A stepfather is in jail for assault after a wicked fight with his wife and kids that started over how he disciplined his young stepdaughter. Cops say Jason Lloyd Hartwick got angry with the 10-year-old, so he give her a haircut as punishment. No wonder his wife got angry!
When it comes to disciplining kids, there are simply lines that you do not cross. Anything that demeans a child or is a direct attack on their identity is a big no-no!
Think about it: there aren't many things kids can really claim as "their own" in life. They live in homes provided by their parents. They have to go to bed when we say, go to school when we say, and in general be bossed around by people who are bigger and older than them.
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But their appearance? For the most part, that's on them, and it's a very large part of who they are now and who they are becoming. That includes hair.
I've long been a supporter of kids being allowed to rock "crazy" hairstyles in school because it's a pretty harmless way of allowing them to experiment with their appearance, to figure out who they are. It also lets them know that they have ultimate control over how they choose to let people see them.
The hair we wear is part of how we portray ourselves to the world and a real mark of our personalities.
Can you imagine taking either away from a kid?
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I can't. I'm all for taking away video game consoles or sending kids to their room to think about their actions -- naughty kids must be punished. Considering parents generally pay for the aforementioned game consoles or the mortgage on the house where that room is located, that's in a parent's purview to do. But their hair isn't yours. It's theirs.
Cutting a kid's hair because you're angry isn't punishment. It's just plain cruel.
Hartwick, by the way, is in jail facing charges of aggravated assault and preventing the use of a phone in an emergency for the alleged altercation that broke out after the haircut.
Put yourself in that dad's shoes. What would you have done?
Image via Yandle/Flickr