Long haired 5yo boy - Mothering Forums

Long haired 5yo boy

newmama8824's Avatar newmama8824 (TS)
12:17 PM Liked: 150
#1 of 21
03-18-2013 | Posts: 1,009
Joined: Jul 2007

Apparently people are way more opinionated on this than I ever imagined. My son prefers his hair long and I like it, too. Still, he is CONSTANTLY being mistaken for a girl, which he realizes, but it doesn't really seem to upset him. It just gets awkward always having to correct people about my sons gender. My family or random strangers will tell me that I need to "cut his hair" and that he "doesn't look like a little boy SHOULD".

 

I seriously had no idea that people were so opinionated about boys having long hair. I just worry that he will internalize the negative comments and I certainly do not want that. At what point will his hair be "too long" or should I just let it grow until he decides he is ready to cut it? My original plan was to let it get as long as he wanted but now I am worried about all the negativity. I guess I should mention that we do get positive comments sometimes as well but the negative definitely outweigh them. He starts kindergarten next year and I would hate for him to get made fun of because he has long hair.

 

Do what I want or conform to society's standards of a boys hair? *sight*

 

What is your take on boys with long hair?


pbjmama's Avatar pbjmama
01:47 PM Liked: 51
#2 of 21
03-18-2013 | Posts: 3,200
Joined: Sep 2007

My kids wear their hair how they like. My dd has short hair and is mistaken for a boy even in full out pink. I think she is very feminine looking but it doesn't seem to matter, short hair = boy. When people ask me why I 'let' her have short hair I respond that she is in charge of her body.

 

From what I have observed in lower elementary it isn't uncommon for a child to ask another child if they are a boy or a girl. It isn't an insult, they are really just trying to figure it out. My ds was made fun of when he painted his fingernails. Some of the kids asked me why he wanted to do that and i replied that he likes it. They said boys don't paint their nails and I replied, who told you that? I know several boys and men who paint their nails (as well as color their hair, get facials, etc).

 

If you do a search there are at least a few other threads on this same topic.


owlhowl's Avatar owlhowl
03:24 PM Liked: 19
#3 of 21
03-18-2013 | Posts: 351
Joined: Feb 2013
2/3 of my sons have long hair and for a long time I had the shortest hair out of all of us! My boys will explain to others that there are no "girl" things or "boy" things. If your son is happy with his long hair, no problem! I know us moms worry too much sometimes smile.gif

(My middle son is mistaken for a girl even when he has short hair, he is so fair and uhh...well, pretty!!! I think he looks like a boy but can see how others don't right away...long flowing flax-blond hair, blue eyes and freckles, adorable kid! He isn't bothered and just says "I am a boy" and carries on.
newmama8824's Avatar newmama8824 (TS)
03:31 PM Liked: 150
#4 of 21
03-18-2013 | Posts: 1,009
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Thanks for the responses. I do not so much mind him being mistaken for a girl (except for it becoming annoying) I was more worried about he will take it. I agree, I can remember as a child actually asking other children if they were a boy or girl if I were unsure. As long as he is okay with it then so am I. I just wish society was more accepting of boys with long hair, or anything considered "alternative" for that matter!
 


pbjmama's Avatar pbjmama
09:02 PM Liked: 51
#5 of 21
03-18-2013 | Posts: 3,200
Joined: Sep 2007

As far as how he will take it, it just depends on the kid. He will be teased about something - his clothing, what is in his lunch box, etc. It really is unfortunate but you can talk over some appropriate responses with him. What you think matters most to him. You are supporting him to be who he is which is the best thing you can do. This parenting stuff is hard!


eeem's Avatar eeem
10:49 AM Liked: 306
#6 of 21
03-21-2013 | Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2009

Here are my favorite responses to the "long hair" comments (my son is 6, and these are the things we have come up with for him should he want to respond to folks)

"I like it this way, and it's my hair"

"Jesus had long hair"

and my favorite, if asked why he has long hair " 'cause I'm a rock star, that's why."

 

 We have had A LOT of conversations over the years about dealing with other people's comments. It is amazing how fast people shut up when confronted with self-confidence.


MobiusStrip's Avatar MobiusStrip
09:08 PM Liked: 10
#7 of 21
03-21-2013 | Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2013

If anyone asked me why, I would explain how allowing children some autonomy when they are smaller helps rein in later teenage rebellion. Of course since I am in Texas, people would think that was just some liberal line of namby pamby permissive nonsense. :|  Sadly, my son was the one who wanted his beautiful long golden curls cut off. He knew exactly how he wanted it cut. Broke my heart.


LaughingHyena's Avatar LaughingHyena
07:03 AM Liked: 216
#8 of 21
03-22-2013 | Posts: 2,608
Joined: May 2004

I'm struggling with this at the moment, DS is 6 and has long hair and we've had lots of comments, both to me and him. It does not help that he has a gender neutral shortened name that he goes by too. 

 

Our current (ongoing grrr) issue is when they have a sub teacher at school they often seem to get his gender wrong and then a few of the boys in the class find it funny to spend the rest of the day calling him a girl. We have had several accidents as he won't go to the toilets when that happens, someone will say you should use the girls and then he wont use any for the rest of the day! I think most children would speak up early on and correct the teacher but DS has special needs, and won't talk at school much, certainly not to a sub.
 

My issue is whenever I've been in to complain I get a variation on why don't you just cut his hair, argghhh. First and most importantly because he wants it  long, secondly he's terrified of haircuts and I can't cut it. Why don;t you ensure your subs actually read the file before teaching the class! Sorry, you touched a nerve here as I've been up to school again this week!


serenbat's Avatar serenbat
05:44 AM Liked: 106258
#9 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 4,407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post

My issue is whenever I've been in to complain I get a variation on why don't you just cut his hair, argghhh. First and most importantly because he wants it  long, secondly he's terrified of haircuts and I can't cut it. Why don;t you ensure your subs actually read the file before teaching the class! Sorry, you touched a nerve here as I've been up to school again this week!

The school is telling you this? WOW! Way out of line!! 

 

I want to make sure it's the school prior to posting the rest-this is how I understand what you posted.


Banana731's Avatar Banana731
07:27 AM Liked: 1017
#10 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 3,697
Joined: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeem View Post

Here are my favorite responses to the "long hair" comments (my son is 6, and these are the things we have come up with for him should he want to respond to folks)
"I like it this way, and it's my hair"
"Jesus had long hair"
and my favorite, if asked why he has long hair " 'cause I'm a rock star, that's why."

 We have had A LOT of conversations over the years about dealing with other people's comments. It is amazing how fast people shut up when confronted with self-confidence.

That's what I was thinking. You need some snappy comebacks.

Hyena- your son needs a fake mustache to throw on when subs think he's a girl. If nothing else, the other kids will get a kick out of it. Maybe they won't poke fun at him so much, if he can bring a little levity to the situation himself.
LaughingHyena's Avatar LaughingHyena
03:04 PM Liked: 216
#11 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 2,608
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Quote:

My issue is whenever I've been in to complain I get a variation on why don't you just cut his hair, argghhh. First and most importantly because he wants it  long, secondly he's terrified of haircuts and I can't cut it. Why don;t you ensure your subs actually read the file before teaching the class! Sorry, you touched a nerve here as I've been up to school again this week!

 

The school is telling you this? WOW! Way out of line!!

That's right, these are comments from the staff at school. Last year from his teacher, this year from the deputy head and a grandparent who volunteers in the school and who I am 100% certain I have not shared hair cutting woes with! 

 

The first time I kind of understood, we're  partway through assessments as DS has some special needs so it was part comment and part questioning are we able to cut his hair but the others their really is no excuse for. I'm going in after the holidays to find out about information shared with volunteers along with several other issues.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana731 View Post


That's what I was thinking. You need some snappy comebacks.

Hyena- your son needs a fake mustache to throw on when subs think he's a girl. If nothing else, the other kids will get a kick out of it. Maybe they won't poke fun at him so much, if he can bring a little levity to the situation himself.

Love the fake mustache idea but I don't think DS would go for it. Witty, or even non witty comebacks have not worked so far. Part of DSs issues are that he finds it difficult to speak at school and certainly not to someone he doesn't know well.


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy
03:36 PM Liked: 562
#12 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 6,460
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I agree that it is annoying! My 4yo DS decided to cut his long hair but people still mistake him for a girl because he wears pink & flowers & skirts. He did ask once why people think he's a girl, but didn't seem particularly upset by it. I would continue to let your son look however he wants. Some day he might choose to cut his hair for whatever reason -- comfort (that's my DS!), style, conformity, whatever... but let it be his choice. Or you could just mention that if he ever wants his hair cut, you'd be happy to do it. Some kids don't even know it's an option to cut it! DS didn't until he watched me cut my own hair one day, and then asked me to cut his.

The most annoying experience we've had yet: DS was wearing something "girly" (I think purple floral boots and a pink coat) and someone said to DH, "She's so cute!" I usually just ignore the "she" mistakes but DH corrected the guy and said, "He." And the guy responded, "You mean she." DH says, "No, he." And the guy is like, "Are you sure? She's wearing pink..." blahblahblah... and we just continue on our way & as I glance back I see the guy rolling his eyes and complaining to his friend about us!! Really, you think we don't know the gender of our own child???
serenbat's Avatar serenbat
05:49 PM Liked: 106258
#13 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 4,407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post

That's right, these are comments from the staff at school. Last year from his teacher, this year from the deputy head and a grandparent who volunteers in the school and who I am 100% certain I have not shared hair cutting woes with! 

 

The first time I kind of understood, we're  partway through assessments as DS has some special needs so it was part comment and part questioning are we able to cut his hair but the others their really is no excuse for. 

 

That's bullying and that's awful! Is this public or private? Either way I would file a complaint. Regardless of an "issue" I don't see that anyone should be saying this to you or your son!


newmama8824's Avatar newmama8824 (TS)
11:30 PM Liked: 150
#14 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 1,009
Joined: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by eeem View Post

Here are my favorite responses to the "long hair" comments (my son is 6, and these are the things we have come up with for him should he want to respond to folks)

"I like it this way, and it's my hair"

"Jesus had long hair"

and my favorite, if asked why he has long hair " 'cause I'm a rock star, that's why."

 

 We have had A LOT of conversations over the years about dealing with other people's comments. It is amazing how fast people shut up when confronted with self-confidence.

I love that! Just today we were all out to lunch and the waitress said, "Now that little girl knows what she wants!" and I just said, "No, he's a boy. Boys grow there air out these days." She shut-up really fast. It doesn't bother my DS but he would never have a comeback. He's really shy so I'll have to try and work on some witty ones!


newmama8824's Avatar newmama8824 (TS)
11:31 PM Liked: 150
#15 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 1,009
Joined: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

That's bullying and that's awful! Is this public or private? Either way I would file a complaint. Regardless of an "issue" I don't see that anyone should be saying this to you or your son!


I completely agree!


newmama8824's Avatar newmama8824 (TS)
11:35 PM Liked: 150
#16 of 21
03-24-2013 | Posts: 1,009
Joined: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I agree that it is annoying! My 4yo DS decided to cut his long hair but people still mistake him for a girl because he wears pink & flowers & skirts. He did ask once why people think he's a girl, but didn't seem particularly upset by it. I would continue to let your son look however he wants. Some day he might choose to cut his hair for whatever reason -- comfort (that's my DS!), style, conformity, whatever... but let it be his choice. Or you could just mention that if he ever wants his hair cut, you'd be happy to do it. Some kids don't even know it's an option to cut it! DS didn't until he watched me cut my own hair one day, and then asked me to cut his.

The most annoying experience we've had yet: DS was wearing something "girly" (I think purple floral boots and a pink coat) and someone said to DH, "She's so cute!" I usually just ignore the "she" mistakes but DH corrected the guy and said, "He." And the guy responded, "You mean she." DH says, "No, he." And the guy is like, "Are you sure? She's wearing pink..." blahblahblah... and we just continue on our way & as I glance back I see the guy rolling his eyes and complaining to his friend about us!! Really, you think we don't know the gender of our own child???


How annoying to have to deal with especially since he wears girly clothing. I just hate that society has set these strict standards around gender. Why not just let our children explore and be who they want to be with our guidance?? That seems like the right thing to do verses dictating everything because society says that is what should be done. shake.gif

 

Sorry you have to deal with it! I feel ya!


Cassidy68's Avatar Cassidy68
04:23 PM Liked: 130
#17 of 21
03-25-2013 | Posts: 167
Joined: Nov 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post

My ds was made fun of when he painted his fingernails. Some of the kids asked me why he wanted to do that and i replied that he likes it. They said boys don't paint their nails and I replied, who told you that? I know several boys and men who paint their nails (as well as color their hair, get facials, etc).

 

 

My friends' little girl came home from school saying that boys couldn't paint their nails. Her dad promptly painted his toenails red. I thought that was pretty awesome. 


vermontgirl's Avatar vermontgirl
07:16 AM Liked: 691
#18 of 21
03-27-2013 | Posts: 2,078
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi there, 

 

My son just had a haircut, but he has had long beautiful hair most of his life. He did decide to have it cut short when he went to Kindergarten because he wanted to make sure that all of his friends knew he was a boy. After they all knew, he grew it back out. I personally think he is beautiful with long hair. We ignore peoples comments, or say things back like, "We all have to have our own look, right?" What else are you going to do? You can't change everyone elses perspective on gender, but you can be a good example by doing what you want without anxiety and teaching your child in a child friendly way that gender is created and he or she should dress or do their hair however they please. My hair is always short, but it doesn't mean I am a boy. 

 

-Hannah


mama amie's Avatar mama amie
01:34 PM Liked: 780
#19 of 21
04-02-2013 | Posts: 477
Joined: Jul 2011
I have very short hair. My nearly 5yo boy has very long hair (to his waist when wet). He is mistaken for a girl almost daily, but is quite accustomed to responding " I'm not a girl, I am a boy with long hair. He says it doesn't feel good, but understands that it is just a snap judgement people make. I used to feel concerned for his confidence, but I have seen that he is not really lacking there. My boy is wild, precocious, often shirtless, and pretty darn free in his world. For that, we all are thankful.

If you feel concerned, just try talking it out with your son. Ask him how it feels, and if he wishes something were different. There are myriad male role models with long hair, but many of them are (sadly) out of the radar of small kids. My boy loves rock bands, so most of his favorite guys are long haired. He's pretty unique in his interests compared to his peers of the same age. smile.gif

I do like that Jesus quip, though. We aren't christian, but that should shut up even the most conservative naysayers pretty quickly.
Banana731's Avatar Banana731
09:52 PM Liked: 1017
#20 of 21
04-02-2013 | Posts: 3,697
Joined: Aug 2006
My daughter (8) had a big crush on a handsome young man last year of a similar age who had long long hair. She said she wanted to marry him smile.gif

Girls dig the hair.
Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii
10:08 PM Liked: 837
#21 of 21
04-02-2013 | Posts: 810
Joined: Mar 2011

My son had long-ish hair for a while but then asked to get it cut.  He is still constantly mistaken for a girl, probably because he loves skirts and tutus.  On the other hand my daughter is constantly mistaken as a boy for her short hair, even while wearing dresses and tutus!  It's ridiculous!  I shaved my head for the past year so my daughter always wanted her head shaved at the same time.  People will ask me why I cut her hair short and I would just stare at them.  With my hair all shaved off.  People are weird.


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