My kids started school this year looking quite different from the norm. Parker’s hair was “rock star/punk” made messy with gel, cut into wild layers, and dyed blue and green with blond streaks. Anika’s hair, while cut in a simple bob, is pink and purple with a streak of blue in the bangs. Some people think we are too easy on our kids for allowing them to be able to express themselves in such a way at their ages.

I say, hair is one of the least permanent features we have, and it will always grow out if they don’t like it.

I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars for my kids to get their cool styles. We bought a bleach and dye kit and did the work at home. It’s not about money. It’s about allowing our kids to express their individuality and style. By fostering their ability to see themselves as individuals – to not get caught up in the small things like appearance but rather focus on the way they treat others and the choices they make – builds their self-esteem and confidence.

I’m proud of my son’s crazy hair style and the air of confidence he had about himself as he started middle school this year. I love that my daughter is comfortable enough in her own skin to wear wildly striped socks that are totally different colors from each other and from the rest of her outfit. I’m not raising sheep who will weakly follow whatever the fad is; I’m raising unique individuals who can think for themselves.

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