Do you parent like a curling iron or a straightener?

Did you know that round follicles produce straight hair and flat follicles produce curly? This seems like it would be the exact opposite, right? After I read this, I started to think about my children’s hair types. Piper had very fine blonde hair at birth. This was a shocker because all the women in my family have had dark hair and dark eyes. Her hair did not grow until she was about 2 years old. The DOC bands, “helmets” to help her skull form properly, she had to wear kept rubbing her hair off. Thank the Lord, after that year her hair slowly became thicker and eventually curly. She now has a beautiful lion’s mane that is still blonde.

I sometimes call her my “wild child” because of her mane. She is in no way wild, but truly a very mild spirit. However, trying to comb out those knots, matts, and curls is quite an effort. Society and media often associate a wild mane of hair with an unruly and defiant personality. Think about Merida’s wild red hair in the Disney movie Brave.

Growing up, I always wanted curly hair, and I went to great lengths to make my straight hair curly. I slept in big pink foam rollers praying I would wake up with fat ringlets like Nellie Olsen from Little House on the Prairie. Anyone raising their hand in agreement with me? I spent hours with my head weighted down with perm rods, inhaling awful chemicals, to get that perfect spiral and volume.  And I really liked me some BIG curly hair! Some of my friends had curly hair and spent major bucks to get it blown out straight. That was just crazy in my eyes.  It seems that people always want what they don’t have.

As a parent, we can be like a curling iron and perk up our child’s lives. Add in dance lessons, after school activities, theater, flair of dress, and those gigantic bows that are so popular right now, and voila – your child is unique. You add dimension and expression to their life.

On the other end of the spectrum, we can parent more like a hair straightener. Take that wild unruly mane or personality and set it straight in line. Some of us do that with medication to help our child focus and get work done. Some of us put our children in private schools with uniforms to keep the consistency in routine and organized path to an Ivy league college one day.

I am not saying that either parenting type is right or wrong. Maybe we even shift from one type to the next as our children age. There are so many articles about “helicopter” parents or the newest one I have seen “snow plow” parents. These terms tend to revolve around how parents interact with teachers and coaches. However, the curling iron or straightener styles hit closer to home. It is how we interact and embrace our own children. Everyone must deal with their hair or lack of hair daily. Our hair is uniquely ours, and the exact hair type God chose for us to have.  Our children are uniquely ours, and the exact ones God chose for us to have.

In Psalms 139 (MSG) it says:

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. 

My Goal Today – Start spending less time managing my own hair and start managing how I parent and mold my children. I think I am a little too much hair straightener lately. What type are you?

One Comment on “Do you parent like a curling iron or a straightener?

  1. I so love your creative writing style! You see inspiration in the Lord’s creation and the negative of our selfish personalities. Then challenge us to glorify our Lord in life style choices!


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