Monday, March 31, 2008

Hairdressing without tantrums. Or at Tantrum. Or something.

Nice video here

I just wish they hadn't called the shop "Tantrum" since the whole point, surely, is that this is a place one can take a child to have a haircut which they will really enjoy.

12 comments:

Leo said...

This is not taking children seriously.

You ask children if they want to cut their hair. If they do, a normal hairdresser suffices.

emma said...

I disagree.

1. child doesn't want haircut. Fine. Don't cut it.

2. child wants hair shorter but not to be aware of having it cut. Fine. Cut it while they sleep.

3. child wants haircut and is content to be in an adult-centred salon. Fine. Do it that way.

4. child wants haircut and even more wants a haircut while watching a DVD and riding in a car and playing on new and exciting computer games. If this is available, if one happens to live within a mile or two of the Kings Road (yah, dahling) do it that way.

Seems to me that this business has the potential to be catering for the preferences of children, not just a way of tricking them.

I don't see what's inherently not taking children seriously about it.

Leo said...

The name is inherently not respectful.

2. Why would children not want to be aware their hair is cut? This doesn't seem like a good agreement to make.

4. Why the infantile entertainment you don't need yourself when you go to a hairdresser? Do you think children cannot understand different social situations?

Isn't it better for chidlren to take their own entertainment if they need it?

emma said...

Absolutely right, the name is inherently not respectful.

2. I can totally see how a child might want their hair shorter but not to be conscious of the cutting process. Not in my family, but I know a small child who wants to have his teeth brushed but doesn't enjoy the sensation and suggested (himself) that it could be done at night while he sleeps. An odd solution, but a CP for that family for a while at least.

While having haircut, I think lots of people might like entertainment. Hairdressers aren't usually great conversationalists. For grown-up ladies, said entertainment often involves glossy magazines; a gents' hairdresser usually has daily newspapers and auto magazines. There's an assumption that adults need some entertainment while they have their hair cut. So why the heck not provide entertainment children will enjoy? How is that disrespectful of them? (and "infantile" entertainment is great if you are, in fact, an infant)

Yes, it's great if people take their own entertainment, but I don't see anything wrong with the salon providing entertainment for those who haven't taken their own, in just the same way that I see nothing wrong with a posh ladies salon offering a cup of tea and a magazine in case you've forgotten your thermos and improving novel.

Leo said...

"I can totally see how a child might want their hair shorter but not to be conscious of the cutting process."

Can you see an adult?

"and "infantile" entertainment is great if you are, in fact, an infant"

Isn't this ageism? Is it right to assume I like femine things because I am female?

"An odd solution, but a CP for that family for a while at least."

An odd solution is not likely to be be a good one.

You have to be careful with the concept of common preferences. Not all agreements are moral. Many of the common preferences TCS families create are very awkward and children could develop personality problems because of them.

"just the same way that I see nothing wrong with a posh ladies salon offering a cup of tea and a magazine in case you've forgotten your thermos and improving novel"

So what you are saying it's ok for a salon to cater for parental irresponsibility?

My argument was that a person can chose want entertains themselves better. After the posh lady goes to the salon for a while, it's likely the hairdressers like what she wants and offers that.

I doubt this is likely at Tantrum. Children will be encouraged to like infantile stuff. Girls to like girl stuff. Boys to like boy stuff. Children are dependent.

A free independent western woman going to a salon called Hysteria might enjoy playing such a character or the sarcasm. Children in a different position.

emma said...

Yes. I can see an adult wanting to have something done to them while they are unconscious because they want the result not the procedure. When some people ask for that for dental work, even though they could stay awake if they wanted, noone bats an eyelid.

Ageism? Pft. I'll make a best guess that a 2 year old is more likely to enjoy sitting in a racing car seat watching a DVD of Barney (to pick a name at random...) than sipping earl grey tea and reading the latest PAris edition of Vogue. But maybe I'm stereotyping far too much.

I told you already, twice, that I hate the name of the shop. I acknowledge that this name perhaps signals an underlying disrespect of children and that all things going on in that shop might be best considered with extreme caution.

I don't claim the shop is "TCS" - far from it. I don't even claim the shop is doing something wonderous. But I think the shop MIGHT be something that some children prefer to all other haircutting options. Is this wrong?

Leo said...

"Yes. I can see an adult wanting to have something done to them while they are unconscious"

Haircuts?

Children are not being given the right information about haircuts if they fear doing it consciously. You are a phobia as a special need the child will identify with.

"if everyone is happy with the suggested outcome, then how is it likely to be immoral"

A feeling of happiness is not confirmation you are doing something moral. Parents can have a persuasive argument which is not moral and the children agree to because they don't know better, they have inadequate theories.

For instance, a child could agree to only play computer games for fours hours a day, convinced by the parental theory that more than that will rot his brain.

"Is this wrong?"

It's like promoting the pink Playstation. Except that women have been fred and children are not.

Anonymous said...

Are hairdressers like this unusual in England?

I can think of at least three within ten miles from my home... Snippety Crickets. Cool Tops. And I forget the name of the third one. Could be even more I'm not familiar with.

People who are selling things or services want to have things or services that will be appreciated by the public. If it is more fun for some people to get their haircut while sitting in a car or on a horse, or while playing a hand held video game, or reading a magazine, then hairdressers have a good reason to provide those things to their customers.

Making something more fun than the other guy is important. And the toys that don't get played with move on, while the ones that are worn to tatters are replaced in duplicate.

emma said...

thank you for your comment, anonymous - I've never heard of a place like this before - I think the UK is very far behind the US, in some ways, in acknowledging the value of children as consumers.

I don't think I've EVER come across a hairdresser which caters specifically for children, except for this one (and the unusual nature of the business is reflected in the fact that it gets a video item in a national online newspaper).

emma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clare said...

I'm not sure I really understand your objections, Leo. My children, like many, don't really enjoy long car journeys...but they do like going to the places long car journeys take them. Solution - get a dvd player for them to watch what they'd like on. Of course, I could offer for them to watch some high-brow movie intended for adults, but, being their mother, I kind of know what sort of thing they'd prefer...Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a current favourite; as is The Wiggles. I know they'd like it - and if they don't, there are other options. They like it because they are children. That's not a stereotype - children are different from adults and often like different things. That's not to say you should assume they won't like adult things (I know a 4 yr old who likes Ugly Betty, of all things!), but it's perfectly reasonable to assume that the odds are they will like stuff that is aimed at children.

I also know a family of girls who have heaps of toys aimed at boys and toys aimed at girls and toys aimed at both sexes - they prefer the pink stuff, the dolls, the kitchen to the train set, the lego, the blue stuff. I don't know if they prefer it *because* they're girls, or because that's just their personal preferences, either way, what's wrong with it??? They like it, the parents provide it. Again, not a good thing to assume that you'd enjoy female things because you're female, but also not a good thing to assume you'll only like unisex things because of not wanting to assume you'll only like female things IYSWIM.

Assumptions shouldn't be made at all - suggestions of how to make a necessary (to the child/adult/whoever is involved) experience more pleasant and therefore acceptable should always be made IMO. Otherwise, why do we have anaesthetics for operations? Why do we have sedatives for unpleasant medical procedures? Of course the adults have the option to refuse the operation or procedure but decide it's best to go ahead with it on the basis that there are lots of things that can be done to make the experience more acceptable.

Not making assumptions (or being open minded) is the basis of TCS. It's *not* about doing whatever you can to please your child, but about doing whatever you can to please everyone around you and if that means challenging societal norms and assumptions then one should still do it. If that means saying 'hang on, why on earth does haircutting need to be such an intensely boring experience? Children wriggle and fidget when they're bored which suggests it's unpleasant for them. Hairdressers struggle to cut neatly with wriggling children which makes it unpleasant for them. Parents try to persuade their child to sit still and hope the whole thing doesn't last much longer which makes it unpleasant for them. Why not make it more fun for the child, which would make it easier for the hairdresser and less stressful for the parent?" Everyone wins - *that* is TCS. The solution suits everyone. What's wrong with it???

Monica said...

In Argentina, that sort of hairdressers have existed since I was little.

There is coercion going on there usually. (Staff say thinkgs like: "You will not get your sweet at the end if you cry!")

But I think it is an idea that makes a lot of sense. (To provide entertainment the customers enjoy)