I let my 12-year-old daughter get blue hair today. More of a turquoise really.

And my 13-year-old went with purple.

When they first brought up the notion of coloring their hair several months ago, I tabled the idea with a, “We’ll see.”

They were both pleasantly surprised that I didn’t immediately say no way, so they kept casually bringing it up here and there.

I tried to think of a good reason not to do it.

There are no school rules against it. It doesn’t require any additional maintenance. They were supplementing the cost of it.

Yet, I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it, mainly because there is no way my parents would have allowed it. My father blew his gasket when I double pierced my ear in 11th grade, so blue hair would never be an option.

When I thought about it, there were only two reasons not to do it. It meant I had to relinquish control over their appearance, and it is something I would never have done at their age.

Both seemed like pretty selfish and silly reasons.

So, I finally made the appointment, and we told our hip colorist that we wanted the tips done, and my daughters walked out with a lot of blue and purple hair. Whoops.

And they couldn’t be happier.

But even more interesting, was every woman in the place stopped to tell me that I was a good mom for letting them do this.

It seemed odd to me, until one older mom remarked, “Young people have so little say over their lives, and when we give them a bit, we lend some balance to the relationship. Trust me, you are smart to let them do this.”

So, on the drive home when the girls were profusely thanking me, I told them this: “Remember that you thought I was going to say no, we discussed it, and then we came to a solution together. Before you ever go off and do something stupid, remember we can always talk about it first—even if you think I’ll say no. Give me the same chance I gave you.”

They nodded their heads and flipped their hair, and it warmed my heart to see them so happy because of such a small thing, knowing that we will probably have to tackle something bigger tomorrow.

I don’t think I’m a good mom because I let my girls turn their hair a different color—but I do think I got parenting right today by listening to my kids and giving them some consideration on something that was important to them.

Today I said yes because I feel certain there will be a lot of nos in the future.

And as the saying goes, hair today, gone tomorrow. 

Article originally posted on Playdates on Friday

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Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

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