So my son is going through a really defiant and rebellious stage. Please don't tell me it will last until he is 25. My only life line at this point is the hope that it will end sooner. Don't take that away from me! :) So as part of this rebellion, he decided that he wanted to grow dreadlocks. If you don't know what they are, here is a picture:
If you don't know about dreadlocks, let me explain. So the way you create them, according to my understanding, is that you don't wash your hair, and you twist it so that it tangles together to make these "locks". One time I saw a makeover show that featured a woman with dreads. When the stylist went to cut the dreads, big tufts of dust fell from them. Gross.... You couldn't pay me enough to be that stylist. I don't know, maybe after they get all tangled they wash them. Any of you have any experience with this?
When I was single, I took a parenting class in college. It has turned out to be one of the most useful of all of the classes I have taken in college. One of the things that the teacher taught us was that we should give in on the things that don't matter, and stay firm on the things that do. He gave the example of hair. Really, if a kid cuts their hair weird, or dies it purple, what does it hurt? Hair doesn't matter. So let them rebel with this relatively harmless thing, and crack down on the things that really do matter. So when my son announced to me that he was going to grow dreads, I remembered what my professor said. My response to my son was that I thought it was gross, but basically said, "Whatever floats your boat." I privately told my husband to not make a big deal about the dreads. If it is a non-issue for us, he won't want to use it as a way to rebel. So we just let him try, and never made any comments about it.
My son had about 6 weeks off of school for the Chinese new year holiday. In that time, I don't think he washed his hair even once. Well, he didn't use shampoo, although he did get it wet in the shower. I gotta say that it was getting pretty greasy, but we just let him try. I noticed he was combing his hair regularly, but I didn't tell him that this isn't the way to grow dreads. Letting him do it is one thing, HELPING him do it is another.
So yesterday was his first day back to school. He woke up before me and came in to my room. I think in my stupor of sleep I forgot my resolution, and I asked if he had washed his hair when he showered. He replied, "Yes." And that was the end of the dread growing experience. I think that although he thought he would be cool with dreads, he wasn't sure whether his friends at school would agree. He still needs a haircut, but I"ll let the school be the ones to remind him. I told him that the school rules say he can't have long hair. He said, "No one cares, they aren't going to kick me out for long hair." Actually he is right. So instead of pressing this "doesn't matter" issue, I let it go, and I'll wait until he is ready to get it cut. I think my patience will last longer than his determination. But boy am I glad at least it's clean now.