Mother in Law cut my child's hair without asking...

Treyci - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 39 moms have responded )

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My mother in law cut my child's hair without asking my husband and I for permission. I do realize that she is his grandmother but I would think that a decision like that would be something you'd consult the parents about before you did it. We were intending to allow our child's hair to grow until he's about three and able to make the decision himself on how he wants it cut. My husband is upset about it because he thinks she should have consulted with us before doing anything. I agree with him. I noticed that his hair was shorter today and when I was looking at it to see if was actually shorter or not, he told me "I don't need another trim." So, I asked if someone trimmed his hair and he said his grandmother did it. Should I say something to her or just let it go? I'm just curious if I'm overreacting or if I have a legitimate reason to be upset here.

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Treyci - posted on 04/25/2011

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What upsets me the most is that my inlaws managed to completely ruin my birthing experience and bonding time with my child. He is their first grandchild. I do understand but they often overstep their boundaries. This is just another thing they have taken from us as parents. A first haircut is one of those things that parents like to be present for and it's a memory that most parents want to share with their child. I'm just upset that she wouldn't have even consulted us.

Penny - posted on 10/30/2013

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My son and his partner left my granddaughter with me for an hour while they went out to do something. The baby (one at the time) kept rubbing her eyes as she had perhaps 16 hairs that were interfering with her eyelashes. She was clearly irritated. I quickly handed her to my DH, and said, "Here - hold her while I trim these hairs away from her eyes." No "haircut" intended, just relief from the irritation. The baby's mother has never forgiven me, and I have now not been permitted to visit (1,000 miles away) for a year. I am being denied Christmas this year, even though we are travelling to their town to visit, and told we can see them on the 26th. This is harsh and cruel, a gross overreaction. Who is losing in this situation? My granddaughter. It's a tragedy, and all due to a neurotic first-time mother who has no ability to differentiate between malice and caring. I have talked with numerous young mothers about this situation, and they are shocked at the mom's reaction.

[deleted account]

Next time you have a baby.... don't tell them he/she is born until you want them to visit. ;)

Treyci - posted on 04/25/2011

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We did discuss this with my mother in law. She did not cut his hair. We've been completely baffled because our son told us that she cut his hair and it IS shorter. My mother shed light on it when she noticed him pulling his hair out. She reprimanded him for doing it. We're currently in the process of moving, so all I can figure is that it must be a stress related activity. He's never done anything like that before. So, hopefully, it's just the change in his normal routine and it will stop once we've settled into our new place. Poor little dude. But, good news is that my MIL did state that it would not be her place to cut his hair. So, that's a good sign that they are, in fact, paying attention to our wishes and respecting them.

Liz - posted on 04/25/2011

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Your husband is best placed to deal with it, but I would discuss it with him and then allow him to raise it with his parents.

It DOES need to be dealt with and swiftly, or your parenting will continually be undermined. It needs to be stated, however sensitively, that you and he are the parents and your wishes regarding your children must be honoured at all times, or your MIL and FIL will just never be permitted to have unsupervised or unplanned time with their grandchild.

My FIL recently remarried a woman who is an absolute gorgon with no respect for my parenting wishes whatsoever, so I've experience in this kind of situation.

She (and my FIL) would want to give my 16 month old daughter, who was 3 months premie and still has occasional breathing issues, ALCOHOL just to make her quiet. Also, we haven't introduced her to anything sugary yet, as we are happy with how she is doing with fruits and vegetables and nutritious foods: there is plenty of time in later childhood to get candy, not at 16 months when she is still behind on the percentile chart due to her prematurity. My FIL and his wife want to stuff her with armfuls of candy.

Any time we mention a rule of ours in front of them, they dismiss it with contempt. If I, as a trained nurse, mention something that I know regarding child development or safe, age appropriate foods (e.g. no honey before 1st birthday due to the risk of botulism), they put me down and tell me that I'm being neurotic and over protective.

Net result: they don't get to babysit, ever, even if this means that my husband and I don't get to find a babysitter at all. They don't get unsupervised time and they don't get to visit without an agreed appointment.

They still haven't learned, but they're under control.

39 Comments

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Holly - posted on 12/21/2012

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I guess i am the odd one out, i see no harm in cutting the child's hair, unless it is a cultural thing... but apparently if the MIL did it, it isn't a cultural thing... you can STILL ask him at 3 how he wants his hair cut.

Heather - posted on 12/21/2012

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They overstepped boundaries. I would say something to them. I wouldn't Tollerate it. My mom gets my son's hair cut After she has asked my permission and I give the ok. I would be soo pissed if she did it behind my back.

Heather - posted on 12/21/2012

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They overstepped boundaries. I would say something to them. I wouldn't Tollerate it. My mom gets my son's hair cut After she has asked my permission and I give the ok. I would be soo pissed if she did it behind my back.

TreMac - posted on 12/21/2012

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This happened to us very recent with my husbands parents. His mother kept making comments about my Peanuts hair and I repeatedly told her NOT TO DO IT and even my husband told her not to. Well to make this long story short, we were moving out of state and it was impossible for us to do it with our 14 month old boy for safety reasons. When we were done with the move we picked up our boy from his grandparents and sure enough she cut his hair. I was in tears. Extremely upset. I allowed my hubby to handle this issue after all they are his parents. As my hubby was talking to his mother about it, the first thing she says, "well don't bring him (our baby) here anymore". At this point I really don't want to deal with them and I am very glad we moved.

Kelly - posted on 12/08/2012

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My father-in-law just cut my 4 year old's hair. We have three children and they have done this THREE TIMES! In the past, I (1) asked them about it - the response was a flat-out denial (LIE) and (2) asked them to not ever do it again. They're nice enough people and have helped us out immensely with childcare from time to time. But I'm about to murder them.

OhJessie - posted on 04/30/2011

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Hell, her own son had hair down to his butt until he had to cut it to work. Oh HELL no you don't cut my kids' hair. No way,no how.

OhJessie - posted on 04/30/2011

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Heh, thankfully I never had to deal with that. My daughter's hair was past her butt for many years. When it came time to cut it **I** cut it. Oh no, my MIL didn't LIKE it (as if she ever liked anything) but it wasn't her choice at ALL. I'd be seriously pissed. I can't even tell you how pissed I'd have been.

Martha - posted on 04/30/2011

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older generations like to see children with neat haircuts. Overstep boundry....she did. While no disaster occurred, it would be in the best interests to thank her for her concern but tell her that she may not do that again. As for a 3 year old knowing how he wants his hair cut...my four year old loves his hair cuts and we leave it long enough on top for him to part (like grandpa's) or spike ( as some kids do) or just be hair and hang there if he wants to lay around.
I am sure that by th time he goes to school he will have a sense of what fits him .... and I am sure that with the influence of new friends...he may try something else.
We will allow most of it but no 'mohawks or hair coloring"; after all @ 3-4-5- we are still the guides!

Amy - posted on 04/30/2011

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It should be up to the parents to get a haircut and when to get it for their children. I'd be upset if it was the first haircut. But...for having my 3 year old decide their own haircut? eh...I don't go for that personally. I'm the one who has to fix it every day. My son is a year old and needed a haircut already. Not so interested in hair all over his face and tickling his ears. Should be easy and manageable. But WE decided when to cut it.

Husband should talk to his own mom about it. Let her know that it's not up to her and please leave your child's hair alone in the future.

Victoria - posted on 04/30/2011

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I would LOSE it! I think you should get your husband to talk to his monther and tell her that she was out of line. That whole birthing experience thing blows too - you shouldn't have given in! Next time, stick to your guns and refuse to let them in, even if they keep whining. God I am glad that I don't have inlaws like that.

Lisa - posted on 04/28/2011

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Personally I wouldn't be upset. However, if it bothers you and your husband, just tell her what your wishes are for his hair and she should respect that. Maybe she didn't know.

Tinker1987 - posted on 04/28/2011

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i would fly off the handle.( but i dont like my MIL) lol. but seriously a first hair cut.is something that can be special to some people.a bit of a milestone.(some people) others dont care.but i know i want to be there for my childs first hair cut when i feel its necessary not when a grandmother takes it upon themselves.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't get really mad at her, but I'd show her that you have a great distain for her actions and why.

My MIL teases about going to the salon with my daughter when she's older (she's practically bald right now) and getting her hair, nails (not just paint), her ears pierced, and what not done. My husband finally told her to knock it off because it was bothering me.

JuLeah - posted on 04/28/2011

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Say something. She crossed a line. And, what's done is done, so no point getting stuck there, just make sure she knows not to do it again

Brenda - posted on 04/28/2011

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You and your husband should confront her on this.She needs to be told what is a grandma thing and what is a parents only thing.She should have asked first and yes you should be upset.

Gracee - posted on 04/28/2011

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Before your child, did you have a good relationship with your in-laws, mostly your mother-in-law?

Gracee - posted on 04/28/2011

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Say something immediately. No one should do anything (unless it is regarding life and death) without getting permission from the parents. Grandparents doesn't overrule the parents position. They have raised their own children, and now it is time for their children to raise theirs.

Mary - posted on 04/26/2011

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Yes, she definitely should have consulted you and she overstepped her bounds. I think you should say, I know you're trying to be helpful, but I am waiting for your SON to take our child for his trim, so please let him do that. Put the guilt back on her. :)

Erica - posted on 04/26/2011

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My father in law did the same to the youngest and had the 11 year old brother help. I told my husband and he said, "hes 70, what are you going to do?" Um, tell him to leave it to us? I never said anything and I am sure because I didn't, it will happen again if we don't get to when he feels we should. Maybe a nice approach. You may offend her because she might be thinking she was helping you in doing a favor you couldn't get to.

Shannintipton - posted on 04/26/2011

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Hi Treyci,
I hope this doesnt sound rude, but I would have ripped her arm off and beat her with it. My daughter's hair is down to her butt and my MIL keeps saying she is going to cut it. I dont think so. You have every right to be upset. Go cut her hair. . . oh but dont ask her just do it. lol. {:+)
shannin tipton

♥TIA♥ - posted on 04/26/2011

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It took some head butting, but I got my in-laws to respect me as the parent and not just a donor. So now with patience and preservation through humble attempts to show my seriousness that they won't see the kids if they disrespect me. They finally let up and will NOT go without full permission they feel I should have say for my child. That includes their aunties and uncles. I'm mom, the one that takes care and provide 24/7.

Gwen - posted on 04/26/2011

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Just read your post about her not cutting his hair, so I deleted that part of my reply.



As for the whole bonding issue, no one can "force" you to let them in your house, so you guys basically set the precedent right there. She's learned that if she pushes hard enough, she'll eventually get her own way. Kind of like a toddler...how obnoxious can I act before mom gives in? :)

[deleted account]

Sorry, I posted before reading the replies so I just learned that she didn't cut his hair....but, for future reference maybe? LOL

[deleted account]

First off, without reading any other replies, yes, I'd ask her. Sometimes kids that age (my son is 3)....they talk gobbledy goop crazy talk. So before you go getting angry, ask her.



If she did? OMG. I'd be PISSED! There would definitely be a conversation between her and I about it because you and your husband are right. That is your child, your decision.



My son, also 3, his hair has been trimmed 3 times in his life so far. Just enough to keep it out of his eyes. Like you, my way of looking at it is that eventually, if he goes extreme in either direction (long or short) I want it to be HIS decision. Admittedly, in the mean time, I'm enjoying having his hair to play with. Hell, it's a perk of being a Mom lol



But also, try to remember that you have to pick your battles. While this may be worth saying something to (or having a conversation with) your mother in law, it also doesn't have to be the end of the relationship kind of thing. If she did cut his hair without you or your husband's consent, now is the time to lay down the law to her, without isolating her at the same time. Make sure she knows that he is YOUR child, not hers and that ANY and ALL decisions regarding him are yours and your husbands alone BUT that if you need her advice, you won't hesitate to ask her.



Honestly though, I'd be pissed beyond belief and I'd have a hard time taking even my own advice. This is just me telling you what "rational me" thinks is right lol

Constance - posted on 04/25/2011

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if she is your mother-in-law then it should be your husband that confronts her. She will be more likely to listen to him and it protects you fom a possiable arguement between you and your husband. It is something that needs to be spoke up about. he is your son not hers and sometimes they have to be reminded of this. I would sit down with your husband and figure out what will and will not be tolerated for his or your moms to be able to do without your permission. It will keep your sanity and a the line will be clearly drawn. But make sure you have the same conversation with your mom even if she has done anything to step on your toes it will help prevent it from happening.
It won't be perfect but it will help keep her from crossing that line again. I still have to put my mom in her place even 15 years later.

Medic - posted on 04/25/2011

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My parents cut my 4 year olds hair a few months ago and I was furious!! I was more mad because I had told my step mom not to cut it because my son had wanted to grow it out. The hair cut was so bad that the only way to fix it was to shave it. I said a whole lot about it.

Theresa - posted on 04/25/2011

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Since your husband's upset about it I would have him talk to her about it. Maybe she didn't realize she was stepping on toes. Maybe she did it to be nice. I don't know. But you guys should maybe give her the benefit of the doubt and approach i that way instead of accusingly. Just tell her that you would appreciate that she not do anything that will alter your son's appearance without consulting with you guys first and getting your permission. If you approach it that way instead of being angry and accusing it can save a lot of hurt and more anger.

But no, I don't think you're overreacting.

Elfrieda - posted on 04/25/2011

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I would feel a little stepped on, but I'd probably let it go, or say that I was disappointed and then let it go. My inlaws sometimes do things that I wish they wouldn't have with my son, but they're really great people, so it's easier to just assume good intentions and let it go. I think it's harder for you because you already have a damaged relationship with them from when he was born, so further "scrapes" feel worse than they are.

Treyci - posted on 04/25/2011

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Ha ha, Teresa. Good idea. I'm not so sure we'll be having any more children. Our son was pregnancy #4 and he is our only child. We've been through a lot and honestly, at this point, we're counting our blessings where we can. We might change our opinion later and decide to have more children but we just feel blessed to have our little guy as it is.

Kate CP - posted on 04/25/2011

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No, I'd be pissed. But I think I'd leave this one up to you hubby. Yes, something should be said but your husband should be the one to do it.

Treyci - posted on 04/25/2011

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The whole ruining the birthing experience and bonding with my son was basically this: We lived 2.5 hrs away from them at the time my son was born. We had explicitly told everyone in both of our families and our friends that we were not opposed to visitors but that we were going to take the first week after we were home to have time to spend as a family. No visitors until after that. Everyone agreed to that. My MIL and FIL took off work the morning our son was born and were half an hour away when they called and told us that they were coming to see him. We had a very traumatic birthing experience because both my son and I almost died in the process. We were lucky to be alive. We just wanted our time to spend and recover and bond and enjoy our son. But my inlaws beat the issue to death until they basically forced their way into our home the day we got home from the hospital with our son. My MIL is a school teacher, and had been around several ill children. So we asked her to please not kiss him on the face or anything like that because we didn't want him to get ill and because our OBGYN had said that. She did it anyway and our son managed to get the flu the first week after he was born. It was a fiasco. It was emotionally traumatic enough without all the barging in and such but it was much worse because of that.

[deleted account]

I would definitely say something.

Not quite sure how they could ruin your birth experience and bonding time w/ your son, but if they've been overstepping their boundaries since birth.... it's time to kindly lay down some laws and not allow unsupervised access to your son until they can respect the boundaries.

Jennifer - posted on 04/25/2011

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I would be very upset. You are the mother, not her. It isn't her decision to make. I would definately say something, or it will happen, because she will think you didn't notice, or didn't care. I wouldn't be mean about it, I would just tell her nicely that she overstepped her boundries, and you prefer her to ask next time before doing something like that.

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