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AIBU?

Ex and sons haircuts

32 replies

Originalusernameunavailable · 15/12/2019 13:39

This probably sounds quite trivial and I’m sorry if this is a bit blunt in my wording.

DS’s 6 & 8 have gone to their dad for the weekend on the pretence that they were having their family Christmas gathering.

DS has messaged me to say they haven’t done anything Christmas based, they’ve been taken to the supermarket and for haircuts.

The issue here is my ex husband seems obsessed with getting the kids haircuts. They are by no means scruffy and they have regular haircuts at home.

DS is upset because he says his dad forced him to have a certain haircut (to match his step brother) and DS was wanting to grow his hair so he could have a particular style, which is what I had agreed with him.

This has happened several times before and each time I raise it with my ex he just says it’s up to him if they have a haircut and I shouldn’t worry about it.

Obviously my son being upset is one thing and I will speak with him when he comes home to make sure he’s ok, but am I being unreasonable to really lay it out to ExH to stop getting their haircut?

What annoys me more is he’s chosen to use his one day in 14 with them to do something like that when he could have spent quality time with them doing something they want to do like swimming etc. This is an ongoing issue with ex and that’s a whole other thread.

So to put it bluntly, my kids are going to come home with scalped chavvy haircuts and my ex thinks this is ok.

AIBU to lay into him for making son have a haircut he specifically didn’t want?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

208 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
9%
You are NOT being unreasonable
91%
RandomMess · 15/12/2019 13:45

Is it the 8 year old that is upset? What's so upsetting is that your DS wishes aren't listened too by his Dad Sad

weltenbummler · 15/12/2019 13:47

your ex needs to start respecting his children as individuals who have rights, ideas and opinions rather than regarding them as property that he can do with as he pleases;
not sure laying into him is helpful though if the haircut issue signifies a deeper underlying struggle for him to exert his power over your choices and preferences

Originalusernameunavailable · 15/12/2019 13:49

Unfortunately it’s one of a few ongoing issues, exH thinks he knows best. It the long run I know he’ll alienate his own sons is he continues.

It would be easy to say ‘oh just stop contact with the dad’ but unfortunately I have a good solicitor who advises me that something like this wouldn’t be seen as grounds to stop contact. So basically I would end up looking a neurotic mother if it went to court.

OP posts:
Originalusernameunavailable · 15/12/2019 13:50

He also thinks it’s Ok for a 6 & 8 year old to take themselves to the local park, involving crossing roads. That’s a whole other issue I’m dealing with in the background.

OP posts:
Decidewhattobeandgobeit · 15/12/2019 13:51

YANBU

laudete · 15/12/2019 13:54

I'm surprised he's able to get the kids to sit still and cooperate for haircuts that they do not want. It's hard enough to persuade kids to sit still for haircuts that they actually want. I'd guess that either the kids don't really mind that much - or, you need to remind them that you do not expect them to cooperate with unwanted haircuts. No hairdresser or barber is going to take scissors/blades to a child's head if there's a risk they will injure them - it's not worth their job.

IWorkAtTheCheesecakeFactory · 15/12/2019 13:57

Keep a diary of ALL of this OP. Send him a text (keep everything in writing) when the DC come home explaining that DS was very upset at being forced to have his hair cut as he had previously said he was growing his hair out and feels like his wishes right to bodily autonomy are being ignored. Ask that in future he respect his children’s wishes about their own bodies. Take screenshots of your messages and any responses.

HigherFurtherFasterBaby · 15/12/2019 14:00

Actually, I think court would not be pleased with a child’s bodily autonomy being continually disrespected like this.

lljkk · 15/12/2019 14:03

He has them one day in 14 & he sends them to the park by themselves? Confused. That is shite.

The extra short haircut thing is shite too. I don't know how you solve either problem. Maybe if he saw them less he'd choose funner things to do while they are around? Anti-Disney dad or what.

breakfastpizza · 15/12/2019 14:16

YANBU, but I don't get your comment about how he should be spending quality time with DS, rather than doing stuff like this? Haircuts are part of parenting.

recklessruby · 15/12/2019 14:36

I think yanbu. Certainly kids know what they want to look like and should be listened to. Imagine how it feels as an adult when you get a bad haircut.
Is your ex fixated on boys looking a certain way? The 8 year old will soon start rebelling i think.
My exdp was obsessed with trying to make dd wear dresses as a young child. Major tantrums were the result.
I told him no more wasting money on things she wont wear. She was happy in leggings and t shirts.
I think you need to tell him no more haircuts unless the boys agree.

Originalusernameunavailable · 15/12/2019 14:37

I have documented many things over the last few years. I really try not to go down the court route or to try and be amicable about things but it’s hard when he just thinks parental rights = do what he likes.

OP posts:
diddl · 15/12/2019 15:01

At what age can they decide not to go?

Lied to about something Christmas related happening, given haircuts that they don't want or need, time at he supermarket!

Sounds utterly pointless!

gottastopeatingchocolate · 15/12/2019 15:06

In my experience, no one really cares.

But I would suggest you continue to document. If the child mentions it to any other adults, e.g. at school, ask them to note it too.

NearlyGranny · 15/12/2019 15:08

There are no parental rights, only responsibilities! Sounds like he's letting his DSs down. Can you work with them on saying no to their DF, and to other adults, like the barber? I can't see any barber approaching a child who is calmly and clearly refusing the haircut and having to be wrangled into the chair.

They need empowering to have their voices heard and autonomy and choices respected.

Bathsheba1878 · 15/12/2019 15:18

My ex used to do this exact same thing. He only saw our son every other weekend and on virtually every occasion subjected him to a haircut that he didn’t want or need. My son had beautiful curly blond hair and my ex knew that cutting it as short as possible would upset me (it upset my son too) so it was a way of exerting control. Complaining about it was the worst thing I could have done as it just made him realise his strategy was working. There is no answer really other than to support your sons in encouraging them to express their views. My son never had the confidence to do that but at age 12 stopped seeing his dad altogether because of the way he was treated when at his home.

AlrightyyThen · 15/12/2019 15:21

Yanbu, i would tell my DCs to kick up a fuss and refuse to sit in the chair. The hairdresser can’t force them and won’t do it if anyone else is forcing them. I hate parents that think kids have to do everything they demand because of who they are (my DF was similar and we don’t have a relationship now)

My DS’s dad keeps threatening to take him for all his (lovely long curly) hair cut off. I’d lose the plot if it happened I really would

FizzyGreenWater · 15/12/2019 15:33

All you can do is go to court sadly, and get a court order which covers haircuts and supervision. Given that your kids dislike the haircuts, and their hair is neat ot start with, put this along with the supervision issues and I would think you've got a good chance of getting it stated that he doesn not impose haircuts on them.

It's weird power play which, because it very obviously is a public way of him trying to 'mark' them as his which they don't want to happen, is absuive.

And tell your ex, wearily, that that's what you're going to have to do and the reason you're doing it is to protect their relationship. Because your kids do not want their hair cut, and all the end result of these haircuts will be is that by the time they are 13, they will be two stroppy boys with messy grungy hair who don't want to see the dad who continually refused to listen to them and support their choices when they were younger.

Hair always grows back. Love and respect doesn't!

bluebluezoo · 15/12/2019 15:41

Actually, I think court would not be pleased with a child’s bodily autonomy being continually disrespected like this

It’s a haircut. The kids are 6 and 8, an age when parents often make decisions on clothes and hair.

Countless threads in here about mums and control over young dd’s hair, not letting them get it cut, insisting it stays long even when impractical and involving hours of hair care, keeping boys hair short. Adults directing haircuts so the child “won’t get bullied”.

I happen to agree that children should be allowed a say in their hair cuts whatever age. Many parents disagree. I have girls who choose short hair and am told fairly frequently irl and online that i should over rule them to “protect” them.

It’s hair. It grows. The only thing o/p can do is to teach her sons to directly tell The hairdresser And their dad what they do or don’t want.

Mumsnut · 15/12/2019 15:58

Dye it pink in the holidays (with their agreement). Sauce for the goose and all that. See how he likes that

Soontobe60 · 15/12/2019 19:21

You need to pick your battles! He's just as entitled to get his children's hair cut a short you. He doesn't need your permission, you don't need his. Can't you see that by pulling him up on something you have no control over you're feeding his behaviour?
Basically, you don't want your boys to have a particular hairstyle because you think it looks 'chavvy'. Sorry, but that's a very judgy thing to say.
When your boys return just act as if you dnt give a damn. Tell them how nice they look. After all, if they think their hair is bad, theyll

FrogFairy · 15/12/2019 19:42

It speaks volumes that your son has been comfortable enough to talk to you about the hair style he wants, but does not feel confident to stand his ground with his father and decline having it cut. Maybe a wee bit scared of his dad?

By forcing this the damage your ex is doing will be far deeper than the haircut.

user1019273703 · 15/12/2019 19:46

YANBU. I totally get it. Ex took my DD for her first hair cut without a word and absolutely butchered her hair. Its frustrating but you just cant through to some people!

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall · 15/12/2019 19:50

Yanbu my ex was doing the same with my 6 &8 Year old. 6 year old didn't mind but 8 year old is trying to grow his a bit and got really upset. In the end he point blank refused to sit in the chair

MillicentMartha · 15/12/2019 20:12

I hated it when exH used to take our DSes for really short haircuts. They didn’t like to argue with him so put up with it. When DS1 at 15 was getting upset I had to intervene on his behalf and remind him that a teenager can choose their own hairstyle within school rules. TBF, he did stop taking them after that. And now I pay for all the haircuts!

I think he still saw them as young children and hadn’t got to grips with them getting older and having their own opinions.

Your issue is different as they are still very young, but they do still have a right to choose their own hair style so long as it’s acceptable to their school. Can you message him with words to that effect on behalf of your DSes? Would he listen or is it done to spite you?

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