Oh no! Dad’s Shaved! Helping Kids Cope With Change

Big Shave

My husband, Jack Will Love, recently shaved off his rather impressive hallmark Wizard beard. With my paediatric psychology hat on, I knew that helping the kids cope with the change was important.

Laura and Jack Pre-shave
My Health Wizard husband and I, pre-shave!

What we might see as an insignificant choice can have a huge impact on our children. Many kids can cry and become quite distressed if a parent has a sudden, drastic change to their physical appearance. After all, distinguishing features on our face are an important way for others to identify us.

My kids have already been through a major life-changing move across the country and we didn’t want this to tip them over the edge. But the Wizard beard was years in the making. The last time my husband had a clean-shaven babyface was when our firstborn, Miller, was only a few months old. They could have been twins! Miller is now 3 years old, so you can guess how big the beard got.

Millers Hair Cut
3 Year Old Miller after requesting a hair trim of his own

Both of our kids know more about beard care culture, waxes and styling products than most. Jack wore his beard proudly; a semi rebellion from the days of his strict army and special forces training, I suspect. Plus, it kept him warm in the cool Tasmanian winters, where we had been based for the past decade. But since moving to the tropics of Cairns, Queensland, the beard is more of a hindrance. However, taking it off meant we needed to involve the kids in Jack’s physical transformation so we could help the kids cope with the change. So here’s what we did.

Talk About the Hows and Whys of the Change

This allowed the kids to have time to start thinking about it too. For example, saying things like “It’s really hot up here and maybe it’s time for Daddy to take off his beard?” We even placed the beard next to the kids’ faces for a laugh. Making the change a fun and inclusive choice gives kids the time and space to process what is about to happen. This can ease any anxiety they might have.

Jack Shaving
One of the many stages of The Big Shave!

Helping Kids Cope With Change By Involving Them in the Process

Either have them watch or go to them in instalments as the change happens. For example, show them the stages of shaving off a beard; trimming it down first, then applying the clippers. If appropriate, maybe let them give the beard a bit of a trim too? The more involved they are, the less they can ruminate and worry.

Have a Tangible Reminder

We’ve kept Jack’s beard so we could make sure the kids knew it was still him. For example, we would let the kids touch his clean-shaven face and then pop the beard next to it. Jack would say things like “all gone” and “still Daddy” while doing this. We found this technique especially helpful for our 1-year-old.

The Beard
The beard we kept to help familiarise the kids

Do Old Familiar Things Together

For instance, My husband sings this English Horsey song to the boys often, so we sat down and engaged them with this while they familiarised themselves with his new face. Or, you might want to do aeroplanes in the lounge room together or interactive songs such as Round and Round the Garden or This Little Piggy. Basically, anything that is fun and familiar. Babies especially can react differently due to their stage of development.

Jack and Laura post-shave
Jack and I, post-shave

When I was a young tacker, I remember waking up one morning to my Dad’s signature moe’ missing – which was quite a shock! Remembering this helped me to be more strategic with my own kids. So next time you consider transforming into a new you – be sure to include the kids in the process.

Have your kids experienced a big physical change like this? How did they react? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I wish I shaved in instalments.

    My daughter is crying anytime she sees me. It’s so heartbreaking.

    1. I’m on day 3 of my 6-year-old daughter not being able to look at me. She screams and runs away. I wish I realized how much of a deal this was. I had been talking about it for weeks that I was going to shave when I got down to my goal weight (I was dieting for a year to lose 50lbs). I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. She literally told me she doesn’t like me any more! lol. ffs.

      1. That sounds so tough! It’s a hard one for kids to adjust to and can be tricky for us as the parents to know what to to do when they find it difficult to get used to our changing looks. Some of the tapping resources I have developed for little ones may help in situations like these. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙏

    2. That sounds so hard for both of you – hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it Jalal? I hope your daughter has adjusted over time and the tips in this article were of value. Some of my tapping resources for children right here on this sight might assist. 🙏

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