View Full Version : So irritated with my mom today

May 1st, 2008, 01:27 PM
My dd's hair is coming in and it is VERY curly. I've been doing a lot of research about curly hair and I've been doing my best to learn how to take care of it. Well after her bath at night I just pat it dry a little and scrunch the curls up. Its not really long enough to tangle at this point so no need for combing or anything. Usually in the morning her head is just a frizz ball and I have to fix it but this morning the curls were still perfect. I loved them.

Well my mom comes over and she was helping me get the girls ready to go out to lunch and she brushes Allie's hair :(. I was so mad. She's like I was just trying to fix it. I know she doesnt mean any harm but how can I make her realize that Allie's curls are beautiful? I admit that they can get a bit wild at times but she really has cute hair. I just dont want Allie growing up hating her hair (or anything about herself really).

I love my mom to death and she is a wonderful mom and grandma but I really believe a large part of my low self esteem was learned from her not appreciating her own beauty. I have been working really hard to feel beautiful and be a good healthy example to my kids. I just worry when my mom does little things like this she may not mean any harm but over time Allie is going to start taking those things to heart. She already walks around saying "allie has crazy hair." b/c thats what my mom calls it.

Sorry for the long rambling. I love my mom and I dont want her to hurt her feelings but I want her to love the way the girls look the way nature intended.

May 1st, 2008, 01:29 PM
Just chalk it up as she doesn't know better, spritz her hair damp and then just apply a little oil. And voilà problem fixes or you could just hide the hairbrush ;):)

May 1st, 2008, 01:34 PM
Have you tried talking to your mom? Maybe she just doesn't know what she is doing...

May 1st, 2008, 01:49 PM
spray a bit of water on your daughters riah and scrunch a bit wind the curls around your pinky and they will be perfect again.. tell your mom you love the curls and that they dont need to be brushed

May 1st, 2008, 01:50 PM
Could you use the word crazy in a positive way? Example, "Allie has beautiful, crazy, curly hair and I love it!" Say it with an upbeat voice. Before long Allie will be thinking and saying it as well. Make sure and tell your mom you want to teach your children to cherish and take care of what God gave them. You could even tell her about the research you've been doing to enhance all those beautiful curls! Best wishes and try not to let mom get under your skin, sometimes we say things the wrong way.

May 1st, 2008, 01:56 PM
I would recommend talking to your mother and stressing how you feel and all the stuff you have researched.

May 1st, 2008, 02:40 PM
I understand where you are coming from. My daughter usually comes back from my parents with wild hair that has been knotted and brushed through. I have tried to tell her to use lots of conditioner etc but not sure if she is.
DD is 4 with almost waist length hair. Pretty straight compared to my somewhat curly hair.

May 1st, 2008, 03:31 PM
Grandparents will be grandparents. Just fix it when something has been done to it. :) Is it really THAT needed to make a big deal out of it if it is fixable? At least she didn't cut it :)

Mom likely doesn't even understand all the hair stuff ;)

heidi w.
May 1st, 2008, 03:43 PM
These issues are always dicey. I don't think your mother is purposefully being ornary. I think she sees herself as helpful.

I'm wondering if there's a way you can couch the discussion in a framework of appreciating her and her assistance. Whatever you choose to say, I don't recommend coming across that you don't appreciate her efforts.

ETA: I mean, I wouldn't be critical as in, Mom I don't want you brushing her hair. I'm wondering if there's an almost humorous approach you could use, too. But whatever you say, if you say something at all, I recommend making sure the focus is about what a great Grandma she is. Asking for help is always a great way to handle things.

I think that some version of what you wrote here would be good. I wouldn't recommend going in to all this hair care stuff since, even if you do, she'll likely still do what she thinks is right or proper or looks better.

I would focus on how helpful she is and can she help you in one more small matter by being positive about the hair, even the crazy hair. What's the tone this is being said with, by the way? IF it's fun-loving, then I wouldn't sweat it overly. IF it's critical, then yeah, maybe that's a problem.

My bet is she too has little-to-no experience with curly hair. Parents of such kids, when the parents don't have experience with such a hair type, often try to apply their ideas of how they care for their hair to this hair type, and it takes the kids decades to figure a workable solution, if ever.

You could then, under the guise of helping you, request not to brush the hair. And there you are.

I would think about your goal, your aim, what result you're seeking. Do you want cooperation on the hair care and language about the hair? If yes, then focus on how to get that, and usually, complimenting and asking for help is the best method. Do you want to air your personal grievance with her about how she may have contributed to your feelings about your own self esteem? IF yes, that's a different issue and not part of your daughter's hair -- it's just that this situation is pressing that button. That will likely be more confrontational, then, and you won't be getting cooperation per se on your daughter's hair.

IF you want to discuss both, I recommend separate conversations somehow, and really watch the tone, body language, and be sure to make plenty of room for her to show up and share her side. Otherwise she may just poo-poo your viewpoint and call you silly somehow as a defensive tactic. At a certain point in our lives, we are responsible for how we feel about things. Also it's my general understanding that mothers already feel guilty enough and plopping another one on that kinda questions her mothering skills would not be a good method for either conversation.

It just all depends on what you want, what you can let go of to get what you want, and the priorities you have for each matter.

heidi w.

May 1st, 2008, 03:49 PM
Grandparents will be grandparents. Just fix it when something has been done to it. :) Is it really THAT needed to make a big deal out of it if it is fixable? At least she didn't cut it :)

Mom likely doesn't even understand all the hair stuff ;)

I think this is probably the best approach. So grandma brushes it a bit, most curly girls know that they have crazy hair when brushed. Eventually Allie will get old enough to say "DON'T brush my hair grandma" till then she'll have some funky days when visiting the grandparents.

I don't have kids, but I've found that when dealing with my mom on other issues she really doesn't appreciate being told how to do things by me. She is the mother and therefore always right in her mind. An occasional brushing is not going to cause too much harm, and probably isn't worth the aggravation that bringing it up causes.

May 1st, 2008, 04:04 PM
I agree with the people who said to talk to her about it. She probably does mean well and possibly has body image issues of her own (or she wouldn't feel the need to fix perfect hair), so talking to her about it should fix the issue.

I noticed some people are telling it's not that big of deal because it's fixable, but your daughter will remember things her grandma says about her hair and possibly internalize them.

Whatever happens with this, I'm glad that you care enough about your children to deal with it because the little things do add up, especially when they come from someone you love.

heidi w.
May 1st, 2008, 04:26 PM
Allow me to digress....

the other morning some kids were quarreling at the bus stop on my street, and one kid was going to go home and not take the bus he was that upset. So I got in my car and drove up the street, knowing the bus was coming soon, and I said, "Hey Guys, What a nice mornin'. How're y'all doin' today?" Fine they echo in a chorus. I knew the bus was coming any minute, and my goal was to ensure that all the kids got on the bus, including the upset little boy. So I continue, "Is everyone OK here?" One little boy steps out and tells me something funny about the upset little boy that I can't figure out. No matter, I'm eyeballing the bus that's just turned the corner. But I did get the upset little boy's name, so I direct a question at him, "Hey Bill, you doin' ok today?" The bully pipes up that he's fine. And here's the bus.

They probably think I'm an idiot and don't know squat about what's going on because they have no clue that I watched them tussle and that the upset little boy had begun to go back home and then came back. They think I'm just drivin' by saying my usual good morning. But I don't care if they think I'm an idiot, because all I care about is they all get on the bus and go to school. Because I know that once they're there, they'll be on to other things and this little thing will fall by the wayside. I just want my goal met, however it gets done.

SO that's my point, work the situation without fussing overly, overly explaining, and probably in this instance just easiest to ask for help and not in any way be critical. You'll get more cooperation and your goal met that way, even if she doesn't agree or see it your way. That's not what you need anyway. You don't need her understanding: you need her cooperation, and sometimes a simple request for help is the easiest route to take. Sometimes us women overly explain and thus complicate a problem that is otherwise rather simple.

Remember, she's not purposefully being mean or evil or troublesome. She sees herself as helping and she sees herself as loving her granddaughter, and you, in the best way she knows how. Be sure to fold your request in with appreciation and thanks. She'll be impressed and glowing and want to help you then. (This is about how to motivate a person, perhaps, more than complaining.)

I just pretend I don't know what's up. It's not vital that everyone know I know the whole kit'n'kabootle.

heidi w.

May 1st, 2008, 05:57 PM
One one hand I think its not a big deal on the other hand it is.

Is grandma , ripping through her say saying "uggghhhh you have crazy hair!" or is she gently brushing it out saying "my goodness what crazy hair."?

You said she is a good mom and grandmother, so I assume the latter?I'm sure your mom wouldn't be around your kids if its the first scenario.Mine wouldn't.

It is important to teach your kids to love themselves for who they are.Now days , people are obsessed with changing themselves, even average housewives are getting plastic surgery (I have nothing against people who choose to do so, its their personal choice) .

I think Mom comes from a time when there wasn't so much information out their on child psychology, or hair care , or really anything, I mean no one knew cigarette's caused health problems until the 70's , so she is just doing what she is used to , and trying to help. Talk to your mom , and see if you can help her rephrase her words to sound more positive. Get a more suitable hair tool like a pic and show her how to use it, or the spray bottle and just tell her its the easiest way to take care of your daughters hair . Appreciate moms help, alot of people don't get any help with taking care of the kids at all.

I understand where you are coming from, my mother in law is constantly putting my oldest son down ,( he's from my first marriage), but she is just a mean person and puts everyone down so she isn't invited into our lives much anymore.It sound like your mom is a great grandma, who just has a few bad habits, she probably doesn't even know she's being negative.The irritation is understandable.

May 1st, 2008, 06:18 PM
Doesn't she see that curls brushed out turn into a giant fluff-ball? You would think so. I believe I would say something like "her natural curls look better and tangle less if they are not brushed out, so don't do it."

May 1st, 2008, 06:44 PM
I wonder if the brushing action is the real issue here. The way I read the starting post, it was grandma acting out what she has already on a number of occasions expressed in words (in front of her granddaughter): that the "untamed" look of her curls is something inappropriate, bad, something that needed fixing. To me that kind of behaviour (talking negatively about the looks of a small child in its presence) is not good. It also sounds like she has done this to her own daughter as well, which is why it is pressing a button in her.

I realise that getting grandparents to cooperate with one's own ideas of bringing up a child can be difficult, and requires a good deal of diplomacy, especially if the grandparents are actively helping out when needed (for which they deserve to be appreciated). But mommy101405 is a parent too now, and if she feels her mother's behaviour is putting her child's well-being at risk (and I am inclined to agree that making a child feel ugly does that), then she has every right to intervene. Just don't do it by blowing up over the brushing incident - your mother won't understand (to her brushing is probably the only way of child haircare she knows). However, it may be a good idea to use it as a ploy to address the underlying issues, by making a point of demonstrating to her how your daughter's curls are best looked after, showing her what tools to use etc., and then just mentioning casually, that, by the way, you would really appreciate it if she didn't talk negatively about your daughter's lovely hair in front of her. Then, if she does it again, you can remind her that you told her not to do that, explaining that you do not want you daughter to grow up to resent the looks she was given and fighting her own body image, getting a little more forceful on the issue.

I hope you'll be able to work things out