This week my fifth grader had a big transformation. After weeks and weeks of arguments and faustration.
I cut her hair.
It went down her back and reached her waist.
But after pleading with her for months to keep it brushed and wash it properly…. Mom had a break through.
Notice I say break through and not “break down”. I had threatened so many times to cut it before in frustration of having to deal with the knots and the unwashed parts of her hair that after last week’s post about How Do Your Kids Know You Love Them. I decided that it was time for me to stop pleading with my fifth grader and follow through. I’ve made it a point to be more consistent with my children. Trust me it is hard. There are tons of distractions that cause forgetfulness.
Oh course, she bulked. She pleaded and promised to take care of her hair. The same promise and the same speech I’d heard at least a hundred times.
I believe some would call this tough love.
And I’m so glad I followed through.
And so is she.
I think sometimes as parents we can fret and worry about doing the right thing for our children to the point that we make idol threats and feel guilty for treating our kids like our parents treated us when we were younger. But as adult, we are glad our parents stood up and ignored our pleading to do what was right for us.
At first, my fifth grader walked around with her hood over her head, that is until she let down the hood and started receiving compliments on her cute new hair style. When she got off the school bus the next day she said to me, “Mom you won’t believe how many people like my hair and even a boy said they did!”
I couldn’t help smiling. “Perhaps you should listen to your mother more often.”
She gave me a hug, and for once I felt I really did the right thing for my child. No more fighting over hair not being groomed. And through it all, I think we both hit mile stones. I followed up and did what was best for my fifth grader. My fifth grader gained self confidence and some self esteem that I hadn’t seen in her in a while. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to just see her smile.
I don’t know how long it will last, and I don’t want to jinx it either.
Do you or did you once have a fifth grader? What plead do you often have to deal with and how did you handle it?