My 6-year-old son has been sporting a new ’do.
And while he loves his mohawk, this wasn’t the case a few weeks ago.
“Vincent, you need a haircut,” I told him.
“I want Daddy to cut me a mohawk!”
Seemed like a fine idea to me. He’s had one before and received plenty of compliments. My husband, William, took him upstairs, and Vincent was sporting his punk-rock look about 15 minutes later.
“Mommy! Do you like my hair?”
“Yes, I love it,” I said.
Before school the next day, Vincent styled his mohawk using hair gel and was excited to show it off.
That night when I was tucking Vincent in, I asked him about his day.
“Mommy, everyone is making fun of my hair.”
“Oh? What are they saying?” I asked.
“They follow me around and make fun of my hair.”
“Well, do you not like your hair now?”
“No, I still like it. But my friends just keep talking about it.”
“So, do you want to keep your mohawk?”
But, I could tell from his frown that it really bothered him that his friends were picking on him. And it made me sad for him, but I knew that I needed to let Vincent know that looking different isn’t always a bad thing.
Later, William joined the bedtime routine, and I told him about Vincent getting teased for his new haircut.
“Does he want me to cut his hair normal?” William asked me. I told him Vincent wanted to keep it.
“Hey, Vincent,” William said. “Don’t worry about what the kids say. Your hair looks cool. It’s a new hairdo, so you look a little different and that’s OK.”
I reinforced his message. “Yeah, honey, everyone looks a little different and that’s what makes life fun. You know how you get bored doing the same thing over and over again? Well, that’s kinda like people, we’re all different.”
Vincent smiled, and I knew he understood.
“Yeah, my one friend has light hair and I have dark hair. We’re all different,” he said. “I’m going to keep my mohawk.”
“Good for you, Vincent,” William and I said.
When we were at the Olde York Street Fair in York a few weeks later, my husband pointed out a man with a mohawk.
“See, Vincent, he looks pretty cool with his mohawk,” William said.
“Yes, Dad,” Vincent said. “I told you being different can be cool.”
Samantha Dellinger is the graphic designer for Smart. For more Smart Mama columns, visit www.smartmamapa.com.