Independence

Another pet peeve of mine is the opposite of helicopter parenting – the parents who seem to abandon their child in my chair. Now after a point, I encourage this. I’d rather not have to listen to a teenager and her mom bickering the whole time I’m trying to cut the kid’s hair. If the kid can speak for himself, let him. But if a child is only 5 years old, I still turn to the parent when I ask what we’re doing. But the “abandoning” parent will defer judgement to the young child – the same child that would eat ice cream for dinner while wearing a superhero cape. (Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad.)

But oftentimes, the parent overestimates their child’s precociousness and sense of independence. The kid will either stay as silent (and still) as a statue, or will say that she likes the cut just to be finished. What she really likes is getting out of my chair. Both of these scenarios are bad for me. Either they won’t like it and I’ll have to basically do a complete second cut, or someone will decide later that it isn’t right and they’ll have to come back for a second cut later. What’s tricky about kids is that they have about a 20-minute time limit for sitting (relatively) still. Both of these scenarios mean going over that, thus making both the stylist and the child cranky.

So the lesson is this: If your child can drive himself to the mall, go shop while he gets his hair cut. If your child makes herself long fingernails out of her food, you should probably stick around. (Though I’m not saying *I* don’t do that….)

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