Growing up, my dad would take me to get a haircut every two weeks and I used to love it. It was our time to bond and I loved hearing him say how good I looked with my cut.
As I got older, having a fresh cut became a priority, especially in college. It made me feel clean and gave me all the confidence I needed at times!
Now as a dad, I get to experience the same thing with my kids so taking them to get their first haircut is a big deal. We don’t want them coming home with those bowl-shaped cuts. (Fellas, yah know what I’m talking about. Be there, don’t let wifey or grandma take them to get their first haircut without you!)
Getting that first haircut is a rite of passage where I’m from, and here’s what I learned from being there.
A little bribery never hurts
You ever went to a barber shop and see kids screaming, throwing things or simply crying while their parents beg them to be good?
That’s what I envisioned before taking each of my sons to get their first haircut. I expected the worst every single time but also knew that a bribe could go a long way. I bribed both my kids with the allure of having candy after. It worked perfectly for two of them, my youngest though … he wasn’t having it.
Candy wasn’t enough. I actually had to sit down with him while he got his haircut. I never wanted to, but I’ll do anything to keep him from screaming like a madman and embarrassing me. Find what works for your kid and do it!
Never as bad as you thought
Little man is tough and to be honest I expected the absolute worst. We even scheduled him for the last appointment just in case we had to run out of there embarrassed. Got to be prepared at all times!
Remember it’s normal for a child to fear a stranger with clippers and scissors. Don’t give up too early.
All I kept thinking to myself was, if this kid goes crazy we are out of here. Luckily for me, little man sat on my lap and watched YouTube like an angel. He didn’t kick, scream or fight the barber. It was baffling how well he behaved and I’m thankful for it.
Enjoy: There’s only one first haircut
The first of anything you ever do with your kids is special, even when things don’t go as expected. I was expecting my youngest to go bonkers and destroy our first haircut together. However, having him sit on my lap seemed to calm him down.
Eventually, I forgot he was getting a haircut because I started to really watch him maneuver around YouTube. Little man is 2 and was working these shortcuts in the app that I didn’t even know existed.
That was all part of the first haircut experience and I am so glad I was able to be part of it. Somethings you only get to do once so enjoy the memories, good or bad.
Not my first time, but …
Being there to see all three of my sons getting haircuts was a huge blessing. All of them handled the situation differently but provided me with some dope memories I will always cherish.
Even though I have done this before, having to change my approach for all three made it seem like it was the first time each time. I had to bribe each one differently and even though I thought each one would embarrass me, they all behaved well.
There are no do-overs when you are doing something for the first time. You learn from them and keep pushing forward. Salutes to all the barbers out there making this process easier for the dads out there.
A version of this first appeared on Cool4Dads. Photo by Tommy van Kessel on Unsplash.
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