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Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

DH and I are more lax in some areas than BM, hair dye being one of them. DS almost 10 is currently sporting a 3-4" mohawk, the top half is bleached and he often spikes it with blue or red hair gel. We've told him if he can keep his grades up, keep a good attitude at home, and do his chores without hassle he can dye his mohawk red when report cards come home. They come home December 14th.

DD almost 6 wants a couple purple streaks, so we've told her the same thing about school and home and will put a couple purple streaks in her hair.

SD is 12, she wanted to know if she could have pink streaks. Over the summer we discussed hair dye with BM and she had said she was OK with some highlights that were just a few shades different than SD's hair, but she didn't want her to do anything too drastic. I'm thinking that kinda rules out pink streaks, LOL. DH has joint custody, however he is the CP and BM has chosen to take SD one weekend a month (she's supposed to have EOWE). DH is gonna email BM and see if he can talk her into it, but I don't have high hopes there.

I'd be pretty pissed if someone dyed my kid's hair without my permission, so I don't want to just dye SD's hair and tell BM to deal. But, I also don't want SD to be the only kid who doesn't get something she wants. I also don't want to say "Well, your mom said no, so take it up with her" or anything like that.

Anyways, if BM says no to the pink, SD is gonna  be super bummed and she's gonna figure it out that it was BM who wouldn't let her. I also don't want to tell the other kids that they can't dye their hair if SD can't.

I can't figure out a good way to deal with this situation without it reflecting poorly on BM in some way. Advice, suggestions? 

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 1:37 AM
Replies (31-34):
Derdriu
by Gold Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Forget the hair for a moment.  The bigger issue you're running into is that SD is a child, who needs to respect and obey her parents.  You and BM have a cultural difference with regard to personal appearance; you don't have an issue with wild color but she does.  While you're looking for solution that temporarily give SD color, by doing so you also enable her to disrepect her mother.  BM said no.  Going behind her back or doing a temporary color doesn't change her answer.  You might ask her to clarify if she's concerned about permanent color vs. chalk.  If she's okay with a clip-in or chalk, then it would be fine to allow your SD to do it.  But if BM still says no, you'd be facilitating disobedience.

Honestly, I don't think there's a work-around in this type of situation.  It's probably best to just tell SD that BM said no.  But rather than approach it from the perspective that BM is a stick in the mud, acknowledge that people do have cultural differences.  BM may be afraid others will judge SD if her hair has pink streaks.  Maybe she feels it's simply inappropriate for a child.  Or maybe she considers it trashy and doesn't want her daughter to look that way.  Regardless, when a parent makes a rule or says no, there is a reason - usually for the protection of the child - and the child needs to honor that.  It may not seem fair, but life is unfair. 

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM


Quoting Derdriu:

Forget the hair for a moment.  The bigger issue you're running into is that SD is a child, who needs to respect and obey her parents.  You and BM have a cultural difference with regard to personal appearance; you don't have an issue with wild color but she does.  While you're looking for solution that temporarily give SD color, by doing so you also enable her to disrepect her mother.  BM said no.  Going behind her back or doing a temporary color doesn't change her answer.  You might ask her to clarify if she's concerned about permanent color vs. chalk.  If she's okay with a clip-in or chalk, then it would be fine to allow your SD to do it.  But if BM still says no, you'd be facilitating disobedience.

Honestly, I don't think there's a work-around in this type of situation.  It's probably best to just tell SD that BM said no.  But rather than approach it from the perspective that BM is a stick in the mud, acknowledge that people do have cultural differences.  BM may be afraid others will judge SD if her hair has pink streaks.  Maybe she feels it's simply inappropriate for a child.  Or maybe she considers it trashy and doesn't want her daughter to look that way.  Regardless, when a parent makes a rule or says no, there is a reason - usually for the protection of the child - and the child needs to honor that.  It may not seem fair, but life is unfair. 

If BM says she'd prefer SD not to have different colored hair at all (the chalk and clip ins) then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I wouldn't tell SD, "BM said no, but let's do it anyways." I don't want her to think it's acceptable to 1. disobey her parents, or 2. be deceitful.

SD has played with the clip in colors before, we had some that we had gotten at the dollar store (not the best quality, and they have since been thrown away as they had gotten too tangled) and BM didn't have an issue with those.

I don't know why BM has said no to anything extreme, I didn't ask. She agreed to "natural" looking streaks this summer, but didn' say why, and I didn't ask. I figured she had made her opinion. DH was going to talk to her about the options for the pink streaks, and we'll see what she says.

Our intention is to not make BM the scapegoat if the answer is no. We don't want to tell SD "Well, BM said no, so you're out of luck." Because then BM is the "bad guy" in SD's eyes for saying no. The hope is that we can nicely explain to SD that her parents need to agree about things like that, or they can't happen. Maybe as she gets older DH and BM can talk again and see if they can come to an agreement about it. I just didn't want to make BM out to be the "bad guy" in the situation, if that makes sense. Obviously SD is going to figure it out, but if DH and I approach it correctly we can explain it in a way that will help SD understand that no one person is making decisions for her. 

kellynh
by Kelly on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Are the 10yo and 6yo just yours or yours and dh's?

if yours, different parenting styles and sd would have to take it up with her DAD, the custodial parent.

If the kids are both yours and dh's and it is a decision that you mutually agreed upon, the decision becomes your dh's. Let him bring sd to a salon and get it done. Just back away from the issue. He can either chose to do it and deal with BM about it, or attempt to talk to her first. Still the decision is his. If he choses to back BM up and she flatly refuses... Then I'm sure sd's anger will be at both bio parents. 

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

DS and DDs are DH's.

DH is hoping he can come to a comprimise with BM about it. If she's not OK with the hair dye, then he's going to talk to her about the hair chalk. If she says no and refuses to consider other options then he'll have to make a decision.

Quoting kellynh:

Are the 10yo and 6yo just yours or yours and dh's?

if yours, different parenting styles and sd would have to take it up with her DAD, the custodial parent.

If the kids are both yours and dh's and it is a decision that you mutually agreed upon, the decision becomes your dh's. Let him bring sd to a salon and get it done. Just back away from the issue. He can either chose to do it and deal with BM about it, or attempt to talk to her first. Still the decision is his. If he choses to back BM up and she flatly refuses... Then I'm sure sd's anger will be at both bio parents. 


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