Personal Hygiene and Tween-Age Boys...

Do any other parents out there struggle to get their 11-year-old boys to attend to personal hygiene matters?

My son has not brushed his teeth since Saturday morning. Not through a lack of trying on my part, but he simply plain-out refuses. I struggle to get him to bath - over the school holidays I run one in for him before leaving for work, and hope to heaven he'll actually get in it and soap up, not just wet the soap and facecloth, then let the water out (he knows I'll check if the facecloth has been used...). I've been phoning him every 15 minutes this morning to check if the teeth are done, and so far they haven't been.

Is this just a stage, or do I have a particularly disgusting son? I sure as heck hope it's the former....

When I was a kid, we brushed our teeth 3 times a day (after every meal), we had a daily bath, and made sure our nails were trimmed regularly. Now, it takes a teacher's order to allow me to get anywhere near my son's extremely-long nails! I once cut them while he slept - boy was he p'd off when he woke up to find them gone! :)

I don't know what to do with this kid. Perhaps I'm just not "strong" enough on the issue. I don't demand obedience "or else". But I've never been like that - he obeys, often after I just lift an eyebrow in his direction. Generally speaking... But this is one issue we can't seem to get around.

Personally, I like the feeling of clean teeth and a freshly-scrubbed body. I don't like feeling sticky, dirty and smelly.

Doesn't seem to bother him though... What on earth do I do with this kid????