Engineering

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Damn, that is just NASTY.

Yes, this is a "phase," it's called protracted adolescence.

The only way it will end is when his he suffers enough unpleasant consequences for his idiocy that he decides to change. And right now, it doesn't sound like that is happening...

All you can do is enforce those negative consequences ... and the more negative and sooner, the better.



- Response by cd92835, A Career Man, Male, 46-55

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ask him to shower with you

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Who Cares?

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something comes to mind like...you can eat after you take a shower...no shower...no din din.....

if he wants to act like he's 12 then treat him in kind ;)

- Response by psfrannie, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Los Angeles, Medical / Dental

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Perhaps he is clinically depressed. Did he used to bathe?
Does he lay around in bed all day? Does he socialize? etc etc

- Response by jasmine27, A Thinker, Female, 26-28, Other Profession

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