What should I do if my teen daughter wants to dye her hair?


teen daughter wants to dye her hair

By Rick DeBoest, MA, LMHC, LCAC, CSAYC, Residential Director of Clinical Services

This issue, in one form or another, has been going on for a very long time. Whether it is the color of the child’s hair, what clothes they wear, or what makeup they use, there are always differing opinions between a teenager and his or her parents. When faced with a differing opinion, it is important that you ask yourself and your teen a couple of questions. It is important to explore with your teen why they feel that changing their hair color is important to them. Often it will reveal one of two things. Either they are struggling with feelings of not fitting in or they feel that others do not pay attention to them. I believe that it is most important to focus on the core issues of self-worth or more importantly God-worth than it is to focus on the issue of the color of your daughter’s hair.

Also, I think that it is important to ask yourself, as the parent, the question of why is it so important to you that your daughter does not dye her hair.  And the answer to this may as simple as that you love the color of hair that God gave your daughter.  However, I would follow up by asking myself, is the dying of her hair a sin, will it bring major difficulties in her life, or does it potentially have long-term consequences that she may be unaware of?  If the answers to these questions are no, then it is important to evaluate if having your desire in hair color is more important than your relationship with your daughter.  

Consider the Long-Term Before Making a Final Decision

Please do not get me wrong, I believe in the fact that you are the parent and the ultimate choice should be yours.  However, you are dealing with a time in your child’s life when they are starting to be more independent, make their own choices, and discern life options and it is a time in your relationship that you need to slowly back away and allow more and more freedoms and choices, as you are a few short years away of having potentially little or no input into her decisions.  It is my opinion that you save the times where you go against their choice and press your authority only in the situation where there is a sin issue, where it could bring major difficulties into their lives, or when it could have long-term consequences.  In other words, you save these times for hills that are worth dying on and not for the times when the hill is not worth the fight.  As always if you have spent the time to establish a close and open relationship with your child these conversations are easier to address and they and you are much more willing to listen to your thoughts and opinions.  

Additional resources:

  • Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Dr. John Townsend
  • Losing Control & Liking It: How to Set Your Teen (and Yourself) Free by Tim Sanford
  • The DNA of Parent-Teen Relationships: How to Forge a Strong and Lasting Bond with Your Teen by Dr. Gary Smalley, Dr. Greg Smalley

Are you struggling to communicate with your teenager? Crosswinds can help. Reach out to us today to learn how we can bring your family closer and open up channels of communication between parents and teenagers.

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