Wednesday, July 2, 2008

surviving by a hair

Suffice it to say the single most traumatic aspect of parenting Quinn is forcing him to get his haircut. Yes I know all my friends think I am the devil for continuing to keep him shorn when he so desires his locks flowing in the wind, but this is not the point of my post.

Today was Black Wednesday, which means a pall was cast over the sky as we drove to Supercuts to do the unthinkable. Needless to say Quinn became emotional and crossed the threshold of acceptable opposition. I stuck to my guns though, and we emerged with one short-haired pissed-off boy, and a guilt-riddled pissed-off mother. His reaction escalated during our car ride, enough so that he knew he was in for some consequences.

Interjection: While at the "salon" we saw a woman who was mentally and physically impared getting a trim. My kids were naturally curious, and very solemn about it. They talked later about how sad it was that she was confined to a wheelchair, and had clearly never walked, and how she seemed to have no choice about her haircut.

So after flipping through all the appropriate (and inappropriate) responses to Quinn's meltdown, wherein he claimed his very life had been cheapened beyond recognition, and that he would obviously amount to nothing in life, I decided once we were home and he was exhausted from listing the ways in which I had rendered him at a tragic and permanent disadvantage, not to mention all the imperfections about the haircut, that he was going to write me a list of things for which he was grateful. While I ran out on some errands, this is what he came up with:

Perhaps, just perhaps, he's going to make it after all.

(Spare me the emails advocating for his Rapunzel rights.)


mental chatter said...

What a great skill to teach your kids! I was just reading some tips yesterday on how to 'depression-proof' your kids, in spite of genetics (you know my genetic predispositions!). Having kids make gratitude lists and/or journal. Research at the University of California, Davis, and elsewhere has shown that people who keep daily or weekly gratitude journals feel more optimistic, make more progress toward goals, and feel better about their lives overall.
You are such a good mom!

Cheyenne said...

Thank you for the accolades. A word of caution though: Be very careful about using writing in conjunction with any sort of punishment/consequence if you have any hope of your children loving to write (which I do). I no longer make them write sentences, but a thought-provoking list about the good things in his life seemed appropriate.

And you too are a wonderful mum.

Sam said...

Good job, Chey!

I agree that you came to a good solution for the situation! And I may just have to start in on that gratitude journal. I need one for myself!

mental chatter said...

Yes, I agree about using caution if/when one chooses to use writing in conjunction with any sort of punishment.

Did he see it as a punishment? In my mind I viewed it as a great way to redirect his thinking/mindset instead of as a punishment for his complaints about his life. I am really interested to know how he viewed the list - was it punishment or not to him?

By the way, I love that he called his grandma 'long living'. What a wonderful, respectful and beautiful way to describe someone. I think I will start using that term to describe those that are a wee bit older than I am, instead of the usual 'elderly'. Unless they are mean and crochety; then I'll just call them 'old'.

B Kinch said...