Hair

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2003
Hair
11
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 3:13pm
My 13 year old son has curly hair and has decided to let it grow into a longish style (think Joe the Millionaire). I took him to the hair stylist he likes and she cut it in a style for long hair that suits curly hair, much like he suggested. However, every single time I tell him it's time for a trim he balks and we get into a huge argument. I'd let him decide when to trim it but that would be never. I HATE his hair the way it is, but I figure he is trying to find a style that suits him so I go along with it. All I ask, is that he keep it clean and neat.

Today when I made an appointment to get it trimmed he said it was his hair and he has a right to wear it like he wants and all his friends say it's fine. The counselor at school told me he thinks it looks dirty all the time and is a mess. I can't even see his eyebrows at this point, and his eyes are soon to disappear.

I figure this hair thing is not an issue to really fight on (I grew up in the 60s for heavens sake) but I do insist it is clean and tidy. My son pretty much told me his hair is off limits, and things deteriorated from there.

Am I wrong??

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 4:59pm
It's not a hill I would pick to die on.

I would love my children, and try hard to take them seriously as human beings, if they showed up one afternoon pierced from one end to the other and bald. Grooming is *such* an easy hot button for them to push, and I try hard not to let them push it.

I'd be more concerned with other issues, give on this one, and try to keep him on your side for a bit longer.

If you're understanding about it *and* he did it to get a rise out of you, if you go along, he may learn that getting a rise out of you isn't quite as much fun as he thought it would be. Elements of that principal are a big part of my parenting philosophy.

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 6:57pm
When my now nearly 19 yo dd was younger, we had endless situations regarding *food*. SHe'd eat nothing but meat for 3 weeks in a row. Or nothing but carbs for a month. Then nothing but salad for a month. Or just pick at everything offered. I even took her to see our GP finally. He told me this was a power issue and to leave it alone. I did, I backed right off the topic, let her eat whatever part of the meal we were having she wanted. If she was hungry later, oh well. It took awhile but it sorted itself out. He was right. Then we went thru a stage of not wanting to take a bath or a shower with my 11 yo which drove me NUTS. I caught myself much earlier on this time around and told her she could either have kids at school tell her she needed to be clean or just do it and left it alone. She showers/bathes regularly now without an issue, and thankfully before her friends had to say anything, altho I'm quite certain her teachers noticed. It takes longer for peers to notice stuff that adults notice.

The hair issue is another one. I honestly think the more you bug him, the more you tell him it needs washing, the more you show distaste or the fact that you hate it, the more he'll push it. They need outlets that provide them ways to be separate/different from their parents. If he's choosing hair, be glad, lol. Maybe you should start smiling at him, and occasionally ruffling your hand thru his hair and saying things like, 'I think it's growing on me, it's SOOO cute!!" and "Maybe I was wrong, I think your hair is adorable lately" ... LOL

I say, let it go. :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 7:28pm
"I think it's adorable" in front of his friends, along with playful noogie would probably result in him shaving it completely, might be a good idea.

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 1:03am
Hey! My son, 16, has naturally curly black hair & decided to grow it out also. Seems lots of boys are actually getting perms for this look! I DO ruffle his hair & tell him I would love to have hair like that ...with summer coming along...I'm hoping he will decide on a shorter version..but if not..I say let the issue be..cause we have other issues that need to be "straightened" out....lol....best to ya's....

Petals

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 9:31am
My son would kill me if I touched his hair. Always it's "Not the hair!" He spends more time on his hair in the morning than I do. But at least it's short and clean and he washes it and takes a shower every day. Now, if I could just get him to stop pushing my buttons about homework. (sigh)
Avatar for chyndra2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 12:13pm
I agree with the other replies...let it go, don't make an issue out of it..If his hair looks as bad as you say, eventually, he will realize it, or (worse) some girl will tell him. It's a fact that all our teens will eventually adopt a look that drives us up the wall...whether it's tattoos, piercings, extra-low rise jeans, purple hair, whatever...we must deal with it in a calm way. Some things are absolutely unacceptable, such as (in my opinion) t-shirts with vulgar and offensive messages.

I'm reading a terrific book called "KIDS ARE WORTH IT - Giving your child the gift of inner discipline" by Barbara Coloroso. She describes how we as parents should decide when to intervene - whether it's a child's appearance, which school to attend ( a major issue I'm going through now), an activity your child wants to participate in, etc...Whatever the issue is, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is it unhealthy? Will it have lasting physical effects( in the case of your son's hair, the answer is obviously "NO" )

2. Is it morally threatening to himself/others?

3. Can it be life-threatening in any way? Can it affect his future in any way?

So, as you can see, your son's hair is not that important in the great scheme of things, I can understand that you hate the way it looks, but, believe me, it's not forever...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 12:34pm
He's 13 and he's *trying to find his persona*. . .somethings aren't worth fighting about. You've requested that it be trimmed and clean and now it's up to him.

BTW, I'm curious, why is the counselor so interested in this very personal situation? Does your son attend school? Does he keep his grades up and stay out of trouble? Personally, I think the counselor needs to keep out of it unless there is something that causes him/her concern. Just my thoughts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 11:12pm
I am so totally in the same boat with my 15 year old son. We went from the short clean cut to long and dirty looking. I am not sure if we should draw battle lines over this subject. What does this really mean in the greater scheme of life? I also HATE his hair and am actually embarrassed at Church and generally in public with him. When I mention - trim - he goes ballistic. It is his hair and we should not tell him how to wear it. All I ask is that he keeps it clean, and he can't do very well. Is this another phase? Between the hair and the pants that look like they are falling off I am being driven crazy! The thing is, he would be a great looking kid if he would dress better. Where from here? Any suggestions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 11:55am
Well, look at it this way. It has to be a stage. How many kids who dress like that and have hair like that do you see running around as an adult? Not a whole lot unless they are homeless or completely countercultural, lol.

They really do need to find ways to be separate and different from their parents. Every teen finds *something* to do this. Just leave it alone. At 15, no one is going to think *you* are responsible for not washing his hair ;-) Girls don't find dirty hair appealing and when girls come along that he likes he's likely to start paying more attention. But the more you resist and show you dislike it the more he's going to resist and insist. someone posted 3 things to check list if it's something worth battling; it was a good list.

At least he's not choosing drugs, running away, dropping out of school or outright rebellion to assert himself. :-)

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: cdtsaavik
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:47pm
I would let it go. Even if it is dirty, just bite your tongue. I would only insist it be clean (not trimmed) for a very special occasion like a wedding. If it becomes a control issue then he may not wash or trim it just so he can "win" and have the control. If it does not become a matter of of saving face then he may come around sooner. Like others suggested, his peers may say something to make him change, or he may get tired of it especially when the weather gets hot. As he gets older there will probably be bigger and worse issues so I wouldn't fight this one.

Pages