Boys with long hair

I should be working on my essay (1500 words on why health intentions don’t always translate into health behaviours – I could write the book on that one!), but a friend tweeted this to me.  What’s the big deal about boys with long hair?

We were told endlessly that we would “have” to cut his hair before he started school.  People worried about teasing and bullying.  I worried about teasing and bullying.  But not because of his hair, because of his sweet and gentle nature, and because of his preference for narrative play over active play, because of his quirky interests, because of who he is.  The hair issue didn’t raise a blip on my radar.

A few weeks into school, he told me that another boy with long hair in an older class had approached him and told him how cool he is for having long hair.  And until yesterday, that was the only time it had come up.

Yesterday, he said he wanted to cut his hair because he doesn’t like it when people call him a girl.  There are people who make honest mistakes, and there are people who do it deliberately.  There is one boy in his class who we have known since they were babies.  He’s a nice kid, and I like his parents (and his older brother), but he continually refers to Inigo as “she”, despite knowing that he is a boy.

This was one of those days when I was glad Inigo and I have practiced talking about feelings. It transpired that this kid is the one who is upsetting Squish, and we talked about how to deal with it.  On Monday, Inigo is going to say to him, “Please don’t call me a girl, because it upsets me”.

He also said that he doesn’t want to cut his hair because it might hurt, so that is a whole ‘nother conversation 🙂

4 thoughts on “Boys with long hair”

  1. I wondered if the hair was going to cause an issue at school, but his hair is a decision between the two of you, not mine to make. But, I will say this, children can be cruel, and all children will be teased at one point or another. When my middle child (now 17) was in kindergarten, she was teased about our last name, Hickey, by another kinder. I figured that would happen at some point with my kids, but never expected it from a child that age. They shouldn’t even know what it is! My younger two had a wonderful kindergarten teacher, and when I talked to her about it, she made a point of talking to the entire class about making fun of names, for a variety of reasons. My daughter did not feel singled out, as far as being a ‘victim’. When she was a second grader, an older child teased her, and a male friend of my oldest child got her to a protected place away from the bully girl, and had a discussion with the bully girl and let her know it was unacceptable to tease anyone regarding something they have no influence over.

    Where my kids are in school now, no one would think to give a guy a hard time about long hair, the most effective (American rules) football lineman at the school has long red hair, and as sweet and gentle as he is off the field, his on field reputation is enough to make his hair a subject that does not get brought up in a derogatory manner.

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  2. Lara, my first marriage was to a man with very long hair. I, myself had very short hair. This seemed to cause confusion to the general public. People would drive past us and shout “Which one’s the girl”?

    Fast forward to the present…Harriet, who is now nearly nine, has just had long hair cut into a short, choppy and very cool hairstyle. It was done with razors and whatnot to give her long pieces and some shorter pieces and she look really great. A few kids are teasing her about having ‘weird’ hair. I like to think it is quirky! Oh well, I can’t please everyone and, just to state a fact, she loves her new hair.

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  3. Being called a girl/told that long hair is for girls was one of the reasons Hugo eventually chopped off his awesome rock star locks. I’m sad about it, but he’s happy with his short(er) hair and totally solid in his sense of self, so it’s all okay, though I do try to encourage him to grow it back just because I thought it looked cool – no luck so far.

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