Carey Reilly is a mother of two and a comedian. She and her husband John have been frustrated that their 8-year-old daughter Ava refuses to brush her hair before school. Carey says, “My daughter loves having shoulder length hair but hates brushing it. We go round and round every morning. When I come at her with a bottle of detangler and a brush, she runs away screaming and locks herself in the bathroom.” Sound familiar to anybody else?
My daughter is almost 8, and combing her hair has been a struggle for years, even after we developed a singing-for-distraction system, tried numerous conditioners, and I bought a special detangling brush. Finally, when this school year began, my daughter told me she would try brushing her own hair. So far, so good, thank God. But Carey hasn’t been quite so lucky. She says, “I’ve bought 5 different kinds of brushes, I’ve let her pick out brushes, detanglers, you name it, she just hates brushing her hair and doesn’t care what it looks like. When she does it she just skims the surface once and calls it good. This is an ongoing daily battle.” That may be why this mom doesn’t comb her kids’ hair – not just for philosophical reasons, but because she doesn’t want to deal with the drama of trying to do it!
“We warned her before if she continued to not brush her hair and throw tantrums her father would wear my robe to the bus and wave goodbye,” Carey told me via email. ”So after seeing two matted tangles – one of which was jutting out from her headband – I sent her off to the bus and told my husband get the robe.” He did, and this hilarious photo is the result:
Carey says, “If she doesn’t brush by Monday, my husband is adding a shower cap and slippers.”
I’m normally not a fan of any kind of child shaming punishments because they’re usually cruel and ineffective, but John’s obvious good nature about it and the ridiculousness of this stunt made me laugh. If you’re going to try to embarrass your child into doing something, doing it with humor might just get them to see things your way, instead of bristling about it.