“We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives.” (via Why Will And Jada Pinkett Smith Let Daughter Willow Cut Her Hair - The Frisky)
Much love for these inspiring parents <3
I think about this kind of thing a lot, and it’s one of the reason I oh-so-controversially have opted out of a lot of recommended well care for my very young kids. There were clearly times (in the NICU, for instance, or any time I suspected a problem) when the pros of being poked and prodded as a team held them down outweighed the cons…but there were also times I thought that now that the NICU stay or the appendectomy was over, they needed to regain some bodily autonomy…
Distressingly enough, my youngest (5) has recently decided I’m not allowed to “get her butt” or tickle her anymore. This is heartbreaking! But I will honor it. Because what the hell does it mean, in her mind, if I don’t?!
I don’t think we stop to consider all the ways we take our kids power away, and then expect them to stand up for themselves when it counts.