What would your response be if your son or daughter came home and said that he/she wanted to dye their hair bright orange?
A) No way! Only heathens do that! What will our friends/neighbors/church members think?
B) Do whatever, I don't care.
C) I've always thought blue was more your color.
D). Okay, let me help you find an all natural, non-toxic, chemical-free dye made from organic henna seeds handpicked during the full moon and grown on local henna plants imported from New Zealand.
I recently came across an article on the Home Educators Association of Virginia website entitled Crisis in Homeschooling: Exposing Major Blindspots of Homeschoolers. The author shares how he and his wife "lost" their relationship with their son because they were too controlling, too concerned with outward appearances and did not accept him as he was. They discuss one incident where as a teen, the son came home from work and wanted to dye his hair blue and the dad basically hit the roof with an a resounding NO WAY.
It got me thinking about what my own response in that situation would be. I'd probably go for D, because you know..chemicals.
Or, I'd use orange chalk, which is totally temporary and basically brushes or washes out.
Linking up with Cari for Theme-Thursday Orange
And, the reason for that is really because I'm lazy...because it's easier to give in than to argue..and really..it's just hair, not exactly a matter of morality, so who cares what color it is....as long as you don't use any nasty, carcinogenic chemicals that is. No one can ever accuse me of being too authoritarian or controlling. Many, many years ago, (after graduating from UK with a master's degree in reproductive physiology) I got a job teaching elementary school. Why? I have no idea...I was probably the least qualified person there is, and I had ZERO classroom management skills because I am most definitely NOT the super authoritarian type. And, that's okay with your own kids, but definitely very bad when trying to manage a classroom. My kids are the ones walking down the street in princess dresses barefoot because they prefer to be discalced (my husband is probably swooning right now, because I used the word discalced in a sentence). They have REALLY tough feet. Don't worry, we do have some rules, but I try to keep those rules to general hygiene things (as in why yes, you do have to brush your hair, and no a dirty, peanut-butter stained shirt is not appropriate to wear outside the house).
I've posted before about acceptance and relationship being they key to parenting and I believe this article is saying something very similar.
It's mostly a very good article...definitely written from the evangelical Protestant viewpoint, so not something I can totally relate to seeing as how I'm not an evangelical Protestant, but it has a lot of good points for everyone, not just homeschoolers.
As homeschoolers though, I think the main point is especially important. It's easy to feel so judged and put under a microscope by the world, that we feel pressure to put on an appearance of perfection...perfectly behaved children, perfectly dressed, perfectly smart, perfect manners, perfectly advanced, perfectly perfect in every way. But, that's not realistic nor healthy.
Sometimes I think my own laziness is my best parenting asset...because I'm too lazy to be controlling or micro-managing or helicopter parenting. It's so much easier to just let them be themselves, than to try to fit them into a mold of what I think they should be. Don't worry...we do have rules...we're not totally permissive, but we also try really hard to just accept them as they are..warts and all (for the record, none of my kids have warts).
The author talks about having your child's heart, which I guess is just his way of saying having a good relationship. It's so important not to let our own insecurities and fear of judgement get in the way of our relationship with our children. Love is the most important thing...our children need to feel loved and accepted, no matter what. We may know that we love them, but do they know it. Do they feel our acceptance....or just our criticism and judgement?