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Love and Logic question How would you do this?

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004: Love and Logic question How would you do this?
By Melissa on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 07:32 pm:

I have known the basic principles of this for a long time and have always parented this way as in not sheilding my dd from learning oportunities and using natural consecquences so I get that and have no problem with it. Now she is older, 6.5 I find us in more power struggles and her arguing about EVERYTHING. I just read the Love and Logic book and feel I get it but want to run my plan by some people using this method longer.


Lexi has shoulder length hair that is thin and gets ratty looking easily, she hates to have it brushed and can't/won't do an acceptable job herself. She had,until 6 months ago a cute short bob so no problem, she felt that was boy hair and wanted to grow it out. Now every day I say we are going out now or to school,what ever.Time to do your hair. She then argues about why now, or why do we have to go at all. I say you do it, if you do an acceptable job I won't brush it, if not I will. More arguing then I brush, she screams and growls at me ( I try to be very gentle) I'm sick of this whole thing.


I plan to say to her tomorrow when she gets home from my sisters - We have been having a lot of issues about your hair- I want you to be able to have the hair style you want but it hurts my ears and uses up a lot of my energy to have to work so hard to comb it out each day.

Starting tomorrow morning you have the choice of
combing your own hair (to acceptable standards)or
asking me to comb your hair with out any fuss. If you cannot choose one of those I will make an appointment for you to get a shorter hair cut as soon as possible. You don't have to worry if you don't have enough money to pay for it right then you can pay me back out of your allowance.
The only other choice is if you feel you aren't able to manage long hair at this point in your life, I will make an appointment and pay for it
just as I always have. It is time for a trim on your bangs anyway If you want to get the whole thing cut at that time I will pay.

Is that too many choices? Should I not make her pay? I know she will end up getting a hair cut one way or another.
Does offering the cut now if she chooses take away the learning opportunity and just make me the one who MADE her get her hair cut?

I supose I could be like the no coat thing but I see no negative consecquence for her she doesn't care if her hair isn't combed.

By Melanie on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 07:54 pm:

I think that plan is just right. I say go for it! :)

By Mommmie on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 08:01 pm:

Well, perhaps the natural consequence of having messy hair would be negative feedback from peers. But, there's no guarantee the peers will come through with some, "Why is your hair so messy, Lexi" when you need it. Or she may not be influenced by peers teasing her for not brushing her hair.

I would probably say each morning, "Brush it or Cut it" and the first time she resists, I'd take her to a walk-in place and get it cut right then. I wouldn't make her pay for it no matter what. I wouldn't go into long explainations as to her choices. I'd say "Brush it or you're getting it cut today" and that's that. And you'll probably have to cut it the first day, but next time, as it grows out again, maybe she'll Brush It. I would express empathy about the haircut, not anger. Just matter of fact.

I would, of course, make sure brushing is a painless thing for her - conditioned hair, the right brush, etc, so you can rule out the resistance being from PAIN. (That would be MY experience growing up!)

My Love and Logic is a bit rusty, though. Maybe others have better ideas.

By Nancy on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 09:30 pm:

I agree with the suggestion to stay clear of long explainations. She will more than likely tune you out thus adding to the frustration.

Sounds like she is trying to find more independence. Could all the battles you mentioned lately be due to that? Maybe just let her wear her hair the way she wants to and do battle with a more serious issue. Kwim? Arm her with all the fun things she'll need to take care of her hair and then let her know after thinking about it you realize she is a big girl and you trust her to take good care of her hair. Remind her that if she doesn't brush it real good she will get knots a the nape of her neck which could result in having to cut it. Say it all with love and a smile. Then take a deep breath and let it go. If it is messy and she said she bruhed it just carry on as if it looks great. She's either going to get it or not, but she has to try.

Now having said that I have a little girl and she has long hair. Right now she will allow me to comb it with out much of a fight. I fully expect to be in your shoes here soon enough and will have to take my own advice. LOL

By Tink on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 09:55 pm:

BTDT and I tried a similar plan. I didn't make her pay for the haircut and I didn't give her the option of going out without her hair brushed to an acceptable style. We ended up getting it cut but it was something she accepted as the alternative to having a fight each morning. That was about a year ago. She has gotten a lot more responsible for it and so we are letting it grow out. She knows the alternative and we have very few arguments about it now. If you offer the haircut first, the choice is still in her hands. You aren't making her cut it, just letting her know that she can do it now without a battle at all. I am not familiar with this book but it sounds like something I should check out.

By Mrse on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 10:44 pm:

Can you braid it at night, so it is easier for her to brush in the morning? When my kids were little they all had long hair, whenever I could I put it into a french braid, or a ponytail with a braid at the end of it. If I started to brush thier hair and they cryed etc.. I would say ok, you brush out what you can, then I will do the rest.
I think it is to much to absorb, all the choices. Why can't you just bring some hair styles up on the computer, and ask her to come look at them?
If you are going somewhere and she is refusing to brush her hair, I would just say ok, you don't have to, but I also do not have to walk out in public with your hair like that, so I will arrange for a babysitter to stay with you.
The only problem I have with the plan, is you can not drag her to the hair dresser, so I am not sure how that is going to work. All I can say is I am glad my girls are older, and they do thier own. good luck, sure everything will work out.

By Emily7 on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 11:08 pm:

I agree with Laura. I would give her the choice to keep her hair acceptable or cut it. I was told once that children start to tune the parents out after a certain length of time. To make the talks short & to the point.

By Colette on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 05:49 am:

I'd just put it in a loose braid at night after shampooing it. Both of my dd's have extremely long hair and keeping it in a braid at night, and using lots of conditioner when you wash it, takes care of snarly hair in the morning.

By Feona on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 06:11 am:

My hair got so ratty that it was one big ball of knots. It had to be cut off. That was from one day of not brushing. (I think.. I was like 7 so who can remember. Maybe one weekend of not brushing?)

Talk about natural consequences.

By Children03 on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 07:13 am:

Do you use conditioner in her hair? Try using it in her hair after you wash it because it really helps with tangles. You can also spray in a leave in conditioner that might also keep her hair from looking so "ratty" and if you do have to brush it later it won't be so tangled.

By Eve on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 07:30 am:

Melissa-Which book did you read? It sounds like you have the lingo down!:)

I think I would just start out with just the brushing of the hair. So, you are getting ready...just say "Sweetie. Would you like to brush your hair or would you like Mom to brush it?" Then, if she doesn't make the choice right away, you make it for her and go brush her hair.

When the crying or pleading starts, then I put put your energy drain into use and then bring up your plan for cutting. It sounds like all the choices all work for you, so that's super!

As for paying for the haircut, it's up to you. I might make her pay if she got gum in it or if she did something to someone else's hair, then she pays.

I think having her do chores or something to help you, to help you get your energy back is GREAT though. I can't wait to try that with my DD! She already does chores and has to be sweet if she loses a toy.

Your ideas sound great though. Good luck! I would say wait for the moment though. I wouldn't just start in on her when she gets home. Find what method works best for you. I use the basic guidelines, and then I do what works for us.

Kudos to you for giving choices though. Sometimes it's so much easier to just grab the brush and do it yourself! Keep us posted.:)

By Amyj on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 10:56 am:

My mom made me get my hair cut when I was little and I still haven't forgiven her!LOL I am having the same struggle with my 4.5 year old daughter. What has helped us is a book by American Girl on hair styles. She loves to look at the girls with their long hair and try the different dos. I have explained that unless we brush her hair every day she can not have long hair. She loves to try different styles and buy "pony hairs". Have you tried a reward system? If she can take care of her hair for five days without a fuss you will let her pick out a new hair accessory. Maybe you could reward with a trip to the salon (have a fancy braid done or something) after a month. I have also had my daughter watch older girls with long hair brush and do their hair. This has really helped. My daughter loves her long hair and so do I. Forcing her to cut it is a last resort for us. Hope something has helped!

By Renee on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 12:52 pm:

I am going through this right now with my 10 year old.

She wants long hair and in fact is growing it out so she can cut it for Locks of Love. Unfortunately, she won't take care of it.

I have tried letting her go out with her friends with it messy, but she could care less about the comments.

So I have told her that she has a choice. If she does not take care of her hair and it's not acceptable to me than I am cutting her hair to chin length. And she has only had short hair once and that was the last time she donated to L.O.L. So she has until the end of this week to take care of it.

By Melissa on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 09:23 pm:

Well, we had a very nice evening and during her bath she said to me you know after I went swimming today my hair was a "solid hunk" her way of saying very tangled. So I Said Well I've been thinking about your hair and went over how I wanted her to be happy with her hair but I couldn't spend any more time or energy on this. I told her she could brush it and if it was acceptable I'd leave it alone or I could brush it but if there was any complaining or fussing we would go get a hair cut ASAP. (I didn't talk about her paying as DH thought that was too harsh.) She said, I just want it cut now. ( I hadn't mentioned that thought yet.) I asked if she'd like to think it over as it was totally up to her what happens and she didn't have to decide that now. She said no I know, let's get it cut. Totally calm, no fight, no crying. I think she just needed it to be HER problem and since I told her why it wasn't going to be mine anymore, it was. I am very happy with how this went and she seemed to be too. I think she was sick of it too.

Eve, I have read the general Love and Logic book not the one for younger kids up to 5 or 6. As she is 6 now and is very verbally advanced and has a very high level of reasoning and thinking for her age. That is why I think it will work well for her b/c she is such a thinker.

Dh was not totally on board with this at first. He is the softie with her not me. But I got him to read the book and he gets it and has been doing it with success. Small things so far but it is working great! He is happy with it too.
We've always done natural consecquences this is just building on that and with more empathy I think.


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