A Battle worth fighting?

9 Jan

This morning, on the radio, there was a debate going on about whether or not one of the hosts should allow her 5 year old son to cut his hair into a mohawk style, even though she hated the idea.  It generated some debate, with most people falling into two categories: it’s just hair, let him cut it however he wants; and, you’re the parent, cut his hair the way you prefer.

I started to think about this, because I find myself drawn to the argument that children should learn to accept their parents’ rules, and perhaps we wouldn’t be faced with such a terribly self-centered generation if there was more “because I said so” parenting.

BUT, I also truly believe that it IS just hair, and that we need to allow our kids to make some choices in life.  Especially ones that aren’t detrimental to their safety and well-being!

So, I came up with a Pros and Cons list on the debate “Whether to let your 5 year old choose his own haircut”:


  • Children should be allowed to make mistakes in order to learn how to own up to their mistakes in the future.
  • Children need to have a strong sense of self, and choosing how they look can be a way to exert independence.
  • If we dictate everything to our kids, they will eventually revolt, and although it might be benign, it could be over something much bigger.  However, if we allow them to make decisions over the small things, they are less likely to rebel over the big things.
  • Children need to learn how to make decisions, so if we always make every decision they will not learn how to a) make decisions b) live with the consequences.
  • Our tastes are not the same as our kids.  Remember when your parent wanted you to wear something hideous?!


  • Children should look their age, and mohawks are too old for pre-schoolers.
  • Children should learn that their parents have rules that need to be respected, whether they agree with them or not.
  • Although hair will grow, if he doesn’t like the haircut after a few days, are you going to bail him out, or let him live with it (and maybe get teased- which is a harsh lesson for a 5 year-old)?
  • This generation is very self-centered, and not being allowed a haircut of your choice might be a good lesson in learning to live with disappointment.

What do you think?


4 Responses to “A Battle worth fighting?”

  1. Laura MacNeil. January 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    I think it depends on the child and situation. We cut our boys hair into mowhawks this past summer, but just for fun for a day or so. When it really comes down to it, for a 5 year old mom and dad win out. What if it were something different like wanting to wear opposite gender clothes, kids need guidance at that age.

  2. Erin January 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I wouldn’t let my 5 year old have a mohawk

  3. Elaine January 10, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    I wouldn’t let my 5yo have a mohawk either. When he’s old enough to pay for his own haircut he can choose how he wants it cut. That isn’t at 5.

  4. Monique January 10, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I would let him have a faux hawk. I’ve seen other kids have this and they like it. Just geling the hair so it looks like a small mohawk and thus leaving it long enough to style it differently. I’ve even seen some kids do this with tinted gel. I once heard Chuck Swindoll say when it comes to parenting your kids you should say yes whenever you can. In other words if it is not life threatening let them do it. They build memories that way. So I would compromise in this case so he can have his way but without the long wait to change his hairstyle.

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