Mothers can sometimes be controlling, and while this is not always a bad thing, it can cross a line when it becomes harmful to the child. A woman asks, Am I a jerk for not allowing my ex-husband to cut our daughter’s hair and “giving him no say in his daughter’s problem”? We want to hear from you.
The Original Poster’s (OP) ex-husband and she split ten years ago. They have a 16-year-old daughter, Brooke.
She’s mixed race (OP’s black, and her ex is white). Because of this, Brooke has always had trouble styling her hair, so she kept it relatively short. A couple of years ago, OP heard about the curly girl method, and since using some of those principles, Brooke was able to get her hair styled properly and make it look good, so she’s grown it out since then.
What Does Brooke’s Hair Exactly Look Like?
OP says, “I don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of her on an anonymous site like this, but for an idea of how it looks style and lengthwise, here is a [reference picture].”
Brooke puts a lot of work in to get this result, and while it does require a lot of product and time, OP is okay with that. Her ex, however, doesn’t want to spend the money on hair care products so when she is at his house, she doesn’t use them.
OP says, “That was fine because he only has her on alternating weekends, but I recently went on a vacation with some friends, and she stayed with him for 2 weeks.”
What Happened After 2 Weeks?
After the 2 weeks, OP’s ex texted her and asked for permission to cut Brooke’s hair short. OP was confused because she never indicated wanting to do that, so she asked him why.
He Said It Looks Awful
He said that her hair looked awful, and she was refusing to take care of it, wash it, or use any products in it. That also struck OP as odd, so she asked what products he meant, and he sent her a picture of some cheap Walmart shampoo and hair gel. He said he made her brush it, but it looked even worse.
What Does OP Say
OP says, “I told him that he was an idiot. The cheap Walmart hair crap fries her hair, hair gel doesn’t work with her hair, and of course, it looked bad when she brushed it; that’s what happens when you brush curly hair.
I gave him a list of the products she uses and told him to go to buy them so she can take care of her hair, but he refused, saying they were way too expensive and that he wanted to have her hair cut short because “clearly that’s the only length she can handle.”
To Be Continued On Social Media
He made a Facebook post about how OP was enabling her daughter to “look like a bum” and not letting him “fix the problem.” A lot of his family and some of her family that still keep in touch with him told OP that she needed to accept that Brooke is his daughter too, and he gets a say in things.
OP says, “I’m sticking by my choice, and I’m not going to let him cut Brooke’s hair off unless she tells me that’s what she wants to do.”
Some More Context
OP later edited the post to add, “It seems I didn’t do a great job explaining that Brooke doesn’t want to cut her hair, and I’m defending her, not saying she has to keep it. If she wanted to cut it, she could, but my ex wants to.”
Is OP a jerk for not allowing her ex to cut her daughter’s hair? Let’s find out what people had to say about it.
She Could’ve Carried The Hair Products With Her
“Why is Brooke not allowed to take her hair care products with her when she visits him? Whenever I spend the night somewhere, I take my personal care products. Make-up, hair, and skincare.”
“Why didn’t you send the necessary products with her when she went to visit for 2 weeks? Then she could have taken care of her hair?”
Let Brooke Decide
“The only person who gets a say about Brooke’s hair is Brooke. I would suggest she takes her hair products with her if he doesn’t buy some for her. Your ex needs education regarding hair care,” said one.
“She’s freaking 16! If she were 4 maybe he would have a point, but he’s such a jerk for controlling a sixteen-year-old’s hair!” another added.
Thank You For Defending Her
“At 16, she’s more than capable of deciding her hair length – she’s the only one that should have a say. It would be so traumatic to be forced into a hairstyle you don’t want. Good for you for protecting your daughter.”
Show Him The Reality, Maybe?
“Comment with photos of her hair showing how it looks with the correct products. Is there a reason she could not pack her hair products when she goes to his house? He’s acting like she is 7, not 17!”
Your Ex Is Acting Weird & Ridiculous
“Your ex is ridiculous. Brooke is 16 years old. It should be her decision what to do with her hair. It’s not like she’s asking to die a rainbow or get a Mohawk. She needs the correct products for natural curls. She is there so infrequently that one set of whatever she needs should last a long time. I’m a little worried he might drag her to a salon and try to have it done anyway since he’s so up in arms about it. I’d talk to Brooke to ensure she understands she doesn’t have to cut her hair.”
He Could’ve Found A Sensible Solution
“Well, from OP’s comments, it looks like the plan WAS for Brooke to take the products, but she forgot. It’s a perfectly reasonable human mistake. If dad cares so much about what his daughter’s hair looks like, he could
- Drive Brooke to OP’s house to get the products, or
- Buy them himself.
Chopping off Brooke’s hair when she doesn’t want to should never have even been an option with a good parent. You bring up medication in another comment- if your child forgot their meds, you’d either drive to get them back or order more from the pharmacy. OP’s not the jerk; stop blaming them for their ex’s laziness.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio