Single Father Cuts Off 7-Year-Old Daughter’s Hair Because She Doesn’t ‘Maintain It’, Asks The Internet If He Did Something Wrong Interview
Parenthood is no walk in the park. That is particularly true if you’re a single parent. There are so many parenting books on how to be a perfect dad or mom but in reality: no guide can really prepare you for the complicated reality of being a parent. Therefore, you want only what’s best for them but somehow things get out of hand and you’re left with an offspring whose trust you downplayed.
As in the case of u/Imnotyourbuddytool, who struggled to maintain his seven-year-old daughter’s hair. Being a proud long-hair owner himself, he thought he knew better about how others, including his daughter, should treat their precious hair. And so he took things into his own hands.
To see whether the reaction he received from his loved ones would match the opinions of virtual parents online, this dad sought wisdom and perspective from the r/parenting community.
Annoyed with the way his daughter treated her hair, a single father took the situation into his own hands
Image credits: Tamara Bellis (not the actual photo)
“Even though what happened to us in childhood shows up in our parenting, this doesn’t mean we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of our parents,” Lisa Firestone, clinical psychologist, writes in her blog post on how to ‘break the cycle.’ Indeed. Although many parents won’t dare to admit it, studies show that one of the important factors that help to explain our overall parenting performance — the good, the bad, and the ugly — lies in our own childhood. If you were shouted at when you misbehaved or did not listen, chances are that your parenting style might incorporate an occasional raised voice as well.
Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and the author of ‘What’s My Child Thinking?’, told Bored Panda that parents often forget to think about a child’s needs too. “What we [parents] tend to do is not think about the timing of when we’re asking,” Moore explained. They can be in the middle of a Fortnite match or a phone call with their friends, but when we want our offspring to do something for us — there’s usually no negotiation. And if there’s complete radio silence on their end, shouting should get their attention, right? Well, not exactly.
“We like to say, ‘Do it now.’ And that’s likely going to trigger what we call reactance, which is that ‘you can’t make me’ feeling we all have,” Moore said. Besides finding a better time to get your child’s attention, she also recommends including your kid in the dialogue and doing it in a respective way. “Fundamentally, our job as parents is to teach kids how to be in a relationship saying, ‘Please be part of this.'” And that, unfortunately, means no shouting across the room (“the most ineffective parenting technique,” according to Moore).
Unsure whether he did the right thing, this dad turned to the internet to see what other parents had to say about it
Image credits: Imnotyourbuddytool
Robert Taibbi, a licensed clinical social worker and the author of ‘Doing Family Therapy: Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice’, explains that kids “learn to ignore you until you reach a certain frustration level.” Or as Eileen puts it — it’s their job to see what they can get away with.
“Kids learn to only get attention when misbehaving,” Taibbi told Bored Panda. What Robert suggests is using a method he likes to call ‘better to use carrots than sticks.’ That means praise and rewards for good behavior and raised voice, consequences for bad ones.
Still, both experts have a different approach when it comes to imposing consequences. Robert believes they’re equally important as kind words. “Map out consequences in advance so you’re not thinking on your feet when frustrated. Didn’t finish up the bedtime routine quick enough — not enough time to read books. Imposed consequences for not listening? Less game time or an earlier bedtime,” he suggested. Of course, all in accordance with your partner’s thinking.
Eileen, on the other hand, believes parents can do away with consequences as there are better ways to make kids listen. “Children don’t really learn from suffering. They learn from doing something right,” she said. “So consequences, after they’ve done something wrong, is a really weak way to control behavior.” According to Eileen, it’s almost always better to treat consequences as a positive thing — letting them know that they can get our attention not only by ignoring us.
“What I would do is say, ‘You have a choice and this will happen or you can choose to do B and this will happen.’ Emphasize the child’s ability to make choices and impact their world,” Moore pointed out. “So you help them stop and think about what they wanna do.”
Other parents didn’t seem to agree with the author’s thinking
In the end, the father thanked everyone for the feedback and explained what he had learned in the last couple of days
Image credits: Imnotyourbuddytool