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DD1 jealous of DD2's hair and the attention it gets

(21 Posts)
Ilythia Wed 13-Jul-11 19:53:55

DD1 is 5.5, has long blonde straight hair.
DD2 is 3.9. has strawberry blonde curls. Everyone, everyone comments on her hair. People ask to take her photo or stop me on the street to comment on how 'amazing' and 'special' it is.
DD1 has been asking me to plait her hair, tonight she took the plaits out and her hair hadn't curled, so she broke down sobbing and wailing. Eventually she said that she was jealous of DD2's hair and everyone talking about her, she wants curly hair so everyone will talk about her and not ignore her all the time and talk about DD2 instead.

So, wtf do I do about that?

DD2, fwiw, hates everyone stopping her and telling her her hair is lovely. She says it's annoying and boring and they should stop (to me, not them!)

smallpotato Wed 13-Jul-11 20:01:24

Aww, I suspect this may happen to us in time as DD1 has blonde corkscrew curls and always gets comments while DD2 has brown straight hair. Perhaps when people comment you could say something like 'yes, and hasn't DD1 got lovely smooth shiny hair? Aren't I lucky to have TWO girls with such lovely hair?' And give people a look to see that they get the message?

smallpotato Wed 13-Jul-11 20:01:25

Aww, I suspect this may happen to us in time as DD1 has blonde corkscrew curls and always gets comments while DD2 has brown straight hair. Perhaps when people comment you could say something like 'yes, and hasn't DD1 got lovely smooth shiny hair? Aren't I lucky to have TWO girls with such lovely hair?' And give people a look to see that they get the message?

littleducks Wed 13-Jul-11 20:03:44

Could you plait dd1's hair when wet, then leave (perhaps overnight) to go wavy?

Then explain that she is lucky as she can style her hair both ways but dd2's will always be curly?

Ilythia Wed 13-Jul-11 20:08:23

I do both of those things. DD1 even said tonight 'you are the only one who likes my hair, no-one else caaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaares <insert snot emoticon>

I plait her hair everytime I wash it, she sleeps in it and wears high bunches with it curly. Today I plaited it dry before school so it hadn't curled. I didn't realise <idiot> why she liked having it plaited.

deemented Wed 13-Jul-11 20:09:35

Aw, i just knew this would be you when i read the title sad

FWIW i think both your girls have amazing hair.

You might think DD1 is a bit young yet, but what about letting her experiment with her hair wth different things. Maybe show her what it'd be like curly by curling hers with tongs, and then showing her that in an instant she could have straight hair again with straightners? Or what about one of those little braiding machines that give you mini dredlocks? Or how about doing her hair differently, in styles that DD2 couldn't have because of her curls? French plaits, etc?

I really feel for DD1 - she is beautiful with such lovely hair, and dd2 is gorgeous too - i've sort of seen past her hair to what a little scallywag she is, iyswim?

MerryMarigold Wed 13-Jul-11 20:23:21

It is really hard. I'm not sure. I wouldn't turn the hair thing into a 'competition' IYSWIM. I don't agree that you should say 'these are things dd2 can't do'. I think you should just say that different people have different qualities/ talents and perhaps hers lie in different areas. Maybe she will always do better academically than dd2 - who knows. This is about the long term, but I really wouldn't encourage the hair comparing any further. I wouldn't even say, "Well dd1 has lovely hair too', I would say something to strangers like, "It is lovely hair and I am lucky to have 2 lovely girls." It's likely that whatever you do plaiting her hair etc., she is NEVER going to get the number of comments, so she'll just feel like she's losing a competition rather than the competition being removed.

Also keep banging on that it's about what's on the inside that counts, and that it's what people who really KNOW you think of you that matters. She will gradually get it hopefully. Teaching kids is about the long term and if all dd1 learns is that she CAN compete hair-wise, if dd2 ends up a model, then dd1's still going to feel rubbish about it. You really need to teach her it's just a good thing about dd2 and there's other really special things about dd1. The world is made up of people with different things.

Ilythia Wed 13-Jul-11 20:24:34

Thanks dee, I do stuff with her hair, she has french plaits and stuff, always has it up for school (more for nits than anything elsegrin), and we talked about how messy DD2's still looks in bunches and how neat and princessy she looks (DD2 is asleep)

The problem with DD2 is that she is such a rascal people are drawn to her hair and then see what a monkey she is, so they comment on both, and DD1 is so shy and sweet she sort of blends iyswim.

She's still awake, and at 5 has just read an entire Paddington Book to herself so we had a chat about how some people have funny hair and some people are really clever and funny so she is mollified a bit. She had found some hairclips and twisted her hair up to clip it on her head to make it curl overnight thoughsad.
I have promised plaits tomorrow.

Ilythia Wed 13-Jul-11 20:28:02

Thanks Merry, I am trying to look longterm. I had no idea until tonight that she asked for plaits for her hair to curl though. She requests plaits or high bunches or ponytail for school and (within reason) and I just do it.

I agree the competition thing is not going to work (I have 3 older sisters, so I know how this could go) I just can't seem to figure out how to explain it to her.

It's hard.

ASByatt Wed 13-Jul-11 20:36:53

I have an older sister.
When we were children, my mum would take us to have our hair cut. Dsis would somehow always go first, and the hairdresser would admire her thick, auburn, naturally wavy hair.
Then it would be my turn.
The hairdresser would run her fingers through my incredibly fine/thin, poker straight, mousy-coloured hair and sigh, then say, "Your sister's got such lovely hair........."

So I do know where your DD1 is coming from with this!

However, my Dsis has for years dyed her hair a range of interesting colours etc etc - I think the point is, we tend not to like what we've got. Your DD1 wants pretty curly hair. DD2 wants hair that won't cause people to fuss over it.
Surely curly hair is more tangly???? You have more options with straight hair! Maybe DD2 will end up obsessed with straighteners????? Does a slightly older DD have a wider range of pretty hair accessoroes to choose from???

I don't know! but good luck.

DownyEmerald Wed 13-Jul-11 22:16:46

Read the Little House on the Prairie series to her. This is so like Laura - the one you like best - with her brown hair and her too good to be true sister Mary with blonde hair.

EssentialFattyAcid Thu 14-Jul-11 06:29:04

tell your dd this is the same for ALL women. Curlies straighten their hair and naturally straights curl it up. Everyone wants a different colour. Dd2 gets attention for being obviously unusual.

MumblingRagDoll Thu 14-Jul-11 10:13:47

God I think you're pandering FAR too much to this. It's decidedly unhealthy for a 5 year old to be fussed over with regards to her appearance.

As for the phrase "Nice and princessy" that makes my teeth itch! Just brush it all off...don't feed it by plaiting it to make it wavy....thats making her think she's right and that her sisters hair is "better" in some way.

MumblingRagDoll Thu 14-Jul-11 13:47:27

Must add that if peopledo the whole fussing over dd2 when DD1 is present, you could say "yes...they're polar opposites aren't they? DD1 has lovely straight shiny hair and DD2 has lovely curls..."

But I really think you're feeding it all by curling her hair.

Ilythia Thu 14-Jul-11 19:23:27

I am not curling her hair. At least not by intention. I plait it everyday, or put it in bunches as she has to wear it up for school, I just let her choose how. I didn't realise until last night that she was asking for plaits for it to curl.

If it's unhealthy for a 5 yr old, then how much worse is it for people to fuss over a 3 yr old? Because it is everyone else fussing that has caused this, not me. I do always say about them both when people comment but it is obviously not working. Last night I said that stuff as she was breathless with weeping and I wanted her to calm down go to sleep.

She does have accessories and clips etc (she's 5, and completely girliegrin) but too young to understand what a reversal this is going to be in 10 years!

Ilythia Thu 14-Jul-11 19:25:02

IN fact mumbling, I have mentioned every post that I was not curling her hair on purpose so your comment is even more annoying. Thanks.

StartAllOver Thu 14-Jul-11 20:08:43

Could you maybe french plait both the girls hair during the day? That way its up and out the way for school(nits etc) and if the whole head is french platted then the curls wont be able to show, maybe put them in the same top too and make it all a lovey similar sisters thing?

I feel for you, it must be heart breaking to see your dd so upset sad

MerryMarigold Thu 14-Jul-11 21:47:27

French plaiting both would take forever!!!

I say this is a 'life lesson' and hard as it is to see them grow through it (I have a 5yr old whose had a lot of 'life lessons' this first year at school and boy IT IS hard to watch them in pain), they do have to learn how to deal with life, and about what's important/ what isn't. Beautiful hair isn't really that important as you grow up, even though it feels like it to a 5 yr old (and sadly, some 35 year olds!), so it's good to start teaching this rather than trying to remove/ appease the issue (which will be nigh on impossible if dd2 gets that much attention and perhaps, always will).

Ilythia Fri 15-Jul-11 11:27:50

I can't do much to DD2's hair, she hates it being touched or fussed over because of all the attnetion it gets. Complete strangers like to ruffle her hair, so you can kinda see her point!

Good point Merry. I think the last 24 hours have shown she was massively overtired as well which can't have helped.

megkat Fri 15-Jul-11 11:48:55

Neither of my DDs have curly hair but they both still want it plaited to make it curly - so I think the plaiting thing could happen regardless of thie situation smile. And I don't see anything wrong with doing that - mumbling you are being too harsh; little girls like to dress up, and there's a world of difference between that and going out in full pageant regaila, iykwim.

I would let her still have it plaited if that's what she wants, but also make a big deal of the colour/shininess/smoothness of her hair too. In a few years they'll be wanting to swap!

JanMorrow Fri 15-Jul-11 14:12:04

Firstly, I would set up a few people to compliment your DD1's lovely straight, shiny hair in a subtle, seemingly spontaneous way! (not all at the same time obviously), some family members, maybe a neighbour, friends etc.. Make her realise her hair is lovely.

Also, go on about how lucky she is to have hair that can do so many things, tell her you're jealous.

You could VERY occasionally give her curls if you wanted, my Gran used to rag roll our hair and it makes lovely little ringlets (better than plaits).

There are youtube tutorials but it's really simple and you can sleep with them in. Don't do it on wet hair, do it on damp hair.. section the hair, get pieces of rag (cut up old sheet is good for it), twist the hair around the rag and roll it up to the head and tie the ends. Then you can brush it out in the morning and there'll be lots of curls.

Only if you think it wouldn't cause her to feel even worse about her hair though! You're the one that knows her.

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