I gave my 9 year old a Mohawk. I know, I know. You're probably gasping in all of your appallment (I think I just made that word up) right now. You're thinking slanderous thoughts of my mothering abilities and tactics. And you're wondering why they let women like me reproduce, aren't you?
Well, let me just say that I never thought I would be a mother who would give her 18 year old a Mohawk, must less her 9 year old. In the past, I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what I thought I was going to want, or how I thought I would be. And when the day came upon me, I realized that it was just that - a preconceived idea. I guess I've realized with myself that sometimes you just don't know how you'll handle something until it's handed to you.
Here's the Mohawk story and my reasoning behind why I gave it to my boy.
First of all, you must know that I have given my guys their haircuts for a REALLY long time. They would go somewhere and pay to get it cut and then I would have to even it out when they got home, because, inevitably the stylist had missed a few spots. Now, I'm not saying all stylists are this way. But, short of paying $30 for a haircut x 2 guys every two weeks (which just AIN'T happening in this house) that's what we ended up with. So, we started going to the local beauty academy for haircuts. I watched what they did, what they used... went and bought the tools necessary, and voila, became our new at home stylist. I'm not a pro by any means, but they get just as good of a cut from me as anything we paid for. So, on to my story...
Life has been a little busy around and both of my guys were way past due for a haircut and looking pretty shaggy. Tuesday night, Little Britches mentioned getting a Mohawk if his dad was too tired to get his hair cut that night and wanted to wait until yesterday. He was kind of playing around as a sort of threat. He's mentioned a Mohawk before - several times. But, he's also had a sense of fear involved with it. His dad and I could tell that it's something he would really like to do, but, was just plain nervous about it. So, we got into the whole thing about if he wanted to get his hair cut that way, why he was nervous about, who cares what other people think, blah, blah, blah... I realized that he was scared about what other people would think, about what it would look like, if he would hate it...All of those type of issues.
So, here's my reasoning behind giving my boy a Mohawk. It's really about the principle and not the haircut. Personally, I've never been a huge fan of the look, myself. But... I don't want to train him to make decisions based on fear or what other people think. I don't want him to grow up being afraid to take risks. Life is full of risks, after all. And if we avoid taking them, then essentially, we avoid living life to it's fullest. I actually encouraged him to get it cut that way if it was what HE wanted. I told him that it's just a haircut. It's not permanent. The worst that can happen is that he hates it. In two weeks it would be grown out, as fast as his hair grows. No harm done.
My husband and I determined a long, long time ago that we want to raise our son to be able to make good decisions on his own. Of course, we have to guide him. We ask him questions to help him think through the consequences. We help him determine what God has to say about the subject. Ultimately, he's nine and we make the final decision on major matters. But, there are a lot of issues that aren't major matters that we allow him to spread his wings on. We don't want him to be a follower or succumb to peer pressure. We want him to know that everyone is different, and that's a good thing. God likes diversity. You can look at all the shades of green he created or the infinite types of flowers he made and see that. The only thing that really matters is knowing what God said about an issue and how you feel about something. I don't think God really cares whether or not he wears a Mohawk.
So, after thinking about all this and being reassured that if he didn't like his hair, he wouldn't be ruined for the rest of his life, Little Britches made a decision. He was going to take a calculated risk and get a Mohawk. Something amazing happened once he made the decision - he started to get excited about it. Then, once I cut it yesterday morning, something even more amazing happened. He was proud of himself. He was proud that he did something he was nervous about doing. He was proud that he stepped outside of the box and made a decision based on what he thought he would like, rather than what other people would think about it. I was proud of him, too. It was a wonderful boost to his self-confidence.
I don't know how long he'll keep it for. He's nine and has worn the same hair cut his entire life until now. He may keep it for a while. He may go back to his old cut. Heck, he may even want to try some other style next. But I can tell you one thing - he got much more than a Mohawk yesterday. He got a life lesson that he will carry with him for the rest of his life and a good dose of self-esteem. As a mom, those two things were definitely worth the Mohawk.