Google+ Authentic Parenting: Physical Authenticity Part II

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Physical Authenticity Part II

Yesterday I wrote about how my daughter asked for her first haircut. It got me thinking how little parents generally "allow" their child to develop physical authenticity. Haircuts are forced upon them before they can voice their opinion, they are put in clothes they don't particularly like, and their rooms are painted in colors they despise, just because that's the way it is, that's the appropriate way to do things... Just because noone ever stopped to think that they have an opinion, that their opinion matters and that it could be very important to let them follow their choices, even if they seem weird or out of place to us.
Anyway, what would it matter if your toddler wants to shave her head, or if your seven year old boy wants to wear a dress. If it's a choice they own, they'll face the consequences. At the worst, they'll draw a lesson from it.
But that shouldn't even be your concern.

What does it do to our children to not be able to express themselves, to be forced in a role of someone else's choosing.

No wonder so many spend hours and years and money 'trying to find ourselves'. No wonder so many of us are confused about who they are. We've only ever learned to repress who we really are, we've never been handed the tools to make these choices for ourselves.

Do your child a favor, empower him or her right now, even if that takes some getting over yourself. These are just small choices, tiny things, but they make up for such big results in their lives. It's worth the risk.


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4 comments:

  1. Agreed! I have even seen this with my teen! She values my input about things greatly. I sometimes just say something and she changes her thinking about it... Sometimes you have to step back and let them be and decide on their own!

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  2. I really love watching my son's personality come out all on its own, and though it obviously reflects mine and his father's (because we are his biggest examples) it is also uniquely his own. I don't want to intentionally mold him into something he's not.

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  3. My parents were very open about allowing me the freedom to be as kooky with my appearance as I wanted. I will be doing the same for my son, even if he wants to wear undies over his pants or wear high heels. :D

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  4. Yes! Do we really want to teach our children that they must conform with our culture's perceptions of what they should look like? If we ingrain it during childhood, how can we unteach later? Much better for them to develop a sense of self from the beginning!

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