Cutting your daughter's hair REALLLLLLY short. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend who lives in another state. She has two daughters. Seven and five.

The five year old was twisting her long hair. I guess it was becoming a bad habit, and in the morning, trying to brush through it was a nightmare.

They told her if she couldn't stop herself... they would cut her hair.

They BUZZED it. I mean, like an army buzz.

Then they sent everybody pictures of her new "do" and she doesn't look happy about it. She's not crying in the pictures, but she certainly isn't smiling either.

Is this an overreaction to a bad habit? Or a perfectly reasonable reaction?

OH... and she was agreeable to a "Ramona Quimby" haircut, but they figured she'd just go back to the habit if she had any hair.
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#2 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Not sure how reasonable it is, but my mom did similar. When I was about 5 I was running my fingers thru my hair when I slept and anything knotted was being pulled out. Gobs at a time. My mom cut it like a pageboy style. i still resent it.

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#3 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I would call that over-reacting to the point of being emotionally abusive. Especially cutting it that short, against her will, and then sending out pictures to everyone...

Some day, those parents are going to wonder why the daughter never visits...

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#4 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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Way overreacting.

I bet you she will remember this forever. This and the aftermath, the teasing she'll have to listen to.

My mom didn't want to deal with long hair so she kept mine short. Not buzzed short, but not much longer. It was awful, people made so much fun of me. And I didn't even have any bad habits, just a mom who didn't like long hair.
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#5 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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I had a friend in junior high whose mom insisted all through her childhood that her hair had to stay boy-short, because it was so very very curly. She hated having it that short. It made her a target for teasing, and she resented her mom not letting her grow it out longer. In high school, she finally stood up to her mom and grew it out, but her r'ship with her mom never recovered all the years of hair weirdness and control issues.

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#6 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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I think that's definitely an overreaction. I could see bobbing her hair to get the habit under control, but such a short cut seems excessive.
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#7 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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I think the buzz cut is overkill and humiliating. And most of the parents that see the child are going to assume she had head lice and the parents couldn't get rid of it unless they buzzed the kids head. (I've seen this actually happen many times and it leaves the child with a stigma.)

Unless the child requested the cut I think it's quite cruel. I would choose a shorter length if a child wasn't able to take care of their hair or was resistant to letting me care for it. No way would I buzz it off.
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#8 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post
I would call that over-reacting to the point of being emotionally abusive. Especially cutting it that short, against her will, and then sending out pictures to everyone...

Some day, those parents are going to wonder why the daughter never visits...
I think so too. Really sad.

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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Unless the child requested the cut I think it's quite cruel. I would choose a shorter length if a child wasn't able to take care of their hair or was resistant to letting me care for it. No way would I buzz it off.
Agreed.

Is this friend normally like this or was it her dp's idea or did she just snap? That is really a huge overreaction IMO.
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#9 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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That is abusive, humilating, and uncalled for if you ask me.
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#10 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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I would call that over reacting. My DD had long hair and HATED having it brushed. We talked with her about it and came to a mutual decision to get a Pixie cut for her. She is happy (no more brushing), I am happy (no more screaming), and she gets compliments on all the time. Sounds like the buzz is probably emotionally abusive.

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#11 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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There is no reason they couldn't have at least started with the shorter haircut she agreed to with the warning that they may have to go shorter if she can't stop the behavior.

My DD has long hair and once in a while we have to have a talk about her chewing it, twisting it, resisting having it brushed, etc. and I have never had to actually cut it. Just talking to her about needing a cut if she can't stop the behavior (and using a lot of detangler) is enough for her, but if we ever did come to the day where we had to go through with a short haircut, there is nothing on Earth that would compel me to buzz all her hair off if she doesn't want it that way.

The sending out pictures sounds to me like they are either REALLY cruel and actively trying to use shame and humiliation to control her behavior, or they feel guilty about what they did and are hoping everyone will react as if this is funny and not a big deal, so they can use that justification to make themselves feel better.
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#12 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is this friend normally like this or was it her dp's idea or did she just snap? That is really a huge overreaction IMO.
I didn't think so. But, her own dad was that way when she was young.

I do remember one time when her 7 yr old was very little, and newly potty trained. I was impressed that the daughter had chosen panties to match her dress. (I assumed she put them on herself) and my friend said "She doesn't get to choose.... it's my job to choose, it's her job to wear it".
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#13 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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Abusive and completely mean.
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#14 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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That is awful

I've heard of people doing similar when their little girl had lice -- which I still think is cruel.

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#15 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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.

I do remember one time when her 7 yr old was very little, and newly potty trained. I was impressed that the daughter had chosen panties to match her dress. (I assumed she put them on herself) and my friend said "She doesn't get to choose.... it's my job to choose, it's her job to wear it".[/QUOTE]



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#16 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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IMO and over reaction. My son does not want his hair cut at all - so he has long beautiful hair. Cept it used to not be so beautiful because he never wanted it washed or brushed. When he finally did - it was a nightmare! lol...I thought I would have to cut lumps out but with the help of a ton of conditioner we got there in the end. I would never have threatened him to do something like that to his body and his personal space.
I often hear parents say things like that to their child who likes to chew/suck on their hair. Big deal?!...At the end of the day, its not yours...its theirs.
But to do it and then shame the child by taking photos and sharing them?! Thats just sick.
Thats how I feel anyhow.

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#17 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post
I would call that over-reacting to the point of being emotionally abusive. Especially cutting it that short, against her will, and then sending out pictures to everyone...

Some day, those parents are going to wonder why the daughter never visits...
I would've braided her hair at night or at least given her a cute shorter cut. When it grows back, she'll just go back to twisting it. It might be worse now because the parents just added anxiety atound it.

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#18 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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Terrible. And to send pictures out is really beyond the pale. I feel so sorry for the little girl.

I got a pixie cut in kindy because my mom insisted. I have NEVER forgotten the feeling. My own dd has had some challenges managing her hair, including being willing to take care of it, yet wanting it long. There are many, many ways to preserve your child's self esteem and help them learn self care w/out resorting to what feel like shaming them. It's sick.
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#19 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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Overreaction, yes, something very negative that she'll remember for years, yes, but com'on people? Abusive? Really?

I'm someone who considers spanking physical assault and battery, and CIO emotional abuse. But an ugly haircut? Have any of you ever worked with abused children?
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#20 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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That was WAY overboard and completely uncalled for. To give her a buzz cut and then send pictures out to people.. that wasn't done to keep her from doing it, it was done solely to humiliate her. I'm sorry, but that is emotionally abusive, IMO, and yes, I HAVE been abused.

I feel so incredibly sad for this little girl. She will remember this forever.

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#21 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Overreaction, yes, something very negative that she'll remember for years, yes, but com'on people? Abusive? Really?

I'm someone who considers spanking physical assault and battery, and CIO emotional abuse. But an ugly haircut? Have any of you ever worked with abused children?
Its not the haircut that I feel is abusive, its sending out a picture to humiliate the child.

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#22 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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I wouldn't use the word abuse. But I'd say it was definitely thoughtless on the part of her parents. At age 5, she certainly is going to remember this, and has the right to be angry about it. She most certainly feels humiliated and embarrassed, ashamed and upset. It hurts to have callous parents.

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#23 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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I would've braided her hair at night or at least given her a cute shorter cut. When it grows back, she'll just go back to twisting it. It might be worse now because the parents just added anxiety atound it.
Twisting hair like she was doing is a symptom of stress, which isn't surprising if this is a good example of how her mother treats her. To send out photo's? Thats just vendictive!


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#24 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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My 4.75 year old DD's hair is a mess. We keep it in a bob, which helps a little but she's very resistant to having it brushed and to be honest I'm not prepared to fight her over it. If I'm lucky it'll get brushed and I"ll be able to get a clip in it. I certainly wouldn't grow it long, because things get even worse, but I definitely would not buzz it - for crying out loud, it's just hair! And she's 5? How many 5 year old girls out there have perfect looking hair?

Anyway, I think it's a HUGE overreaction. Again, it's.just.hair.

I would definitely consider it humiliating for that poor child. It sounds like the mother has control issues.
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#25 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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Buzzing it seems extreme but I most definitely will be keeping my children's hair cut short if they refuse to cooperate in the taking care of it.

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#26 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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My mom had my hair cut very short at the start of middle school. I had a bad perm and it ruined my hair. It was not buzz cut short, but very, very, very short. I hated her for it until it grew out, so about three years and got teased alot for my short "boy" haircut. To this day I am obssesive about my hair. My relationship with my mom is wonderful and it did not ruin it long term, but I think her seeming remoresful for cutting it went a long way. If she had taken pictures and sent them out I would have been angry for a long time.

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#27 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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It would be the how it was done, rather than the act of cutting hair that would make this acceptable or not. If there had been plenty of discussion and it was a consequence of the child not being able to get the knotting habit under control then I completely understand. Wrestling with a kid who doesn't want their hair brushed in the morning is no fun for them or their parents.
Making it a punishment for knotting her hair would be very sad.
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#28 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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I think buzzing her hair was totally inappropriate, and this is coming from a mama who DID buzz her daughter's hair!

Last year my little girl (age five) pleaded to shave her head for months. "I want to be all bald up like Papa!" After a month we decided to let her, and took her hair all the way to the scalp with clippers. She loved it, and she wanted to send everyone pictures!

The difference here is that this little girl did NOT want to shave her head. For her it is not a desire of her own, but a sign of shame and punishment.
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#29 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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I think this is terrible, too.

I had very long hair as a little kid and it got horribly knotty just on its own, not cuz of anything I ever did to it. My mom patiently brushed it every day, which I hated (!) - although she made it a little better by telling me "Tangle Stories" about the tangles who partied in my hair and loved to drink the juice from the pickle jar.

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#30 of 96 Old 11-25-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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Thats horrid.

when i was 7, i had head lice. and medium length hair? so to fix it, my mom cut my hair....but not all of it. was boy short...not buzzed, but prob 1 inch long. except for one large section in front that was chin lenght. i looked like a 2nd grade punk rocker. my school picture i had that horrid haircut and a pink tshirt that said "my dad is a trucker" i dont have that pic anymore, but that was horrible

21 years later, i dont remember if i was teased (but really, how could i not have been?) but i do remember the haircut...my mom tried to make me feel better by cutting off 1 inch off her waist length hair. didnt help

she wasn't being abusive, i think she just didnt know any better way to get out all the lice. and wanted to leave some long...

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