Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letting your kids be themselves

Willow Smith's new shaved look

As parents we sometimes have problems letting our kids express themselves in the way that they want to.  We cringe when they want to dye their hair blue, roll our eyes about their clothing choices, and try to not let them be friends with "those kids".  During the tween years they start to pull back from us and want to be more independent, and we somehow have to find a way to let go so they can.

We all might be able to take a page out of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's parenting handbook this week, on how to deal with letting your kids show their expression.  Their daughter, Willow Smith, is now sporting a shaved head and I'm sure she had to talk her parents into it.  Those of you with little girls are gasping at this point wondering how they could let her do such a thing.  I'd like to think it is because they understand that their kids have different personalities than them.

During the tween years kids are starting to want to show their individuality.  They are wanting to pick their own hair styles, clothes, and have developed friendships at school with children that you might not approve of.  Their attitudes are changing, and with girls they are becoming hormonal.  We know that we need to give them more space to be themselves, but most of us have a hard time letting them transition from childhood to teenager.

Letting our tweens be independent of us is one of the first huge steps as parents we face during their school years.  We don't want our kids to follow the crowd, but we don't want them to be the standout freak either.  There is a balance that we have to find between the two, and hope that they get the subtle hints that we are giving them.

Some things we should learn to let go of and let our kids decide what they would like.  If that means letting our daughter shave her head or letting our son paint his nails black, then that is what we should do.  Most of us learned our lessons the hard way after we had already done something and messed it up.  Our kids will learn the same way as we did, as will their kids after them.  Hair will grow back, and your son can always use your nail polish remover once his goth phase is over but the things our kids found out about themselves while doing it will be with them forever.

Would you let your tween shave her head?


  1. Popped in from SITS! I don't have kids yet, but I don't think I could let my daughter do that...

    1. I'm not sure if I can either! I do know I could let them do the funky colors lol