Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why my laziness makes me a better mom. (and Theme Thursday Orange)

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. 

We were testing this chalk-hair color thing as part of a no-cost, easy-peasy Halloween costume.  It looks more orange on Greta's lighter hair than Heidi's darker hair.  Don't worry, we also celebrate All Saint's Day with no-cost, easy-peasy All Saint's Day Costumes that I will probably highlight in a future blog post.

And, the reason for that is really because I'm lazy...because it's easier to give in than to argue..and's just hair, not exactly a matter of morality, so who cares what color it 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?
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  1. C! I'm totally thinking of trying blue chalk on Sadie's hair now since she's so into fairies and the color blue...

  2. My boys want mohawks, and although I don't like them, I would let them. BUT there Catholic school won't let them have it during the school year, and their Pastor won't let them have it if they are altar servers (which is year round) so I can just let other people be the bad guys. I think that's my parenting philosophy right there!

  3. I figure that since I wear a couple streaks of purple in my hair, I can hardly say no to the kids about that. But they do get closer to version D. Pink & green seem to be their favorites. Orange kinda just disappears. :-)

    I try to be the level minded parent and look at the big picture. I try not to smother or helicopter or ignore. When one of them wants to do something that I'm not entirely keen on, we work together to find a common solution. (Except for when the 4 year old wanted to drive the car. I said an absolute no to that, with the caveat that she will when she's appropriately older.) I'm sure I miss the mark sometimes, and I'm sure it will be more difficult as they get older, but I sure try! They are learning that mom is absolutely supportive, but is not a pushover.

  4. Totally agree with this philosophy, very well put. And I love the little dyed locks! The costumes sound like fun!

  5. We've never used chalk, but we HAVE used Kool-Aid, which works nicely for lighter hair (and smells good, too!)

  6. Chalk is such a great idea! We've used that dye before and it almost killed me because, you know, chemicals. My dad was only allowed to wear his hair one way his whole young life (son of a naval officer) so the resulting rule in our house was that hair could be worn any way one pleased so long as it was neat. My brothers all had long hair during high school, and though my parents probably didn't love it, they let it be.

    I really struggle finding a balance between relationship and authority. I read that article a couple nights ago and have been trying to work on the relationship aspect. Pray for me, okay?

    1. Of course! Prayers headed your way.

  7. The problem with homeschooling is that you don't get to spray paint your hair in school colors for homecoming! Even my strict Baptist school let us get away with that. I love the "blue is more your color" option; I would totally go with that.

  8. I love that you used chalk :). Such a good reminder to accept.


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