Recently my 14 year old teen son asked me if he could dye his hair and would I help him. As I sat listening to this question my immediate reaction was to scream no!
I love my son’s light blonde hair which any girl or woman would want – in fact – a lot of women are dying their hair just to get close to my son’s colour.
As all the reasons not to let him do it rushed through my mind, I realised I needed to be mindful that my son had taken the time to come to me and be open and ask so I needed to show him the same respect he had shown me and sit and listen to what he had to say.
When it came down to it, my son is trying to express himself. He also wants to be fashionable and trendy and for him that means dying his hair a darker colour.
Of course when it comes to my children all I want to do is protect them but there are times when my own insecurities come in to play because I know part of my wanting to say no would be to do with what other people think of me as a parent.
I discussed the conversation with my husband and we both agreed that we would allow our son to dye his hair and that I would help him.
We want both our sons to grow up and be confidence in themselves but also be able to express themselves and also disagree with us if they have an alternative point of view. It is an extremely important life skill which research has shown will help them resist peer pressure which can lead to risky behaviours we wouldn’t want our children to do.
Seeing our children have confidence in themselves is something that I as a parent am particularly proud of and while their choices in clothes and hair colour wouldn’t be something I would have picked, I know by allowing them to express themselves will continue to help them develop self confidence.
Of course there are things that as a parent I will continue to provide guidance on and won’t allow them to do especially if those actions have consequences to their health and wellbeing. However, dying hair a different colour is one expression I’m happy for my son to make.
I would love to hear your views on this.
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I am a mummy to two lovely boys, one is now a teenager. Approaching the teen years my hubby and I were a little scared to say the least but we have found that friction between teens and parents is not inevitable. If you take time to read up on what your teenager’s body is going through and why they act the way they do then you too can take courage knowing it doesn’t have to be scary.
Of course, we are not perfect parents but we have tried our best to be honest, open and loving so that the teenage years allows our son to find his way in the world and define his own path with the honest answers to questions he asks. We let him know how much we value his opinions, how much we respect his views even when there are times we don’t agree with them.
I hope the following 3 ‘secrets’ help you on your parenting journey as your child reaches the teen years.
- A teenager looks grown-up but they are not
The part of the brain to do with planning and organising is very much unfinished during the teen years. This is the reason so many teenagers become distracted or forgetful during this period. Knowing this will give you as a parent the empathy to guide your teenager during this time rather than shouting at how forgetful they are being – truth is they really can’t help it!
- No matter how much you feed them, it is never enough!
The teenage body is developing more during this period than at any other stage of life so this growing and developing requires a lot of nutrients, hence more often than not teenagers eat more during this period. Of course every teenager is different but this has been our experience.
What can I say; it is a fact of teenage life. This often goes for both girls and boys in my experience. Again this is emblematic of the teenage years and is a personal disorganisation brought about by the growing and as mentioned about the part of the brain to do with planning and organising being unfinished. Of course the untidy room will drive you as a parent nuts but my advice is to relax – it is not an affront to your own personal domestic prowess nor is it about disrespecting you as a parent – it is simply a fact of teenage life. My advice is not to allow the messy room to become a power struggle between yourself and your teenager. Instead make it part of earning extra money for extra chores but remember – give them one task at a time!
I do hope you have found these tips helpful. There is no manual on how to raise children, but as parents we need to try our best to understand how our children act as they do and continue to guide, love and cherish them through all stages of their lives.
If you are looking for some helpful books, I can recommend the following: