Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Baby Sitter Feels Uncomfortable When Dad Is Suggestive

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son is about to turn 7. He is my youngest and the third boy in the family. Ever since he was little, he has been terrified of getting haircuts. When I say terrified, I'm not talking about the nervous feeling most kids get when they go to the barbershop; my son gets hysterical and his whole body starts shaking. This is new to me, because my two older sons never had this irrational fear. Some people say I should take him to a psychologist to see if there's something deeper going on, but others are saying this is just a phase he will grow out of. What do you think? -- Terrified of the Barber, Memphis, Tennessee

DEAR TERRIFIED OF THE BARBER: I wonder if your son got nicked at some point when he went to the barber, or if the sound of the buzz clippers scares him. In any case, try cutting his hair yourself and see how he reacts. Perhaps you can do it until his fear subsides. If that doesn’t help, psychological support is a good next step.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)