Parents will do anything they can to help their children, and sometimes, that means extending a hand to their kids’ friends as well. But how far should they go in helping someone else’s child?
Below, you’ll find a story that was recently shared on Reddit, detailing how one mother found herself in hot water after simply trying to help her young daughter’s friend, as well as some of the replies readers have shared.
This mom didn’t hesitate after her daughter’s friend reached out asking for help with her hair
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels (not the actual photo)
But not everyone was thrilled with the girl’s newly detangled hair
Image credits: KoolShooters / Pexels (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Liza Summer / Pexels (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Pixabay / Pexels (not the actual photo)
Later, the mom provided an update with more details on the situation
Image credits: cottonbro studio / Pexels (not the actual photo)
Image credits: NiorNightingale
Mental health issues can often take a toll on an individual’s personal hygiene
In a perfect world, we would all have soft, clean and healthy hair. But in reality, it’s not always possible to look like the models in a shampoo commercial. And among the many factors that can impact personal hygiene and the health of a person’s hair is the state of their mental health. The mom who shared this story noted that A’s matted hair was the result of a depressive episode, which is perfectly understandable.
According to Healthline, is it common for mental health issues to manifest in an individual neglecting their personal hygiene. Depression often causes immense fatigue and a lack of motivation. Getting out of bed and into the shower to wash your hair can feel impossible when you barely even have the strength to stay awake.
Brushing hair can also be a challenge for a depressed individual; it might even be physically painful. As time goes on, these tasks can seem even more daunting, as brushing or shampooing your hair will likely become more difficult after days or weeks of not doing it.
With patience, matted hair can typically be detangled
When it comes to matted hair, although it’s not ideal, Healthline notes that it’s not always necessary to treat the problem with a drastic cut. It may be possible to detangle the hair through saturating it with a detangling or moisturizing conditioner, loosening it gently by hand then with a comb, rinsing it with cool water, and then combing through the hair again.
Once hair has been detangled, future matting can be prevented by regularly brushing and washing the hair, using moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, sleeping with hair in a silk scarf or bonnet, trimming the ends of the hair regularly and using protein treatments on the hair from time to time.
While A’s hair in this particular story was impacted by her health issues, she’s only a 13-year-old girl, so she should not be held fully responsible for her own hygiene. And according to the Child Protection Company, seeing a kid with poor personal hygiene, such as unwashed or matted hair, might be a red flag that they’re experiencing neglect.
Parents are responsible for their children’s hygiene, and ignoring it can be considered neglect
BetterHelp explains that child neglect is “when a parent fails to provide sufficient emotional, physical, or financial support for their child,” and it can have long-term psychological impacts on an individual. Parents are responsible for providing for and protecting their kids. So if they’re not ensuring that their little ones are healthy, housed and fed and clean, they are increasing their risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression or PTSD.
When it comes to how kids and their parents can support friends who appear to be neglected by their own parents, Kids Help Phone recommends being there to listen to them, showing them support, reaching out to see how you can help, believing what the friend tells you and checking in with them frequently. And as a parent, if you feel it’s necessary to involve authorities or a third party, don’t hesitate to reach out to a hotline such as the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing a parent helping out their child’s friend, look no further than right here.