MIL cuts your kid's hair without asking: Is it OK? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is it OK for your MIL to cut your kid's hair?
Yes - we share responsibility in the child's appearance OR if it was necessary, she can do it 3 2.05%
No - this is an overstepping of bounds 131 89.73%
Maybe - explain in comment 12 8.22%
None of the above 0 0%
Voters: 146. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:08 AM
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I voted maybe.

I would be irritated at a relative/babysitter deciding to cut a baby or toddler's hair just because it bothered the adult or if they bullied a child into getting his or her hair cut.

I think if an older child has freely given their consent then it is perfectly fine for the parent not to be consulted. I would think it downright odd to be asked if it was okay to cut my 11 year old dd's hair since that is her decision.


I get where you're coming from, but I think that if a relative had asked me (at age 11) if I'd like my hair to be cut by them....I would have answered under the assumption that they knew how to cut hair. I would have been upset if it turned out to be a crooked, hack-job.

 

An adult would possibly know that Grandma or Uncle does NOT know how to cut hair, and might decline on behalf of their child in order to save the kid from emotional duress. I can't think of a single living member of my family who I'd trust to cut my kids' hair.

 

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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It was rude and unnecessary of her to do.  Especially if she did such a crummy job.  I would gently bring this up sometime if you can, otherwise it's likely to happen again in the future.

 

It's the kind of thing where I would have freaked out had this been done to my dd1.  But now by dd3...I would just be seriously annoyed.  I hope a hair stylist can still fix the hair and have him look as handsome for the vacation as you had hoped for.


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Old 06-04-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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Yikes! Your DH emailed your original post to FIL?!? What was he thinking? I hope it goes over okay... At least you were very complimentary to your MIL in the post.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I get where you're coming from, but I think that if a relative had asked me (at age 11) if I'd like my hair to be cut by them....I would have answered under the assumption that they knew how to cut hair. I would have been upset if it turned out to be a crooked, hack-job.

 

An adult would possibly know that Grandma or Uncle does NOT know how to cut hair, and might decline on behalf of their child in order to save the kid from emotional duress. I can't think of a single living member of my family who I'd trust to cut my kids' hair.

 


I honestly don't know if mil can cut hair. Dh's uncle can.

If dd actually agreed to someone cutting her hair without asking me my opinion then I would consider it a learning experience for her. I think we all have to learn who we trust to cut our hair. 

Of course I'd help her try to fix it if she didn't like it but I wouldn't consider it something she needed to be saved from going through.

 

 


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Old 06-04-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes! Your DH emailed your original post to FIL?!? What was he thinking? I hope it goes over okay... At least you were very complimentary to your MIL in the post.

In my mind, there is no possible scenario in which it would have ended up OK. He got a response and it is exactly in line with what I would have expected: we are ungrateful bastards that can't look past one mistake to all of the nice things MIL does for us and how we never repay or even properly acknowledge her kindness. It is exactly what I would have written in his place, and I am deeply, severely embarrassed. I don't know how he, my dear, darling husband, could have thought it was OK to breach confidence (and anonymity) to e-mail that post to his father verbatim. Now I guess I need to wait for him to smooth it over, because I am much too ashamed to face his father -- and, if he shared it with MIL -- his mother as well.

This could have been handled so much better.

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
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Yikes! Your DH emailed your original post to FIL?!? What was he thinking? I hope it goes over okay... At least you were very complimentary to your MIL in the post.



In my mind, there is no possible scenario in which it would have ended up OK. He got a response and it is exactly in line with what I would have expected: we are ungrateful bastards that can't look past one mistake to all of the nice things MIL does for us and how we never repay or even properly acknowledge her kindness. It is exactly what I would have written in his place, and I am deeply, severely embarrassed. I don't know how he, my dear, darling husband, could have thought it was OK to breach confidence (and anonymity) to e-mail that post to his father verbatim. Now I guess I need to wait for him to smooth it over, because I am much too ashamed to face his father -- and, if he shared it with MIL -- his mother as well.

This could have been handled so much better.


He did WHAT? jaw2.gif

 

What on Earth was he thinking??

 

I hope he can smooth it over. Ugh. hug2.gif

 


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Old 06-04-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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I think a lot of people make this mistake.  They assume it's helping, but, it makes you really angry.  I think there must be a way to let her know (without criticizing her)  that it's not OK to cut your children's hair without at LEAST calling you to ask first.  I think your Mother in law sounds like a wonderful grandma who just made one bad judgement call.  

 

I had a child get her long blonde hair caught in a swing at my house.  She was in a lot of pain, and I tried to untangle it, then panicked and cut it out.   Later, even though her parents were understanding, I felt like there were other things I should have done instead.  (like the obvious... take the swing down, then untangle it from her hair) But, I just didn't think outside the box before freaking out.  I still feel really bad about that.

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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I voted no, b/c it's not okay for all of the reasons pp have mentioned. It's passive-aggressive, it's taking control of someone else's parenting, and it's intensely personal for some people. That being said, I'm kind of wondering why it's SUCH a big deal. I mean, I get it if it's for religious reasons (we have friends from several different cultures and they don't cut their kids' hair for at least the first year if not beyond that (some wait 5 years) and then there's a ceremonial haircut), and I felt my son's first haircut was sort of special, but now in the grand scheme of things, it's HAIR. It'll grow back. And little kids sometimes get bad haircuts and look goofy or not how you wanted them to for a few weeks and then it's over. I know it's hard to stomach when you were trying to grow hair out or if a kid's hair is super-thin and slow growing (DS is like that), but still, it's hair. It's not permanent. It's not like some other threads where grandparents decided it was time for their 6-month-old granddaughter to have her ears pierced (also not permanent, per se, but still more of a commitment than a haircut and also possibly pain-inducing). So I'm torn. I get the visceral reaction of OMG, WHY would anyone DO that??? But then again, it's just hair. I'd get a set of clippers and give him a cute "summer" haircut and have fun making it spiky for the pics. Or buy him a cute beach hat to wear. Have some fun with it, and ask her not to do that again.

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

If dd actually agreed to someone cutting her hair without asking me my opinion then I would consider it a learning experience for her. I think we all have to learn who we trust to cut our hair. 


 


I think there are plenty of ways to learn things. Learning something the hard way can be a good thing for someone who simply won't listen to anyone else's opinion or advice. I don't think it's so good for someone who is just innocent and doesn't know the right questions to ask.

 

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Old 06-04-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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At this point I would be upset because I am not cutting DD's hair for a while yet. However if DD was older and she said she wanted it cut and was truly the one who wanted it cut then I would have no issue with it. But luckily I know MIL wouldn't overstep in that area. I think a lot really depends on the relationship if you know it is done in a passive-aggressive way then yeah huge problem with it. But if you have a good relationship and know it was meant to help and not trying to overstep then it would be okay. 

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Old 06-05-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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I'd be mad about it.  I'd be mad about it whether it was someone with whom I clashed about other things or not-- to me, it's just a decision that parents make for their little kids and that later kids will make for themselves.  Hair is not for an outside party to decide.  Yes, it'll grow back, but you and your kid are the ones who have to go through it looking dorky until it does.

 

I would be less mad if she had taken him to have it professionally done by someone who knows how to cut bangs straight... but still annoyed.  I still think it's overstepping.

 

Also, I would make sure that someone (and it could be your husband if you're not up to doing it yourself) tells her that you don't want her to ever do it again/that it wasn't actually helpful.  It seems like a common sense thing that anyone should know... don't cut someone else's kid's hair without asking... but you know she has her own very different world view and it's obviously not common sense to her, so someone needs to tell her directly.

 

Edit to add:  also?  Really?  He sent the post to your FIL?  Headdesk.  Headdesk.

 


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Old 06-05-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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I would be super mad. We didn't cut DS's hair for 25 months. It drove my parents crazy. They were always threatening to cut it; I finally put a stop to it by saying that if they did, they wouldn't be seeing him alone anymore. That shut them up... (Otherwise, they are really good with him--they just don't like long hair for boys eyesroll.gif).

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Old 06-05-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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Every MIL has been a mother.  And I think it's pretty common knowledge that mothers want at least SOME say in what their kids' hair looks like.  I think it is always inappropriate to cut a kid's hair without an OK from Mom (unless she's out of the picture).  I am anything but sexist, as far as parenting, but I still don't think an OK from Dad is quite the same.  Dad might very well say, "Sure, whatever," when Mom would say, "OMG, no!!"


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Old 06-05-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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I don't think it's "okay" but I also don't think it's a huge deal. Assuming it's coming from a helpful place (which it would be in either of our mother's cases), I would just say something like, "Thanks for the trim, but in the future we'll take care of Lucy's hair." The beautiful thing about hair is that it grows back. ;)

 

I certainly can't see being so devastated that you would stop unsupervised visits or be upset for years. I would think there must be other, more significant issues going on in that case.

 

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Old 06-05-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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too bad there was a hell no option. 

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Old 06-05-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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too bad there was a hell no option. 


truedat.gif  Well said, Arduinna!

 


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Old 06-05-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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Well, I don't live close enough to my MIL, but my own mother does this all the time. I've let her know that as long as she uses the longest clip on the buzzers, she can do it.

 

The funny thing is, I didn't have clippers until about a year or so ago. The first time I cut MY son's hair, SHE got upset, like I was stepping over HER boundaries. But with my mother, the best thing to do is sigh and move on.


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Old 08-15-2011, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Arise, old thread! Guess what! She cut his hair again.

I'm more hurt than anything else. Because when I dropped the kid off this morning, and he cried and clung to me, she tried to snatch him away: "Want some cheese? Come over here! Look at this car! Your mom will be back. Want to go for a walk? Let's go wake your uncle;" meanwhile he's screaming "I want to go home" and I'm trying to whisper into his ear and be comforting, although I know MIL is trying to help, and sometimes distraction does work. And MIL kept giving me these Meaningful Looks and shaking her head and saying, "He doesn't like it at day care," implying that I should be staying home with him rather than working towards a degree. In the end, I calmed him and he was playing happily before I left. I know he likes day care, and I know that I can't give up my PhD work. And now she's cut his hair which says to me, "You're such a bad mother you can't even be trusted to keep the bangs out of his eyes."

I know I should keep perspective. But sometimes it all just bogs me down.

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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My mom took my son for a haircut without asking me first, but it was after he'd had many haircuts before, and it was done in the same way I ask for it to be done when I take him. She trimmed DD's bangs, but again, when she was older and she did it *just* so they weren't in her eyes, the bare minimum, and well. I'm really laid back about my kids' appearances, so she knew I wouldn't mind. 

 

It sounds like she's overstepping a lot of boundaries, and it sounds like the culture thing is a big excuse to enable her to do so. Even if that is the way her culture operates, she must be able to recognize that you were raised in a different culture than her, and might do things differently. Why should her culture be able to override yours, with your child? I don't know... maybe this is just tweaking me because my MIL pulls the "Respect your elders" card in an attempt to get what she wants. I'm a "Everyone deserves courtesy, but respect is earned." kind of girl... the claws haven't come out yet, but she lives 16 hours away. She's already told me that when we visit we'll stay in the holiday trailer, and the baby will sleep inside with her. Seriously.


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Old 08-17-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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 She's already told me that when we visit we'll stay in the holiday trailer, and the baby will sleep inside with her. Seriously.



Um, wait, what?!  You aren't planning a trip any time soon are you?   Like, Christmas?  

 

 

Grr. 

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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No! Her place is way up north, so a holiday trailer would only be a go in the summer... but regardless, I wouldn't leave my 9 or 7 year old in her care for long. She believes in "My house, my rules" to the extent that she thinks spanking her other grandchildren is okay. The only reason I've been okay with my older kids being alone with her for an hour is because I have no doubt they'd smack her right back. I didn't have to answer the trailer comment, because DH said "Over my dead body!" before I could form a courteous response!


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Old 08-17-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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Yeah I would be done with that nonsense. I know that finding other daycare may not be in your budget, but if it is I would do it. My family tends to do these sorts of things too. Suddenly, you aren't allowed to parent your own kids without their two cents, or them feeling they need to add their own reprimand of the child. It gets pretty ridiculous to watch my Aunt, Uncle, and both grandparents chew out my little cousin at a family dinner for something that really I don't need to know about. Your MIL is clearly trying to insert her own power. Put your foot down now before it gets worse.


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Old 08-17-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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Wow, ka-pow! This topic has got me heated! I think I'm going to tell my mom and have my dh tell his mom TONIGHT: "Never cut the boys' hair!" just in case.

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Old 08-17-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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My mom might cut one of the kids' hair without checking with me, but it's not likely.  If she did, it would be because a. the oldest asked her to (and at nearly 10, it's her head, so I don't really fight with her about hair anymore) or b.  My three year old actually allowed someone near him with scissors.  Since he is terrified of that- I'd applaud any effort in that direction when he was agreeable. 

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Old 08-20-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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I couldn't care less if my MIL cut the kids' hair - part of it is that I don't care about hair, but part of it is that she doesn't try to alpha me ever when we disagree about childrearing stuff, so my first instinct is always to back her up when she wants to do a mommy-type thing with the kids. She's my village, y'know? 

 

Also, my SIL is very touchy and possessive about her kids, and makes MIL walk on eggshells, and it's so revolting to watch that I further resolve never to intervene in MIL's grandmothering unless child welfare is involved. It is never involved. (SIL is improving as time goes by and her meds get refined, but still, one DIL with power/status issues is more than enough for any MIL to have to deal with). 

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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That's a good point, Smithie. If the general tone of the relationship is respectful of the parent, then things like haircuts aren't going to be as big of a deal (or if it is something that would be a big deal to the parent, the grandparent won't cut the kids hair!) It sounds like you SIL isn't very confident in her parenting, maybe? I have one SIL who I think doesn't speak up most of the time when MIL oversteps, and when she does speak up, it's very over the top (recently, they didn't speak for a few months after a blow out)

 

Any updates, OP?


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Old 08-20-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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Yeah, general tone is huge. Between spouses AND between the generations, IMO. If you're allies and partners generally, there's a great incentive to avoid petty conflict. If you're antagonistic generally, then anything can become The Hill To Die On. 

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Old 08-22-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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This is funny and not.  My Mom still carries her grudge over my grandmother cutting my brothers hair.  He had long brown curls... Oh the angry words that my mother said under her breathe.   Did you ever tell her your plan with his hair?  Some MIL just don't get it but are not trying to be pushy.  Sorry I know that's annoying though.  Hope you can get it fixed.

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Old 08-22-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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For me it would depend on the age of the child and I would expect a courtesy phone call before the deed was done..Now My L is only 3 right now(ok she is almost 4)and she has blond thin hair but her hair is tight ringlets that soaking wet go down to the middle of her back..She has never had a haircut and right now everyone knows that if they dare to cut her curls it will mean my laser death rays will beam upon them...LOL 

 

But if she was older and out with my mom and she said she wanted a trim or cut I wouldn't mind as long as my mom asked ahead of time and I talked with L how she wanted it cut ect...

 

And I am sure that day will come eventually..And I have no problem telling people when they have overstepped their boundaries..I view this as no different than stopping my mom when she tried to give L that "just one little taste" of chocolate pudding in the restaurant at 5 months old because it won't hurt her..Sure she got mad but she got over it..And she found that yes that one little taste could have hurt her for now we know she is allergic to dairy...I believe it does take a village but their are boundaries and limits but their should also be respect and courtesy..

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Old 08-22-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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1. I have an awesome relationship with my MIL. I consider giving her lots of wiggle room with "mommy type stuff" to be my gift to her....every woman misses having little ones and grandmotherhood is the cats meow for many women. I love the man she made for me (my DH) and all the loving and wonderful things she does for me and I couldn't imagine my life without her in it. So my way of loving her back and showing my appreciation for all she does for us, is letting her relive the glory days of parenting sweet smelling little bubhees without a lot of whining and hovering, etc from me.

 

 

2. If my MIL cut my kids hair without asking me (she would never), it would be ON. I would be steaming mad.

 

3. If my MIL cut my kids hair under those circumstances, when I was growing it out for a vacation, I'd be HITTING THE DAMN ROOF. Seriously, my rage would consume the universe. IT would be dangerous for all inhabitants of earth.

 

 

But I'm kind of a nuts about my kids hair...I like it wild and free with little baby curls on the end. It brings me great pleasure to see it, bouncy and flowing as they run past me. *sigh* *tears welling up*

 

 

If she cut it again, I don't care what "cultural rules" I was being told I had to observe....I would be fuming and we would be hashing that shit out. Like, as in, before I left her house. THat's passive agressive ridiculousness and until I got to the bottom of it, I wouldn't feel okay leaving my kids with her. If she would try and make a power play like that, I can't imagine the types of thigns she would feel okay saying, doing, etc around my kids. Not cool. Not loving. Wouldn't put up with it.

 

 

The reason I have such an outstanding relationship with my MIL...is because our relationship is built on love, mutual respect and honesty. You are definitely missing two of these ingredients with your MIL. A relationship in which you are unable to advocate for yourself is an abusive relationship. She's not beating you, she's not talking to you like a dog....she's using culture and her "Status" to jab at you. It's like, social abuse, or something.

 

Out of curiosity, is your MIL Indian?


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