Parenting dilemma – 15 years early

Ok so I plan on raising my kid to believe that people can do or not do whatever they want with their own bodies.  This would be things like shaving/not shaving, haircuts, style of dress etc.

But then I was thinking, if he has one of those scraggly teenage mustaches and decides he doesn’t want to shave it, will I mentally mock him as I do to other such young lads?  I mean, I couldn’t possibly be a hypocrite and say “You look dumb, shave that” but I’m sure I would THINK it!

x-posted to


On this day:

In 2007 – rant about stuff
In 2006 – kitten wax comparison chart
In 2005 – my thoughts on fate and life path and all that sort of stuff.

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23 Comments on “Parenting dilemma – 15 years early”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’ll have to add a footnote about the potential consequences of going too far off center (such as, looking like a douchebag).

  2. Caveat: Not a parent.
    Honestly, I think mental mocking is okay, as long as it STAYS in your head. He can do what he likes with his own body, and you can think what you like about it. If he really wants that goofy mustache, let him grow it and let him live through it. Either it’ll fill in over time or he’ll get tired of it and shave it on his own, and later you can have a good laugh about it together — either “remember when you grew that goofy mustache?” or “remember how goofy that mustache was when you started growing it?” The important thing, I think, is that you give him the space to make that choice on his own. If he asks what you think, then you can tell him (in a non-hurtful way).

  3. Caveat: Not a parent.
    Honestly, I think mental mocking is okay, as long as it STAYS in your head. He can do what he likes with his own body, and you can think what you like about it. If he really wants that goofy mustache, let him grow it and let him live through it. Either it’ll fill in over time or he’ll get tired of it and shave it on his own, and later you can have a good laugh about it together — either “remember when you grew that goofy mustache?” or “remember how goofy that mustache was when you started growing it?” The important thing, I think, is that you give him the space to make that choice on his own. If he asks what you think, then you can tell him (in a non-hurtful way).

  4. metahara says:

    How bout raising him to do what he wants, while still hearing the truth from those around him, still hearing others opinions, etc. At least from people who care about him.
    Let him know if he has spinach in his teeth, at least he can count on his mom to tell him so. Now, if he likes that spinach there- ok, but, at least he knows you have his back.
    Thinking it and not saying it is passive aggressive, paranoi inducing, crazy making- it’s everything I do not like about living in the west and in a predominantly anglo neighborhood.

    • tianadargent says:

      Hmm also a good point.
      The problem I have with my particular example though is this:
      Women are expected to be hairless, usually because it “looks bad” and I would discourage this line of thought in him, so it would be totally inappropriate for me to tell him that I think his pubescent facial hair looks bad. I think…

      • metahara says:

        at least he knows where I stand
        i think it’s a bigger disservice to pretend mom doesn’t have an opinion. With my son, who did that with his scraggly threads of facial hair he thought was a goatie (it’s finally looking like the real deal 2 years later) I offered my opinion and he countered it, then we had a discussion. It’s his face, he did what h wanted with it.
        I also am not a fan of baggy pants that look like a diaper needs to be changed in them, he knows that and doesn’t care, it doesn’t seem to influence his choice one way or another.
        When his friend recommended he wax his eyebrows, my son responded with his opinion on the matter and his eyebrows remain intact, as he wishes.
        Recently, I commented about something he was wearing (slippers as shoes outside). He pat me on the back ad said, “Mom, I know you’re concerned and I appreciate your opinion, thanks” then walked outside wearing slippers as shoes.
        Be careful with the overprotection, sheltering, purity stuff- it can be crazy making.

      • metahara says:

        at least he knows where I stand
        i think it’s a bigger disservice to pretend mom doesn’t have an opinion. With my son, who did that with his scraggly threads of facial hair he thought was a goatie (it’s finally looking like the real deal 2 years later) I offered my opinion and he countered it, then we had a discussion. It’s his face, he did what h wanted with it.
        I also am not a fan of baggy pants that look like a diaper needs to be changed in them, he knows that and doesn’t care, it doesn’t seem to influence his choice one way or another.
        When his friend recommended he wax his eyebrows, my son responded with his opinion on the matter and his eyebrows remain intact, as he wishes.
        Recently, I commented about something he was wearing (slippers as shoes outside). He pat me on the back ad said, “Mom, I know you’re concerned and I appreciate your opinion, thanks” then walked outside wearing slippers as shoes.
        Be careful with the overprotection, sheltering, purity stuff- it can be crazy making.

      • metahara says:

        the point is mute-
        I have a feeling your child wont have facial hair till he is an adult.
        bottom line,
        it is all up fr discussion.
        “Son, I don’t appreciate your facial hair. I think that makes me a hypocrite. What do you think?”

        • tianadargent says:

          Oh yes that makes sense as far as wording goes.. DUH. I feel like a turd now.

          • metahara says:

            truth – plain and simple, tends to be the best choice.
            and knowing that everything can be a discussion, but, doesn’t have to be, is nice also. In other words, be careful not to imprison with discussions, just offer them like a snack.
            When my son’s band started playing Nirvana covers at age 9 I told them I had mixed feelings. One – wow ya’ll are great! I’m amazed!
            Two – I love these songs and nursed you backstage in 1989 or 90…wow
            and here is the mixed feeling:
            Three – Kobain is a dead junkie, I feel weird that your rock n role model is a dead junkie…
            We talked about heroin and drug addiction.
            The line, “Most junkies have one thing in common, they thought they were going to be the one person on earth who could use heroine and not get addicted and not be messed up by it.”
            stuck with all of them.

          • metahara says:

            truth – plain and simple, tends to be the best choice.
            and knowing that everything can be a discussion, but, doesn’t have to be, is nice also. In other words, be careful not to imprison with discussions, just offer them like a snack.
            When my son’s band started playing Nirvana covers at age 9 I told them I had mixed feelings. One – wow ya’ll are great! I’m amazed!
            Two – I love these songs and nursed you backstage in 1989 or 90…wow
            and here is the mixed feeling:
            Three – Kobain is a dead junkie, I feel weird that your rock n role model is a dead junkie…
            We talked about heroin and drug addiction.
            The line, “Most junkies have one thing in common, they thought they were going to be the one person on earth who could use heroine and not get addicted and not be messed up by it.”
            stuck with all of them.

        • tianadargent says:

          Oh yes that makes sense as far as wording goes.. DUH. I feel like a turd now.

      • metahara says:

        the point is mute-
        I have a feeling your child wont have facial hair till he is an adult.
        bottom line,
        it is all up fr discussion.
        “Son, I don’t appreciate your facial hair. I think that makes me a hypocrite. What do you think?”

    • tianadargent says:

      Hmm also a good point.
      The problem I have with my particular example though is this:
      Women are expected to be hairless, usually because it “looks bad” and I would discourage this line of thought in him, so it would be totally inappropriate for me to tell him that I think his pubescent facial hair looks bad. I think…

  5. metahara says:

    How bout raising him to do what he wants, while still hearing the truth from those around him, still hearing others opinions, etc. At least from people who care about him.
    Let him know if he has spinach in his teeth, at least he can count on his mom to tell him so. Now, if he likes that spinach there- ok, but, at least he knows you have his back.
    Thinking it and not saying it is passive aggressive, paranoi inducing, crazy making- it’s everything I do not like about living in the west and in a predominantly anglo neighborhood.

  6. damedini says:

    It’s a dilemma. I’ve been mocking those crotch to knees pants since they showed up. I have no problems telling my son that I think they look like a todler with an overfull diaper, which they do. If he wore them, I’d probably mock him gently. just liek I tell him his long thick hair looks liek a haystack and call him a walking hair. But I also tell him he’s beautiful and that he has great hair, and I fought his father for his right to grow it.
    If he grew unflattering facial hair (coming soon *shudder*) I’d tell him I didn’t think the style was the best fot him and if it was really goofy I might make gentle fun, but I’d defend his right to his choice.
    When he’s about to grow and his pants get overlarge and saggy I “pants” him at home, just to bug him. Then he wet willies me, which I hate.

  7. damedini says:

    It’s a dilemma. I’ve been mocking those crotch to knees pants since they showed up. I have no problems telling my son that I think they look like a todler with an overfull diaper, which they do. If he wore them, I’d probably mock him gently. just liek I tell him his long thick hair looks liek a haystack and call him a walking hair. But I also tell him he’s beautiful and that he has great hair, and I fought his father for his right to grow it.
    If he grew unflattering facial hair (coming soon *shudder*) I’d tell him I didn’t think the style was the best fot him and if it was really goofy I might make gentle fun, but I’d defend his right to his choice.
    When he’s about to grow and his pants get overlarge and saggy I “pants” him at home, just to bug him. Then he wet willies me, which I hate.

  8. rachaeldoss says:

    I have a feeling you’ll raise him to have an overall heightened awareness, and therefore he would recognize a goofy moustache and get rid of it before it gets out of hand. ACTUALLY – because you and Brent are so open and liberal, he may be some ultra conservative kid who wears a suit and tie every day.
    *teehee*

  9. rachaeldoss says:

    I have a feeling you’ll raise him to have an overall heightened awareness, and therefore he would recognize a goofy moustache and get rid of it before it gets out of hand. ACTUALLY – because you and Brent are so open and liberal, he may be some ultra conservative kid who wears a suit and tie every day.
    *teehee*


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