It had been about four years since Aiden had a haircut. Part of it was because we loved the curls so much and didn't want to let them go; but I think he was also a little afraid of cutting it, so he always said he wanted to keep it long too. The daily grind of trying to maintain long curly hair finally got to him though; and apparently, some kids at school were teasing him about looking like a girl, so he told mom he was ready for a change.
We talked about the way kids tease each other and how it was going to happen no matter what. I told him even if he cuts his hair some kids will still find something to tease him about, so he has to just learn to be confident in who he is and not let other's opinions determine how he sees himself. He still wanted to cut it though, so Danielle, who happens to be a DIY Jedi, watched a few YouTube videos, grabbed the clippers, scissors and a spray bottle, and went to work. Aiden was definitely pleased with the outcome and was excited to show off his new do.
As we walked home today, he told me he did get some compliments, but several kids still made fun of him. This time they said he was trying to look like another kid in class; and some pointed out a tiny bald spot in the back of his head which he's had since birth. It was so hard to see how disappointed he was. A big part of me just wanted to go beat those kids up and tell them to leave my son alone. I also thought about helping him come up with some insults he could throw out at each one of the kids teasing him, but I figured neither of those were really great options in the long run. I did tell him some stories about how I got teased for having to wear glasses and an eye patch when I was younger, and how some kids made fun of me for being so much taller than everyone else. I was able to relate an understanding of how much it hurt to be made fun of, and I think it helped him to know that Dad had been through that too. We talked about the process of learning to be happy with who you are regardless of what other people say. I told him its something I'm still learning to do too, and we decided we'd make it somethng we could both continue working on together.