|Photo Credit: The Rock at Boston College|
My son was born with a lot of hair. His first haircut was during his sixth month, cutting hair away from his eyes and ears. It was just a snip-snip job during one his baths. The next haircut he got was after his first birthday and it looked awful. My MIL did this one cutting just the front while he was asleep at their house.
The next few haircuts were disaster. I had to hold him in my lap while his dad holds him steady as the barber cuts away. It was tiring and a very unpleasant experience for us all. We used to take him to my husband’s barber located near our place. As a typical barber shop, it was full of men chatting about games and sports. My husband’s a bit traditional if I may say. His justification: he don’t need to go to fancy salons to have his head shaved. I’ll give him that.
One problem with the barber’s was that most of them don’t do rapport and some have loud husky voice that scared my kid. I’ve got nothing against them, but that’s what I love at salons, they have lots of it. Sometimes, overwhelming but atleast they try.
Here are few tricks I have tried to get my kid sit still and behave during haircuts.
Don’t use the word “cut”.
Kids associate the word “cut” with pain. Instead try to use “trim”. It sounds different and less scary.
Do pretend haircuts at home as part of a game. This will ease the tension when they need to get their haircut. This is easier for girls as you can use a doll to be your model. My kid doesn’t want a doll near him, let alone have him cut its hair.
Imitation is the key.
This can be a good mom and daughter, dad and son bonding activity. You can bring your kid to your favourite salon (or barber) and let them watch you get your hair cut. Do this regularly and they will feel more comfortable once it’s their turn.
Bring their favorite toy.
Every kid has their favourite toy or plushies that helps them ease their worries at almost all occasion. Let them bring it during the haircut to keep them busy and worry-free. My kid enjoys looking at his toy cars “parked” on the dresser while he gets his haircut.
Bribe him. This may not be the best option but may still do the trick. Just be cautious as they may use it against you in the future. The point to remember is to offer them the reward after doing well at several activities. This way, they will not associate the “one behavior” with the reward.
Choose the “perfect” salon or barbershop.
No need to go to a fancy salon or expensive children’s barbers. Make sure your stylist or barber knows how to handle kids. Observe how your kid reacts whenever they are inside the shop. Sometimes, it’s just how the stylist talks to your kid. My friend owns a salon and thankfully, one of her stylist knows how to play with kids. He was able to earn his trust and cut his hair without the fight and struggles.
Kids have different reactions towards each situation. Some first-timers may better than others. As parents we need to understand how to manage these behaviors.
If you have a kid who hates getting their haircut, do share your experiences and what tricks you used to surpass the phase.