Lynne, when your kid’s asking you to find tangles, you know you’ve got a good hack. Thanks for sending this in:
I don’t know if this counts as a hack, but here is my trick for getting my 5 year-old daughter to let me get the tangles out of her shoulder-length hair, which she insists on growing but can’t stand having brushed or styled in any way.. and by the way she is as active as your wildest boy and has the hair to show it.
Every time she says “ow!” when I hit a snag, I say “cow!” with the exact same inflection as her “ow.” That’s it. “Owie” becomes “cowie” and “ouch” is “couch.” “Ow ow ow!” is “cow cow cow!” You get the idea. The key is to be just as dramatic as she is. She is too busy giggling to notice I am still getting the tangles out. Honestly, one time recently she actually *asked* me to find a really bad tangle, so we could play ow/cow. I am not kidding. Whatever it takes.
Related: Make detangling more fun (less unfun?) by turning it into a game (includes my no-brainer recipe for DIY detangling spray)