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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

First of all, let em state that I don’t believe that chronological age should be the determining factor in these decisions. It’s very normal for young teens to be paying lots of attention to their hair and appearance. The reasons you should or shouldn’t let your daughter highlight her hair should be based on other considerations. Here are some things to think about.

* Will it really improve her appearance and her self esteem? Does her esteem need a boost? Do YOU think it would look nice? Remember that you can go with her to the hair dresser and suggest just how much highlighting should be done. A little might be nice, and a lot might look a bit trashy. You’d want it to suit her and improve her appearance and self image.
* How do you feel about her reasons for wanting to do this? Are they good reasons? Or is this just something her friends are doing that she wants to imitate to be part of the gang? If that’s the case, you need to talk about whether or not that’s a valid reason. Perhaps peer approval means so much to her that it is valid. On the other hand, it’s also important to learn that you can make your own decisions for your own reasons, and not just “follow the crowd.”
* Highlighting is expensive. It is not a “need” it’s a “want” and kids need to learn the difference. While parents take care of the teen’s needs, teens should pay or help to pay for their wants. Otherwise we are teaching them that they can have whatever they want when they want it, without earning it, paying for it, or waiting for it. This doesn’t prepare them for the real word, which is just around that corner. Is your daughter willing to pay for the highlighting? You may want to make that a condition…personally, I would.
* What is her schoolwork like? Is she a good student? Does she take responsibility for her behavior and chores around the house? Maybe the highlighting (or your subsidizing of part the cost) would be a reward for work well done. Or it could even be a reward in a contract you could make with her for something on which she needs to improve.

Talk all this over and work it out. I’m sure you’ll reach the right decision


Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country.Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country. You can read more from Evelyn at her web site: www.askevelyn.com

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