Kids & Parents Battling Over Hairstyles

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Kids & Parents Battling Over Hairstyles
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 12:23pm

Hair cutting has often been a battle of wills between a parent and child. A mother might want to cut her daughter’s long hair to avoid the daily battle of brushing through tangles. Or a son might want to chop his perfectly tailored ‘do into a mohawk. 

Sioux understands the controversy, but also feels that a mother’s unwillingness to let her child manage her own hair might be a more deeply-seated issue.

“I think it’s a control issue. Does my child belong to me or to herself?”

Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of the “Positive Discipline” series, says that frequently a parent’s ego gets in the way of a helping a child develop their own identity.

“Children are always trying to figure out who they are separate from their parents, it’s a process called individuation,” says Nelsen. “Kids need to experiment, and instead of trying to get your child to look a certain way for yourself or for your neighbor, it’s your job as a parent to help your child figure out who they are through teaching and problem solving skills.”

Hairy situations: When kids and parents battle over 'dos-

Interesting topic.  Where do you stand on the issue?  Do you let your child(ren) pick out their hairstyles?  What about coloring their hair?  When do you step in and help them make the decision, and when do you let them have the full say?

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Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 7:53am

Ha, That reminds of my neighbor who has three boys. Her youngest is my middle child's age and his older brothers all had longer/shoulder length hair by high school.. There was a point I thought their youngest boy would not get struck by the long hair bug but sure enough and by 6th grade, his hair grew out. It's actually well groomed and not that bad but the oldest boy is 20 or 21 and his hair is now short.



Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 1:09pm

I have all boys and at one point, they all had longer hair than me - and my hair was past my shoulders.

I had neighbours complain about why I let them grow their hair so long? I replied that if that was all I had to worry about with my teens, I was lucky.

I felt kind of sad when, one by one, they decided to cut their hair short. I still have my long hair though! :-D

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 4:41am

It depends on the kid and the salon in my experiences..  When I take my kid/even teenagers to the salon the stylist still looks at me for input on cut and length, I typically let my kids pick the style but I may add my two cents on the length or how much gets taken off.  But DS did ask for a mohawk a couple years ago as it was a school trend going on and I refused.....  I won't pay for my kid to color her hair pink either. 



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 7:19pm

Not worth any sort of battle. Hair, unlike a tattoo or piercing, isn't permanent. (Just ask my balding husband!) If you dye it some hideous colour, it grows out. If you have an unattractive cut, it grows out. Both of my kids have gone through weird hair phases. On one occasion, I bribed my son to cut his hair and he did. But I was perfectly prepared to accept it if he refused to take the $20. Now he walks down to the barber shop himself when he thinks it's too long.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 5:45pm

Their hair their decisions.  The only rules we had was they had to follow school dress code, which meant no non normal hair color like blue, and DD3 was allowed to dye her hair but not to bleach it because of the harsh chemicals involved.   Since is has naturaly auburn hair that did limit her choices. 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 5:17pm

Before the teen years, I don't recall any battles. By the time they were teens I let them choose. Ds never wanted an unconventional hair style. Dd was unconventional in various ways so hair was just another one. When she started experimenting with hair dye I did insist that she have enough money set aside to pay for problems to be fixed if necessary. I would pay for her hair to be trimmed at the salon that I used, but anything else she had to pay for herself. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 4:18pm

There are much more important issues for parents to worry about than hairstyles. When my kids were teens, how they wore their hair was up to them.