A mother has shared her shock after her mother-in-law cut her daughter’s waist length hair without speaking to her first.
The 39-year-old explained that her 14-year-old daughter, Vihana, came back looking completely different after a weekend away at her grandparents’ house.
‘Today, when my MIL [mother-in-law] dropped Vihana off, I was shocked to see her almost waist-length hair was now shoulder-length and that it was now straightened,’ the unnamed woman explained on Reddit.
‘Vihana has been determined to grow her hair out since she was in the sixth grade and has expressed no desire to straighten her normally curly hair before.’
She added that while she is South Asian, her husband and the rest of his family are white.
‘Vihana was crying and explained to me that her grandma had done this all herself, and lied to her that I gave my permission for my MIL to do this, which is why she didn’t mention it when we talked [on the phone],’ she said.
‘Needless to say, I was pissed.’
The woman and her husband agreed the grandmother would no longer be seeing their grandchild alone ‘until she learned to respect Vihana’s boundaries’.
‘We ended up calling my FIL to see if he had anything to do with this, and he was horrified when we explained things to him and said that my MIL gave him the same lie about getting my permission to do this,’ she added.
‘My MIL is furious with me for trying to keep her away from her granddaughter, and for telling My FIL what happened because he’s now staying in a hotel and contemplating their marriage.’
Arguing with the in-laws about parental decisions is sadly not unusual.
According to Joanne Gottlieb, a New York-based clinical social worker, religious practices, disciplinary styles, technology and diet are some of the most common areas for intergenerational parenting conflict
‘I would place ‘intrusive grandparents’ in the general category of challenges that adults and couples face in managing relationships with their respective families of origin, and with parents in particular,’ she told the New York Times. ‘This is a constant theme of therapy.’
Her advice for handing different views with the in-laws is to nip it in the bud, quickly.
‘The moment you notice a negative pattern emerging, deal with it quickly,’ she said. ‘Don’t wait until you are ready to tear your hair out to approach Mom or Mom-in-Law.’
In the case of the haircut, the overwhelming majority of commenters supported the mum and said she was right to take such firm action against her in-law.
‘Is wasn’t in your daughter’s best interest. It actively when against her desires and her body autonomy. She lied to your daughter, to her husband, and actively did something she clearly knew was wrong. Well, she gets to pay the price,’ one person said.
Another added: ‘The lying about having your permission is what really gets me. Lying to her granddaughter, lying to her husband… what did she expect to happen?’
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