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 days ago