Dear Parents, Encourage Your Children To Choose Their Favorite Hairstyle. Here’s Why
- IWB Post
- September 4, 2015
Taking your child to the barber shop and requesting him/her to get a haircut is not an easy task.
Don’t you think letting them choose their own style will make things easier? Unless they select a hot pink or purple as hair color. Actually, that is okay too. How? Read these 6 ‘satisfying-enough’ reasons by Britni de la Cretaz for EverydayFeminism:
1. It Gives Them Ownership of Their Bodies
Giving them control over what happens to their bodies gives them a valuable tool to carry with them as they get older, and may help them articulate what is and is not okay in other situations, too. We want to send the message to our child that it’s their body and therefore their choice what happens to it – and we want that message to start from day one.
2. It Allows Them to Choose Their Gender Expression
Giving your child the agency to make choices over their own hair also allows them agency over their gender expression. When you police their hair choices, you also police their gender. You may be forcing your child into a box that they don’t fit in, and that can have long-lasting and harmful consequences.
3. It Teaches Them That Their Wishes Should Be Respected (And That Their Desires Are Valid)
So what if it’s on a whim or you think they’ll regret it? Hair is hair, after all. Haircuts are temporary; it grows back. Hair color isn’t permanent; it can always be dyed again. Let them make their own mistakes. It’s the only way they’ll learn.
Adults spend a lot of time and energy telling kids that they don’t know anything or what they want is invalid. This kind of messaging is what leads to kids who don’t trust themselves or feel shame about the things they want or feel.
4. It Helps Them Develop a Sense of Self (And Encourages Their Independence)
Developing a unique sense of style separate from your parents’ is part of forming independence. What your child does with their hair reflects on who they are. What they do with that hair allows them to develop an independence from you. And when you support that independence, you also support them as people.
5. It Develops a Sense of Trust Between You and Your Child
When you let your kid make decisions about their body, it helps facilitate a sense of trust between the two of you. You send the message to your child that you trust them to know themselves, that they are the expert on themselves. In turn, your kid knows that you trust them, which helps them to trust you.
It means that when you suggest that they not do something, they are more likely to listen because they know that you wouldn’t tell them not to do something unless it was really not in their best interest.
6. It Supports a Culture of Unconditional Love in Your Home and/or Relationship
When you let your child decide what they look like on the outside, you send the message to them that you love them regardless. It lets them know that you love them with short hair or long hair, red hair or blue hair, brown hair or blonde hair.
This radical expression of unconditional love creates an environment of support for a child, and one that encourages them to be themselves without fear.
It helps your child to feel like they can tell you anything, and that they don’t have to hide themselves from you, because they know that you’ll love them no matter what.