Friday, June 29, 2012

The wisdom of Will Smith

Not sure how I feel about Will Smith in general, but came across this quote this week and thought it was pretty much spot-on (regarding their tween-age daughter shaving her head):

"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."

In the terribleness of all the Sandusky trial lately, I have been reading stories here and there about adults who had experiences with assault as children or young adults. Not an on-going abuse situation, but having an inappropriate experience with a friend's parent or a trusted adult or a bullying situation that went just a step too far. What was striking to me is how many people never told their parents for fear of ruining a family or friend relationship, or feeling like they could handle it on their own, even as a 12- or 16-year-old. It was very surprising to me and so sad. I think (hope) that every parent wants their child to feel like they can tell them anything, but how exactly do you teach that?

There is some commercial on TV right now with two teenage boys and one of them wrecks their car and says, "My dad is going to KILL me." There is such a fine line between instilling fear in your children and making them too fearful to tell you when something bad happens or is about to happen. I want my children to learn responsibility and good decision making and when things are fun and when fun borders on dangerous. I also want them to learn that there are SO, SO many things worse than upsetting your parents. Hair grows back, cars can be fixed, tattoos can be lasered off (right?). There are many other things not so easily fixed. I want them to know that we will listen first, hug first, help first - disappointment and discipline have a place, too, but those things can wait.

1 comment:

distaff said...

Very wise, wonder where that came from?