9 year old daughter not wearing underwear - should I be worried?
My daughter just turned 9 this week and when we were getting ready to leave for her birthday party her grandma was throwing, I noticed she wasn't wearing any panties under her sun dress again.
Thing is, this isn't the first time I've found her not wearing panties this summer. I'm not sure how long she's been doing this, maybe since the spring. I try not to fuss at her about it too much, but she should know better.
At first I thought maybe she was just forgetting them somehow, or that maybe I wasn't doing the laundry often enough with my busy work schedule. But that only explains so much.
When she was younger she used to protest having to wear socks, so after going round and round with her about it, I finally gave in and just let her not wear socks with her shoes because we live in the south and it wasnt worth fighting about. She dresses herself everyday and I don't want to have to police her dress and invade her privacy, but apparently she just regularly skips the underwear step when she dresses herself.
But this no panties thing seems different to me. I first started noticing it in May when apparently she'd gone to school several times without panties, although there weren't any incidents that I know of. Then I find shes even not wearing panties underneath both her ballet and gymnastics leotards, which suprised me. Her instructor said it was fine, and that some of the older girls didn't either, but it just seemed off to me.
When I ask her, all she says is that she doesnt like the way they feel. Ive tryied different brands, softer fabrics, etc but she still never wears them.
Do I need to be worried about this? Is this just a phase she's going through or is this a sign that something else is going wrong? Could it be abuse from her someone like daycare or her father when she stays with him? Her grades were ok, and she seems to be doing ok overall, so I don't see any other signs other than her never wearing socks or underwear.
I don't want her to feel socially unacceptable without underwear or like shes in big trouble, Ive tried that and it just seems to fall on deaf ears. I just need to know if this is a sign that she's in trouble and if so, what I can do about it?
Or, if this is just a super routine deal that lots of kids deal with, and its just nothing to worry about, that'd be good to know too. Thanks
Hi there. Well, you are describing a classic sensory integration system related to tactile dysfunction. This is when something a person wears is so uncomfortable that they can't tolerate it.
My son has had this with tags in his shirt, seams in his socks and tags/seams in his underwear. Certain material is also off limits.
I do try to accomdate my son. They make underwear without tags now. I encourage you to look for these. I would make it a rule that she must wear underwear, period. But that you will make every effort to find her some that are comfortable. Let her wear boxers around the house if she wants to.
They do something in occupational therapy called 'brushing' which helps with tactile dysfunction. My son is now 8 and at one point really resisted socks. I had a rule that he had to wear them when we left the house in winter but in the house, he didn't. With brushing, his tolerance of socks got much better.
Please google sensory processing disorder (SPD is an excellent web site) and tactile dysfunction. If you have any questions after doing so, let me know! My own son has this disorder and tactile dysfunction (which has gotten significantly better) as well as I am the community leader of the sensory integration disorder forum here at med help. I'd be happy to help in any way I can! Peace and luck
I would also recommend talking to an OT about starting brushing and/or massage therapy. My daughter who has autism used to hate socks and having long sleeves or pants on. Time and occupational therapy have helped her move past a lot of this. I highly doubt she avoids undies due to abuse, as it sounds more like a sensory issue like specialmom said.
I would also make sure she doesn't have a UTI or yeast infection. I would talk to her pediatrician about it. Good luck
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