We all love our children. They are the truest extension of ourselves. As we do our best to rear them into productive and positive individuals before they leave our nest we guide them on what is right and wrong, and how to survive. We want them to succeed in life, love and the overall pursuit of happiness. It’s how we are hardwired as human beings. Of course according to your own history, one should tailor their rearing and guidance to better prepare their children into the cruel world for it isn’t a fair one but often we don’t realize some of the messages we are teaching our children subliminally. We are our children’s first teachers and what often comes out of our mouths does not match how we live, what we love or our truth.
For black women, we want our daughters and sons to love themselves completely just as any other mother on the planet, but when we wear tresses that have been altered by chemicals what are we saying to our children about their own tresses? Now, this post isn’t about going natural. It’s not about being natural is better or even saying you must love your natural hair. It’s about making sure your children love themselves as they are and that includes their natural tresses and having self-worth. Children get bullied, ridiculed and teased for being different and as we all claim to embrace diversity it doesn’t seem to be happening in the board room let alone the playground. It’s our job to build up their self-esteem and to know their worth.
Tell them their hair is unique and beautiful– simple, sweet and to the point and even if you get some push back stay on the course to staying positive. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect overnight success. Start young, start early, and start now so this becomes a mantra for them and you. No one in the world has their hair and that makes them special and your heart so let them know that.
Show the two of you are connected – This is easier to do if you are natural haired woman. All you have to do is show them your hair and even if the texture is not the same the naturalness is and the point is to make them see they are part of you and part of the family. Children want and need connections. Little girls want to grow up to be like mommy so show them they are with the richness of their skin color to the loveliness of their textured hair. You love your hair and they will love their hair.
If relaxed you may it harder to show the connection through hair now but you can show it through other ways by sharing childhood pictures of yourself sporting the very same hair and styles as your daughter is today. The connection is there and you just have to find ways to show it even if it cannot be easily seen.
Let them embrace their loveliness – We don’t always want them up in their own heads because let’s face it, that’s how tangles and uneven haircuts tend to occur. You can still let them enjoy their hair by doing afro puffs, twist outs, wash and gos and adding beautiful accessories like flowers, big bright hair pins in their hair. The days of a million braids and barrettes are ending and embracing your texture with your hair out and lovely is what little natural girls are doing right now. They are wearing their hair like big naturals and they are loving it! Allow them to feel special by participating in the natural hair love movement.
Show them and tell them to be gentle – Our hair is fragile and need to be treated gently to stave off breakage. It’s a battle many natural face as grown women but how much easier would it be if we would have been natural all of our lives and started off with gentle practices since day one? You are building a natural hair foundation with your child so give them the necessary tools for it to be solid and effective.
With the right tools, (wide tooth combs, Denman brushes, fingers, etc.) they are learning how to properly care for their tresses early on so as they grow they become natural hair experts in their own right and learn to cultivate healthy, happy hair.