This might be one of the unified decisions I’ve ever seen on r/AmItheA–hole, the subreddit for finding out if you acted like a big a-hole. Everyone thinks Redditor u/LaughableLion definitely is, and you can see why just from the title of his story.
“AITA for cutting my daughters’ hair really short because I was not prepared to deal with it?” he wrote. Oh boy.
The dad is white, and he has three daughters who are five, six, and eight. His wife, who was Black, passed away four years ago. Since she died, his sister-in-law has been helping the girls with their hair, so he writes he “never really learned how to help them with it.”
But when COVID-19 hit, she had to move do her job as a healthcare worker some distance away. The OP has a lot of reasons for why he didn’t find some other way to manage his kid’s hair besides giving that responsibility to his SIL, claiming salons keep opening and closing and he is working more hours in the pandemic and doesn’t have time. It still sounds like neglect:
Well 2 of my girls hair started to get really matted and it basically came down to the fact that I was not keeping up with things, I admit.
Their hair was getting out of control so I just decided to cut it by myself and figured it would grow back by the time they got back to school and stuff. I cut it really short, but it did not look too bad as I was following a youtube video.
This was months ago now, but my oldest daughter is still upset about it because she had really long hair before and her hair takes longer to grow.
Of course she is! An eight-year-old is old enough to know how long hair takes to grow and to make choices about it. And old enough to rat him out.
The OP’s SIL returned and started helping with the girls’ hair again:
However, the other day when she was at my house, my SIL asked my oldest daughter why they decided to cut their hair so short and she responded with the whole story about how their hair got matted and their dad(me) made them.
Well my SIL was angry and implied in front of my daughters that because I was white, I couldn’t understand them(my SIL s really into social justice). I yelled at her because I really try my best to fight racial stereotypes and stuff, and I certainly don’t want my kids to think that I love them less because of their color.
While we did apologize to each other, she still claimed I was wrong for cutting their hair.
AITA for cutting my daughters’ hair really short because I didn’t know what else to do?
Yes. Absolutely. There are literally so many other things to do besides what you did, you cannot possibly believe you didn’t have options.
Commenters were merciless. This is a dad who has been a dad for eight years at least and had never taken the time to learn the basic grooming requirements of caring for his kids.
And as some pointed out, it seems like he’s trying to imply his SIL’s belief in “social justice” somehow means she’s…overreacting? She’s not and he’s an a-hole:
As a good rule of thumb, if you’re letting your kid’s hair get matted beyond redemption, it’s called neglect—whatever curl pattern is involved.