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  1. #1
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    Default Daughter being pressured to straighten...

    I posted this in the "Napptural Parenting" section and it was suggested that I post it here. If you have any suggestions, they will be greatly appreciated! I only have one daughter (and TWO teeneage boys) so I am entering a new realm in regards to hair. I KNOW my own personal struggles, and I naively hoped that she would not encounter this. Getting on to the story....my daughter has been telling me for a while that the kids at shcool have been telling her that she would look better with her hair straightened. Now, my daughter has kinky hair like mine. If you've been around a while, you might be familar with Crayzcoil., a former member of the board who had an album for many years. If you are familiar with her hair, then you can picture my daughter's fairly well. Her hair is LIKE mine but different. She has places on her scalp where the hair just will NOT obtain any length comparable to the rest of her hair, no matter WHAT I do/don't do to it. It has been this way all of her life, to the point where I have sut her hair down in places to "even it out" only to have tit go right back to that length. Overall, her hair grows well. It is down her back when stretched, though shrinkage makes it appear MUCH shorter. Well, last night we were talking and I asked her if anyone said anything about her hair, because she had changed the syle and sometimes kids will make comments, or her teachers will. sometimes they say really nice things. So, when I asked, she dropped her head and said, "No, but my friends tell me that I shoudl straighten it." Now, we've been down that road before, so I thought to take a different approach and give her a little bit of hisotry about our hair, which she seemed to listen intently to. at any rate, she told me that they say that she would LOOK better with straight hair. My poor child already has LOTS to contend with, as it is not as diverse here as it could be. I see VERY few Blacks here and though I HAVE seen several naturals, typically the little girls have their hair straightened. Now, I finally got around to asking, "what do YOU say when they tell you this (just to see where her head was) and she said, "I tell them you won't let me..." I was very sad, because I always beleived that she was PROUD of her hair. How could I have been so DECEIVED? I really wish that I could take this all away from her, but I can't. The thing is, with her skin condition, if she puts chemicals on her hair when she's older, she will probably suffer as I did all of those years. I had scalp burns, breakage, you name it. Times were tough! I don't want to see her go through that! I've tried all kinds of positive reinforcement and it just doesn't seem to be helping...
    Visit my blog: fragilehaircare-gilroygal.blogspot.com
    I share about my natural hair happenings, lessons, and experiences.

  2. #2
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    from LA to the Bay
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    Default

    Bump101010

    Sent from my iPad using Forum Runner
    It's Cheap to be Pank. Come to the Pank Side.

  3. #3
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    I am not a teen, but what does SHE want to do? I would just keep encouraging her. Tell her she can't live her life trying to please others and maybe use this situation as a "teaching moment".

  4. #4
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    Default

    I have 2 natural daughters, one of whom is also at that age where peer acceptance is so important. My daughter responds well when we align our hair with other qualities that make us unique (our likes, dislikes, family values, etc.), and talk about how those things make her stand apart. Also, I had her do a pros & cons list. When she listed all of the reasons to consider straightening vs being natural, she (on her own) noticed that most of the pro-straight reasons were based on what others would think of her hair (she doesn't know anything about the supposed "ease" of handling straight hair), and not on what was good or healthy for her. That helped her to feel better about doing what is right for HER, and not what someone else (who has been mis-educated, anyway) thinks she should do with her beautiful, healthy, God-given hair. I'm going to ask her tomorrow about how she continues to respond to comments about her hair. I'll come back and post if she says anything that may be helpful.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    There's a way to have straight-looking hair without actually using chemicals on the natural hair but it involves weaves...

  6. #6
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    In my own world, Illinois :)
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    How about you just let her wear a wig or extensions? Let her experience having straight hair for a while...sometimes, people aren't "allowed" to have something, want for it even more.

    I would try to explain to her that HER hair is HER hair and not anyone else's and to not let people influence the way she wants her hair to be. If she's happy with the way her hair is, why let someone else tell her what to do with her hair? At the end of the day, the ONLY opinion that matters is HERS and HERS alone. I would also try giving her a little compliment everyday (before and/or after school), because sometimes, it makes a BIG difference...especially to a girl that is ridiculed frequently about her hair. I know this from personal experience.

    HTH

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012
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    Default

    My daughter is turning 7 this coming June 23rd. She has long beautiful natural hair. Since deciding to go natural myself, I have been trying to teach her some of the natural hair care things I am learning, by caring for her hair better. I hope she retains this knowledge since she would have grown up with it.

    I have also decided that when she grows older and decides she wants a perm, I will not stand in her way. I will support her and help her to take care of her hair so that she can avoid burns, hair breakage/loss/thinning out. And if she decides to return to being natural I will still be there to support her.

    Everyones hair journey is different. I decided to be natural because I was tired of losing my hair to the CFC, which might not be the same experience for my daugther. If I had good hair even with the CFC, I probably would never have become natural. After going natural (BC feb 2012), I have realised so far that I love it, it has freed me and made me to feel more beautiful, confident & "authentic". I dont think I will be going back to the CFC anytime soon.

    It can be scary to allow our children to do things that didnt work out for us. Eventually she might get the perm when she has her own resources and is independent from you, what to do then???

    All the best.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the input. Right now, we are working with her hair. Some of the teasing at school has stopped, since the teachers got involved, but at the end of the day I want her to be confident in her own appearance. She also has sensitive skin, so I want to help her avoid some of the aggravation that I encountered as well...
    Visit my blog: fragilehaircare-gilroygal.blogspot.com
    I share about my natural hair happenings, lessons, and experiences.

  9. #9
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    Duplicate - please see below.
    Last edited by Bithiya; 04-09-2012 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Duplicate submission.

  10. #10
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    This is serious stuff.
    Please pay attention to the social environment you and your precious children are living in, as battling/ignoring it will not change it. The hurtful commentary served up by preteens and adolescents stay with one for life. As an adult, you have enough reserves to effectively counter negative comments or let them bounce off, whereas a child does not.

    Have you investigated whether or not your household can meet the terms of the state's homeschooling requirements?
    Maybe your pediatrician (if you haven't already tried this) can work with your family and the school, perhaps offer suggestions or a specialist's assistance.

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