My 4-Year-Old Son Is Going to Rock a Long Blond Ponytail

long hair boyI generally like to think I am a liberal person. I have painted my son's nails when he asks and bought super hero costumes for my daughter. I don't like gender cliches and I would happily debate anyone (and win) who tried to say girls can't do anything boys can do and vice versa. But, like any parent, I also care about what other people think.

This is especially true when it comes to hair. Believe me, I am ashamed of my feelings here, but the truth is, I have always fantasized about a daughter with long hair like Rapunzel . For a long time I had one. My daughter's hair was past her behind until she was about 5 and then we cut it (on her request). Now it hangs in the middle of her back, still long, but much more manageable. But short? Hell no.

As for my son, long hair looks bad. I hate long hair on men. So short hair it would be. Until this past week.

I noticed my baby boy was getting a little shaggy. In the past, I have made appointments for his hair with no real issue. He always looks adorable after and generally does not make a fuss. But not this time.

"Mommy, I want my hair long. I want to wear it in a ponytail. Like a pirate."

I laughed. Because he must be joking, right? Long hair? On my son? I was wrong.

When I looked at his sweet little face, I realized he was serious, indeed. He wanted long hair. The horror!

OMG, No! Not a boy with long hair!

I tried to bribe him. I tried to compel him with promises of sweets and sugar and all nice things. I tried. But I failed. And then I reconsidered. I asked friends. At 4.5, my son can't control much about his life. Why was this such a problem for me? Why couldn't I let him have this one piece of control?

And so I did. I canceled the appointment. That was last week and he has not wavered in his resolve. "I can't wait to have my pony tail," he says, enthusiastically asking me what color band I will put in his hair and how much longer he must wait.

"A few weeks, bud," I tell him. But I am excited now, too. Because he is. It was a tough parenting moment. I want my son to have some autonomy. I want him to be happy with his own hair and so I had to let go of the image I had of him in my head.

This is a huge part of what parenting is all about. We have to let go of OUR ideas about who our kids should be and let them be who they are. My son will have long hair. And a pony tail.

We need to go easy on the judgement. I saw a comment recently from one mom telling another she hated her son's hair. "I hate long hair on boys. It just looks so sloppy." You know what I hate, though? I hate judgemental comments and being mean on purpose to another person based on looks. My son wants long hair. This challenges some of my notions about gender. But I am willing to bend those because I love my kid.

Now, of course, I have also started to look at other boys with long hair and get excited. Once you let go of some of your preconceived notions, things open in a whole new way. He is going to look so cute with his long, blond hair and I don't care what anyone else thinks.

Do you ever change your mind in parenting?



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nonmember avatar Yeah

Just wait until people start confusing him with a girl. haha!

Amie Acosta

My son has beautiful soft curly hair. He loves playing with it and I wouldn't cut it for the world. I can't wait until it grows out enough that I can tie it back, he hates haircuts!

MammaSam MammaSam

Good for you! It is hard... I want long pretty hair on my daughter, but she wanted a really short cut recently so I lether even though she is only two and a half. It was cute, but didnt work out the way she wanted (she wanted it so short o couldn't do her hair, and I thought why not? It'll be less struggle... WRONG!) So we are growing it out. Luckily she decided she likes rapunzel, so well see how long she let's me get away with it. My bf had long hair for the longest time, I didn't mind it, but he got his hair cut short recently for a job, and I love it. I'm sure if we have a boy the bf will be a long hair on boys advocate and it won't be worth it to fight him. But I'm definitely gonna get him back by allowing z to color her hair (streaks) in bright colors even though he doesn't like it. If she wants to. I'm betting she will. Lol. I always wanted to. Hehe. Revenge is great. Anyways, its good to let kids be themselves and do whatever within reason. Like the whole gangster look.. no effing way. Saggy pants, expensive brands, flat billed hats.. ew. That's a no go in my household. And for my girl, dressing like a sl*t isn't an option. Tattoos.. I've got to approve and I haven't decided an age yet. Piercings, sure, as long as they aren't doing that gross huge hole crap or something. Sure why not? Deciding for themselves (within reason) is good for them! The NEED to learn how to make decisions that affect them in the real world!

pezch... pezcharlotte

If I had a son who wanted to have long hair, I would have no problem with that. And honestly if someone thought he was a girl at that age, I just wouldn't care. It is not a big deal.

spider3 spider3

The only haircut I don't understand is the mullet.

nonmember avatar Gretta

If someone cares enough to "hate" a little boys hairstyle, then that someone needs to get a life.

nonmember avatar Dad

I am a short-haired father who actually is jealous of my long-haired sons. I have incredibly thick, wavy hair and I haven't ever liked how I look when it's long. I love that my boys have long hair because it's something I've never been able to tolerate. They already look enough like me anyway, so it's nice to have this one thing about us all to be different.

Coles... Coles_mom

I had to look at your profile to see where you live. New York. It works there. I live in small-town USA in the south. The only kids who have long(ish) hair in my town are the neglected kids. The ones who have parents cooking meth. I'm all about letting girls playing with cars and boys play with dolls, but one thing I stand my ground on is boys (I have two btw) having neat, tidy hair. My daughter loves her long hair at this time, so I haven't had to deal with her wanting a short style, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

My son is growing his hair out too he wants to be like his uncle. My brother has had long hair since we were teens, my dad always said it didn't bother him because he might as well in enjoy while he can because men in my family lose their hair young.

tbruc... tbrucemom

What if the daughter wanted a pixie? It doesn't sound like she'd be as agreeable to that. When did we start letting 4 year olds start dictating these kinds of things anyway? If he was 14 I'd say OK but 4 year olds don't understand reality from play. 

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