"I worry kids at school will call my daughter 'stinky', so we do this."

How young is too young for kids to start worrying about personal hygiene?

A mum has confessed to forcing her seven-year-old daughter wear deodorant because she is smelly.

Jessica Valentine says her daughter Josie now wears it every day. She told the Daily Mail,  “Each morning before she gets dressed to go  to school, I make sure my eldest daughter Josie brushes her teeth, applies sunblock to her face (even in winter) and puts deodorant under each arm. It’s a simple, essential hygiene routine.”

In fact, Jessica says it was Josie who first noticed her armpits were a bit “whiffy”. Jessica writes:

 ‘They feel wet, Mum,’ she told me. She was right. And when I playfully scooped her up into my arms and gave them a bit of a sniff, I discovered they also smelled of sweat. I didn’t make a big deal of it and kept the conversation light, pulling a funny face as I told her: ‘Yuk, they smell, we’d better get you some deodorant, but until we do you can use mine.”

‘But I’m aware the last bit might raise a few eyebrows,’ Jessica says, ‘because  my daughter is just seven years old, still plays with dolls and has yet  to lose any of her baby teeth. In fact, I am sure some who read this will be aghast. But I disagree. What sort of mother would I be if I allowed her to be singled out as the smelly child at school?

However some parents say seven is way too young to do things such as wear deodorant, that girls will have plenty of time later to get into grooming. But this mum is unapologetic.

Mum Jessica says girls mature earlier than boys and some need to wear deodorant earlier, and even shave or wax their legs.

So, why would a seven-year-old be smelly? Jessica, who is also a former teacher and psychologist, says some girls mature earlier than others. 'She’s simply a very active, energetic little girl who’s constantly on the go, running around and playing sports such as football,' she told the Daily Mail. 'So inevitably she’s going to sweat – and smell – more than children her age who are less active.'

Jessica does admit that teasing and bullying that she was subjected to as a child motivated her to protect her daughter against similar schoolyard abuse. She says she was bullied for being skinny and flat-chested when she was at school, and the experience has made her hyper-sensitive to teasing.

Is Jessica right to be teacher her daughter grooming from an early age or is she forcing her to grow up too quickly?

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