‘My daughter’s friends chopped off all her hair as a prank and I don’t know what to do.’

young girl crying

 

A mother has asked forum website Quora for help with a particularly tricky, and heartbreaking, parenting dilemma.

“My daughter’s friends chopped off all her hair at a sleepover and thought it was a funny prank,” the mother wrote.

“My daughter is very upset. What can I do about this?”

Although her post didn’t include many details about how it happened or how old her daughter is, people were quick to share their outrage over the ‘prank’ and advice on how to handle the situation.

Many made the point that cutting someone’s hair without their permission isn’t a joke. It’s bullying.

“This was not a ‘prank’. I’ve worked with pre-teen and teenage girls. Nobody cuts all their friend’s hair off as a ‘funny prank’. This was an act of bullying designed to humiliate your child,” one wrote.

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“This is appalling and could be considered assault. I’m so sorry that your daughter experienced this. I’m also sorry that you’re going through this,” added another.

A lot of users advised taking the incident up with the parents of the children responsible.

“I’d immediately contact all parents of girls who attended the party. They need to know that this happened and to be aware of the personalities and peer pressure surrounding these relationships. If necessary, ask the school counsellor to help navigate this experience – for your daughter, the instigators and the by-standers,” one wrote.

Another wrote, “Request that the mean girls apologise. Take photos to show the parents and suggest that she needs to go to a hair stylist and request that other parents pay for it.”

A few suggested filing formal charges over the incident, or engaging legal advice.

A guide to speaking to little girls, by little girls. Post continues after video.

Video by MWN

“Consider whether you want to press charges. Yes, I’m serious. This is a crime and you are entitled to retribution,” one wrote.

Another added, “I would send a very polite, strongly worded letter to the parents of the child that held the sleep over; include the name of your lawyer. Explain that they have a certain period of time to reimburse you for the costs you have incurred.”

Most importantly, others gave suggestions of how the mother could rebuild her daughter’s confidence, which would no doubt have been affected.

“Right now, her confidence is probably shattered. Maybe take her shopping or to get her ears pierced or something that will make her feel like she has some ownership of her own body again. Let her know that you love her, and that her body is her own, and that she’s beautiful no matter what,” one wrote.

“Take your daughter to an excellent hairstylist and get her a ‘hip’ style of her own choice,” another wrote.

Another person wrote, “As much as people think there are great short haircuts out there and that “it will grow back” or that it can be a good thing in disguise, one point that we are really missing here, is that your daughter has truly been assaulted, and the magnitude of her experience should not be shoved under the rug.”

“Talk with your daughter about the experience. Do not project your outrage on her. Ask for her feelings and perceptions. Ask her what she thinks should happen. Help her process the situation,” wrote another.

Another added, “I suggest sitting down with your daughter and showing her how many darling hairstyles she can choose from. Show her all of the images you can find so that she can see how they look on different people. She may even find someone who looks similar to herself.”

Over all, the most common piece of advice was for the mum to use this experience to teach her daughter how she deserves to be treated, and how to treat others.

“A real friend celebrates your beauty. They don’t contribute to your self-consciousness. I hope your daughter heals quickly and finds new friends that will make her feel good about herself.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying, please seek help or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

What would you do in this situation? Tell us in the comments.

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