MY KID CUT HER HAIR! She looks crazy. I am freaking out. I am so mad at her. I told her to stay that way, looking crazy with her half bangs. Am I wrong or is this not a big deal???
I cannot tell you HOW many times I have come across this “my-kid-cut-their-hair situation – and when I do, I have some questions: What about the cutting of the hair is so infuriating? Why the yelling and large punishment? What about a kid cutting their hair gets everyone crazy pants?
OK, there is one part that I don’t love. It’s not really safe to have scissors near one’s face when you are a young friend. I gotta be honest though, safety has not been the gripe expressed to me. It is usually about appearance.
I am gonna give it to ya straight. It is their body, their head, and everyone has done it. We have all wondered as a child what it would be like to cut our hair. To take control of our look. To make the vision in our minds come alive.
Kids have very personal ideas about their look. They want to express themselves. Show who they are. They don’t know that it probably won’t work out for them in the end. It’s not gonna look like the picture in their head, but who knows? They may love it.
If we focus on appearances – “You look awful, how could you do that?!” – then we are teaching that OUR view and OTHERS’ views of how we look matters more than our own. That appearance is so important that when we try something new – even a reversible something new (hair grows back, ya know) – that if we don’t conform to the norm, we are wrong.
Also, just the idea that looking “right” matters enough for you to scream and yell and punish your child into that lesson – YIKES. We don’t wanna send that message. Conform or be shunned, yelled at, punished. Better to be like everyone else.
No, you do not want your child cutting their hair all of the time, but focus on the safety part: “I know you want to try something new, but I don’t like scissors near your face. It’s just not safe. If you want to cut it, let me know and maybe we can find a long piece for you to trim,or we can make a day of it and go to the salon. Ooooooh, we could even get you a purple streak if you want – or blue.” The idea is to respect their sense of who they are and also try to hold off on the “what you look like matters” lesson. Trust me, that will come in time and in a big way (sigh).
Keep in mind that every kid has cut their hair at some point. It is like a right of passage. And ask yourself why it matters so much to you? What about it is making you explode? You might realize that it’s not a big deal, and learn a life lesson yourself. We never stop learning. Snip, Snip.
Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.
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