Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A parenting dilemma

As parents, we sometimes have to pick our battles and let go of the less important stuff.  However, we still have to assert our authority without "giving in" to our children all the time.  There is a very fine line that separates those two approaches.

Here is the dilemma I am currently facing and trying to decide which path to take.

  This is my oldest Rachel.  She's beautiful isn't she??  I love her freckles and her green eyes.  She is not smiling in this picture because she is hiding her braces.  The other thing you might notice is her hair.  It has gotten super long (keep in mind this picture was taken 3 months ago!) and, since it is fairly curly, this makes it extremely difficult to take care of.  Every morning I comb out the tangles (ohhhh the tangles) while she pouts and squirms, thinking all the while, "She is going on ten years old.  Shouldn't she be combing her hair herself?!?!"

So here's the dilemma.  She needs a haircut.  Desperately.  However, my oh-so-headstrong daughter who is teetering on the verge of being a full-fledged, tree-hugging hippie refuses to get a haircut.  She attempted to propose a compromise a couple of weeks ago - she will get two inches cut if she can get a feather put in.  I think that anything less than three inches is pointless because it won't make any difference or get rid of the scraggly ends, so I'm not taking the deal.  At this point, I am honestly thinking it is just not worth the battle.  (And I do mean BATTLE.  Picture me literally sitting on this child while she cries and thrashes in the stylist's chair and the stylist carefully tries to avoid cutting ginormous chunks out of her head or mine.  Oh and the poor stylist!!  Perish the thought that my beloved stylist would be so stressed and terrified by this child that she runs away in terror anytime she sees either of us in the future!  I am not exaggerating here, folks.  Seriously. It has the potential to be that bad.)  DW, on the other hand, is ready to lay down the hammer and force it upon her.  I told him that he could take her then, to which he replied "Fine!"  (However, the previously described scene becomes even more horrific when you factor in an irate father who doesn't have any patience for this kind of girl-drama along with the afore mentioned child & stylist.)

So, what is the answer??  Force her to get her hair cut at least 3-4 inches??  Forget about it and let it grow and grow indefinitely until she is "ready?"  I need some help here folks.  Please - I'm begging - leave a comment and give me your opinion.  Even if it is a harsh criticism of my apparent lack of parenting skills - I need to hear it!  If you were in my shoes, what would you do???

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Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Lisa...Its Kendall (brookshire haha i dont have a blog account so I had to leave this anon) :) I went through the same thing but a different scenerio in 6th grade... My hair was almost to the middle of my back and I randomly decided one day I wanted to cut it for Locks of Love (an organization that donates human hair to make wigs for children with Cancer who have no hair) and I cut probably near 12 inches of my hair off... I HATED it. I legitimately cried every night for 2 weeks after I cut it, and ever since until my freshman year of HS I didnt cut it. Luckily, since she is young and her hair is really long, it would grow back pretty quickly! I was convinced for 3 years that my hair would NEVER grow back and before I knew it, it was reaching the middle of my back again and I decided to face my fear and get 3 inches off because I was sick of not being able to do anything with it because it was TOO long (yes, there is such a thing!) So I got it cut, I didnt like it 100% at first because I wasnt used to it but then after a week or so I loved it and noticed that my hair was starting to grow quicker too!! Rachel is a BEAUTIFUL little girl with her Mommy's kind heart and her Daddy's courage, I will pray that she can find the courage to get it cut so she can get that cool feather extension as a bonus :)

Robin Kramer said...

Lisa, first of all, thank you so much for introducing yourself (formally) on my blog earlier -- you're so sweet!

Your post here makes me totally crack up. I have NO idea what to advise you on this one. I'm just so delighted that my girls have short little bobs because it's enough of a battle to comb that much hair, much less that beautiful head of hair that your daughter is sporting. (She IS beautiful, by the way.)

Maybe offer her a compromise. She must brush her own hair and can have a few weeks (perhaps one or two) to "master" this skill on her own. If she does, then she has shown that she can handle keeping her hair long. If not, then she'll have to get a few inches.

Maybe this would give her some incentive? Or not. I have no idea...

Hope it all untangles well for you! (Pun totally intended.)

Anonymous said...

Lisa, it's Wendi. I love Kendall's comment about getting her hair cut for Locks of Love. And that sounds right up Rachel's alley. I say, sell this hard! Hopefully Rachel wouldn't be traumatized like Kendall. If she doesn't go for it, I would not fight the battle in the stylist's chair. You'd end up having to put that at the top of the list of (bad) experiences she will always remember. :) Like Robin, I think she will need to become more responsible for taming her own locks, & I could recommend a good leave-in conditioner I've used for W! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, This is tom. You're blog is awesome.

I loved this last blog about Rachel. I would never believe that a 4th Grader would be such a committed vegetarian, until the night she came to choir rehearsal sobbing uncontrollably because she had soup that was made with chicken broth - she was devastated when she found out.

Knowing your dilemma - and knowing Rachel, my vote is to let her get dreadlocks....problem solved! : )

ps. I made your crock pot chicken and dumplings the other night - amazing.... it was a major feat for me to even cook that!

Lisa Witherspoon said...

Thanks everyone! Tom - love the dreadlocks idea & glad you enjoyed the chicken & dumplings! :)

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