The Style of Parenting: the kids have a say
with my sons it is all about options
they get a say in most anything

what food they eat
what clothes they wear

what movies they watch
what they wear for Halloween
how they want to spend their time

it is up to the parent to try and provide options that are suitable to the parent's liking
sort of a lesser of two evils sort of thing
(let the options be carrots or green beans.... not carrots of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups)

it is also a matter of
picking your battles...
if a child is in a headstrong mood... chances are they will get their way over a matter of time
in these cases it is best to cut your losses
accept losing the battle early
rather than dealing with excessive whinning and crying
if the whinning and crying continue
then the parent gives in... well... then the lesson is learned
whinning and crying work.
well, whinning and crying does work, but we do not want to reinforce that notion
so... cut your loses early... know when you can guide your child's behavior
know when it is okay to accept their demands and give them what they want
within reason of course
if they are freaking out and want to watch a movie.... well.... try to calm them down
if there is no calming them down... then maybe there is no guiding them into anything productive and well a movie may be the best thing for them
what movie? well... that is another issue

doctor has called
gotta roll

out of the waiting room
into the patient room
guess what
there is a computer here
so I continue

in this age of "the new child" and "the new parent" there are some questions
what sort of freedom do we give our children with certain choices?
hairstyles? clothes? involvement in activities?
in my era... it was done my dad's way
this continued with punishment and blackmail all the way through the early years of college
but things seem to be different now
parents seem to be more allowing of a children's effort to explore options and choices
but when should the parent intervene?

in the waiting room is a child with dyed blonde hair?
was that his choice? did his parents guide him to that choice? how did this happen?
on the street or in the park I will see small children with "rat tails"
is the rat tail the parent's idea? did the kid want this?
should there be an intervention? is it okay for me to yell something from across the play yard?
is there some sort of Anti-Rat Tail literature that I can hand out?

so it is a matter of taste
I see that the dyed hair can be cool
never in my life has there been a moment when the rat tail was cool
okay... there may have been a second in 1982 where someone may have fooled me into thinking it was cool... Bo Cleveland may have worked it well in 1984... but it was at the end of his "fin" which was pretty close to a mohawk... much cooler than the Ryan Seacrest faux-hawk... and he was a jock doing something against the mainstream.... so he worked it
but what about now?
back to my battle
should parents allow these things?
if so.... at what age?
certainly I decide my son's haircut when he is four.... but what about when he is fourteen?
can I tell him that is just not cool?

perhaps not...
what is cool to me or what was cool in my era may have changed dramatically in this new age...
the faux hawk may have been poser bullshit that would have gotten you slammed against a locker in my day may very well work with the pretty boys of today

but what if this fashion is leading towards androgeny.... or an alternate sexual preference?
do we desuade it?
a few years ago at a friend's wedding there was a cute young lady in her early teens
only.... she was dressed like a cute young boy
her hair was short and spikey....
she wore a suit rather than a dress
was Annie Lenox heterosexual?
does her boyish styly mean that she will grow to prefer woman over men?

I clearly do not have the answer to this
and well
this situation is clearly an issue for those parents
I have no issue with a young teen discovering their sexual orientation at a young age
while I do have an issue with a rat tail
does this apply to my kids or my parenting?
no rat tails in my house... let me make that a rule
and sexuality?
that is an issue that we may not have to approach for a few years to come
it may very well an issue similar to the candy or the movie
rather than having a long battle that can not be won
it may be best to allow the development of the personality
but that is more than I can contend with as I blog between tasks

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