Embracing Your Long-Haired Hippie Son
Question: Call me old fashioned, but I believe that a man should have short hair. Not so my son—he thinks he's a man now that he's 18 and that he can grow a ponytail if he wants. Never mind that he's still living at home and finishing high school. I've talked to him about it, but there seems to be no getting through. I've even considered cutting his ponytail off in his sleep. He sleeps on his back, though, so I can't quite get at it. I don't want to do anything extreme, but his long hair is driving me crazy. What should I do?
Answer: Cutting his ponytail off in the middle of the night would be, by definition, extreme. You need to take a step back here.
Your son is growing his hair out, not joining a cult. He should be at liberty to express himself through dress and hair style. Maybe even a piercing or two. Why would you not want that for him?
Grit your teeth, keep your mouth shut and be thankful that this is the biggest parental problem you have. Besides, it could be worse. He could have one of these.
His ponytail fetish will likely become a distant memory once he gets to college. Your handling of this matter will be remembered far longer. Your job as a parent is to keep it classy—even if you think he looks anything but.