July 29, 2011

Four's A Crowd - You've Got Mail

Dear CC,
I’m recently divorced and my ex husband and I have a 6 year old daughter.  Dealing with a divorce is difficult enough but dealing with your child being around “daddy’s new girlfriend” is another thing.  This woman, who I’ve only met a few times, decides to tell my daughter that her hair is “so nappy” and that her mother needs to “slap a perm in her hair!” Now imagine the look on my face when my daughter recites this to me.  A few things go through my head:
1.       This b*&%H said what?! *takes off earrings*
2.       How dare this chick talk to my child in this manner
I have since calmed down but want to know your opinion on this.   I am transitioning myself and to be honest, sometimes I have mixed feelings about the whole natural thing.  My daughter has never had a relaxer.
Dear Frustrated Mom,
First I can absolutely relate to your dilemma.  I am a divorcee with a daughter and I know how hard it can be dealing with a new woman in your child’s life.  Fortunately, I have had nothing but positive experiences thus far in this area.  Anyway, It sounds like a few things need to happen:
1.   Sit down with your daughter and talk to her about what has taken place.  Explain to her that she and her hair are gorgeous and that sometimes people say unkind things about things they don’t understand.  Not everyone can appreciate true natural beauty and that’s what you and mommy have.   Follow up with plenty of hugs and kisses!  These types of comments are hurtful to an adult so imagine the possible effects on a small child. 
2.   Talk to your ex about the comment.   Make sure the two of you are on the same page about how to handle issues that arise with YOUR daughter.  You and he are the decision makers in her life and anyone who undermines that is not worthy of being in either one of their lives.  Parenting is difficult enough, especially from two different households, yet alone trying to build relationships with new partners.  He needs to remind her to remain respectful of you and your daughter and learn to censor herself if she has something negative to say.
3.   If you feel it necessary to talk to her directly, which depends on a lot of other factors which I’m not sure about from your email, then do so.  Politely but firmly explain to her that the comments concerning your daughter’s hair were hurtful to her and disrespectful to you.  Explain that you would appreciate future concerns to be directed at her father and or you and not your daughter.

      I personally do not feel it isnecessary to go into explaining your daughter’s hair and your choice to not relax her hair.  It’s really none of her business and not something that you have to justify to her or anyone for that matter.  I do not feel you have to come “at her” to get your point across.  If this woman is going to be around your child, it would be helpful to get along but at the same time, let her know to STAY IN HER LANE.  Hopefully she is mature enough to hear you and will respect what you are saying and this will be nipped in the bud.  Good Luck!

Curly Chic

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