There was your son or daughter with a new hairstyle and it wasn’t you or the hairdresser at Sport Clips, a chain of kid-friendly salons, who gave him or her a haircut. Worse, it’s uneven in several places, perhaps with a few bald spots here and there, and the adorable curls or the princess-like, waist-length hair is gone.
As a loving parent, what can you do? (Note that the male pronoun is used in the succeeding paragraphs for convenience. These tips, however, applies to both boys and girls)
First and foremost, you have to keep calm! You have to think about the negative consequences for your child’s confidence if you become angry at him, perhaps even shout at him and spank him. You must take a few deep breaths before you speak.
Your calmness in a situation like this will go a long way toward making your child feel more at ease with you as a parent. You must think, too, that hair will grow back – and it will, oftentimes faster than you expected – so there’s no cause for alarm. You just have to be thankful, too, that your child didn’t harm himself with the scissors.
You may want to get your camera, too, and record it for posterity. Your child may or may not like it but, at least, you will get a laugh out of it later in the day. Your sense of humor will become your savior, so to speak, in making a stressful situation into a hilarious moment.
Ask about His Motivation
If you think that your child cropping his own mop is uncommon, you’ve got another think coming! It’s actually a common occurrence among young children, especially preschool-aged children. The reason: They are learning new skills like cutting with scissors, as well as playing dress-up and role playing.
They will then seek new outlet for their newfound skills and their hair is the easiest outlet they can find. Plus, they’ve seen adults having their hair cut so they figured they can do it, too. But instead of cutting their dolls’ hair or cutting their siblings’ hair – and it’s more distressing, trust us – they turn their attention to their own hair.
The bottom line: It’s a normal stage in your child’s development.
But you should still ask your child why he did it. Be sure to use a gentle yet firm tone and use non-accusatory words so as not to scare him, much less affect his confidence in himself and his trust in you as a parent. A simple, “Hey, buddy, why’d you cut your hair? You look like yourself but it’s certainly different!” will suffice.
Keep in mind that a do-it-yourself haircut can be about simple curiosity, a present opportunity, or an experimentation as part of personal expression. In all of these cases, your child is being a child and that’s okay, too.
If he says that he was curious about it, you can say that, “Well, now you know that it isn’t a nice haircut when you do it yourself” and leave it at that. If he wanted to express himself through a different haircut, you can discuss what other hairstyles are possible and tell him that it’s best to let either Mommy or Daddy or a barber do it.
The worst that you can do is to become visibly frustrated, much less angry, with your child! You have to remember that cutting your hair isn’t a crime and your child isn’t a juvenile offender so laugh about it.
You should also avoid embarrassing him by pointing it out to family and friends. If it can’t be helped that he has to interact with family and friends, you should take his side, especially if he has a sensitive personality.
Make a Haircut Appointment
Fortunately, bad DIY haircuts can always be remedied with a trip to a kid-friendly salon. You can either call to make an appointment within the day or find a salon that accepts walk-in clients, especially for hair situations like this one. Depending on the DIY cut, you can ask your child to wear a head covering, such as a cap or a hat, to cover it on the way to the salon.
You should tell the hairstylist about what happened in a matter-of-fact way so as not to embarrass your child. Most professional hairstylists know how to handle these situations so your child won’t be teased about it. You and the hairstylist can discuss the best hairstyle to remedy the uneven lengths, bald spots and other problem areas on the DIY style.
Last, you should make the situation into a teaching moment. You can tell your child that scissors are for cutting paper and other applicable stuff, not on his hair unless it’s his parents or his hairstylist doing the work. You should keep the photo, too, so you and your family will have something to laugh about in the near future.