Family Picture Obligation


My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
My family will soon be going to Texas for a family reunion of sorts. It will just be my immediate family. My brothers, sister, their spouses and children, and my parents. My sil in Texas has arranged for a photographer to take a family picture of us all and we are all supposed to wear black or white shirts. Fine, works great for me and I will really like having a picture of us all.

The rub is that my Mom wants my boys to cut their hair before the picture. She doesn't like that they have longer hair than many boys and is always telling them they should cut it. My husband and I don't care if their hair is long as long as they brush it at least once a day and keep it looking generally decent. They do have to get it trimmed every once in a while as they are both growing it out from very short cuts that they got a year ago and it can look ragged if the back isn't periodically trimmed to match up with the front a bit better. Before the last cut (my husband demanded that they cut it at the time but regretted making them do it afterward), they also both had fairly long hair. They just like it that way, it's not just a phase, they intend to keep it long for a good while to come.

My Mom wants them both to cut it to chin length at least because of the family picture. I kind of feel that this is how they look, so why do they need to change that just for a family picture. It would mean my oldest would cut off 3-4 inches and my youngest would cut off slightly less. What would you do? Would you force your child to drastically change their hair style for a family picture like this (the last time all of the family was together for a picture was about 7 years ago), or would you just make sure it looks neat and clean and let Grandma be disappointed?
Get a new trim, so that every thing is even and lays nicely when washed and combed. No, do not make them do a massive re-style, although telling them that grandma would appreciate it, but it is their choice would be okay. Talk to the hair stylist and ask for suggestions on styles and ways of fixing their hair that may be a good compromise.
I did tell my Mom that we would probably get it trimmed one last time before going to Texas, but she really wants them to cut it. It has always bothered her that we allow them to wear their hair long. She mentions it often. I just kind of feel like
Tell mom you love her, but these are your kids to raise, and their hair is not an issue, and to please not mention it again. Remind her of something about the way she raised you and your siblings that is different than how her mother raised her. And if she does mention it again, ask her if she wants her grandsons to think of her as the grandmother who loves them or the grandmother who focuses only on their hair, constantly finding fault.
You didn't mentioned how old your boys were. From this Grandma's view, if they keep it clean and combed, leave them alone. There are things so much more important than how they wear their hair.
If it is that long ask them to pull it back in a braid, it will look short in the photo,should make granny happy.

Sorry but cutting a guys hair to chin length would look more like a girl cut than a guy IMO
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I would not cut.Trim yes.If mum seems so concerned she might just take some clippers to the boys so watch out

Our parents probably find a lot at fault with how we raise our kids.Thankfully she just brings up one minor issue.

I recall getting nagged over so many things,but thankfully all is quite now.After a while I learned to listen without responding.Got good at changing the subject.And I NEVER did what was suggested. I know hair grows back.Lol,mine is finally looking normal,but I could not see forcing my kids to do a cut unless they were just late in getting one like my ds was overdue for a buzz cut. I bet they look real cute.Some boys in my ds's calss have longer hair and it would be weird to see it gone-they look good.

Best wishes whatever you decide to do!
I would not change any part of my parenting methods to please another person - whether it's my kids' hair, the clothes they wear, choosing whether or not to medicate an ADHD child, deciding on a bedtime, what sports they should play, if they're responsible enough for their own pet, whether to enroll them in the gifted program and on and on and on...MY child, MY methods, NO exceptions.
Trust me when I say if you give Grandparents an inch some of them will take a mile! I would NOT change a thing. I don't think long hair is appropriate for boys, so my son would never have long hair, but these two aren't mine
Just using myself as an example, I wouldn't want the boys to cut their hair because I said so. Just Saturday, a friends son was over here with her, and his hair is getting wayyyy shaggy and long, and I offered to give him a free cut. Both mother and son declined. I thought it looked awful, but didn't say that. It's their choice, and I respect that. Grandma should too. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but ONLY the parents are entitled to the final DECISION. Just my 2 cents.

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