2008-04-07

I love my child...mohawk or no.

When do you start teaching your child about appropriate behaviors? Maybe appropriate isn’t the word I’m looking for…socially acceptable may be more apt. Appropriate behaviors would include things like not talking about pooping, farting, pissing and burping in front of others. Socially acceptable is things such as having a “normal” hair cut or dressing like others.

Now, obviously, I’m not necessarily one to be preaching the finer points of socially acceptable behavior. What with my couple different piercings, soon to be more, and soon to be a tattoo along with some of my parenting techniques and personal decisions. However, I’m an adult and I’ve accepted the fact that I do this because I choose to do it, fully knowing that I may get ridiculed for my choices. Called names. Pointed at, perhaps. Talked about behind my back in hushed whispers. I’ve experienced these things.

But at what age do you allow that to happen and not say anything?

Zachary wants a Mohawk. Chuck and I talked about it and we said if he still wanted a Mohawk come summer, he could have one. He questioned our decision, of course, considering the fact that another little boy in his class already has a Mohawk. We explained that we don’t find it acceptable attire for a school environment (yes, we do talk to our children this way.)

We also explained that in getting something that is traditionally considered “counter-culture” and not necessarily socially acceptable, he will need to accept negative comments as part of his choice in looking different. Is it right that people talk? No. But we cannot control others opinions of ourselves.

So, in discussing this with a co-worker, I had mentioned how we had explained this to him and prepared him for the comments and probably comments from his own grandpa’s about looking like a punk. She gasped at how they could say that and how I would be chewing them a new one.

I told her I wouldn’t. And I won’t, unless it gets way out of control. Part of having something different is being different. Part of being different is that people will talk smack, whether we want them to or not. And like we told Zachary (and something I still struggle to deal with daily), we cannot control other’s thoughts or opinions of ourselves.

But is it something that you can understand at almost 6 years old? Or will it be emotionally scarring for him? Is this one of those times that my husband talks about when you need to allow the child to make a mistake or a choice, even if a bad one, to learn for himself.

It hurts my mom heart to see my child hurt. Emotionally or physically. Not sure I’m ready for this, but I guess I can’t fight his battles and take on the bad guys forever. Right?

4 comments:

Kal El said...

Not sure my opinion is too valid seeing as the only knowledge you have of me is from my blog and you guys met me once. But I think you should go ahead and let him do it. I'm not sure how old he is but I think I can ballpark it and I really don't see him getting ridiculed too much if at all. If it was something that wasn't socially acceptable in his school I don't think he would want it. With kids it is the cool thing to do, plenty of kids at camp had mohawks and everyone loved it. I think doing crazy things like that is cool for kids these days.

As far as the grandpa thing, I experienced the same problem. I had a hardcore war vet grandpa who told me my whole life that if I ever got an ear ring he would rip it out. Well, one day my friends decided it would be cool to do it so we did. Come Christmas time when I had to see my grandpa you better believe I tried my damnedest to hide that thing, and it worked, so try that haha.

Hope I helped.

Head Artichoke said...

I agree with Superman. He's too young to get the kind of emotional scarring AND most kids that age will think he's the dog's bollocks.

If it was in five years he'd be in danger of being ridiculed for social aberrations.

Erk said...

At the sweet age of 22 I am still having this issue with my own parents.

From a young age my parents told me they would disown me if I ever got a tattoo. I came home with my first one when I was 18. My dad did not talk to me for a week and told me that he felt that I had disrespected him by getting it.

I have a 2nd one on my back that my mom only has seen once and commented on it, they just dont' talk about it.

This december I had the one on my arm redone and it is much bigger now, it has been nearly 3 months that I have been half ass hiding it in fear of the conversation once they see it.

Diana said...

Totally a yes for me - many young boys have them and love them.

Hell, if it gets to rough and he doesn't like it - buzz it down and go from scratch.

I will email you some pics of other friends boys so you get the idea of how cool it can be!

 

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