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#1 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cutting DSs hair is something me and DP are quite against. We've always said it would be his choice when he is older, unless it became incredibly difficult to manage (which it's not - cute little curls and he loves having it combed) ...

So why can no one just let it be?

I live quite far from my parents and siblings, and recently visited for a week with DS. My father paid for us a professional photoshoot (me, ds, and my 5 siblings) as he was out of the country for my visit and wanted a nice picture of us all. He told me today that he has refused to pay for the photos as "I don't want to see my grandson looking like a girl."

I put up with many snide remarks from my brother, too. At least once a day he said to me, or my son, "Shall we cut his hair? Wouldn't it be cute to have a photo of him in the barbers?"

He is only a year old. I love his hair. I don't understand. So many people are telling me that he will end up with "gender confusion", which makes absolutely no sense to me (DP - who is DSs father - has longer hair than me!) and long haired men aren't exactly rare.

Strangers comment on it, too.

I just don't know what to do. Should it be getting me this down? I'm getting tempted to just cut it all off so that people will shut up. Or would they just find something else to harp on about?

(Sorry this is so long, and thank you if you read it all )

A picture, for reference (Not a good one, but the most recent I have on this computer)
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#2 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Cutting DSs hair is something me and DP are quite against. We've always said it would be his choice when he is older, unless it became incredibly difficult to manage (which it's not - cute little curls and he loves having it combed) ...
This is exactly what DH and I have decided to do with our son. I think long hair (and short hair as well depending on the cut) is sweet on little boys. My DH usually has longer hair as well but has it slightly shorter since he's been doing a desk job until I graduate and he can be a SAHP. I always joke that I think men are meant to have long hair and beards and that they all look better that way .

And your son is adorable! (Meanwhile as an aside...I would not have even thought he was a girl based on his hair-that's actually more "boyish" looking...not that it should matter either way).

I think that sometimes our parents feel out of control when we make such different parenting choices that they end up grasping at something they feel they could convince us to do, ie: cut his hair. Then, they focus on this for whatever reason.

I'm sorry you're dealing with irritation from your family, and really, hostility from your dad. I'm sure many other mamas have already dealt with this and can give you advice, etc. I just wanted to commiserate and tell you I think it's wonderful that you let him decide his hair, and he is a cutie! Don't cut it unless YOU or HE wants to.

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#3 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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My 5 yr. old son has longer hair too. It was halfway down his back, but now he wears it shoulder length. He has a mass of blonde curls that beg to be left alone. He is also mistakenly identified as a girl occassionally.
I'm all in favour of telling people to keep their noses out and indeed, we have done this constantly because he happens to agree with us and doesn't want his hair any shorter than it is.

One thing I would say is that you might be approaching this in a way that leaves you exposed to reaction from older members of the family.
By insisting that it's his decision to wear his hair like that and it's not a choice you want to make for him, you're implying to them that you're not able to make a decision about it - hence the pestering, because they DO absolutely feel like they are able to make a choice for him and would like to run him to the barbers immediately.

Change your tact - 'we like his hair this way', 'yes it's lovely and long', 'those curls are fab, aren't they?' 'No, we wouldn't dream of cutting those curls off'...etc
It might not stop the constant dripping, but at least you're saying clearly that it's your choice that your son wears his hair like that and that should he at any time indicate any other preference, he can do what he likes to it.

My MIL dripped and dripped about ds' hair, until she got the message that we were following the very same 'my child, my rules' message that she lived by
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#4 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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I have two boys. With the first, my mom would be after me to cut it all the time, a few times she snuck off and had it cut when she was babysitting. Eventually she got over it and at one point he had his hair down to his waist. He cut it since then but now with my second one no one says anything. He's almost four and has hair down to the bottom of his shoulder blades. I have no plans on cutting it. I'm 1/4 Native American too so if anyone is persistent in their comments I just mention that, it's mostly because I just like long hair though.
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#5 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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His hair isn't even what I'd consider long! (And he is adorable, BTW!)

My ds1 wore his hair long for quite a while and I thought I'd never hear the end of it. And strangers, OMG, he'd be wearing obviously boy clothes and I'd get told constantly what a pretty girl he was.

We did eventually cut it shorter, but only b/c ds expressed that he wanted it done (he was 3.5).

Don't let it bother you! I think it is precious. :

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#6 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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Ok, I know that answers will vary depending on geographic location, but I think your son looks adorable. He doesn't look "like a girl", but if you dressed him in a dress he would pass as one (girls at one don't really have "long" hair yet--often it is just the dress that tells the world that "hey i am a girl").

I our area, there are a lot of boys with long hair. With some, it is difficult to tell gender. But really, who cares. We also have lots of girls with short hair. And, with some of them, it is hard to tell the gender.

If I had a son, my parents would want me to keep the hair short too. My mom tries to tell me how to keep my daughters' hair also. They are nosy and controlling. If I had a son with cute curls, I would keep them until A: he didn't want them or B: keeping it brushed was difficult. I would trim it enough to keep it out of his eyes. But, right now I have 3 dds and I hate brushing hair. If I had a son with straight hair, I would probably keep it cut--maybe even buzzed for the summer.

I think your dad is being ridiculous! This is your child, your decision. And yes, people will butt in regardless. If you were to cut it next week, you would have a handful of people commenting, "but why did you cut it, it was soooo cute". Seriously, you can't please them all!

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#7 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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My oldest has long hair and I've dealt with a lot of comments from people, but we're keeping it long until he wants it cut. He's almost 5 and wants it long so we're keeping it that way. I braid it to make it easier to manage (however many braids he wants. Some days it's one and some days it's 5) and trim the ends if it starts getting super tangly.

I try just to ignore people's comments. It is annoying, especially when it's coming from family. People are so weird when anyone goes against the current trends.

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#8 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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DS has long, slightly blonde hair that falls past his soldiers. His hair is fine and curls at the ends. It has never been cut but it has been trimmed a bit. He gets mistaken for a girl quite a bit, even when wearing clothes that are considered "boy clothes." I gently correct people and that's that.

Hair is hair We do plan on getting it styled or layered soon, just to give it more shape and to get it out of his eyes. If he ever expresses a desire to cut it off the of course we'll let him. For now though it's staying long! People are free to make comments but I'll be ignoring the negative ones.

I'm sorry you're having such negative reactions from your family. I don't blame you for letting them get to ya. Just do what you think is right for your child and what feels right for you.

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#9 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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My first thought is "That's long?!?!"

I have 2 DS, and they both go through stages of having long hair. Family has given us a hard time, and when they were smaller, I think both caved to the pressure. But now, they do what they want. And you should too, because I have found, if it isn't the long hair, the family is dissatisfied with something else. They always find something to gripe about.

Good luck!

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#10 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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My ds caden has same hairstyle as your ds and my mum and sister (especially my mum) always feel the need to comment about him needing a haircut my mum even said to caden that he needed his hair cutting i think your ds has lovely hair and so does mine .

i stupidly listened to the comments about cameron's hair being too long and got it cut and now it sticks up because the hairdresser made a mess of it, so now i've decided i'm going to just leave his hair to grow.

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#11 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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My ds is 8 and has really long hair. We get sick of the comments that *everyone* makes. It's his hair, and no, he's not a girl. People just need to get over it. Wish I had advice for you, but I think he looks cute!

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#12 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:50 PM
 
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omg, he's only 1yo and it isnt even long. your family has obvious issues. LOL

my ds1 had tangly fine curls so he got a haircut a bit under a yr, but ds2 had curls that didtn tangle and his hair was just at hsi shoulders when i cut it. it wasnt long on top though, sort of a baby mullet LOL i only cut it at 23 mos bc my butthead stbxdh told me if i didnt do it he would have it done and it would be short. i just snipped off the curls at the bottom of his earlobes, but it killed me to hav eto do it.

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#13 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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i love it! i love little boys with nice long curly hair!

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#14 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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Don't cut it because of other people. Your DS looks adorable and really his hair isn't even that long yet.

I agree with PP who said instead of saying you're leaving it up to him start saying how much you like it. How YOU love it and YOU think it suits him.

I think your Dad was being a UAV by refusing the pictures.

Honestly, when I was reading your post I started off thinking your DS must be 3 or 4yo but at a year old it's so not uncommon for kids to not have their haircut! I cut DS1 hair just before he turned 12mo and I so regretted cutting off those gorgeous little curls. Not only that, it made him look like a 'big boy' and I missed my baby!!!

It's complicated.
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#15 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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Perhaps I should start a new thread for this, but I'm interested in people's viewpoints on autonomy/bodily respect and haircutting for children too young to express a preference. Our son is 13 months, and my husband has mentioned trimming his hair a few times. I'm not sure what I think.

I see sort of a spectrum of bodily autonomy and appearance choices:
1. Face washing: I do this whether my son wants it or not (gently, quickly, playfully, but I still do it)
2. Clothing: I try to give a choice of 2 or three shirts or whatever, but mostly I choose (he's 13 months and doesn't seem to care much)
3. Baby ear piercing: I'd personally never do it, and think it's kind of sad, but it's not the end of the world either.
4. Circumcision: NEVER NEVER NEVER

Where does hair cutting fit for you?
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#16 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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Perhaps I should start a new thread for this, but I'm interested in people's viewpoints on autonomy/bodily respect and haircutting for children too young to express a preference. Our son is 13 months, and my husband has mentioned trimming his hair a few times. I'm not sure what I think.

I see sort of a spectrum of bodily autonomy and appearance choices:
1. Face washing: I do this whether my son wants it or not (gently, quickly, playfully, but I still do it)
2. Clothing: I try to give a choice of 2 or three shirts or whatever, but mostly I choose (he's 13 months and doesn't seem to care much)
3. Baby ear piercing: I'd personally never do it, and think it's kind of sad, but it's not the end of the world either.
4. Circumcision: NEVER NEVER NEVER

Where does hair cutting fit for you?
Hair cutting for me falls almost with face washing. I don't mind long hair, but I think shorter hair is easier to deal with and cleaner (no long hair falling into food, dirt whatever) also because most children seem to be against hair brushing, wearing clips etc it's just easier to manage. I have two boys, but I think even if I had a girl she would have a short bob with a fringe (bangs) because it's just easier for everyone. DS1 who is 4yo hates having haircuts and wants to grow his hair long, unfortunately he also hates having his hair washed or brushed so for now we're sticking with short hair.

ETA: For me cutting hair is no different to cutting nails. I wouldn't let my kids nails grow because they couldn't tell me if they wanted them cut or not yet. Cutting hair is not something permanent. Circumcision, ear piercing, they leave scars - hair always grows back. My feelings on hair is like my feelings on clothes, once they are old enough to care then they are old enough to make the decision about it, but before that I choose what they wear and I choose how to cut their hair etc.

It's complicated.
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#17 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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Your boy is adorable, and he looks like a boy to me.

My boy is 9 now, and he has long hair to his waist. Plus he's really pretty.
He's had hair like that since he was little, except for one time when he was 5 and wanted it short.
I got then, and still get, all sorts of flak about his hair. Even from men with long hair; what kind of double standard is that??

My mom even used to say things to DS when she thought I wasn't in earshot, like "Don't you want your hair cut?" and "You ought to get your hair cut". Oh, gods, I used to get so heated up about that. Like, don't EVEN go all covert on me behind my back, with my little boy.
He used to go commando, too, and I heard her telling him (at about age 3 or 4) "Everybody should wear underwear". I was passing the room. I said "WHY should everybody wear underwear?" She didn't have an answer, except "They just should". Um...that's a wise, well-thought-out answer, Mom.

Stand your ground, mama. Don't let the...um, turkeys (UAVs ) get you down. If you don't feel confident, act as if. Motivation follows action. Just say, very firmly, something like "This is how we do it in my family. Let it go. If you don't want to wear your hair long, then don't, but this is my child and we'll do it our way. Respectfully stay out of it, please."

It'll take a lot, but they'll eventually stop. Maybe. But even if they don't, you'll sleep better at night knowing you did what you think best, and stood up to them.


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#18 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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His hair isn't even that long! People can be such jerks. My older ds had long hair until he was 3.5 when he asked for his first hair cut. Some one called him a little princess and that was that- he was sick of people thinking he was a girl and asked to cut off his hair. Younger ds- currently 1.5- won't get a haircut unil he asks, too.

It's funny, we never got negative comments from strangers- it was always from family, particularly my conservative, boys must look like boys brother. Acquaintances/friends would just ask why we left it long and then say, "oh, cool." Any way, just ignore the snarky comments. Or better yet, tell the people saying them that they're being incredibly rude and overstepping their boundaries because they are desperately in need of a reminder of how they should act.

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#19 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 09:54 PM
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If it makes you feel any better my DH has had long hair off and on his entire life.
Quite long, past his shoulders often. There is no gender confusion there! Frankly and maybe I am wrong but being confused about your gender because of your hair sounds rather ridiculous to me
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#20 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Dude, your son doesn't even look like a girl!

Another person who knows plenty of males with long hair who have no gender confusion (and judging by the picture that includes me).

I would just come up with a standard, repetitive statement about girls/women with short hair looking being confused about gender or something. Hair is someones personal preference and has no bearing on gender.

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#21 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 10:32 PM
 
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My 4 and a half year old has very, very long hair. When soaking wet, it's well past his butt. It's a bit shorter when dry, because it dries into big cork screw curls in the back. We originally let it grow because it was cute, but at around 18 months, we started talking about getting it cut. However, though ds couldn't talk, he would run away crying anytime it was mentioned. He loves his hair and even though caring for it is not fun, I could never see cutting it against his wishes.

Anyhow, he's regularly mistaken for a girl. It doesn't seem to bother him. I don't usually correct people unless it's likely we'll see them again, and I've never heard him correct people (but he still doesn't talk much). My older kids get a bit offended for him when people make that assumption, though.
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#22 of 53 Old 05-08-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Gender confusion? From long hair? Seriously?

DS1 had long hair as a child. He decided to cut it just before he started 7th grade, at which time it was almost down to his bum. He occasionally had people think he was a girl. He knew he was a boy. He's certainly never gone through any kind of gender confusion at all. People get way too uptight about hair.

And, I'd probably raise a stink if my dad pulled a stunt like that. If someone offers to pay for a professional photo shoot, any "I'm only paying if you look the way I think you should" conditions need to be attached ahead of time. Your dad was/is out of line. I'm sorry he was so mean to your son (although I hope he didn't say anything directly).

You know, dh was a bit concerned about how his parents would react when they met ds1 (his stepson). They're very conservative, politically and socially, and don't agree with long hair on boys. He had long hair when they met him, and he didn't cut it until about four years later. They never said a negative word about it - not to me, not to dh, and not to ds1. I suspect they were quite relieved when he finally got it cut, but they didn't choose to be offensive about it, because...it's his hair, after all.

This whole topic makes me nuts. There were boys and men with long hair around when I was a very small child, and I was born in '68. This isn't something new...

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#23 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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On the bodily autonomy thing... it's interesting when it comes to boys, because while leaving the hair long is the biological default, cutting it is (in most Western places) the cultural default. So neither is exactly "neutral" - letting it grow longer is kind of othering the kid, while cutting it is doing something to his body without his permission.

Of course, you could say the same about circ in some parts of the world. But personally, given that hair grows back and it isn't damaging/mutilating/permanent to give a boy a haircut, I don't think I'd consider it a moral issue for my son. (If I had one, I mean!) Just as I wouldn't consider it a moral issue to trim his fingernails. He'd be fairly unlikely to suffer from a haircut given before the age he could make a vaguely informed consent for one. After that age, I'd almost certainly go by his preference, just because I have traumatic forced-haircut memories from childhood.

This said, I had a very embarrassing experience working at a kindy once where I mistook a braid-wearing boy for a girl. For months. And kindly corrected another child who was calling "her" a boy. And eventually mentioned to his mother what a lovely girl he was. She gave me a filthy look, and the boy got a haircut a week later. I still feel bad about this, but you could not tell! So... be aware that kind of thing might happen!

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#24 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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Hair cutting for me falls almost with face washing. I don't mind long hair, but I think shorter hair is easier to deal with and cleaner (no long hair falling into food, dirt whatever) also because most children seem to be against hair brushing, wearing clips etc it's just easier to manage. I have two boys, but I think even if I had a girl she would have a short bob with a fringe (bangs) because it's just easier for everyone. DS1 who is 4yo hates having haircuts and wants to grow his hair long, unfortunately he also hates having his hair washed or brushed so for now we're sticking with short hair.

ETA: For me cutting hair is no different to cutting nails. I wouldn't let my kids nails grow because they couldn't tell me if they wanted them cut or not yet. Cutting hair is not something permanent. Circumcision, ear piercing, they leave scars - hair always grows back. My feelings on hair is like my feelings on clothes, once they are old enough to care then they are old enough to make the decision about it, but before that I choose what they wear and I choose how to cut their hair etc.
This. My son and my daughter's hair is both pin straight and fine, and....short. His hair is very short, hers is in a chin length bob with bangs because she refuses to wear clips, hairbands, or ponytail holders, and hates having it brushed. When they are old enough to care for it well, and if they want it long, I'm totally cool. But for now when I'm the one mostly maintaining it, I'm gonna do what's easiest for me, since it *does* grow back. I don't mind long hair on boys at all if it's curls, or all one length and straight, but I will admit that I am not a fan of the super-pro-looking-styled shag cuts on boys.

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#25 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I myself like short hair - DH shaves his head and my son loves looking like daddy (crew cut) but that's all there is to it. If you like it then by all means leave it alone. Tell others to MYOB. I cut dd's hait short too bc she hates having it brushed, so I am not one to question besides how to get them to suffer through the untangling process.
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#26 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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Ok, I prefer short hair for my son (and husband). I keep my son's hair long enough on top to spike it or do a fauxhawk. Having said that, I don't think your son's hair is *too long* at all right now, especially given that he's just a baby! And if you decide to let it get really long, then I suppose that's your (and your partner's) perogative - just like I get to decide to keep my son's hair short. I would find it really hurtful that your dad doesn't want a picture of your son - regardless of his hair style or what he looks like. I'm really sorry they're being so mean about it. If all they did was gently encourage you cut it, it still might not be *right* but it wouldn't be as bad as what they're doing.

By the way, your son is freaking adorable, and I would love to run my fingers through those curls! (My son didn't have curly hair, or I probably would have put off cutting it longer.)

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#27 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
On the bodily autonomy thing... it's interesting when it comes to boys, because while leaving the hair long is the biological default, cutting it is (in most Western places) the cultural default. So neither is exactly "neutral" - letting it grow longer is kind of othering the kid, while cutting it is doing something to his body without his permission.
To the bolded, I don't really think I would considering 'othering the kid'. Long hair on boys is not 'default' so to speak, but it is quite often normal. Especially in relation the the "long hair" the OP's ds has. The quotes being because I don't really consider that long hair.

We haven't cut DS's hair yet, it's shorter than a good portion of the boys we come into contact that are around his age.

malesling.GIFMutant Papa to DD (12)hippie.gif and DS (2)babyf.gif, married to DHribbonrainbow.gif
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#28 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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I think he looks gorgeous!

I don't know what to say or do about your family. I guess you can't do anything about comments, but let them know it is not up for discussion.

My mom gets on to me sometimes to cut my son's hair, and he has had a few trims to keep it manageable, but we do not want to cut it short.

Here's a pic for gratuitous baby cuteness
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...brodiedoor.jpg

I'm a modifiedartist.gif DH is a reading.gif we have 2 angel.gifs, and DS is a rainbow1284.gif baby.gif
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#29 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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"Gratuitous baby cuteness" is my new favourite phrase.

OP: I just actually clicked on your link. On what planet does that "look like a girl"?? He's adorable.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#30 of 53 Old 05-09-2010, 07:02 AM
 
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Honestly I'm kind of anti long hair on boys for the most part, but when I looked at your picture, I think he looks very cute. That to me isn't long. I expected him to have like, long flowing down his back hair or something. I am surprised that people would make a big deal over that type of length of hair on a little baby boy! He doesn't look like a girl at all. Not even a little bit. Most kids that I have seen that age don't get their first hair cut yet.
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