Yesterday the girls cut their hair. Today they did it again. Ella more so than Agatha.
She had a great time cutting it. And I think it actually looks pretty good. There are a few patches that are a bit too close to her scalp and the back has a few cuts that are pretty obvious. But overall it suits her.
Ryan was really upset. When she first started cutting again he started to say ‘No.’ He wanted to tell her we’d go to a salon instead. He wanted to teach her when to stop, to know when enough was enough.
I stepped in. After all, saying No, really wouldn’t give her a reason to stop. But what was our reason? Because we didn’t like it so short.
I asked Ryan to consider a few points. If she were 16, would we tell her she couldn’t cut her own hair. He said maybe. But when I was 16, I cut my own hair; it turned out better than when my mom cut my hair. If she were 16, would it be our place to tell her how she can or can’t wear her hair? Would it be good for her if we did?
In the end she asked our opinion, and looked in the mirror. When it was all done, her smile faltered, it was too short. But it can grow again, and now she knows to look in the mirror, and keep her hair just the length she wants.
It really doesn’t matter what the girls want to do, if our knee-jerk reaction is to say ‘no’, then we need to stop and examine why. Is there a valid reason, or should we step back and allow, even assist them in reaching their objective?
Do we really know more about them and their bodies than they do? Maybe it’s time parents stepped back and allowed their children enough freedom to discover their own desires and limits.
Should Ella ask permission to cut her hair in the future? Does it really matter? I did tell her we have hair scissors, and if she wanted to cut her hair, she could ask for the proper scissors. But whether to actually cut her hair or not? No, I don’t think it’s my place to either deny or grant permission.