There are many firsts in a child’s life - first steps, first word, first day of school, first crush, first job. As a parent, you've probably daydreamed about all of these milestones, but haven’t given much thought to your child’s first haircut until faced with the decision. Whether it's for school pictures, an upcoming event or their hair is just getting too long to manage, it's important to make sure your child's first haircut experience is a positive one.
Any new experience can be a little scary for a child, but throw some water, scissors and loud styling tools in the mix, and it can be pure chaos. We've got some tips to skip the stress and have them looking fresh.
- Prepare your child ahead of time. Discuss getting a haircut with your little one before your go. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to preparing them for the unknown. If you have a doll or teddy bear, you can pretend to give it a haircut, or upgrade to playing “salon” with each other by role playing at home.
- Do some research. If you are able to find pictures of the salon online, show them to your child so that they can get excited about where they are going (many kids' salons have really cute décor). This will help to ease their fears, allow them to feel involved and make sure there are no surprises on haircut day.
- Monkey see, monkey do. Children learn a lot from their surroundings, especially by watching others. Find a video online of another child getting a haircut to show your little one. If you are a bit early for your appointment, let them watch the other kids who are getting their hair cut as well.
- Share your experience. Talk about the times when you as the parent get a haircut. You can talk about what you enjoy about the experience, why getting a haircut is necessary and how your new do makes you feel.
- Acknowledge their feelings. Ask your child how they feel about getting their hair cut, and what they are excited or worried about. With each answer, you can talk with them about why they feel that way and provide any advice to help them.
- Reward and encourage. As a parent, you probably know that rewards are sometimes the best way to convince your child to go through with something. Discuss a fun activity that they can look forward to after the haircut, such as a getting a cookie or going for a bike ride.
- Distractions work. While they are getting their hair cut, try distracting them if they seem a little overwhelmed. You can bring their favorite book or let them play a game on an electronic device to ensure their mind is far away from the happenings at the salon.
- Comfort is key. Haircuts can be a family affair, and we're talking about the stuffed members of the family as well. Bring an item that calms and comforts your child, like their favorite toy or blanket.
- Sing their praises. After the haircut, be sure to praise your child for doing such a great job. Even if it's for small wins like sitting still for more than 30 seconds, your child has officially concurred the first cut!
- Don't let tears derail the pIan. If they get upset during the haircut, remind them of the fun activity you planned to celebrate their haircut. You can also offer stickers, bring a snack, or try a coloring book to get the appointment back on track