Join Date: Jan 2011
Advice to mothers and fathers with curly children - please read!!
hello mums and dads!
I want you to read this. From one mother to another, this is something that will help you help your curly child.
I am 28 years old, and only over the last year and a half have i accepted my curls....
my mother, was the main reason i hated my curls. She hated hers, and ever since i can remember she would sit at the mirror with the blowdryer and straightener, every single morning of her life, and still does. she started out with beautiful, thick, long brown curly hair (ive seen pics of when she was a teen) and now, in her 50's, her hair is over bleached blonde, and just above sholder length coz it snaps and breaks all the time, its pin straight, thinned out and horrible. she thinks she looks so much better that way...she hates her curls so much that she'd rather have unhealthy straight hair. it ages her. she refuses to even try curly girl method.
anyways, as long as I remember, from when i was tiny, she would say "oh you poor thing, youve got my hair, why couldnt you have your dads hair, so nice and straight, oh you poor thing, your going to hate your hair so much when your a teenager." and she would brush it into pony tails, get the hairdresser to cut hideous fringes (i had ringlets at the back and a weird wavy fringe she would blowdry into place) and always use alot of hairspray to try make me what she deemed "presentable" so i grew up automatically thinking my curls were a curse, they were bad. After all, all mum did was sympathise with me and tell me how awful curls were. Children dont know certain "looks" are "bad" unless you pump it into them. I wouldnt have had such an issue with it if she didnt.
I turned 13 and for my birthday she took me to a hairdressing salon where the lady dyed my hair and she straightened my hair. my mum and the hairdresser made such a fuss, telling me how much older, neater and more beautiful it made me look, that i loved it, and looked into the mirror and vowed to never be seen with curls again.
I got teased at school for looking like an "idiot" with my "rat hair" because my mum never bothered to see how she could care for my real hair. she just tried to make it straight and neat and how she wanted it to be. so it always looked bad before it was straightened. dry, frizzy, wiry. Kids are cruel, and when your the only kid with curls in the entire school (weird yes), they single you out.
So yes, that was a contributing factor to my hair hate... BUT, a mothers encouragement goes a long way. If mum was to have said "your beautiful curls and all". If she didnt complain constantly about how unruly i looked and so on, the kids opinions wouldnt have sunk so deep, coz kids care about what mum thinks more than what their friends do (at least when they are really young anyway).
so from 13 yrs old until 26 years old, i straightened my hair religiously. I wouldnt even go swimming at the beach until i was 20 for fear of the curl. 13 years of heat styling abuse and hiding who i am. then came curly girl method. I by chance (or total blessing) came across the book in my local library. it was mixed up with the cook books, wrong spot!! i hired it out, then purchased the new one. this was about a yr and a half ago...im so happy with my curls. i love them. im not ashamed of them. I got angry with my mum for giving me such a terrible complex. but now i feel sorry for her, shes obviously got issues there. she probably got teased as much as i did or something.
So now im a mother, with a VERY curly daughter, her hair is almost like she should be black (she is very white haha). And thanks to the curly girl method, hers look lovely... most of the time. and even when they look ghastly, i still tell her she is blessed to have curls and that she is beautiful. I dont want her growing up with the same complex as i had. It really is hindering and it doesnt stop at your curls, it lowers your self esteem and makes you self concious and more.
these days, my mum still finds it impossible to complement my curls. My hair looks beautiful and so does my daughters, she looks like a little cherub! My mum has said, in front of her, "shes going to hate her curls when she grows up!" "are you going to let her straighten it out when she gets older?" or my favourite, said in a woe is she tone "oh god its so curly isnt it" as she lightly tugs on it.
I nipped that in the bud immediately. I told her the damage it did to me, and how i dont want my daughter being teased for her curls. How if she doesnt have anything nice to say to not speak about it at all. I said it nicely, and she was quite shocked, and didnt get it. and its like she seriously thinks we are at a disadvantage. now i know, its her that has the problem, not our heads. (dont get me wrong i love her to bits, im just emphasising this issue for the point of this whole thing)
So, mums, dads, PLEASE... please tell your curly child she or he is lovely. Please learn how to take care of their hair. And whilst you are doing so, refrain from huffing and puffing in frustration and annoyance. Even a toddler can notice when something about them is seemingly a burden to mummy or daddy. Suck it up, smile and deal with it. Your kid has curls. beautiful, wild, God-given circles of individuality all over their cute little head and its your duty to help them fall in love with it, or at least accept it happily.
i cant emphasise enough, to encourage them that their hair is lovely and just needs care. And also to not allow friends and family members to belittle or pass smart or even sympathetic comments about their hair in their presence. Its a fragile issue they need not have to have.
your all on the right path with this obviously, your all here, reading this, on a curly website, on a parent thread, so obviously your many steps ahead of what my mum was... but im here to encourage you, your doing great just by being here, just for trying... stay positive, dont give up, experiment and make the effort and keep telling your kids they are gorgeous and keep smiling through the knots and products. Its worth your kids worth :-)