• Child Goes Crazy at the Hair Salon? A Pinay Mom Has a Great Tip

    If you've been dreading your child's first haircut, you may find her tactic useful.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • Child Goes Crazy at the Hair Salon? A Pinay Mom Has a Great Tip
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  • If you've taken your child to the kiddie hair salon for the first time without any fuss (or screaming), you're one of the lucky ones. For every one of you, there are two or three parents who have wondered what is it about getting a hair cut that drive their toddlers into a crazed frenzy! 

    We wanted to find out how moms dealt with the dreaded trimming (without having to pin down a tot to his chair!). One helpful advice we received was from mom and SmartParenting.com.ph contributing writer Jazer Basan. She has had a more trying experience than most because her son JC has sensory sensitivity, a common trait in children with autism. JC is more sensitive to sound, smells, light, and touch — too much can quickly become overwhelming. 

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    Jazer shares that JC was so scared about getting a haircut that she and her husband thought it was too much of a traumatic experience to put him through it again. “His dad was the first to say we should give it up. It was too much. JC would hold each of our hands at the kids salon like it was a death row chair!”

    “The sound of snipping scissors is interpreted differently in his mind, we understand that now,” says Jazer. “Haircuts were difficult because it was two-fold. There was the sound of the snipping coupled with the cold metal touching his head.”

    Because he wasn’t getting his hair cut anymore, JC became known as the boy with the long hair at preschool. His locks grew until it reached his belly. But when he moved to big school, he had to comply with the school’s rule on short hair for boys. So, Jazer thought of a plan.

    Days before his trip to the salon, the mom helped her son get used to the experience of having his hair cut. “I would sit him in front of a mirror and wrap a towel around his shoulders. I would get scissors and make snipping sounds near his ear, but no actual cutting. Then we switched roles. He'd do it on me using his plastic toy scissors,” she shares. 

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    On the day of the chop, JC took to the chair pretty well. There was still a bit of an apprehension and a few complaints when the scissors snipped near his nape, but there was a big difference from what it was like before. “He was actually amused with his ongoing transformation in the mirror. I felt for the parents of the child in the other chair who was screaming and crying, but grateful that JC had outgrown his fear,” Jazer said. 

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    Jazer's pretend haircut at home had been effective and smart tactic to show her son that he didn't have to fear anything. Forcing a child to sit through a haircut when he’s clearly scared is not a good idea, says child psychologist Penelope Leach in a column for BabyCenter.

    “You can never teach a child not to be afraid by frightening him even more. Indeed, every time you force your toddler to sit through his fear, you make it grow. The only haircut that will truly convince him that ‘there's nothing to be afraid of’ is the haircut that doesn't scare him.” 

    On our Parent Chat, another strategy was shared by Catherine Rose Gonzales-Sahagun, mom to 2-year-old Owan. She shares, “It was our first time to have our son's hair cut at the salon. We didn't know what to expect. I prepared a few things, like kiddie TV shows on my phone and his favorite snacks to bring along. 

    Owan tolerated the sprays of water on his hair but started panicking when the barber fitted the cape. The TV shows didn't work, but the snacks calmed him down. "I also talked to him a lot by saying things like, ‘Wow, pogi naman!’”

    Some moms are luckier than others. Poala Mendoza had completely the opposite experience. Her son actually enjoyed his first haircut, partly thanks to the fact that dad was the one who held the razor. The next cuts were then pleasant and hassle-free for both little one and parents. 

    Good luck!

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