Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Mental Magpie on January 17, 2013, 06:35:07 PM

Title: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 17, 2013, 06:35:07 PM
This was relayed to me secondhand via Eagle (DF).  Niece is the daughter of his brother (FBIL) and BIL's wife (FSIL).  FSIL wants our advice because she knows I read E-Hell and because we are removed from the situation yet close enough to care about our Niece (her words).

Niece will be 2 in April and, since she first started growing hair, has had what we like to call Einstein Hair: it is all over the place and untamable.  Within the last 6 months or so, it has finally grown long enough that it, for the most part, lies flat.  FBIL and FSIL were finally over the frustration of her having unruly hair...or so they thought.

Just before Christmas, FBIL and FSIL dropped off Niece at her Grandma's (not my FMIL, but SIL's mom) for a fun day.  When they returned to pick up her that evening they discovered that Niece's bangs had been cut.  FBIL asked Grandma who cut Niece's hair; Grandma said it wasn't cut, that it had always looked like that.  FBIL again insisted for an answer to his question.  Grandma denied it, said that she hadn't cut Niece's hair and that it had always looked like that.  FBIL, FSIL, and Niece immediately left.

I don't know how much time passed between events, but Grandma called her other daughter and confessed to having cut Niece's bangs.  Other Daughter called her sister (FSIL) and told her that their mother said she had cut Niece's bangs.  Now Grandpa is demanding an apology from FBIL for the way he treated Grandma*.  FBIL refuses to apologize (I think rightfully so).

The question is, how do they proceed from here?  FSIL wants to maintain a relationship with her parents but she is furious.  I'm pretty sure FBIL is still so angry that he doesn't even want to think about them or about resuming a relationship with them.  FSIL doesn't know how to tell them that they erred (big time!) and that she can't trust them to watch their daughter until they can rebuild that trust.  She wants to write a letter but doesn't know if that will be PA or if she should just do it in person.  Any suggestions?

ETA: the reason for the *.

*The Eagle and I don't know what FBIL said to Grandma, but it was probably direct and upset language (not swearing or anything, but rightfully upset/angry and telling Grandma so).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: SPuck on January 17, 2013, 06:38:58 PM
I feel like this is a situation where they are never going to see themselves as wrong, and the only thing I can suggest is not leaving them alone with the baby and leaving any time they try to undermine the parents when they are around.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Ceallach on January 17, 2013, 06:40:59 PM
I think it should definitely be addressed either via letter or in person, otherwise it will simmer for a long time. 
 
"Mom, we were disappointed that you cut our daughter's hair without telling us.   But what really upset us was that you lied to us about it - I don't understand why you would lie and I find that hurtful.   We need to be able to trust you to be honest with us if you are caring for our child."   

I'm confused as to what Grandpa is upset about though - what does FBIL have to apologise for?   Did he get excessively angry and be rude to his mother about the incident?   Because I can't see a connection there as to why Grandpa thinks FBIL should apologise to Grandma because Grandma lied to him?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Cami on January 17, 2013, 06:45:24 PM
No apology and no more time spent alone with my child.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: JenJay on January 17, 2013, 06:47:38 PM
I'd be miffed that she cut the child's hair but I'd be really mad that she lied to me about it and tried to play it off like I was the crazy one. And it sounds like Gran told Aunt who told Mom so where does Grandpa get off demanding Dad apologize??

I think a letter is okay because, personally, I probably couldn't keep my composure in person. I know DH couldn't. Also a face-to-face gives the grandparents an opportunity to argue. I'd say something like "You lied to me about what happened to my child because you knew I'd be upset. It doesn't matter that it was 'just' a hair trim, it was a lie, and now I'm questioning whether or not I can trust you. We've decided to find another sitter for awhile."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Ceallach on January 17, 2013, 06:48:05 PM
No apology and no more time spent alone with my child.

Oh and I agree with this of course!   They've lost trust and therefore lost babysitting rights for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Rusty on January 17, 2013, 06:48:17 PM
Sorry if I sound dumb, but what is a "bang".
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 17, 2013, 06:51:37 PM
Sorry if I sound dumb, but what is a "bang".

Also known as "fringe" in the UK.  It's the hair over the eyes that has been cut short to sit above the eyebrows (this is speaking in very general terms).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 17, 2013, 06:52:55 PM
Sorry, I forgot to add what the * meant, which is that FBIL probably just told Gradnma to her face that he couldn't believe she was lying to them.  This is only speculation because the Eagle and I don't know exactly what was said, but we know FBIL pretty well.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Rusty on January 17, 2013, 06:55:07 PM
Thanks Maggie,  well I would be furious if it was my little one and the grandmother should be told she was out of line.  Sometimes a little brother or sister might decide to give baby a "haircut", but for anyone else, its out of order.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: LEMon on January 17, 2013, 07:27:13 PM
The other part that is bothering me, besides the lying to their face, is the evasion of all responsibility.  They were not told directly that 'yes, she did it'.  Instead she uses someone else to get them that information.  She has not talked directly to them at all.  No apology.  And now she is having her husband demand an apology for her upset.

The adult child of this grandparent needs to be the one to find a way to say (in their words, these are just my thoughts)  "We are upset you lied to us.  We are upset you acted behind our back by cutting our child's hair without permission.  We are upset you refuse to take responsibility for your action.  What do you plan to do to resolve this?  Tell us why we should trust you to spend time with our child alone again?  Mom, right now I don't trust you - I don't trust you not to act as you wish and then not take responsibility.  I don't trust you not to lie to my/my spouse's face."

Mom needs to understand she crossed major lines.  And I wouldn't be too happy with Dad either.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 17, 2013, 07:42:15 PM
I would have been furious.  I would send the following to her mother.

"Mom, I an extremely disappointed in you.  You first take it upon yourself to cut my daughters hair with out asking my permission and then you compound the problem by lying about it. I think it best we keep some distance for a while until I am calmer about your actions and can discuss it with you without seeing red."

Then I'd send the following to her Dad.
"Dad, mother broke a trust I had in her and then she lied to me and my husband. You are out of line asking me or my husband to apologize to her.  You should instead be counseling her on her need to apologize to us and discuss ways that tips he can repair the damage she has done to our relationship."

*** and I have screwed up priorities because this would anger me so much more than the GM who did a pseudo baptism discussed in the other thread. 
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 17, 2013, 07:57:47 PM
The grandmother overstepped and then lied about it. When the Dad expressed his displeasure, the grandfather expects him to apologize to the grandmother?  >:(  The grandmother's action were terrible, but the expectation of an apology is the topper.

My MIL took DD to the hairdresser 2 days before School pictures were to be taken. DD's new hair style depended upon the use of a curling iron, which were brand new (and expensive) 30 years ago. DD's hair looks yucky in the picture, and it still makes me mad when I think of it now.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: doodlemor on January 17, 2013, 08:12:05 PM
This behavior would have made me livid.  How arrogant to change the appearance of someone else's child, even it it is a grandchild.  To lie about it just compounds the whole thing.

I think that SIL and BIL should make themselves scarce for awhile, and be very aloof.  Then they should write a carefully worded letter to both grandparents explaining the boundary breaking and the losing of trust due to the lie.  I think that the grandparents will realize the gravity of their behavior if they don't see the child for awhile.

Even when the incident is smoothed over and in the past, I don't think the child should be left alone with them until she is considerably older.  They sound like a duo who would have no qualms about breaking boundaries whenever the mood hits.  I suspect that the whole thing happened because grandma didn't like the child's hairstyle, and presumed that she knew better.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: SPuck on January 17, 2013, 08:37:15 PM
My MIL took DD to the hairdresser 2 days before School pictures were to be taken. DD's new hair style depended upon the use of a curling iron, which were brand new (and expensive) 30 years ago. DD's hair looks yucky in the picture, and it still makes me mad when I think of it now.

What did you do after that occurred?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 17, 2013, 08:46:28 PM
Grandma was doubly rude. Firstly, for presuming to cut her grand-daughter's hair without checking with the parents first. And secondly, for blatantly lying about it afterwards.

I think FSIL needs to be the one to talk to the grandparents (because they are her parents). She needs to state clearly that she is on her husband's side, and that there is absolutely no reason for her husband to be apologising to them.

And yes - no more "fun days" without the parents around. 
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: dawbs on January 17, 2013, 08:55:23 PM
Grandma doesn't get to pretend she doesn't know she did wrong--if she felt she had the right to behave in that way, she would't have lied.

IF the parents in question wish to have any contact with grandma (not sure they need to, but that's their choice), I would approach it as "mom, until you actually talk to ME, not sis, about what you did and display that you understand why it was inappropriate, I'm afraid we have nothing to talk about.  There will be no apology forthcoming from us.  "
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: snowdragon on January 17, 2013, 09:13:28 PM
If it were  me that grandmother would not be seeing, much less babysitting my child for a very long time
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: kareng57 on January 17, 2013, 09:41:51 PM
No, they should not have done this without permission, and they should not have lied about it.

That said - I've seen quite a few toddlers with bangs (fringes) so long that it was apparent that the hair was often in their eyes, and they seemed/looked uncomfortable, and I wondered why the parents hadn't done anything about it.  IMO if the grandparents had said "we're sorry, we didn't mean to upset you but her hair was really in her eyes"........well, that's not great, but I wouldn't throw them under the "you will never see your grandchildren again" bus, either.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: zyrs on January 17, 2013, 10:27:25 PM
Grandmother's conduct would make me livid.  I certainly wouldn't apologize to her, she better be apologizing to me.  It's the lying about what happened that bothers me the most, especially when she is watching a child.  There would be no visiting until she apologized and never would be non-supervised visits.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Shoo on January 17, 2013, 10:56:47 PM
No apology and no more time spent alone with my child.

Even WITH an apology, I'd be wary of leaving the child alone with them.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: TootsNYC on January 17, 2013, 11:05:05 PM
That said - I've seen quite a few toddlers with bangs (fringes) so long that it was apparent that the hair was often in their eyes, and they seemed/looked uncomfortable, and I wondered why the parents hadn't done anything about it. IMO if the grandparents had said "we're sorry, we didn't mean to upset you but her hair was really in her eyes"........well, that's not great, but I wouldn't throw them under the "you will never see your grandchildren again" bus, either.

Because we are waiting for them to grow out, so they'll be long enough to put in a ponytail, and then we'll NEVER have the "hair in the face" problem again!!!!!!!!!

We were about .75" away from that point when my MIL decided to get 4yo DD's bangs cut. I was so mad! It had taken a long time to get to that point, and DD and I had JUST said, "Pretty soon you can have it all back in the ponytail!"

All our waiting, all her patience--throw right out the window.

I gave up--I was not willing to go through that again. So we stuck with bangs. Which meant that every 5 weeks I had to take her to get a haircut. And pay for it (because getting bangs right is too hard to DIY). Instead of simply being able to trim the ends of her hair myself every 3 months or so.

I didn't throw Grandma under the "never see my child again" bus, but I did make it clear that I wasn't happy. (I'm not sure why DD didn't say anything, but she was a very biddable child, so shee probably figured Grandma knew best--or didn't realize quite what was happening.)

I was really pissed off.

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)

The lying is the bad part, because it sure indicates that she KNEW she shouldn't have done it.

I think if I were in this situation, I'd simply cut off all contact and conversation for a while. I'd let everything cool down. If contact did happen for some reason, I'd be Teflon--vague, "oh no we're just so busy."

And then after about two weeks of radio silence, I'd say to my mother, "I'm upset with the fact that you got my daughter's hair cut without my permission. The logistics of managing her hair are MY problem; and you stepped over the line. And you KNOW you were over the line, because when you were asked about it, you flat-out lied.
   "And I'm also mad that you lied. Really mad. You owe both us parents an apology for usurping our parental authority; for making our lives more difficult because now we have to deal with the hair mess; and for lying to our faces about it."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 18, 2013, 01:19:48 AM
When I first joined EHell, I had the same exact issue!

Here's the post. (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=93679.0)

In the end, I realized that my mother (she's the one who cut my children's hair against my express wishes) would never learn. She'd never respect my authority as a parent. She was always undermining me. I didn't know where it would stop. Was she going to get their ears pierced and do other things in the future too? I was sure she would.

I stopped letting my parents babysit because I didn't trust either of them.

And that upped their craziness. They got more hostile because they felt they had a right to make parenting decisions. They got more aggressive and a few months after my post, they earned the cut direct.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: rabbit_woman on January 18, 2013, 04:40:45 AM
Reading these replies, i realise I have an opposite view, but here it goes.......

Firstly, regarding the haircut - it doesn't seem too strange to me that a grandparent, who does a lot of childcare and helps the parents a lot, would take it upon themselves to 'help out' or 'surprise' the parents by getting a grandchild's hair cut - my mum looks after my nephew and it would not seem strange for her to take tim to get his hair cut, to help out my sister. I don't have kids but if i did, it would not really bother me at all unless i had SPECIFICALLY said 'please don't get their hair cut, we are trying to grow it/ we like it like that, etc'

When i was little, my nan looked after me. one day, when i was four, she took me to have my ears pierced. i suppose my today's standards, that seems crazy, but it was all fine. in fact, considering my nan was horrible and really nasty to me, i think it was probably teh only nice thing she ever did for me, and i still remember the experience fondly.

if you trust your parents to look after your children regularly, for long periods of time, then don't you also trust them to make a few decisions ? Or even do something as a favour or a surprise for you?

AS for the lying, well ,that is very poor and out of order, but sometimes when faced with someone's totally unexpected anger people panic and don't know what to say and fall back on defensiveness and denial - not everyone is brave enough to go head first into a conflict.

I would say, give the grandparents another chance. Tell them that you don't want them cutting the child's hair in the future. And then, if they don;t learn their lesson from this occassion and DO do it again, then take sterner steps.......

xx
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: LadyR on January 18, 2013, 05:45:20 AM


if you trust your parents to look after your children regularly, for long periods of time, then don't you also trust them to make a few decisions ? Or even do something as a favour or a surprise for you?

xx

I trust my mother to watch DS, however she is NOT his parent and thus doesn't get to make panting decisions. Cutting his hair is a parenting decision and if my mother did it without my permission I'd be furious. If my parent pierced my kids ears without my direct consent? Well there'd be one major explosion, that's for sure and she wouod never watch my kids again.

Grandparents don't make to make decisions like that. They also don't get to introduce foods for the first time (a big conflict that several of my friends have gone through). They are not parents, you can trust someone to watch your kids, but still not want them to make major decisions.

My SIL's MIL gave my niece her first hair cut. My niece was 2 at the time and had baby fine hair that took a long time to grow. My SIL had been looking forward to her first haircut. She went away for two weeks, BIL took the kids to visit his mom and one day while he was out for a few hours, niece got a haircut. SIL was livid. Se didn't do much about it since she only sees her MIL twice a year, but I know it really bothered her,
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Geekychick1984 on January 18, 2013, 05:45:44 AM
I would be livid.  Cutting hair is a parent's decision...no one else should do this without permission first.  Doing so crosses a huge line to me.

The fact that grandma did it and lied about it shows that she knew it was wrong, and that the parents would be upset, but did it anyway.  I would not trust her to not cross other boundaries in the future.  She's shown she'll just lie about it anyway.

Honestly, if she'd just cut the bangs and owned up to it right away and apologized, I'd be furious, but would maybe give her another chance.  But the fact that she lied about it and then demanded an apology - I would personally not trust her with unsupervised visits (unless she sincerely apologized for everything and it was apparant she'd learned ehr lesson).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: laud_shy_girl on January 18, 2013, 07:27:33 AM
Reading these replies, i realise I have an opposite view, but here it goes.......

Firstly, regarding the haircut - it doesn't seem too strange to me that a grandparent, who does a lot of childcare and helps the parents a lot, would take it upon themselves to 'help out' or 'surprise' the parents by getting a grandchild's hair cut - my mum looks after my nephew and it would not seem strange for her to take tim to get his hair cut, to help out my sister. I don't have kids but if i did, it would not really bother me at all unless i had SPECIFICALLY said 'please don't get their hair cut, we are trying to grow it/ we like it like that, etc'

When i was little, my nan looked after me. one day, when i was four, she took me to have my ears pierced. i suppose my today's standards, that seems crazy, but it was all fine. in fact, considering my nan was horrible and really nasty to me, i think it was probably teh only nice thing she ever did for me, and i still remember the experience fondly.

if you trust your parents to look after your children regularly, for long periods of time, then don't you also trust them to make a few decisions ? Or even do something as a favour or a surprise for you?

AS for the lying, well ,that is very poor and out of order, but sometimes when faced with someone's totally unexpected anger people panic and don't know what to say and fall back on defensiveness and denial - not everyone is brave enough to go head first into a conflict.

I would say, give the grandparents another chance. Tell them that you don't want them cutting the child's hair in the future. And then, if they don;t learn their lesson from this occassion and DO do it again, then take sterner steps.......

xx

Using this argument, teachers, nannies and the teen who watches your child, can also pierce your child's ears or cut their hair etc. Being trusted to look after a child dose not impart parental rights.

Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 18, 2013, 09:01:54 AM
Reading these replies, i realise I have an opposite view, but here it goes.......

Firstly, regarding the haircut - it doesn't seem too strange to me that a grandparent, who does a lot of childcare and helps the parents a lot, would take it upon themselves to 'help out' or 'surprise' the parents by getting a grandchild's hair cut - my mum looks after my nephew and it would not seem strange for her to take tim to get his hair cut, to help out my sister. I don't have kids but if i did, it would not really bother me at all unless i had SPECIFICALLY said 'please don't get their hair cut, we are trying to grow it/ we like it like that, etc'

snip
xx

I think the experiences you are describing may be different from the OP.  The OP stated it was a "fun day" with the GPs.  That would imply to me that the GP's are not daily babysitters.  In your post you state it would be natural for your mom to take your nephew.  But it sounds like the babysitting arrangement is a lot more often and your mom and sister probably have convesations like remarking that he's hair is getting long and your mom replies that she'll take him for a cut and your sis is very thankfull.  But I don't know many parents who would be happy to drop their child off for a "fun day" with GPs and have the child come back with a different hairstyle unless it had been implied that the GP's had the authority to do stuff like that.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: postalslave on January 18, 2013, 09:12:07 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: wolfie on January 18, 2013, 09:17:14 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

What if mom's not in the picture anymore? Does that mean that noone gets to decide?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Shoo on January 18, 2013, 09:22:55 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

What if mom's not in the picture anymore? Does that mean that noone gets to decide?

If mom's out of the picture, of course the dad decides.

I agree with Toots on this one.  A little girl's hair is the mother's prerogative if the mother is the one who has to brush it and style it.  In my experience, when mother and father are both present, it's been the mom who is responsible for the daughter's hair.  So with that in mind, yes, it's the mom's decision and Dad doesn't get to make a decision/take action without clearing it through mom first.

That's the way it is in my family (but this would never even come up in my family because my husband wouldn't even attempt something like that).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: camlan on January 18, 2013, 09:26:07 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

My interpretation of what Toots said is that dads shouldn't make such a decision without consulting the mothers. I can see a situation in which the dad drops a child off at his mother's house, and his mother suggests giving the child's hair a trim. The dad shouldn't just agree, but insist on getting approval for the hair cut from his wife, as well. Not that the dad can't have a say, but that, unless he is solely responsible for the child's hair, he doesn't get the final say.

Perhaps because it is usually the mom who has to deal with the results of said haircut?  Toots and AmethystAnne have given examples in this thread of on-going problems created by unauthorized haircuts.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: postalslave on January 18, 2013, 09:33:29 AM
Interesting. I guess I just don't get the big deal. It's just hair, it will grow back. Sure it can be frustrating but life can be lol.

I read these comments and they almost make me sad, like we're setting an example for little girl's that her hair determines her success in life (And yes, NO ONE SAID THAT, this is just how I as an outsider see's this, its my opinion only and I do not want to see this thread locked).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: camlan on January 18, 2013, 09:44:09 AM
Interesting. I guess I just don't get the big deal. It's just hair, it will grow back. Sure it can be frustrating but life can be lol.

I read these comments and they almost make me sad, like we're setting an example for little girl's that her hair determines her success in life (And yes, NO ONE SAID THAT, this is just how I as an outsider see's this, its my opinion only and I do not want to see this thread locked).

The hair is just the medium. The message being sent is that the grandparent gets to make decisions for the grandchild, not the parent.

You (general you) might not be upset over a haircut, but might get upset if the child were fed food the grandparents knew the parents didn't want the child to have, or if the child were not given naps at the grandparents' house so the parents had to deal with a cranky child after every visit to the GPs, or, as in another thread that is current today, the grandparent baptized the child in the grandparent's religion, after the parents had already baptized the child in their own.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: postalslave on January 18, 2013, 09:45:29 AM

The hair is just the medium. The message being sent is that the grandparent gets to make decisions for the grandchild, not the parent.

You (general you) might not be upset over a haircut, but might get upset if the child were fed food the grandparents knew the parents didn't want the child to have, or if the child were not given naps at the grandparents' house so the parents had to deal with a cranky child after every visit to the GPs, or, as in another thread that is current today, the grandparent baptized the child in the grandparent's religion, after the parents had already baptized the child in their own.

Thank you, I understand now. English is not my first language :)
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Judah on January 18, 2013, 09:46:26 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Normally I would disagree very strongly with the idea that a dad doesn't have equal say and in all things concerning his children, but I agree with Toots on this one.  My husband never had to brush the tangles out of my daughter's hair, or put it into a pony tail, or try to get her gossamer strands into a french braid. Her hair was my job alone, so I got to decide what it looked like.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 18, 2013, 09:47:28 AM
Interesting. I guess I just don't get the big deal. It's just hair, it will grow back. Sure it can be frustrating but life can be lol.

I read these comments and they almost make me sad, like we're setting an example for little girl's that her hair determines her success in life (And yes, NO ONE SAID THAT, this is just how I as an outsider see's this, its my opinion only and I do not want to see this thread locked).

If you've never had to deal with unruly kid's hair or trying to grow out bangs, I guess I can see where you might think "it's just hair".  But it's just hair that has to be dealt with on a daily basis and just like wearing clean clothes and brushing your teeth, having groomed hair is important to most people I know, even kids.

It's not just a little girl thing, it can be a little boy thing too.  When DS was young his very thick, very straight hair would stand straight up if it was cut under 1.5" at the crown.  He had decided that he wanted to grow out his summer buzz cut so we'd been dealing with the sticky out hair for a while but had finally got it to a good place but he needed a trim.  I took him to the stylist I'd been using for DD and gave her explicit instructions about a scissor cut only and to in no circumstances cut his hair short at the crown.  She did it anyway because she didn't believe me and that she had these 'mad' hairstyling skills that would elimante the problem.  According to her, she thought he'd just had 'bad' haircuts in the past.  DS was not a crier, but I honestly thought he was going to start when he saw himself in the mirror. Even though it only took 4 weeks to grow his hair back out, I still can't pass that salon without getting mildly irritated and it's been 10 years.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: dawbs on January 18, 2013, 09:50:11 AM
Interesting. I guess I just don't get the big deal. It's just hair, it will grow back. Sure it can be frustrating but life can be lol.

I read these comments and they almost make me sad, like we're setting an example for little girl's that her hair determines her success in life (And yes, NO ONE SAID THAT, this is just how I as an outsider see's this, its my opinion only and I do not want to see this thread locked).
I see it as "other people don't haev control over your body [including hair]".

I don't force my child to hae her hair certain ways.  I don't alter her body/hair/etc w/o her input.  No one gets to make decisions about her body without her input--and, for the moment, her parents' input (when she's a bit older, her input alone)

And "it grows back" doesn't really adress the amount of time.  For me, the difference between a 'bad' haircut and a 'good' haircut can be, quite literally, YEARS.

If someone were to try to cut bangs into my kid's hair, I'd say it would be easily 6-8 months to get it back to the starting point.
That's 6 months, so 180 days.  Over 180 separate times I would have to struggle to do her hair differently (possibly being painful because making hair 'work' isn't comfortable) because of someone else trying to make that decision for us.
assume 1/2 an hour for each of those (which, is about average), you'er talking 90 hours of trying to get ponytails in.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: wolfie on January 18, 2013, 09:51:16 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Normally I would disagree very strongly with the idea that a dad doesn't have equal say and in all things concerning his children, but I agree with Toots on this one.  My husband never had to brush the tangles out of my daughter's hair, or put it into a pony tail, or try to get her gossamer strands into a french braid. Her hair was my job alone, so I got to decide what it looked like.

I can understand that but I would have been a lot happier if Toots had said that only the person in charge of the hair gets the say - and not say that only moms get any say - dads don't at all.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Thipu1 on January 18, 2013, 09:55:29 AM
Actually my GF did this to me.  I was going on three and had next to no hair at all.  What I had was a pale, red fuzz.  It was driving the family crazy. 

There was a family conference to decide if I should start wearing a wig.  While this was going on, Grandpa took me for a 'walk'.  He took me to his barber and had my fuzz trimmed.  My parents weren't thrilled but nobody dared say anything to Grandpa.

Oddly enough, after that, my hair started coming in and I had a full mop in about six months.

Okay, that was an odd case.  The one in the OP is very different.  The child wasn't bothered by her hair, her parents weren't bothered by her hair, only the GM was bothered it. 

Cutting the child's hair was bad enough but as others have pointed out, the real problem was the lie.
Hair grows back pretty quickly.  Trust takes a lot longer to develop.   
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Sharnita on January 18, 2013, 09:58:17 AM
While some people have personal anecdotes about their own families where dad wasn't good with hair I think it is completely unreasonable to make a bla.ket statement that dads should have no say, or even that they should have less than the mom.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: TootsNYC on January 18, 2013, 09:58:27 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.

In my case, I *had* told my MIL several times that we were growing it out and that she should stop fussing about DD's hair in her fact, because soon it was going to be long enough to put in the ponytail.

Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Shoo on January 18, 2013, 10:05:05 AM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.

In my case, I *had* told my MIL several times that we were growing it out and that she should stop fussing about DD's hair in her fact, because soon it was going to be long enough to put in the ponytail.



Yes, sometimes that's just the way things are.  Not everyone has to think it's "right" but that doesn't mean that's not the way it is.

Most dads that I have ever known have left their daughters' hair up to the moms.  Most moms care way more about their daughters' hair than most dads, IMO.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: CakeBeret on January 18, 2013, 10:05:38 AM
Reading these replies, i realise I have an opposite view, but here it goes.......

Firstly, regarding the haircut - it doesn't seem too strange to me that a grandparent, who does a lot of childcare and helps the parents a lot, would take it upon themselves to 'help out' or 'surprise' the parents by getting a grandchild's hair cut - my mum looks after my nephew and it would not seem strange for her to take tim to get his hair cut, to help out my sister. I don't have kids but if i did, it would not really bother me at all unless i had SPECIFICALLY said 'please don't get their hair cut, we are trying to grow it/ we like it like that, etc'

When i was little, my nan looked after me. one day, when i was four, she took me to have my ears pierced. i suppose my today's standards, that seems crazy, but it was all fine. in fact, considering my nan was horrible and really nasty to me, i think it was probably teh only nice thing she ever did for me, and i still remember the experience fondly.

if you trust your parents to look after your children regularly, for long periods of time, then don't you also trust them to make a few decisions ? Or even do something as a favour or a surprise for you?
xx

While I see your point, I disagree with you. My mom watches my DS 3 days a week. I expect her--or anyone else watching him--to not make any permanent or semi-permanent decisions without talking to me. And haircuts have come up before. Mom will say "DS's hair is getting really long, would you like me to get it cut?" or "I'm going to the hairdresser on Tuesday, would you like me to get DS's hair cut as well?" It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to ask the parent beforehand. IMO there's no excuse for not asking.

I trust my mom to look after my child--just like I trust my mother in law, my siblings, etc. And I trust them to make decisions that are relevant to their care of my child, up to and including appropriate punishment. It's not that I don't trust someone to make a decision regarding a child's hair--it is simply that I expect to be communicated with regarding something like that.

Personally? I would be mildly irked, at the worst, about the haircut. I would be furious at the lying, though, enough to consider never letting grandma watch my child alone. If I can't trust her to be honest about a simple haircut, what can I trust her to be honest about?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: postalslave on January 18, 2013, 10:18:12 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Shoo on January 18, 2013, 10:22:48 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

It's not an interesting assumption, it's real life.  You may not agree with it, but that doesn't mean that's not the way it is.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: violinp on January 18, 2013, 10:30:03 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

I couldn't agree more. Parenting is a joint venture, and, as such, both parents should give the okay on matters like that. The mother shouldn't get the only and final say on hairstyles or anything else. The same goes for the father.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Jones on January 18, 2013, 10:35:10 AM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and DD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

*ETA change "SD" to "DD", sorry for the confusion.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: SPuck on January 18, 2013, 10:54:38 AM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and SD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

How old was she at the time?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 18, 2013, 10:56:15 AM
Also, something that would be insignificant for an adult in terms of how long it would take to grow out could be endless for a child, because sometimes their hair takes a while to get the whole "growth" message.  My 6-year-old has shoulder-length hair.  It's only been trimmed twice in her life, and just a small amount each time.  It's just SLOW to grow.  She was bald until 2.  We decided to grow her bangs out at age 4, and it took 2 years.  That's two years of her hair in her face, her chewing on her hair because it keeps going in her mouth and then the hair gets wet and gross.  Trying to pull her bangs away from her face.  Taking 10 minutes instead of 2 to figure out some way to keep her hair back for gymnastics (and having it come loose and look a wreck every time anyway).  She *finally* in the past month or so appears to have reached the length where it at least sometimes stays tucked behind her ears and it's too long to naturally go into her mouth.  If somebody decided to cut bangs for her again... I would be really, truly, awfully angry.  They would be costing me hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of frustrating work, working with my daughter to stop chewing on her bangs when they reached that length again in growing out, or possibly having bangs again, which I'd have to keep trimmed and deal with constantly, etc.  Hair is not something that you necessarily recover from easily.

Even my second daughter, whose hair grows at a more normal rate, took a while to grow out of a bad haircut.  She once took a pair of scissors to her hair and cut her bangs a bit farther along on one side.  It wasn't obvious at first, because it was the same length as her bangs and disguised by the other hair.  But as her hair grew out, as my husband said, it looked like she had a mullet.  She still has a chunk of hair shorter than the rest, because her hair is long and she wants to grow it long like "Rapunzel," so I hate to cut six inches off all of her hair just to make it the same length as that chunk so it all matches.

So having somebody cut hair that you're trying to grow out can be a pain.  Even if you *were* going to cut the bangs and they just did it wrong, it might take a few weeks to even out.  But especially when you're trying to grow hair out or change the style, you could be costing them months of extra work and frustration.  Or years, in my case.  :)
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Jones on January 18, 2013, 11:04:06 AM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and SD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

How old was she at the time?
Sorry, I've talked about her on eHell before and didn't think to put her age in this story. She was 5 and 1 month at the time.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 18, 2013, 11:10:14 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

I couldn't agree more. Parenting is a joint venture, and, as such, both parents should give the okay on matters like that. The mother shouldn't get the only and final say on hairstyles or anything else. The same goes for the father.
While in theory it would be great is parent's shared equal reponsibility for everything, it's just not pratical in most families.  From a time management perspective, it would be cumbersome to have both parents engaged for every decision. I can imagine my DH's eyes glazing over if he was to listen to a discussion about how much length my DD wanted tirmmed or wether she wanted to put layers back into her hair.  Just as I was standing by impatiently while DD and DH debated which wheels to put on her car. (To me, they are wheels, you don't see them once in your in the car and they don't perform any different from the other, just get the cheapest ones) There are just  some things one parent has a stronger interest in and the other happily relinquishes responsibility.  There were some posts recently about women who's fathers insisted that they retain long hair. But I would estimate 90% of dads don't get too involved in pony tail holder colors or whether a hair band will end up being too tight. 
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 18, 2013, 11:14:48 AM
Evil Tea Drinker would send a note saying "Dear FIL, I am sorry that your wife lied about what she had done to my daughter and suggested that I was seeing things. I am also sorry that this means that she will not be able to visit you without me."

No, it's not an apology. But there is no way in the world that I would apologize to someone for the fact that they or their spouse lied to me, even if their intentions were good. Good intentions would make it more likely that I would accept their apology, but that's different.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: cheyne on January 18, 2013, 11:16:19 AM
I wouldn't have been too angry about cutting the bangs, but livid about being lied to.  No matter what has happened, lying about it only prolongs the situation. 

I have to agree with Toots and Shoo about the mother/daughter hair thing.  In most families, the mom ends-up with grooming duties and should have the final say in the hairstyle.  My DH only asked that we keep DD's hair long and DS's hair short when they were growing up.  He didn't care about the actual hairstyles.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: violinp on January 18, 2013, 11:17:28 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

I couldn't agree more. Parenting is a joint venture, and, as such, both parents should give the okay on matters like that. The mother shouldn't get the only and final say on hairstyles or anything else. The same goes for the father.
While in theory it would be great is parent's shared equal reponsibility for everything, it's just not pratical in most families.  From a time management perspective, it would be cumbersome to have both parents engaged for every decision. I can imagine my DH's eyes glazing over if he was to listen to a discussion about how much length my DD wanted tirmmed or wether she wanted to put layers back into her hair.  Just as I was standing by impatiently while DD and DH debated which wheels to put on her car. (To me, they are wheels, you don't see them once in your in the car and they don't perform any different from the other, just get the cheapest ones) There are just  some things one parent has a stronger interest in and the other happily relinquishes responsibility.  There were some posts recently about women who's fathers insisted that they retain long hair. But I would estimate 90% of dads don't get too involved in pony tail holder colors or whether a hair band will end up being too tight.

See, neither of my parents cared very much about the color of a ponytail holder and things of that nature - they were more concerned with having to actually brush my hair (thick, tangly, and sensitive scalp). They also never really had separate realms, in my experience. For them, marriage and parenting were equal partner ventures. So, it's a bit strange to see families where the mom decides if the hair gets cut, or the dad decides what wheels are on the car.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: wolfie on January 18, 2013, 11:18:58 AM
TO answer the actual question - I would not send an email or otherwise write anything. Anything written down has a way of coming back and biting you later. I would do a verbal discussion with the Mother - I would have SIL do it since it is her mother. I would tell her how lying about cutting the hair broke the trust and how she wouldn't be able to babysit alone for a while - until she could prove that she will respect the parent's wishes first and foremost.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: postalslave on January 18, 2013, 11:19:14 AM

See, neither of my parents cared very much about the color of a ponytail holder and things of that nature - they were more concerned with having to actually brush my hair (thick, tangly, and sensitive scalp). They also never really had separate realms, in my experience. For them, marriage and parenting were equal partner ventures. So, it's a bit strange to see families where the mom decides if the hair gets cut, or the dad decides what wheels are on the car.


So agreed lol.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 18, 2013, 11:27:17 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

I couldn't agree more. Parenting is a joint venture, and, as such, both parents should give the okay on matters like that. The mother shouldn't get the only and final say on hairstyles or anything else. The same goes for the father.
While in theory it would be great is parent's shared equal reponsibility for everything, it's just not pratical in most families.  From a time management perspective, it would be cumbersome to have both parents engaged for every decision. I can imagine my DH's eyes glazing over if he was to listen to a discussion about how much length my DD wanted tirmmed or wether she wanted to put layers back into her hair.  Just as I was standing by impatiently while DD and DH debated which wheels to put on her car. (To me, they are wheels, you don't see them once in your in the car and they don't perform any different from the other, just get the cheapest ones) There are just  some things one parent has a stronger interest in and the other happily relinquishes responsibility.  There were some posts recently about women who's fathers insisted that they retain long hair. But I would estimate 90% of dads don't get too involved in pony tail holder colors or whether a hair band will end up being too tight.

See, neither of my parents cared very much about the color of a ponytail holder and things of that nature - they were more concerned with having to actually brush my hair (thick, tangly, and sensitive scalp). They also never really had separate realms, in my experience. For them, marriage and parenting were equal partner ventures. So, it's a bit strange to see families where the mom decides if the hair gets cut, or the dad decides what wheels are on the car.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I didn't intend to imply most parents aren't equal partners.  What didn't state well was that one might have more of an interest in one topic over another. I could have had as much say in the car wheels, but I didn't really care so why get involved.  It's like if I was in a business partnership.  One partner might be really into their internet presence while the other is more interested in developing supplier relationships.  One partner is not less of an equal, they just concentrate their interests and talents in different areas.

I think it's wonderful if you grew up with parents who's interests were so well aligned that they had the same level of input in all family decisions.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: gramma dishes on January 18, 2013, 11:28:57 AM


I can understand that but I would have been a lot happier if Toots had said that only the person in charge of the hair gets the say - and not say that only moms get any say - dads don't at all.

I think most of us interpreted Toot's remark to mean "Dad's do not unilaterally make the decision to cut (or allow someone else to cut) their child's hair without first consulting with the Mom".  I don't think Toots ever meant Dad's opinions don't count at all.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 18, 2013, 11:31:54 AM
The hair is just the catalyst.  The lying would have made me livid.  DS is 21 and, to this day, my mother asks if she can take him for a haircut (although now I say to ask him).

My mother made all of the decisions regarding how my brother and I looked when we were kids.  I don't think my father even knew where the comb was in the house (he had his own that no one dared touch  ;D).

FBIL owes no one an apology.  He and his wife are owed one not so much for the haircut, but for the lying.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Sharnita on January 18, 2013, 11:32:22 AM
I do know of families where Grandma is the de facto if not legal guardian. Maybe the parents are too immature, too selfish, have drug problems, whatever. In those familes Grandma would have the authority to make a call regarding haircuts. OTOH, she wouldn't have to hide it.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 18, 2013, 11:33:30 AM
I know the mom vs. dad thing is a tangent that the OP didn't bring up, so I'll try to be brief.

While I think that most people can say that dads don't care about hair, I don't think it's fair to make that decision for all dads.

My DH has opinions on how our kids' (we have one girl and one boy) hair should be. He also thinks, and I concur, that it's important what the kids think of their own hair, and they're still little.

I usually style their hair, but DH has attempted to comb DD's long hair and put in ponytails. I have 30+ more years of experience, but for a newbie, he does a good job and I applaud his efforts.

The other day, I suggested to DH that I might give our DS a flat-top haircut but I ran it by him first. He was strongly opposed to the idea. DS looks a lot like DH did as a kid and DH has really bad memories of having a buzz cut because of a traumatic incident at school. When DH was 5, his parents were missionaries. They lived in a place where everyone was one race and DH was not that race. DH was the only child with blond hair. The kids teased him and ganged up on him and dumped house paint is his hair. His parents couldn't get it out and they had to shave his head. Seeing our son in a buzz cut would remind him of this, so out of respect, I'm not going to buzz DS's hair.

I think what OP's FSIL's mom did was a huge boundary violation and disrespectful. I think FBIL and FSIL should tell her they are very upset even if it falls on deaf ears. They have a right and duty to speak up in defense of their boundaries and their DD. And I really don't think they should let her mom see any kids unsupervised because she lied and disrespected them. She has not shown any remorse.

And I agree with the PP who said that the fact that the mom lied about it shows that the mom knows it was wrong and would not have met with their approval. I will add that the fact that the mom did it while FBIL and FSIL were not there also indicates that she knows they would not have approved.

And I wouldn't accept a non-apology from mom either. A huffy "Fine. Whatever. If you're so oversensitive and it's such a big deal, I apologize. Sheesh. Get over it" is not an apology. Unless mom truly showed remorse and I trusted her not to do something like this ever again, I wouldn't let her babysit.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Eden on January 18, 2013, 11:34:21 AM

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.


No, it's just offensive and a pretty interesting assumption.

It's not an interesting assumption, it's real life.  You may not agree with it, but that doesn't mean that's not the way it is.

Wow. Well just because you said it doesn't mean that's the way it is either.

I may be true the majority of the time, but that doesn't mean it is ALL of the time, which is why I take offense to the statement.


I think most of us interpreted Toot's remark to mean "Dad's do not unilaterally make the decision to cut (or allow someone else to cut) their child's hair without first consulting with the Mom".  I don't think Toots ever meant Dad's opinions don't count at all.

This I agree with
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Shoo on January 18, 2013, 11:36:41 AM
I usually style their hair, but DH has attempted to comb DD's long hair and put in ponytails. I have 30+ more years of experience, but for a newbie, he does a good job and I applaud his efforts.

How would you feel if your husband decided your daughter's hair was just too difficult for him to put in a pony tail, so he just decided to have it all cut off.  Easier for him, right?

No one is saying Dad's shouldn't have input if they want it.  It's been my observation that most men don't want it.  Certainly not ALL men.  No one has made that claim.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Dr. F. on January 18, 2013, 11:39:10 AM
I agree that the lying is the deal-breaker here, particularly because it was actually an attempt (failed) to gaslight the parents. That's just creepy and would lead me to never trust her again.

What does FFIL want the dad to apologize for? I'm confused by that.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Sharnita on January 18, 2013, 11:52:56 AM
I think the problem is rather that it was presented as if  all men should follow the Universal Rule of Toots. It is a bit off putting to see somebody insist that their experience should be used as a standard to set rules that all should follow, whether their experiences are the same or not. I am not sure if Toots meant it that way but it sure came off that way.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: onyonryngs on January 18, 2013, 12:03:43 PM
I think the problem is rather that it was presented as if  all men should follow the Universal Rule of Toots. It is a bit off putting to see somebody insist that their experience should be used as a standard to set rules that all should follow, whether their experiences are the same or not. I am not sure if Toots meant it that way but it sure came off that way.

POD.  That's how I read it as well.  I have to say that I took that post with a grain of salt though.  If someone tells me upfront that they have no problem with making a sexist comment, I take that as a warning that I'm probably not going to agree with it.   
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Perfect Circle on January 18, 2013, 12:05:47 PM
I think the problem is rather that it was presented as if  all men should follow the Universal Rule of Toots. It is a bit off putting to see somebody insist that their experience should be used as a standard to set rules that all should follow, whether their experiences are the same or not. I am not sure if Toots meant it that way but it sure came off that way.

I agree. And my experience is that my husband actually gets my child ready for school more than I do because of how life works. So he gets a big say in her hairstyle because he has to be the one to make it neat for school.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Moray on January 18, 2013, 12:10:01 PM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.

In my case, I *had* told my MIL several times that we were growing it out and that she should stop fussing about DD's hair in her fact, because soon it was going to be long enough to put in the ponytail.

You know, the only person who's allowed to use that sort of rationale with me are my parents, and even their permission has been drastically reduced as I've grown up and moved out of the house.

Why not back up your dictatorial statement with actual reasons? Like "Whoever has to care for the child's hair should have control, and in my house that's me." or "I choose to reject the idea that my pre-conceived notions of Matriarchy might not be universal." or even "I believe men are incapable of rearing children or caring about appearance."

You'd get a great deal of argument regarding the last two, I'm sure, but at least you'd have put forth your reasoning like an adult having a conversation with equals instead of a mom dictating to a bunch of wayward children.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: JenJay on January 18, 2013, 12:19:25 PM
I think the problem is rather that it was presented as if  all men should follow the Universal Rule of Toots. It is a bit off putting to see somebody insist that their experience should be used as a standard to set rules that all should follow, whether their experiences are the same or not. I am not sure if Toots meant it that way but it sure came off that way.

Very well said. DH would be welcome to take our DD for a haircut and he personally cuts our sons' hair in whatever style they all agree on. I'd do my best to help DD with her hair but, having very fine, somewhat thin hair that you can't do anything with, it's not an area I have much knowledge in. Not that it matters since DD is a "wash it, comb it, get on with other things" girl like me. DH has probably helped her with as many pony tails as I have.

Obviously a lot of moms take a great interest in their kids' hair but a lot don't. I guarantee if I informed my DH that he wasn't allowed to decide how to cut our kids' hair he'd tell me I was out of line and he'd be right.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: EMuir on January 18, 2013, 12:26:43 PM
I really think that the parents not only need to agree on their child's hair cutting plan, but once the child gets old enough to care, the child MUST be part of the process.

One of the traumatic memories of my childhood was when I was 10 or so and went to a local stylist with my mother.  I had my hair in long braids because I was a bit of a tomboy and wanted easy care hair, and my mom wouldn't let me have it cut short, so it was a compromise.  On this visit when I thought I was just getting my bangs trimmed, the stylist ended up cutting the hair on the top and sides shorter so that it had to be kept back with barrettes. Two problems with that: I have very curly hair that frizzes up even with two barrettes per side.  That is why the choices were short or very long. Second problem: I was a tomboy and HATED having to do more than the absolute minimum with my hair.

For years my school pictures were horrible because of this halo of frizz around my head.  I never did mention it to my mom, I think my tears after the appointment were enough message about surprise hairstyles. :)
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Winterlight on January 18, 2013, 12:29:26 PM
I'd be annoyed by the haircut, but angered by the lying and attempted gaslighting.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: cass2591 on January 18, 2013, 12:30:49 PM

Because.

That's why.



That's quite a condesceding and snotty answer. If you can't articulate why you feel the way you do, fine, just admit it, but don't reply to people here as though you are their mother. It is not appreciated at all.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Moray on January 18, 2013, 12:31:03 PM
I think the problem is rather that it was presented as if  all men should follow the Universal Rule of Toots. It is a bit off putting to see somebody insist that their experience should be used as a standard to set rules that all should follow, whether their experiences are the same or not. I am not sure if Toots meant it that way but it sure came off that way.

Very well said. DH would be welcome to take our DD for a haircut and he personally cuts our sons' hair in whatever style they all agree on. I'd do my best to help DD with her hair but, having very fine, somewhat thin hair that you can't do anything with, it's not an area I have much knowledge in. Not that it matters since DD is a "wash it, comb it, get on with other things" girl like me. DH has probably helped her with as many pony tails as I have.

Obviously a lot of moms take a great interest in their kids' hair but a lot don't. I guarantee if I informed my DH that he wasn't allowed to decide how to cut our kids' hair he'd tell me I was out of line and he'd be right.

I think every family's situation is unique. JenJay's is a good example of why a blanket rule can't apply.

OP, I don't think any apology is warranted. FSIL has every right to be upset that her kid's hair was cut without her permission and that she was lied to about it.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: artk2002 on January 18, 2013, 02:00:22 PM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Because.

That's why.

And, because I don't think most men care about it in the same way moms do. And in almost every situation I've known, the mom is the one who does the bulk of the logistical work w/ haircare, etc. And even if the dad DOES handle this, the mom knows everything *as well* (but moms don't always tell dads about their plans).

And yes, it's sexist, and I don't particularly care.

In my case, I *had* told my MIL several times that we were growing it out and that she should stop fussing about DD's hair in her fact, because soon it was going to be long enough to put in the ponytail.

Wow. Just, wow.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 18, 2013, 03:41:31 PM
FSIL has decided to confront Grandma in person and to make sure Grandpa is there, too.  She said that she and FBIL will by no means apologize for anything unless it is to say, "I'm sorry you decided to undermine our parenting and to lie to us," but only if that comes up.  FSIL also said that the Grandparents will not babysit unless supervised.

How does this sound as a starter?

"Mom, Dad, we have decided together that you will not be allowed to visit with Niece unless we're there, too.  The last time you did, you not only cut her hair without our permission knowing full well we were trying to grow out her hair, but then you lied about it.  We only found out because you felt guilty enough to tell Sister and she told us.  We can't trust you to not do something like this again and to lie about it, too, so any time spent with Niece means we will be present, too."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Moray on January 18, 2013, 03:46:42 PM
If I were your FSIL, I'd start off with something closer to "Mom, I'm really hurt that you'd not only give Daughter a haircut without our permission, but that you'd lie to us about it. It makes me feel like I can't trust you alone with Daughter. Can you explain to me why you lied to us?"
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 18, 2013, 03:51:06 PM
FSIL also said that the Grandparents will not babysit unless supervised.

GOOD!

If I were FSIL, I'd leave Sister out of it. No need to drag her into it. Keep her as an ally, rather than have Mom get mad at Sister for telling FSIL. Also, Mom might say "Sister is exaggerating. I never said that." And Mom will just stop telling Sister things and it'll be harder to know the truth in the future.

I'd say:
"Mom, Dad, we have decided together that you will not be allowed to visit with Niece unless we're there, too.  The last time you did, you not only cut her hair without our permission knowing full well we were trying to grow out her hair, but then you lied about it.  We only found out because you felt guilty enough to tell Sister and she told us. We can't trust you to not do something like this again and to lie about it, too, so any time spent with Niece means we will be present, too."

And when mom says "I'm not a liar. I never cut her hair." FSIL can counter with "It's evident. Don't lie to me again."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: gramma dishes on January 18, 2013, 03:52:05 PM
Ummm ... I'm not sure I'd implicate the sister here as being the one who told.  (I admit that might be obvious to the Grandmother if that's the only person who knew, but still ... )

I'm not sure a confrontation at this point is advisable.  I'd wait until the grandparents begin to wonder why they haven't seen or heard from this part of the family for awhile and contact them to inquire.  Then I would just say "We know you cut our daughter's hair the last time we trusted you to keep her, even though you knew we were trying very hard to let it grow out.  But even worse, we also know you lied to us about it, repeatedly, and that has totally destroyed our trust in you.  It will take an admission of what you did and a sincere apology from you for both that and the lying about it,  and even then it may be  a very long time before we will be able to spend time with you comfortably again."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 18, 2013, 03:59:53 PM
I think leaving Sister out of it is a good idea; I'll let FSIL know.

Grandma and Grandpa live only about 20 miles or so from FSIL, FBIL, and Niece.  They see each other usually at least once a week.  They haven't seen each other since the incident.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Craftymom on January 18, 2013, 06:13:11 PM
I am betting that Grandpa is asking for the apology because he has only heard that "baby's parents were mean to Grandma after she last visited with baby and made Grandma upset"

and not WHY they were mad...
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 18, 2013, 06:14:01 PM
I am betting that Grandpa is asking for the apology because he has only heard that "baby's parents were mean to Grandma after she last visited with baby and made Grandma upset"

and not WHY they were mad...

Knowing Grandma and Grandpa, I can say that's probably it.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: exitzero on January 18, 2013, 06:21:10 PM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Normally I would disagree very strongly with the idea that a dad doesn't have equal say and in all things concerning his children, but I agree with Toots on this one.  My husband never had to brush the tangles out of my daughter's hair, or put it into a pony tail, or try to get her gossamer strands into a french braid. Her hair was my job alone, so I got to decide what it looked like.

My friend's father learned this lesson the hard way. When she was a little girl, she went to the barbershop with her dad one day. She somehow convinced the barber and her father that her mother really really wanted her to have her long, blond waist-length hair cut into a "pixie" cut, which was all the rage. For some unfathomable reason, the barber and her father believed her, and cut it. Mother was NOT happy. Forty years later, she would still have flashbacks.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: auntmeegs on January 18, 2013, 06:27:56 PM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Normally I would disagree very strongly with the idea that a dad doesn't have equal say and in all things concerning his children, but I agree with Toots on this one.  My husband never had to brush the tangles out of my daughter's hair, or put it into a pony tail, or try to get her gossamer strands into a french braid. Her hair was my job alone, so I got to decide what it looked like.

My friend's father learned this lesson the hard way. When she was a little girl, she went to the barbershop with her dad one day. She somehow convinced the barber and her father that her mother really really wanted her to have her long, blond waist-length hair cut into a "pixie" cut, which was all the rage. For some unfathomable reason, the barber and her father believed her, and cut it. Mother was NOT happy. Forty years later, she would still have flashbacks.

If the child is old enough to fully articulate exactly how she wants her har cut, imo she should be able to decide on her hair style for herself.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 18, 2013, 06:32:43 PM
Not always. My son wants a mohawk but his school absolutely forbids such a thing.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: auntmeegs on January 18, 2013, 06:35:09 PM
Not always. My son wants a mohawk but his school absolutely forbids such a thing.

Yes, within reason, of course.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: JenJay on January 18, 2013, 07:07:51 PM
Not always. My son wants a mohawk but his school absolutely forbids such a thing.

That's unfortunate. My son sported a mohawk kindergarten through the beginning of 2nd grade. When he started suddenly asking to grow it out I assumed it was because he was being teased. "No, Mom, everybody always wants to touch it. It's annoying."  :D
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Nuala on January 18, 2013, 07:11:57 PM
I'm not sure why DD didn't say anything, but she was a very biddable child, so she probably figured Grandma knew best--or didn't realize quite what was happening.

Well, my grandparents told me that I couldn't go to kindergarten unless I had bangs cut. So instead of long hair that could be put in a ponytail, I had a pixie.

My mother was pissed!

I told that story to my MIL to preempt any haircuts, but she did manage to undermine me with nail polish and changed clothing. At least none of that needed to grow out.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: wordgirl on January 18, 2013, 09:57:26 PM


My friend's father learned this lesson the hard way. When she was a little girl, she went to the barbershop with her dad one day. She somehow convinced the barber and her father that her mother really really wanted her to have her long, blond waist-length hair cut into a "pixie" cut, which was all the rage. For some unfathomable reason, the barber and her father believed her, and cut it. Mother was NOT happy. Forty years later, she would still have flashbacks.

I had the opposite happen. When I was about five my mother, who has never liked long hair on anyone, took my sister and I to get short cuts over our objections. My dad (who was actually a better hair-comber than mom - he would work the tangles out instead of yanking at them) came home, saw two tearstained little girls with very short hair and Blew. Up.

It was the first fight (and one of the few) that I remember my parents having when I was little. We were both kind of startled by the fight but very selfishly pleased that Daddy would champion our right to long hair. >:D

As an adult, I can see Mom's side of this 100 percent. Daddy was only a good hair-comber when he was around - he was a 60-hour-work-week guy and almost all of the childcare duties fell on Mom. (I'm actually sitting in his office now looking at a picture of Sis and I with our short cuts, and being reminded that he was also fond of buying us adorable cotton dresses in light colors. That stained if anyone looked at them too hard. And had to be ironed.)

If our grandmother had cut our hair, I'm pretty sure both parents would have been furious.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 18, 2013, 10:13:01 PM
When I was in preschool, so about age 3 or 4, all my friends had bangs, but my mother wouldn't let me have them. So I found the scissors and decided to do it myself. But I couldn't see over the bathroom counter into the mirror. I would jump up as high as I could, snip, jump, snip. You can imagine what a fantastic job I did. I'm glad I didn't cut anything other than my hair.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 18, 2013, 11:11:34 PM
My personal view is that anything which will significantly alter a child's appearance (such as a new hairstyle, or ear piercings, etc) should require the consent of both parents, rather than just one.

Back on topic, I hope the discussion between your future in-laws goes well, Mental Magpie!
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 18, 2013, 11:26:08 PM
In our family, I definitely have final say over the girls' haircuts and hairstyles, because I'm the one who deals with them.  At the same time, however, my husband gets input and has strong opinions about some things.  :)  He's not fond of bangs, and he thinks that Jenny's, particularly with her straight hair, don't look great on her, so I have a feeling she's going to be growing hers out in the next few years.  At least her hair grows fast!  Little Charlotte's hair grows like a weed and is already halfway down her back at age 2, but she also has slightly curly hair and the most charming bangs (plus hair that is so wild that it would never stay out of her face if she didn't have bangs), so she'll probably get to keep hers for now.  But while my husband might suggest this or that, or ask me to do something different, etc., he wouldn't lay down the ultimatum or do anything to the girls' hair without me, unless it were a true emergency (gum or paint in the hair, etc.).
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Rusty on January 19, 2013, 03:42:07 AM
FFIL probably knows nothing about the lies of his wife, he was probably told that FMIL just cut a tiny bit of hair from the child and it has created a huge fuss and FMIL, who only tried to be helpful, was treated badly and is very upset.  Does that sound likely?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 19, 2013, 05:26:58 AM
FFIL probably knows nothing about the lies of his wife, he was probably told that FMIL just cut a tiny bit of hair from the child and it has created a huge fuss and FMIL, who only tried to be helpful, was treated badly and is very upset.  Does that sound likely?

Yes. I don't know them well, but I've met them a few times, and I've heard stories...but it seems likely.

(Grandma is also the woman who cried because she didn't like the way the wedding decorations were set up.)
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Elisabunny on January 19, 2013, 10:55:58 AM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and SD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

Wait, what?!  Where's that jaw-dropping smilie?  I know very few boys that would be ok with being shaved, let alone girls.  What on earth was he thinking?  Excuse me while I try to duct-tape my brain back together.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: TootsNYC on January 19, 2013, 11:19:31 AM


I can understand that but I would have been a lot happier if Toots had said that only the person in charge of the hair gets the say - and not say that only moms get any say - dads don't at all.

I think most of us interpreted Toot's remark to mean "Dad's do not unilaterally make the decision to cut (or allow someone else to cut) their child's hair without first consulting with the Mom".  I don't think Toots ever meant Dad's opinions don't count at all.

Actually, a BIG part of what I meant is, "the grandparents don't get to go on Dad's say-so alone--they have to have Mom's." Partly because grandparents will so often dismiss the dad's comments because of a built-in bias, and partly because I think men are far more likely to be "people pleasers" when there's a woman involved (and grandmas as more likely to be the ones asking for permission).

Basically, I think a rule of grandparenting should be: You *never* get a grandkid's hair cut unless you have actually been *asked*; you shouldn't be the one asking.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Winterlight on January 19, 2013, 02:53:10 PM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and DD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

*ETA change "SD" to "DD", sorry for the confusion.

OK, my dad used to joke about shaving my head, since he shaved his. However, if he'd ever gone near me with the razor, he'd have been sleeping on the the roof forever more. Mom would have gone ballistic.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Jones on January 19, 2013, 02:55:20 PM
A couple years ago DH, then a SAHD, and SD thought it would be great fun to shave DD's head bald. I received a picture text afterwards. By the time I got off work I'd managed to compose myself.
DD was teased by the other kids and ended up wearing hats as often as she could. I made DH deal with the tears. This morning, 2 years 1 month later, I was able to pull her hair into a single ponytail. A month ago she still had whisps that wouldn't stay back, so I feel it quite the accomplishment.

That is the story of why the kids' hair is totally my realm, even if DH is the primary caretaker.

Wait, what?!  Where's that jaw-dropping smilie?  I know very few boys that would be ok with being shaved, let alone girls.  What on earth was he thinking?  Excuse me while I try to duct-tape my brain back together.

To be fair, he had DD convinced it would be great to not have to worry about shampoo and tangles anymore. She was happy with it until she went to school, and people started calling her a "boy". Neither DH or DD has complained about the tangles since, all I have to do is bring up the fact she could shave her head again... >:D

*My apologies, I hadn't noticed my phone changed a DD to SD which kinda made my original there hard to follow.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Kimblee on January 19, 2013, 03:09:51 PM

There is a rule, and grandparents should know it: No Grandparent May Get a Grandchild's Hair Cut Without the Express, Direct, and Wholehearted Approval of the Mother. (No, Not Even Dads Are Allowed to Permit This--Only Moms.)


Seriously? Dad's doesn't get a say? What's the rational behind that?  :o

Normally I would disagree very strongly with the idea that a dad doesn't have equal say and in all things concerning his children, but I agree with Toots on this one.  My husband never had to brush the tangles out of my daughter's hair, or put it into a pony tail, or try to get her gossamer strands into a french braid. Her hair was my job alone, so I got to decide what it looked like.

A friend of mine is the primary "hair stylist" for his two daughters. (To be fair, their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday.) His girls always look lovely, and I'm pretty sure he'd flip out if someone cut their hair.

He makes all hair related decisions, other than that the three boys will have long hair until they ASK for short hair, because long is easier for their parents to deal with, and cheaper. (No need for pro hair cuts.) Maybe the rule should be "Whichever parent has to deal with the tangles makes the choices."
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: The TARDIS on January 20, 2013, 09:21:37 PM
What if the parents wanted to save a lock of hair from "baby's first haircut"? Someday I want to be a mother and I would be quite cross to have that special first hair lock lost because of an inconsiderate grandparent.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: miranova on January 21, 2013, 11:10:08 AM
Every. single. time that my MIL has overstepped, her reasoning has been that she was "only trying to help".  So, I would not be ok with that as an excuse.  I don't care if someone thinks they are helping me if I don't want any help!  It is not in any way "helpful" to make decisions that are mine to make.  Helping would be carrying out my wishes, not overriding them.  I have come to despise the phrase "I'm trying to help" for this reason.  It's been used too many times to justify someoen crossing boundaries in my life. 

I keep telling myself that all of these stories plus my life experiences are only training me to be a good MIL in the future by teaching me what NOT to do.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: amylouky on January 21, 2013, 12:11:07 PM
Interesting fact.. at least where I live, the right to decide a child's hair is a legally recognized parental right. When we were fostering, we had to get a parent's (or social worker's, if the parent couldn't be located) permission to even trim bangs. This applied until the parent's rights were legally terminated.
Kind of funny.. we decided what the child ate, what they wore, what they played with, how often they bathed, and just about everything else in their daily life.. but we had to get permission to trim their hair.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2013, 12:11:54 PM
Interesting fact.. at least where I live, the right to decide a child's hair is a legally recognized parental right. When we were fostering, we had to get a parent's (or social worker's, if the parent couldn't be located) permission to even trim bangs. This applied until the parent's rights were legally terminated.
Kind of funny.. we decided what the child ate, what they wore, what they played with, how often they bathed, and just about everything else in their daily life.. but we had to get permission to trim their hair.

That's actually incredibly interesting.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: ettiquit on January 21, 2013, 02:16:12 PM
I don't think I would care too much if my mom or MIL got my 9yo DS's haircut, so long as they kept the same style.  He has really thin hair and it's best just to keep it short.  At 2 years old though, I would have been livid.  We experimented with hairstyles for him until deciding that really short is best.

If we had a daughter, I would likely care more about her hair than my DH.  However, I know he would have some interest and I'm also certain that I would not be the only one dealing with her hair, so of course DH would have a say in all hair decisions.  Even if the "norm" suggests that moms care more than dads, there's no reason to make that an absolute.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Hijinks on January 21, 2013, 04:58:37 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: SiotehCat on January 21, 2013, 05:01:56 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why is it gross? Hair stylists do the same thing.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 21, 2013, 05:49:51 PM
I can't remember if it's been mentioned in this thread or not, but in other threads on this board, it's been mentioned. Cutting someone's hair without the proper consent can be considered assault. The parents could even look into pressing charges, depending on where they live.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2013, 05:50:46 PM
I can't remember if it's been mentioned in this thread or not, but in other threads on this board, it's been mentioned. Cutting someone's hair without the proper consent can be considered assault. The parents could even look into pressing charges, depending on where they live.

I doubt they have any interest in going that route.  I know they're upset, but not enough to press charges on their family.

Edit:  That sounded brusk when I read it back to myself.  I don't mean it that way by any means.  Their personalities just don't seem the type to go that route.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 21, 2013, 05:54:14 PM
I didn't imagine they would. It's hard to read tone on here, so no worries. I have been in their shoes, and I didn't know about any laws like that, but I wouldn't have pressed charges either. I just liked learning about some laws like that from other posters because it made me realize that I was not overreacting.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: kareng57 on January 21, 2013, 10:08:50 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why is it gross? Hair stylists do the same thing.


I don't find it gross either, though I would never have agreed to it even if I was married to a hair stylist.  My hair has been short for 40+ years, and with good reason.  It's very fine, and even when I tried to grow it out as a teenager it never worked.  Once it got past about chin length, it just kind of hung in clumps.  During our first few years of marriage, late Dh used to try to encourage me to grow it out, and it took quite a few firm "no"s for him to finally get-it.  I think lots of guys just like the idea of long hair and don't understand that it does not look good on everyone.

I've seen quite a few little girls who I also don't think are suited to long hair/ponytailed hair, either.  Quite often, fine hair just falls out of a ponytail.  Of course I'm not advocating that all small girls should be subject to a Buster Brown type haircut, but if a parent of a long-haired-challenged girl was bemoaning the situation I don't think it would be evil of me to suggest the option of a shorter cut.

I think we ought to stay away from legalities in this thread - it could get locked.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 21, 2013, 10:22:11 PM
I'd probably wear my hair "down" a lot more if my husband volunteered to dry it and pin it back for me while, say, I put on makeup or something.  I have far too much of a tendency to put it in a ponytail because I don't feel like pinning it back so I can wear it down (I have super thick, frizzy hair, so wearing it down without being pulled back is a no-go).

I think the relevancy of the legalities of cutting hair, or the fact that foster parents need permission, is that hair is considered to be part of the body to the degree that the state considers it something that only the person herself or her guardian parent can decide what to do with it and make permanent changes to it.  Man, though, that must be really annoying for foster parents who have kids who were taken from unwilling parents who refuse permission just to hold on to every bit of control they can.  Then you're stuck with all the hair care but you have no say in how the hair is cut, forcing you to deal with uncut bangs or untrimmed ends, or in the reverse, with a really short haircut that requires lots of styling and the kid hates, or whatever.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 22, 2013, 01:35:48 AM
MIL cut Babybartfast's hair without our permission - twice now.  Babybartfast's hair is growing V E R Y slowly - she's 4.5 and it's just about ear length now.  I was eager to get pictures of "baby's first haircut" - so I was really peeved to find that MIL had given her a home trim without asking me.  ("Well her bangs were getting in her eyes!")  I would have been fine with it if I had been there and had been able to get a picture  :-\  MIL was just sick of waiting, Babybartfast was 2.5 already, and MIL didn't see the big deal.  Then when Babybartfast's bangs were getting long again, MIL took her to a children's hair salon instead because she thought the "home" part was what bothered us.

She's had other occasional trims since then, to give her a bit more style, and now that she's in school and her best friend (same age) has waist-length hair, Babybartfast is hugely protective of her own.  She constantly laments that her hair is short, and she wants it to be longer.  I don't think she'd stand for MIL trimming her hair again!
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 22, 2013, 11:35:56 AM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why is it gross? Hair stylists do the same thing.


I don't find it gross either, though I would never have agreed to it even if I was married to a hair stylist.  My hair has been short for 40+ years, and with good reason.  It's very fine, and even when I tried to grow it out as a teenager it never worked.  Once it got past about chin length, it just kind of hung in clumps.  During our first few years of marriage, late Dh used to try to encourage me to grow it out, and it took quite a few firm "no"s for him to finally get-it.  I think lots of guys just like the idea of long hair and don't understand that it does not look good on everyone.

A lot depends on why the person wants to cut her hair. My deal with my husband is that I keep my hair long, and he brushes and combs it for me, and braids it when I want that.

Basically, we both like the way my hair looks and feels when it's long, but it's easier to take care of when it's short. That feels very different from my following someone else's preferences rather than my own on something as personal as my appearance.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: WillyNilly on January 22, 2013, 01:16:39 PM
I'd give grandma an immediate out.  If she shaves her head, she can once again spend time with the kid.  If she won't, then she suffers the consequences. Basically the point would be establishing to her in very real terms what is at stake - someone making practical and aesthetic decisions for someone else. If she won't consent to her hair being cut in a way she didn't choose and in a way which will affect her appearance and grooming habits for a very long time, then she doesn't get to take those decisions from anyone else. She had her chance at parenting and now her turn is over, and its her daughter's turn.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 22, 2013, 01:21:22 PM
I'd give grandma an immediate out.  If she shaves her head, she can once again spend time with the kid.  If she won't, then she suffers the consequences. Basically the point would be establishing to her in very real terms what is at stake - someone making practical and aesthetic decisions for someone else. If she won't consent to her hair being cut in a way she didn't choose and in a way which will affect her appearance and grooming habits for a very long time, then she doesn't get to take those decisions from anyone else. She had her chance at parenting and now her turn is over, and its her daughter's turn.

I actually suggested things along these lines, but FSIL won't go for it.  It is still her mom, after all, and this is the first big hiccough.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: MyFamily on January 22, 2013, 02:09:56 PM
First I'm glad I saw this thread again today because it reminded me that I had to tell DH that I'd given the babysitter permission to cut our DD's bangs (we'd been trying to find time to get it done, and the babysitter is not our regular one and she's a licensed hair stylist, so it just made sense - we'd even discussed asking this very person to do the job). 

That said, if someone else decided to cut my kids' hair, I'd be upset, but would be able to move past it.  But if they lied to me about it?  They'd never be trusted to be alone with my kids again; not because of the hair, but because if they could lie about something like cutting hair, what else could they lie to me about? 
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Kimblee on January 22, 2013, 02:48:01 PM
I'd probably wear my hair "down" a lot more if my husband volunteered to dry it and pin it back for me while, say, I put on makeup or something.  I have far too much of a tendency to put it in a ponytail because I don't feel like pinning it back so I can wear it down (I have super thick, frizzy hair, so wearing it down without being pulled back is a no-go).

I think the relevancy of the legalities of cutting hair, or the fact that foster parents need permission, is that hair is considered to be part of the body to the degree that the state considers it something that only the person herself or her guardian parent can decide what to do with it and make permanent changes to it.  Man, though, that must be really annoying for foster parents who have kids who were taken from unwilling parents who refuse permission just to hold on to every bit of control they can.  Then you're stuck with all the hair care but you have no say in how the hair is cut, forcing you to deal with uncut bangs or untrimmed ends, or in the reverse, with a really short haircut that requires lots of styling and the kid hates, or whatever.

Yeah, my friend really doesn't care about what her hair is like, she just hates caring for it long. Her husband loves her hair long so she went for it.

Weirdly, a diffrent friend has a similar deal with his partner.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: thedudeabides on January 22, 2013, 02:57:10 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why not? What's gross about it? Moms do it for their daughters every day, so why is it gross for a dad to do the same thing?
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Aeris on January 22, 2013, 06:05:41 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why not? What's gross about it? Moms do it for their daughters every day, so why is it gross for a dad to do the same thing?

I would love someone else styling my hair, but I would feel really weird having someone else wash my hair every day. I don't find it gross, just odd. It also seems like it would be a not insignificant time commitment/scheduling issue.
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Danika on January 22, 2013, 08:02:19 PM
I'd give grandma an immediate out.  If she shaves her head, she can once again spend time with the kid.  If she won't, then she suffers the consequences. Basically the point would be establishing to her in very real terms what is at stake - someone making practical and aesthetic decisions for someone else. If she won't consent to her hair being cut in a way she didn't choose and in a way which will affect her appearance and grooming habits for a very long time, then she doesn't get to take those decisions from anyone else. She had her chance at parenting and now her turn is over, and its her daughter's turn.

I love this!
Title: Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
Post by: Cheapie on January 23, 2013, 12:14:02 PM
Quote
their mother CAN do their hair, and does sometimes. But he's also responsible for HER hair. They made a deal when she wanted to cut off her waist length hair and he wanted it to stay. Now he shampoos, conditions and braids her hair everyday

Ew.  I would never, ever, in a million years, consent to that.

Why not? What's gross about it? Moms do it for their daughters every day, so why is it gross for a dad to do the same thing?

I would love someone else styling my hair, but I would feel really weird having someone else wash my hair every day. I don't find it gross, just odd. It also seems like it would be a not insignificant time commitment/scheduling issue.

I'm the opposite.  I've told my hair stylist that if I ever win a huge lottery, I would pay her to wash my hair every morning.  She does a head massage and has such a gentle touch!  I'm in heaven when I get my hair shampooed before a cut!  I'd love to start every morning that way! :D

As for the MIL, she overstepped her bounds.  I think a frank discussion and keeping an eye on her future actions are definitely called for, and no more 'alone time' with the grandkids.  The lying shows that she can't be trusted.  My opinion is that she needs to earn that trust back before she gets alone time with the grandkids again. 

I have two boys ... five and 10.  I let them choose their own hair styles within reason.  During the summer they want me to shave their hair ... cooler for the sports activities.  In the winter, they tend to grow it out ... keeps their heads warmer.  DH likes their hair longer (not shaved) and is always telling them to grown it out.  I told him that young kids have so little control over their lives that I think our boys can decide how long they want their own hair!   He made the mistake of telling them that they "looked better" after they grew their hair out for the last few months.  I called him on it ... they may look nice, they may look different ... they definitely do not "look better" ... since they look fine no matter what the length of their hair.  He did apologize for that comment (he said it in front of the boys so he apologized to them also).