When can a child decide when to get her hair cut?

Jill - posted on 02/24/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a mixed child, Caucasian and African American. She's 11 and her hair was gorgeous!!!! All of her friends cut their hair into bobs and Jayden wanted to. I said no, your hair is different and you won't like it. (I know that she doesn't like big hair on her.) She gave me the blues for months! My entire family was saying, just let her cut her hair. I said no, she won't like it. She kept asking and making such a fuss, I gave in. Well, she's now miserable just as my gut told me. I did have a conversation with the hair dresser prior to the appt w/out Jayden knowing, and told her not to cut too much and to not blow dry it so it will appear shorter. And I told Jayden, if you cut it short you'll have to wear it natural. Anyway, it's a journey that we have now descended on. I still don't know if I did the right thing by giving in. I'd probably say no. It didn't feel right and now I have to see her miserable. We keep telling her it's cute but she's not happy and that makes me sad. I could have been more firm and said wait until next year and see if you still want to. Or maybe I made the right choice. Time will tell.

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Jodi - posted on 02/24/2015

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It certainly is a fine balance between when to draw the line and when to let it go, that's for sure!! I'm at crunch time with my almost 18 year old at the moment and having to let go of some things is really difficult. But better he make the mistakes while I am still here to guide him and be his shoulder, than when he has to tough it out on his own.

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Jill - posted on 02/24/2015

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Thank you Jodi. I grew up with hippie parents and they gave us no boundaries. As an old it was hard for me to find my way and make decisions. I started mediating 5 years ago, daily, and it helped me to find my grounding and make much better decisions. It also helped my intuition and my intuition was screaming NO. I think next time I'll stick to my guns! But I really do appreciate your words. It was a really tough call to make. I found this website as support for me in this process and it such a beautiful community. As a parent, I'm learning it's a fine balance of knowing when to be a hard ass! :) I could Practice that more because my nature has always been too easy going. My daughter, without her voicing it, needs me to be.

Jodi - posted on 02/24/2015

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Don't shake your head over it. Our job as parents is to guide them - you did that, you gave the advice. She still went ahead with it anyway. She made the choice. She will learn from it - if nothing else, she will learn to trust your judgement!!

There comes a time that we have to let them make choices and risks. If we don't allow them to learn to make choices of their own, they grow up not being able to be decisive. Or unable to really understand the link between their choices and the outcomes. I teach kids who are either so indecisive because they can't make choices on their own, or who make choices, but won't or can't acknowledge their responsibility in the outcome. So use this as a teaching moment and don't feel bad about it.

Dove - posted on 02/24/2015

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My son is 7 and has been consenting (or not consenting) to haircuts since he was 3.5 years old. 'I' have always worked to convince him to consent in the past, but since his last cut (July.. oh boy, he HATED it)... I haven't and it hasn't been cut. It is HIS hair.

You absolutely made the right choice w/ your daughter. Knowing her and knowing her hair you advised her that she wouldn't like it, but when she persisted you let her get HER hair cut... and now she understands what you were telling her. Some lessons are best learned this way.

Jill - posted on 02/24/2015

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Thank you for sharing your story, it's very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

Raye - posted on 02/24/2015

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I was about 10 when I decided I wanted all my hair chopped off (it was below shoulder length). I HATED it short. Luckily hair grows back. I have had it long ever since. Don't feel bad that she's unhappy with her decision. That's how kids learn. It'll grow back.

Jodi - posted on 02/24/2015

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My daughter made her decision to cut hers when she was 9. 11 is not too young. This is one of those lessons about the choices you make. You need to make it clear that in life, any decision you make, you have to live with the outcomes. Consider it a good life lesson that actions bring consequences.

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