Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tidbit, uh, Wednesday - I'm About to Lose Control and I DEFINITELY Don't Think I Like It!


This morning, G insisted. INSISTED. That she wear HER ponytails as installed by HER, without any adjusting from me, to school. This crummy iphone photo doesn't do it justice.

It was all I could do to not force her to sit down while I redid the style. I was beside myself! Letting her walk out that door and get out of the car with her very lopsided, messy, horribly parted, locs hangin' out, lumpy low ponytails, was excruciating. I am praying it was just a one-time thing. I don't think I can bear losing Mommy-control of her hair yet, she's only 7!!!

Of course I could observe myself objectively being ridiculous for this behavior. I mean, eventually the child will be able to control her own hair that grows out of her own head. But, I am just not ready.

This girl has been choosing her own clothes, with only minimal input from me, since about age 4.5 or so. I just figured, during that early adjustment time, we were having enough head-butting. Head-butting about clothing was just not worth it.  So, she pretty much went out of the house looking however she wanted to. But she never cared that I had control from the neck up. I don't think it much occurred to her that she could say "NO I don't care for that hairstyle much, I don't want it. I won't be havin' it" until fairly recently. Because it has dawned on her that she can mess with her hair the very moment I drop her off at school and there's nothing I can do about it. So there have been more than a few times when I have picked her up from after-school care and clips have been removed and hair has been, like TIED to itself, in a bow-kind of thing, in the back, which I guess she thinks looks hip. When I see it I kind of just tilt my head to the side like Rain Man, mumble "Hi Shug how was your day poo, alrighty then" and just make a casual beeline for the head and straighten up the hair.

Is there something wrong with me?

Maintaining her hair is one of my joys. Styling it the way I KNOW it looks cute is like ambrosia to me. I love hair ballies. I love accessories...I mean not all overdone (anymore), but a couple here and there. Having her stick her hands on her head and block access to her hair while I'm about to put in an adorable clip or give her ponytails, because she is not in the MOOD for the style that day, is....well...

Because, darn her, she now has discovered that she has the right to have input as to her own appearance. Whenever she feels like it.

But I'm not ready!

There are so many styles left untried, bead mixes left unbeaded, ponies left untailed. But just coming up with cool ideas and then making them reality on her loc'd little head at my discretion has become pretty much a thing of the past. I have always ASKED her if she'd like me to do X style, but the answer up till recently has always been "YEAH!!!"

Don't get me wrong, it's not like this all the time. But this morning she was SO INSISTENT on those wacky ponytails (and it wasn't even crazy hair day!) I feel like I had a glimpse of fashion issues to come.

Sigh. I guess that is what we get when we raise our kids to be independent freethinkers. We get independent freethinkers!

I just wish there was a little on/off switch. :)

How have you handled letting go of total control over styling your young child's hair? Do you let them put in their own styles and go out sometimes? Is it painful? ;-)


  1. This too can be painful.

    Sometimes I realize the problem isn't what I think, or what the kid thinks, but what I think other people think about the kid. Then I need an on/off switch for my own brain.

    You're going to have to use those beads & hair ballies on your hair! But better the ponytail than the whaletail discussion! We've had that too! Good luck letting goooooooooooo!

  2. Well Lissa is only 3 so I haven't had to deal w/ that. With the boys my only caveat, is you either let me make sure it is neat or it gets shaved. LOL MY 14 y/o doesn't want to do anything with his hair thus the caveat. In our area it is less common for AA kids to "do" their own hair. It is the province of adults for a long time so I have kind of instilled (I hope) that thought in their minds. They can have input but they are not walking out my door making it look like I am a clueless white chick who doesn't know diddly about black hair. Because even my black friends say that although THEIR kids could do that, it is different when you are speaking of transracial families.

  3. I am still fighting with the girls letting me comb their hair period! The babes are just two, so I hopefully still have many years until the diva attitude starts to appear. Maybe now is the time to start teaching G about her regime and grooming her for taking over the reins. Allow her to moisturize herself at night, start washing if she's interested etc. As for styling, how about offering her certain days a week or month that are her personal styling days. This way she can anticipate these days. Start by having a talk with her explaining the importance of proper hair care techniques and that you all would begin the "lessons." Be very excited for this new milestone, but try to let "G" understand that this is a transition and YOU ultimately are still the "Master Tamer" of the "mane" for now! LOL I know this must be a very difficult and emotional time for you, but this too shall pass. Hopefully some of my tips help. Let me know!

  4. My daughter is 6, and I'm dreading the day when she stops wanting me (or letting me) do her hair for all the same reason you mentioned. She has also been picking out her own styles! But luckily, she knows that she has no idea what she's doing with her hair and for now still wants me to do it... I think it's mainly because of all the compliments she gets, but I hope she lets me stay in control. I always tell her that I will help her with her hair even when she's all grown up with kids of her own. It's really sad to even think about not being able to do her hair, because it's the thing I enjoy the most! I let my daughter do her own hair (and mine) sometimes, but she has'nt ever gone to school or any place with it. Maybe you could tell your daughter SHE gets to do her hair on weekends and YOU get to do it for school? That's what I do and it's good enough to keep my daughter happy :)

  5. Yep, I'm dreading the day. I have a very strong willed 7 yr old myself, so it's only a matter of time. Right now I get away with being in charge of her hair by talking about how to keep it healthy, and how she needs to learn slowly and carefully first (you should see how she rakes the combs through her doll's hair).
    In the meantime, she usually picks out her own clothes. Sometimes it drives me crazy (like when she picks the orange socks, the pink summer top, and the beige corduroy skirt with the purple tights). Then I remind myself that she's only 7 and shouldn't have the burden to be judged on her fashion sense. ;)
    Also, the outfit above got compliments from adults and kids, sincerely, so who am I to say.
    Good luck!
    I have no intention of giving up the hair control any time soon, and I hope my daughter agrees for a least a few more years.

  6. As an adult who did exactly this to her mother at the age of 7, I know what your daughter is feeling. She just wants to experiment! I remember trying out a bunch of wacky styles on my hair. My mom was just as frustrated and heart broken as you are. Eventually the wackiness calmed down and I was able to come up with cute normal hairdos on my own. I think you are handling this well, actually. Like Moni Knits said, teach good hair care and let her run with it. Good luck!


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