Wednesday, 5 November 2014

S.T.E.P.

I have a friend on facebook whose daughter decided that she should cut her own hair. Three year old kids shouldn’t cut their own hair! It doesn’t matter how advanced they are or even if they have an incredibly mature sense of style. They are still three years old.

My friend is quite upset. She just isn’t far enough away from the incident to see the humour in it like I can. From a grandpa point of view, I am just happy she didn’t clip an ear or poke out an eye, and thankfully, she wasn’t running with scissors in her hand.

Perhaps it is because I am a man with virtually no fashion sense at all, but I don’t think this is a big deal. Louise and I took a course once called S.T.E.P., Systematic Training for Effective Parenting. I don’t remember very much from the course which is typical of me and education. The one thing that stuck with me for all of these years is that when your child does something that you don’t like, you need to ask yourself “Whose problem is it?” If the kid doesn’t want to wear a raincoat and boots when walking to school in the rain, that is up to them. They will have to sit in wet clothes all day. Of course it becomes your problem when he/she is home sick the next day.

I tried to keep this in mind when raising the kids, but it didn’t often work. Partly because the line that separates who owns the problem is more often than not blurry, and there is an emotional factor involved too. When your oldest daughter intentionally puts her shoes on the wrong feet, who cares? When everyone that runs into you from strangers, relatives and teachers notice the shoes, it starts to reflect on your parenting. Most of the time the people aren’t willing to hang around long enough for you to explain about the S.T.E.P. program and how her shoes aren’t your problem. You just look like an incompetent boob.

I also was raised resenting not having any control over what I wore, when I went to bed and well, pretty much everything from when I was 1 to 18. I vowed that I would never go to bed before midnight when I became an adult and I haven’t for the most part. That may explain why I have been an under achiever for most of my life. An extremely tired under achiever. The one thing I was looking forward to when I grew up was having a wife and kids who would do everything I told them to do. Either I didn’t grasp the dynamics of family life (possible) or I did understand what I was supposed to do but everyone else in the family are socially retarded (likely). To say that things haven’t turned out the way I had hoped is an understatement.

Now, let’s get back to my facebook friend. There are a few things I would like to say to her. Hair does and will grow back! Time heals all wounds and it grows hair.

You might want to keep the scissors way up and out of reach in the future. It won’t work because you are bound to forget…once.

Get one of those fashion magazines and ask your daughter what kind of hairdo she would like. I don’t understand women’s hairdos, but some of the ones in magazines look like a three year old cut it.

Don’t make a big deal about it, she’s three years old and everyone else thinks she looks cute. Well, I do at any rate. I can’t speak for all of the women in the world, but the men won’t care. Real men won’t care.

In the future she will be spending so much time with her hair; it will make you want to pull your hair out.

You never know, she may have found her vocation at three. She is quite possibly a prodigy.

When in doubt, just ask yourself whose problem is it? Yours…because everyone will think you either cut it yourself or had it cut that way. Lucky for you the cold season is coming and she will have a good reason to wear hats for the next month or two or even three.



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