Yesterday, I took my daughter to get her hair dyed purple and my 18-month old got her first “REAL” haircut. When my friends found out that my toddler and baby were at a salon, and patient enough to get their hair done, they were shocked. I never really thought about it as anything but routine. I’ve been taking my kids to get their hair done since I had to hold them, or nurse them while the hairdresser snipped around their ears. But in the last couple days, I have been asked a dozen times to give friends tips, so here you go.
As a parent I try to approach everything in the same manner. I use a thought process of exposure, understanding, expectations, minimizing risking, excitement and fun.
I am not saying in anyway that children should be exposed to everything the world has to “offer.” But if my children are going to have to be comfortable with a scenario in the not-too-distant-future, or preform a task, I am going to get them used to it as soon as possible. Babies, toddler and children are people too, and will have their own personalities. Sometimes there is nothing your going to be able to do with a particular aversion, but if something is normal or routine and not foreign or shocking, the rate of success will be much higher concerning people, places, tasks or a specific activity.
As I stated previously, I have been taking them to the salon since infancy. Now, it seems like their element. There are probably few places they find more comfortable, it has become a pampering, exciting event for them.
I work with my children, I don’t fight them. Being a toddler is an emotional time. Mine is trying to figure life out and if she has an issue, I try to facilitate. I am not saying she runs the show or that she can act how she pleases, but I am not one to just say no, unless their is a legitimate reason. I am not a coddler but here are a couple examples of how I handle some things.
If she says she would like to walk instead of being strolled, I let her do it, unless their is danger or reason behind her not. I set up the expectations of how she should behave, and unless she has shown that she is incapable in that instance of following instructions, I would let her walk.
My husband and I handle this situation much differently from each other. I am what most would call laid back, I guess. I don’t have a regimented set of life rules I follow. My toddler often wants to sleep in a ridiculous outfit. Large tulle and lace gowns don’t seem to effect her sleep and unless they did, I don’t mind that she wears outrageous things to bed. My husband, does, lol. He would say no, you have to wear pajamas. If while she was supposed to be sleeping there was a problem, I might change my tune but I do not expect that she follow my likes to a tee.
When she felt uncomfortable with the heat lamp, I didn’t say well just hold on a bit, the hairdresser and I addressed the issue. Remember babies and toddler aren’t as emotionally equipped to handle all that life throws at them, in time little things will be far less serious, but for now, a change of position or a longer time processing was the key. Everyone was happy.
Before my baby or toddler and I go anywhere, I explain how I expect them to behave. If they do not mind me, I follow through, every time, with whatever consequences I have set in place. This way they know that I am serious when I speak. Clarity leads to long time “better behavior,” in my experience.
We were at the salon for 5 hours, in that time I had to parent, say no and ask them to act differently, but they minded me. There was not one situation where they were out-of-control and I had to leave.
I always try to prevent a problem, not try and mend one once its happened, even though as a parent it’s inevitable, sometimes, that you have to be a “fixer.” I think of all the likely needs or wants of my children and try not to get caught off guard.
For instance, before I went to the salon, I knew they were going to need a substantial meal while there, not a snack. I prepared and brought a large meal. I also brought along a handful of their favorite toys, and water cups for both, so they wouldn’t bicker about who had the water or have to drink out a large adult cup.
I don’t plan activities during times I know they will need a nap etc. and just try to make it work. I also think of where I am going and the environment. The salon we went to yesterday was an at-home salon where the kids could run around if needed. But when I schedule at a larger salon I go on days that are their slowest, Sundays and Mondays. This allows the children to walk around, interact with others and not be in the way. This action cuts down on stress and other problems.
I get excited with my daughter, tell her how much fun we are going to have, try to do things that I know would make her the happiest. I try and relax. Everything is not a big deal.
Purple hair, why not, you want to look like a rock’n roll Barbie, ok. She was so excited to get her hair done. I don’t think much could of happened in the way of being upset. Yes, I don’t panic about everything, roll around on the floor, get some of your sisters hair on you, no big deal.
Just have fun!
Our day at the salon, pictures not in any particular order!
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