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NPR screen shot
NPR screen shot

Sally! You cut your sister’s hair? Let me get the tape recorder Add to ...

Your three-year-old daughter saunters up to you to show off her new haircut. But you didn’t take her to a hairdresser. Turns out your intrepid 5-year-old daughter decided to take a pair of scissors to her sister’s hair.

Cue screaming.

But if you’re anything like Jeff Cohen, you’ll want to find out why it happened. The broadcast journalist for WNPR in Hartford, Conn. he took his recorder and interviewed his two daughters – 5-year-old Sadie and 3-year-old Eva – about what he calls the worst hair-cut ever.

In the 3-minute over-the-top adorable interview, the sisters reenact the fateful day. According to Sadie, she convinced Eva to let her hair out of her braids, which is when she got her Eureka moment and offered to give her younger sister a homemade haircut.

Her justification for snipping Eva’s hair? “’Cause it was almost all the way down to her toosh and if she it grew any longer, when she wiped her butt, her hair would go into the toilet and it would be gross.” Can’t argue with that 5-year-old logic.

For her part, Eva says her long hair made her hips itchy, and yes, she did want a haircut. But maybe not the way her sister styled it.

“When did you realize that something had gone wrong?” Mr. Cohen asks Sadie.

“When I finished and I put the scissors back down and I looked at her and was like, ‘uh-oh.’ This is bad, bad, bad,” she says.

The interview is almost too cute to bear - but raises a question about whether parents are exploiting their children to garner attention.

Take the David after the Dentist YouTube video from 2009 that features a young boy, in a post-anesthetic state of confusion, babbling about life’s big mysteries. Some viewers felt the father had taken advantage of his son, filming him just to get YouTube hits.

Or consider when late-night talkshow host Jimmy Kimmel issued a challenge to parents to tell their kids that they ate all their Halloween candy and record their reaction. The result was a bit cruel, and Kimmel admitted he didn’t expect so many children to cry but many viewers found the videos hilarious.

Whether they’re adorable or hilarious - are these videos exploitative?

Would you record your children if they were doing something hilarious and post it online?

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