Tell Me About Your Pink Hair
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When Alex was in high school him and a bunch of his friends decided that they wanted to dye their hair pink. Not the whole head but one I’d say 2-inch strip across one side of their heads. I have always been a fan of self-expression, so I was on-board if that’s what they wanted to do. They were good kids, they had good grades, so in my mind what was the big deal. Although Alex felt no judgment from us, he must have been a little uneasy about it and I’ll tell you why. One day when the team was warming up for a game the coach asked him what the reason was that he had died his hair pink. Feeling on the spot I guess he thought quick, and he said it was to support breast cancer. The coach who had a family member with breast cancer was so touched by his actions that he thanked him and told him how proud he was of him. Not knowing what to do Alex accepted the accolades and came home wanting to fall off the face of the earth.
Poor Alex learned two lessons that day. Words have power and be proud of what you do or don’t do it. If I had stopped him from dying his hair, he would not have gotten those two lessons that God so clearly wanted him to learn at a young age. As an adult Alex acts with integrity, owns his decisions, and watches his words. I often talk to parents about stepping out of the way a little so God can do his work. Of course as parents we need to guide our children in the right direction but we also need to loosen the leash enough so that God can do his work. When Alex came home after the game he was devastated. He told me what happened and said he felt terrible for lying. So he had a choice to make. The pink was starting to fade but for as long as it lasted when people asked him what his pink hair meant, he said it was for breast cancer, and now he truly meant it. We will all say and do things that we wish we could take back. We want to do a Men In Black, zap the person, and have a redo, but we can’t. Your children are going to make mistakes, they are going to do things they wish they didn’t and do things that make you cringe, but that’s okay. God is pruning them to become who they are meant to be. Your job is to hold them tight, do your best to set them on the right path, and let God do what God does.