Author Topic: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut wo asking - updates 102 120 131 214  (Read 31856 times)

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wheeitsme

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2011, 05:32:27 PM »
This would be a stand to make and a hill to die on.  I don't know anyone who would think that it was okay to cut a child's hair without the parents permission.  Especially when there is a chance it is the first haircut.

And I have to wonder why?  Her excuse wasn't even a good excuse.  And she just grabbed some scissors and hacked the hair off? I believe you said that his hair "looked like it was weed-whacked"?  That is not normal behavior.  And it's not acceptable behavior.  I would not let my children be alone with a person like that. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2011, 05:37:36 PM »
I think you have to accept that your mother will not accept reasonable boundaries.

Therefore the price you pay for free babysitting is the knowledge that your child might be returned with a new haircut, or new religion, or whatever you mother comes up with next.  Basically, then, it's up to you to decide if you're willing to pay the price. 

Personally, I'd stick with supervised visits to the grandparents, and find someone I can use as a babysitter for the occasional time away - friends, fellow parents, but something other than your parents, at least until your kids are old enough to stand up for themselves.

POD to this. You say that you understand she does not respect boundaries, but that you're willing to put up with that so your children can have a rel@tionship with her. If that's the case, I don't think there's anything you can really do when she pulls a stunt like this--you can try telling her how much you dislike what she did, but as you know, this doesn't really do any good.

The only thing that might help is what others have said--not allowing her access to the children, at least unsupervised. She may or may not behave better if she sees this consequence to her actions; but at least she won't be able to get away with much/anything if the kids aren't with her unsupervised.

I think the upshot is, if you don't want to limit the children's contact with her, or at least only let her see them while supervised, this is what is going to keep happening. You have seen for yourself that she isn't going to abide by reasonable "common sense" limits, she isn't going to follow any rules you set, and even if you went to the extreme step of making a "contract" that she claims she agrees to, you have indicated she will find a way around that. I think you will either have to accept this and thus accept that your children may have experiences with her you don't approve of, or you have to keep the children away from her.

As an aside, my grandmother used to cut my hair without my parents' permission also, for YEARS.  ::) I remember it happening. She would wash it first at the sink and everything. And my mom (her DIL) hated it, partly because she always cut my bangs crooked. But my mom never took a stand on it, for whatever reason. So it might be more common than it seems.
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VorFemme

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2011, 05:46:51 PM »
Kids should NOT grow up learning to keep secrets from their parents.

OP, I don't think that your mother is abusing the kids - but abusers are the only ones I can think of who tell kids to keep secrets from their parents because the parents wouldn't understand..........

I guess my abuser forgot to give me the memo - because I asked a question and it was made clear that HE had behaved very badly and nobody from our family was going over there again (turned out he died of old age before the next time we visited the relatives who he lived near - he was a neighbor of my grandparents').  The comment was along the lines of "we don't go see people who don't know how to behave".

If anyone had given me a haircut without Mom's permission - there would have been screeching and no visitation for months...........and I didn't end up getting my ears pierced until I was twenty and MARRIED, for goodness' sake!

Your mother has proven that she needs supervision.  Your father has proven that he does not provide supervision.

Your mother doesn't need to see the kids overnight at her house until they are old enough to tell her NO and make it stick or she learns not to cross boundaries. 

Which might be about the time the kids are in their twenties..........because by then they should be grown up and can leave if Grandma is being all weird again.  Or at least when they have a car and a driver's license.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

iggylove

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2011, 05:52:50 PM »
My aunt (Dad's sister) gave me a home perm when I was 11.  It did not turn out, so she permed it again the next day.  My hair turned out a crispy, frizzy white blond that had to be cut out.  I am not sure if Mom has forgiven her yet, and I am 34 now.

artk2002

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2011, 05:59:49 PM »
Kids should NOT grow up learning to keep secrets from their parents.

Very true.  This would be the reason I would deny Grandma any access to the kids.  That's undermining the parents in a very bad way.

Quote
OP, I don't think that your mother is abusing the kids - but abusers are the only ones I can think of who tell kids to keep secrets from their parents because the parents wouldn't understand..........

Grandma may not be an abuser, but she's laying the groundwork for an abuser in the future.  If it's ok to have secrets with Grandma that we don't tell our parents, it's not much of a stretch to think that it's ok to have secrets with that nice Mr. Pervy down the street.  Making it ok to like to parents (by omission or commission) is a very bad precedent.

Quote
Your mother doesn't need to see the kids overnight at her house until they are old enough to tell her NO and make it stick or she learns not to cross boundaries. 

Which might be about the time the kids are in their twenties..........because by then they should be grown up and can leave if Grandma is being all weird again.  Or at least when they have a car and a driver's license.

I agree.  Plenty of kids grow up without a close relationship to their grandparents.  Having such a relationship is not worth the pain in this particular case.  Wait until they can make their own choices.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Everlee

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2011, 07:29:56 PM »
My mom keeps threatening to cut my 4 year olds insanely curly hair because there's one long patch in the back that looks like it needs to be trimmed.  I've already calmly informed her that if I pick her up and there's even one hair cut from her head she will never be allowed to baby sit again.

And I fully stand behind that statement. 

I would let your kids have a grandparent timeout for a few weeks so she knows your serious about your rules.

LadyR

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2011, 08:13:16 PM »
My SIL's MIL did this. SIL was out of the country and BIL took the kids to visit his mom and their youngest (2 at the time) had never had her hair cut and the MIL just decided to give her a trim one day. SIL was furious.


Nannerdoman

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2011, 08:33:52 PM »
I agree with everyone who said your mother should never have unsupervised access to your children again, and especially with the very cogent point that they should not be learning to keep secrets from you and their father!

It will be difficult, I'm sure, but for the sake of your children's safety and the maintenance of your authority as a parent, this really is a hill to die on.
I'm the grammarian against whom your mother warned you.

dawbs

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2011, 09:21:19 PM »
Even if Grandma isn't teaching the kids 'this is how we treat mom', she may well be teaching the kids 'this is how adults interact with each-other' and/or 'this is how moms/parents/people in authority/etc treat you/kids/etc'.  I'd be wary of that message--like PPs said, it's groundwork to big-deal problems if you normalize such treatment (the last lesson you want your kids to learn is that grandma treats you that way, and that's OK.  so you/your husband/friend's mom/whomever can treat them that way and that's OK).

While I understand that keeping kids away from family is problematic, I can say that I had 'crazy' family members that I had limited access to (never unsupervised--they never would have 'hurt' me but they did fit the bill in your OP--no physical abuse, etc.  But still boundry issues)--Even w/ limited access I had no problem figuring out all on my own (from a very young age) that these people were crazy and difficult.  One of the BEST lessons my mother taught me was how to set good boundries--which I learned watching her interact w/ these people. (I learned it was hard and it sometimes amkes everyone cry...but that it's important and necessary and that we control ourselves and that's a good thing-I learned how to be polite without being a doormat, etc)

(the other crazy family members had much more 'unfettered' access to us.  It took me much much longer to learn the degree of 'crazy' and I was hurt much more.  And That 'training' undid much of my 'boundary/not a doormat/spine-ectomy' training that I was getting from the other 1/2 of the family)
 

Danika

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2011, 11:24:17 PM »
You all are right. It's nice to have an objective viewpoint of this.

Here's what I'm thinking of emailing my mom. I'm trying to make it concise so she has less to counter with a "but but..." kind of response.

What do you all think?

I purposely left it vague as to whether the kids will never ever be left unsupervised with them ever again, or if this is just a "suspension" as someone suggested. DH and I have been invited to two weddings this summer, and we have quite some time before the RSVP cards are due. My parents were going to watch the kids so we could go, but I don't like the idea of leaving the kids with my parents for several days at a time for either wedding (travel required). I'd like to attend the weddings, but it's not imperative that we be at either, or that even I attend (DH could watch the kids) so I have a while to ponder.

  I mulled this over for a few days. I was upset that you cut DS's hair without asking. You kept a lock of hair from my first haircut, so you know it's special, but you robbed me of having that same memory. I knew it before, but your actions this week confirmed it. I can't trust you to respect me as a parent and put my choices and parenting decisions above your own. And I can't trust dad to be around all the time to make sure that you don't cross the line. For this reason, you and dad will only be seeing the kids with DH and/or me there too. We'll come over for Easter dinner as we had planned, but we will not be allowing DD to come over the night before as you requested.

Carnation

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2011, 11:34:26 PM »
I remember waaay back when my two best friend's Aunt Mary took them out (they were elementary school age) and got their hair cut.

Their father took offense and Aunt Mary wasn't allowed to darken their doorstep for several years.


TootsNYC

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2011, 11:49:33 PM »
I sympathize on not getting much time alone with your husband if you have no family to watch them.  Dh and I are kinda in the same boat in that respect, as we live an hour away from his parents and don't speak to mine.  

Maybe people in this position need to try to cultivate more friendships with other parents, and other kids. So that there *is* someone you could tap for babysitting for a weekend.

kareng57

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2011, 12:12:35 AM »
Obviously - re the OP - there are major boundary issues anyway so of course it's understandable that the parents could be upset about the haircut.

However - not all parents feel that this is an important milestone.  DS #1 had a lot of hair at birth - a few months later he had enough that it was in his eyes, and we just took some scissors to it.  His younger brother didn't have any appreciable hair till a lot later - but the same, we just trimmed it ourselves.  It simply wasn't an important date to us and we didn't record it anywhere.  We didn't think that "first haircut" was a big deal.  That's us.  For some people, it's indeed an event.

In your case - I agree that maybe Grandma had been accustomed to cutting her own kids' hair and didn't see that it was a big deal.  I'm not saying that it was okay of course.  But if it had been me, I don't think I would have made a deal-breaker speech.

auntmeegs

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2011, 12:50:20 AM »
Obviously - re the OP - there are major boundary issues anyway so of course it's understandable that the parents could be upset about the haircut.

However - not all parents feel that this is an important milestone.  DS #1 had a lot of hair at birth - a few months later he had enough that it was in his eyes, and we just took some scissors to it.  His younger brother didn't have any appreciable hair till a lot later - but the same, we just trimmed it ourselves.  It simply wasn't an important date to us and we didn't record it anywhere.  We didn't think that "first haircut" was a big deal.  That's us.  For some people, it's indeed an event.

In your case - I agree that maybe Grandma had been accustomed to cutting her own kids' hair and didn't see that it was a big deal.  I'm not saying that it was okay of course.  But if it had been me, I don't think I would have made a deal-breaker speech.

te]

POD to this.  My family has more of a "we're all in it together" style, as opposed to everyone having boundries about things, so it's sort of hard for me to understand getting that  upset over something like this.  Aside from abusing of the kids, which would never happen, I can't imagine any circumstance in which anyone in my family woul dbe "denied access" to my child.  Shouldn't this be the absolute very last resort?

MsMarjorie

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Re: Grandma gave grandson his first haircut without asking the parents
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2011, 01:46:31 AM »
Danika your email sounds fine, its concise and to the point - send it and good luck!