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Why do kids try cutting their hair?

Some children get their haircut by a professional, some by their parents, but then there are kids who take the cutting into their own hands.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – Some children get their haircut by a professional, some by their parents, but then there are kids who take the cutting into their own hands.

KARE 11 reporter Karla Hult experienced the latter recently, when one of her daughters surprised her with a new awkwardly cropped hair style. When Karla shared her daughter’s haircut on Facebook she found that many parents could relate. So, what motivates a child to take a scissors to their hair?

“I think the one simple reason is that children do what they see adults doing. They love to imitate and play adult roles. And, so pretending that they're the hairstylist is certainly one of those roles,” said developmental psychologist Marti Erickson. She also co-hosts the Mom Enough podcast.

“Young children also just really love to show that they can do everything on their own and they have kind of self-aggrandized notions of their competence,” said Erickson. “Certainly there is an issue of control in this, as there is in so many things that kids do at that age.”

Erickson adds that older children may do some things as acts of rebellion. But, she believes these situations can be turned into a pivotal teaching moment.

“We do as parents really need to set some clear limits, supervise them, make sure they don't get access to those sharp scissors. And, when it does happen we need to respond in very rational and clear ways,” advised Erickson.