Empower kids by supporting their decisions
(Robyn) Last year, my daughter decided that she wanted to cut her super long hair into a pixie cut. A bold move for anyone, let alone a 7 year old. However, after several conversations, it was determined that she knew exactly what she was doing.
I decided that in supporting her decision, it would be incredibly empowering. There is no argument that the haircut looks super cute. In fact, by shedding her locks and claiming responsibility for her look, an amazing transformation in confidence occurred and I witnessed a beautiful milestone in the growth and development of my child.
After a few months enough of my adult friends had seen the dramatic new look and I was a quite surprised how some people expressed that my actions were brave in allowing my daughter to have such a short haircut. I have thought about this a lot and I don’t think I was necessarily brave in allowing her to cut her hair (hair does grow back!). I think my bravery was in letting go of my power over her and honoring the power within my child. It is a tricky situation. As parents we become accustomed to making decisions for our children, mostly because it is easier and saves time. We do it so often that when confronted with a major decision, we often look at how it might inconvenience us, or mitigate the outcome based on our own fears.
This parenting strategy is unsustainable, and genuinely unproductive. The earlier a child is taught to seek their own mind, the easier it becomes to set a legitimate boundary. It is inevitable that at one point our role as parent will shift from creating boundaries and making decisions for our children to one in which we support the decisions our children make.
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