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To think that it's neglectful to not brush a child's hair?

(306 Posts)
YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:20:07

DD (8yo) has a neurological condition which means that she constant rubs her head on her pillow all night, every night. This means that her hair is very tangled every morning and she needs a lot of help, with spray oils etc to brush it properly every day. She can't do it herself and it is a real task even for me.

The last weekend she spent with her dad (my ExH) she came back with really matted hair and I reminded him that she needs help to brush it, or at least "check" it for her when she has finished.

He brought her back last night, after having her for five days over Christmas. He has not helped her to brush her hair once during this time. It was almost in dreadlocks and it took over an hour, a bottle of conditioner and lots of distress to sort her hair out.

AIBU to think that this is very neglectful on his part? She has had fun over Christmas with him and I know I have residual anger towards him so I'm not sure how upset it is reasonable to be about this.

DD also has MH issues and low self esteem and I think that makes this worse.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 29-Dec-14 10:23:22

It is. My Autistic dd gates her hair being brushed, but it has to be done whetger she screams or not!

Storytown Mon 29-Dec-14 10:24:20

TBH, I'd cut her hair if it's causing this much distress.

I'm not sure making her stand there for ages while you/he fight with her hair is the opposite of neglect.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 29-Dec-14 10:25:44

Yes, it is neglectful of him to let her hair get into that state.

Would french plaiting help? Maybe next time she goes there you could (not that you should have to!) wet it and spray a leave in conditioner and french plait it to dry naturally. Then it may well stay in a decent condition while she is with him?

There is the possibikity he doesnt know how to deal with it - maybe supply him with a bottle of whatever you use and a Tangle Teaser?

LadyLuck10 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:26:27

Maybe it was too distressing for your dd and he didn't want to upset her. I agree with cutting it short.

MissDuke Mon 29-Dec-14 10:26:27

I don't think its neglectful. But he needs told the consequences of it not being brushed. My daughter is the same and due to sensory issues, screams with even the lightest touch, so brushing is a nightmare. Tbh we don't brush it everyday, and usually let her do it first then I do it. We use a tangle teaser. Could she use one of those herself while away so it isn't just as bad?

Ohnonotagain2 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:28:46

Plait it for her the next time she goes or have it cut. Have you tried a Tangle Teaser? I have very long hair that gets matted very quickly and the Tangle Teaser is an absolute God send.

vinoandbrie Mon 29-Dec-14 10:28:52

I know what you mean, my DD has very long hair, and it's fine if (and only if), it's kept on top of every day by brushing thoroughly. We use detangler spray too. If not then it very quickly becomes incredibly tangled.

It's not good enough to have parental responsibility for the child, to be aware of this issue (ie 'needs help with hair, must be done daily'), and to then do... nothing, to the extent it gets matted. Not on.

YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:29:02

I don't fight with her hair. I do it slowly and stop when she says stop, then carry on when she says carry on. Her hair is just below shoulder length. I have suggested cutting it to make it easier but she wants to fit in with the other girls in year 4 and wants to keep it long despite the difficulties with brushing it. She has a lot of anxiety and doesn't want to be different.

The tears last night were because despite taking it slowly there was no way to untangle it painlessly.

Micah Mon 29-Dec-14 10:30:09

Mine is the same. We cut it very short. pixie crops look amazing on girls and don't even need all the faffing with de tangling sprays etc.

YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:30:32

I have given him detangling spray and a tangle teaser already. I think he just CBA.

5amisnotmorning Mon 29-Dec-14 10:31:44

You have probably tried it but would a silk pillowcase help?

YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:34:11

Actually I haven't tried a silk pillowcase. That's a good idea.

I have plaited it/french plaited it before but the movement of her head leads to tangles over her scalp, underneath the outer layer of hair and it still gets tangled.

skylark2 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:34:41

Have you tried plaiting it when she goes to bed?

I think any hairstyle which is this much faff for an adult to sort out, whatever the reason, is unsuitable for an eight year old.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Mon 29-Dec-14 10:35:26

My DH is definitely not neglectful, but he wouldn't dare try to brush our DD's hair. She screams the house down, yells that he's hurting her, writhes on the floor... He knows to use spray and the tangle teaser, also to start brushing small sections from the bottom before gradually working up the head (and yes, I did check he wasn't actually brushing upwards!!!), but still... So I do have some sympathy with your ex. My DH has taken the DC out without brushing DD's hair, which horrifies me, but I can understand. When I was in hospital with DS recently, I had to email the school to warn them that DD was likely to be turning up with unbrushed hair, as DH wouldn't dare try to take it out of the plaits it had been left in shock.

I'd do some kind of elaborate plait to try to minimise tangling next time. DD always sleeps in plaits.

JollyJingle Mon 29-Dec-14 10:36:52

Not unreasonable at all to be very annoyed with him! Your poor DD. Agree with the plaiting though.

YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:38:23

I know that brushing her hair is difficult for him but his partner has French plaited and brushed DDs hair before, they live together, and they also all spent time staying with his Dsis and DM who could have helped.

YouAreMyRain Mon 29-Dec-14 10:39:22

I will try a silk pillowcase and attempt more elaborate plaits (my French plaits are terrible tbh)

MrsDeVere Mon 29-Dec-14 10:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyLuck10 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:43:58

I suggested cutting it because it was maybe a solution for the ops dd to be less distressed, not to make it easier for the opconfused.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 29-Dec-14 10:46:26

Why should op have to hack off her kids hair because someone else can't brush it?shock

why not stop bathing her to if the becomes a hassle hmm

or don't make dinner cos she won't eat it.

doesn't remotely solve the issue.

lots of things are difficult but you do it because as a responsible adult taking care of the child you have to.

maybe suggest a reward system to him so she?

The plaits are a good idea

MrsDeVere Mon 29-Dec-14 10:50:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaucyJack Mon 29-Dec-14 10:54:52

Why isn't she brushing it herself?

I have DDs of 8&9 and I only brush their hair when I'm nit combing them.

Otherwise, they've been doing it themselves for years.

LadyLuck10 Mon 29-Dec-14 10:58:03

MrsD I'm sorry to hear that there is a 'SN look' sad that sounds awful.
Since the op has now said her dd does want the longer hair then of course the adults responsible for her need to figure out how to ensure she has the longer and is less distressed.
On another note, it's sad that girls feel that they need to have long hair to fit in.

Micah Mon 29-Dec-14 10:58:22

My child doesn't have sn, but she does have an issue with her hair that means it tangles much in the way o/p describes.

We simply had a chat, I pointed out that all the morning trauma could be avoided if we got it cut. We went through magazines and websites too find something she liked. Now she loves it, can deal with it herself, and has the confidence to tell judgemental idiots where to go when they ask why she doesn't have long hair, and actually question her gender.

If the only reason for keeping it long is to "fit in" then I don't see that being any better than cutting it for someone else's convenience. I don't agree with that, obviously, but if the child is distressed every morning then a short hairstyle is a reasonable option.

How about teaching those children at school who place such importance on long hair that short can be cool and beautiful too, and the should keep their judgments to themselves.

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