On blue hair and saying yes

Over the summer I tend to take an “anything goes” approach to my kids’ hair and let them choose a fun color. I’ve been doing this since India was in kindergarten, when she started begging for blue hair. I let her do a few streaks, and she was thrilled.


This summer, they both wanted to do color again. India wanted pink tips and Karis wanted some blue. We used Jerome Russell’s Punky Colour in Flamingo Pink and Turquoise.
 Photo Jul 08, 1 54 37 PM

I’m sure there is a more professional way to color the tips, but we used the “lay down on a trashbag” approach. You can pin that if you want.

Photo Jul 08, 11 28 35 AM (1)

I tend to be a more conservative parent . . . but that tendency is exactly why I said yes to these things. Since my kids entered school, they have grown more aware of the disparity in some of the things their friends are allowed to do vs. the rules in our own home.

Last year, after a bout of sassy talking that I believed to be learned behavior from Jessie and Ant Farm, we said goodbye to the tween shows on The Disney Channel.  After a media fast this winter, we did away with screen time altogether except for the weekends. My kids don’t play video games. They don’t do sleepovers. I don’t allow them to be picked up by others parents for playdates after school unless I know the parent personally. While I am sure we aren’t the only parents with some of these rules, to them it sometimes feels that way. “You never let me do ANYTHING” is an oft-spoken phrase at our house.

I don’t relish being a strict parent, and I don’t believe I’m a helicopter mom. I’m just a cautious one. I’ve seen the effects of too much screen-time and I think they are better behaved (and happier) with less of it. I’m also wary of sending my kids to the homes of people I don’t know. These are the two things I’m a bit of a stickler on, but to them it seems like I’m just generally strict.  So last week, when India asked, again if she could color her hair, I said yes. It’s not something that’s all that important to me. My preference might have been to wait, but in the realm of “choosing your battles” it’s not an important one to me. It’s an easy opportunity for me to say  yes.

I’m not saying yes to win he approval . . . I’m not a mom who feels bad about saying no. But I want to have a few areas where they feel like I’m willing to give a little. As my kids get older, I know we will have more conflicts about things they would like to do, and I am going to continue to try to “choose my battles” instead of defaulting to no. I’m going to identify the battles that are important to me (security, time without screens) and those that aren’t, and meet them in the middle when I feel like it’s beneficial to do so.

What are the areas where you tend to say no? Have you ever made a conscious decision to say yes more? How do you balance your rules with the rules of your kids’ peers?

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