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Matching Haircuts and Dealing with Childhood Fears

One day last week, Grace and I sat down to brush her hair.

Hair brushing is not an easy task around here. Grace’s hair was down to the middle of her back, and it is fine and smooth and tangles like Silly String. It’s a real headache.


Like all kids, Grace hates having her hair brushed.

We sat down, and I brushed. I sprayed detangler and brushed and sprayed some more.

Fifteen minutes later, we were still brushing. The knots seemed to be multiplying, and Grace’s patience was dissipating.

“Do you want to go to Kids Kutters?” I asked.

Yeah! Let’s go now! she responded.

That was that. I called the kids’ salon, and we got in the car.

Knowing what a mess her hair was, I told her she’d need to have her hair washed before it was cut. She hesitated.

I’d been thinking about getting my hair cut anyway, so I thought quickly and made a deal.

“If you get your hair washed, I’ll get a haircut that matches yours.”

She thought for a second and agreed.

That’s exactly what happened.

She got her hair washed, calmly and without incident. We got matching haircuts.

We both love them, and Grace decorated hers as soon as we got home.

I’ve gone back and forth about how I handled the situation. I don’t like to make deals.

Nothing seems to work to ease Grace’s fears.

Being stern, telling her to lie back and allow the beautician to wash her hair didn’t work. I could just tell that she was going to freeze up or freak out.

Her obedience was less important to her than her fear.

I get it.

I wouldn’t grab a spider, no matter who asked me to do it. I. just. wouldn’t.

I don’t know what to do about her fears. They control her so often.

© 2012 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Matching Haircuts and Dealing with Childhood Fears”

  1. Making a compromise with kids is great. It teaches them that there is more than one side and that sometimes you do things for someone else. You compromise all the time in your marriage right? Why not with your child?

    ps. The haircut is ADORABLE!

  2. I simply love reading your blog–somehow it always makes me smile, laugh, and feel good.

    No idea on the fear bit–I don’t have kids so don’t feel qualified to offer advice. I do know that for me (with serious hates-all-spiders like issues) I’ve had to learn how to kill them (with a vacuum while standing far away) regardless of how I feel.

    p.s. I can’t believe they still make those hair clips–I had something similar when I was little….

  3. I love the haircuts on both of you. Your hairstyle is striking, Tara!! I think that despite how we feel about “making deals,” sometimes kids look at those things as love, not as bribery. I bet Grace will remember your love-through-a-haircut for a long, long time.

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