1. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    #1 poster, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    I recently went to visit my mum this weekend. It went ok but also went a bit pair shaped towards the end because my mum still tries to talk to me like I am a kid and I am an adult woman of 52. The straw that broke the camels back was when she told me (or very strongly advised me) to get a hair cut. She wants me to have short hair. I want to have shoulder length hair. We are never going to agree on this so we will always argue when we see each other which is only every couple of months because my mum lives four hours from me.

    Any advice? I cannot tie my hair back because I tried doing that and my mum did not like that either. Her only answer is cut it short.
  2. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Why can't you agree with her and then keep your hair as you like?

    My mom sometimes complained about my white hair. I used to said I was going to dye it, and didn't.
  3. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    Did you Mum have your hair cut short when you were young? It may be she thinks you are a small child and you need to look how she remembers you when you aren't there.

    Mum would hear my voice but would look around the room for me as her memory of a 20 year old didn't match up with the 50 yr old in front of her.
  4. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I cannot agree with her and keep it as I like because obviously I will visit again and she will want to know why it is still the same. I am of mixed origin (quarter black). My mum is half black and my dad was white and my mums view is that if you are of mixed origin especially African or carribean, you need short hair. I have inherited my dads hair. I have hair like any English woman. It is straight and silky. It is not curly or wavy so it is suitable to be long.
  5. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    If when you are with her you just say yes you are booking to have it cut short It will stop any argument then. You just say this each time you visit.
  6. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    I agree with what others have suggested. I would follow the path of least resistance and just say you're making a booking etc or the hairdresser has been heavily booked but you hope to get an appointment soon.

    It may well mean you repeating this on each subsequent visit but sadly that is the nature of this horrible disease. We are with you and know it isn't easy to cope with.

    I feel it is much better to just play along with the situation rather than end an otherwise pleasant visit at logger-heads with each other.
  7. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have exactly the same problem with my Mum - 84 and no dementia - who thinks that at 60 I shouldn't be wanting to still grow my hair to my waist (it's almost there, but not quite - thanks to a scissor-happy hairdresser :mad: a couple of months ago).

    I told Mum bluntly it's my hair and I'll wear it how I like and it's none of her business what length I have my hair. Had I not been this blunt with her she'd have gone on and on every time I see her about the length of my hair, so we now agree not to discuss this subject.
  8. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    #8 Chemmy, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    And you're quite right, cobden - it is none of her business.

    My daughter would tell me the same if I tried to insist she had her hair cut. Being a mother does not give you a right to bully your children, especially once they are adults. And adult children should not allow themselves to be bullied.

    However, if dementia is in the mix, it is harder. I agree with the others that you should adopt the least confrontational stance and say you will 'think about' making an appointment next week. That may stop her continuing to argue. Keep it vague so you're not actually lying, as I know you're not comfortable with that. *

    Chances are she won't remember the conversation and then you say the same next time you visit.

    Of course, it may be she is going through an argumentative phase, as my mum did, and she'll simply pick up on something else. There were times when the simplest conversation with Mum turned in to her getting in a real strop with me over the mildest comments and then I used to just walk away until she calmed down.

    Arguing back simply stokes the fire, is upsetting for both parties and is ultimately pointless.

    *This is similar to advice given to new mothers who are advised to smile sweetly and say thank you when their mother in laws tell them how they should be bringing up the new baby. Nod, don't commit and do it your own way.
  9. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    when you lose your Mum you may well get your hair cut and wish you had done it for her...having said that there is no reason at all why you should but...in the scheme of things it is one thing you can do that she really wants, no matter how ridiculous..it has become symbolic of something we know not what. Or why not get a short wig and wear it to see her..they are very realistic these days and cheap..??
  10. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    Mum insists many times that at my age I should have my hair dyed and have a perm, lol! I just roll my eyes and say 'ok mum'. The nature of dementia is such that there is no point getting worked up about it, just go with the flow, don't argue, there's no point. Your hair sounds beautiful, I'm a little jealous...
  11. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I agree, poster's hair sounds great. :)

    I have always had my hair styled for me - not for my husband. or my children and certainly not for my mother. It's so much a part of your own self-esteem.
  12. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Long hair rules:)
  13. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Could you, just for the visit, wear it up in a tight bun, or a style that makes it look short - though it's hard to hide just how long it is and your mum probably would notice?
  14. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Poster, you are right, you can do what you like with your hair.

    My mum has always tried to tell me how to do things since I had kids, both before dementia and in the early stages. My OH commented that she still treated me as a child. some of this was certainly a very early symptom of dementia?? But not all of it was and, I think she just thought she could boss me about. My gran always was bossy with her when we visited (with just cause to be fair - my mum was quite chaotic in some aspects of her life) so maybe this was the cause. She was also very jealous that I managed to combine a career with having kids.

    However with dementia reasoning and understanding are lost, so to keep the peace can you go with you're booking a haircut and change the subject? It sounds like she can no longer (maybe never could) comprehend that you don't have afro hair which in her opinion requires a short cut.

    My mum has certainly regressed in some areas to acceptable norms from her childhood (frankly she never moved on as the world changed with some things).
  15. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    Like others here mum always had an opinion about everything. Nowadays with dementia I let mum dictate to me. For example mum says 'they won't let me out ' 'oh mum that is dreadful'
    If mum told me to have my hair cut I would agree and say appt is sometime in the future.
    Mind you in a way I wear particular clothes to see my mother and always the same handbag.
    Clothes are as plain as possible. This is because patterns can sometimes disorientate apparently. The hand bag just because actually it's just because :). I do have a lot of handbags but I keep to a plain one with mum
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I would just say, 'Yes, mum, I'm going to get it cut tomorrow,' and trust that her lack of short term memory will mean that next time she'll have forgotten what you said before. I wouldn't waste breath arguing or fretting about it - when it comes to dementia it's usually best to agree if poss, even if that means telling whoppers over and over.
  17. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I agree with everyone too. My Mum was also always on about my hair and I am certain it is a childhood thing and I just agree with her and say 'oh i meant to get it done and they cancelled my appointment, isn't it annoying!" and then that leads onto a conversation so it is win win.
    I believe that those of us who care for people with memory loss develop a different way of thinking - I only hope someone does the same for me if I find myself with memory loss.
  18. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011

    I jut had a phone call from my mum to continue talking about my hair. I thought the matter was closed. Anyway, she again said she did not like me with long hair ended up by saying do not visit me again unless you have had your hair cut. To keep the peace I said I would go to the salon and she then said how short are you going to have it and I replied I do not know until I talk to the hairdresser. Obviously I have no intention of getting it cut shorter than shoulder length but what else could I say and I do not know how long I can keep up this act because she will be expecting me to pay her another visit with different hair and it wont be any different.

    I want to ask something now..... My mum is 92 and in quite poor health and if it means this much to her in her last years to see me as she would like (short hair), should I just oblige and then grow it back when she dies? (not that she is dying anytime soon). I don't want to do it but I feel I have no choice if we are going to stop fighting.
  19. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Can you wear it in a scarf or something when you see her?

    I personally wouldn't change anything to keep my mum happy.

    It is the illness that makes your mum think you are a child she can boss around, and she may well move onto something else soon whatever you do, or if you cut it shoulder length that may not be enough.
  20. poster

    poster Registered User

    Dec 28, 2011
    I have always been thought of as a child in my mums eyes, despite the fact I work and have my own flat. I cannot wear a scarf because that would only hide what is in my mums eyes a bad hairstyle.

    I don't think there is any advice anyone can really give me.

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