Blue Hair and Boy Bands

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I’ve had some random thoughts floating around in my head lately. They were some things that I thought might grow into a blog post, but they never quite seemed to get there. They didn’t seem deep enough or profound enough. There were no key take-away points taking shape in my head.

Then, I remembered a post I read awhile back about getting back to old-fashioned blogging and I thought you, my blogging friends, might just enjoy some idle chitchat – that you might enjoy my random musings. The kind that I might share if we were just hanging out, enjoying some sweet tea.

One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is Megan’s room. She’s told me many times that several friends have told her that they can’t believe her mom let her decorate it like she has. It looks a little something like this:

Megan's Posters

As you can see, there is very little surface area that isn’t covered with a poster or a picture cut from a magazine. That wall of tiny individual pictures is a particular source of pride for her.

I got the same sort of questions when I let Brianna get blue streaks dyed in her hair.

The thing is, that doesn’t bother me. Megan’s wall is a reflection of her – her style, her personality, her interests and her creativity. It’s just paper and tape. She’ll get tired of them and pull them off the wall and we’ll paint.

Brianna’s hair color washed out – much sooner than she expected, just for the record. It was supposed to be permanent, but it only lasted about two weeks.

I’ve got good kids. They love Jesus and want to share Him with the people around them. They’re kind-hearted. The hold doors for people without being asked. They spend their own money to buy gifts for kids in orphanages in Haiti. They spend their own birthday money to buy each other Christmas gifts.

There are a lot worse things they could be doing than wallpapering their rooms with today’s version of Shaun Cassidy or dying their hair blue. There are probably things that they’ll want to do that I’ll say no to. But these little expressions of creativity that don’t hurt anything? I’m okay with those.

The way I figure it, if I give them a little freedom to express themselves, maybe those inevitable no’s will mean something to them. Maybe they’ll look for the heart and the wisdom behind the no, rather than just hearing a denial.

I think, sometimes, we get so caught up in looking at the surface of things that we don’t see the heart.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Megan’s trying to decide between blue streaks and hot pink for her hair and I’m making her wait until she’s a little bit older. There will be people who will make snap judgments about her based on that…and I know that I do that to people, too. Thinking about other people coming to wrong conclusions about my kids is a strong reminder not to do that to other people.

We need to not make snap judgments based on appearance, but instead look at people’s hearts. Because maybe there’s a kind heart beating under that blue-streaked hair. There are sweet little bunnies under those boy band posters.

Any random thoughts roaming around your head lately?

Look for random thoughts about marriage and empty nests coming up soon.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Love it and agree! There are enough no’s, and there are of course things our family says no to that some other families say yes to. For us right now it’s age inappropriate movies that ALL the other kids seem to be watching. (My big kids are only 6 and 8.) So when I can say YES to something that makes them happy and lets them express themselves, why not? 🙂 (I just started following your blog, we will be starting homeschooling this year. Yay!)

    1. We had that discussion last week, too. We wouldn’t let Megan go see this one movie (though we probably will now that we’ve seen it) and I couldn’t believe how many little kids there were in there. They were probably in the age-range of your kids. Way too young, in my opinion. There are plenty of other things that I say no to, but, like you said, when it’s just a little self-expression that’s not hurting anyone, why not?

  2. My husband and I get those questions quite frequently too. I think with homeschoolers are kids are free to really dig in to find out who they are — their style, their personality. In public schools, they are not allowed to have dyed hair, and most of the time, they conform to the peer pressure that they are dealt with.

    For us, I love the fact that my daughter is 15 and is a drummer with bright purple streaks in her hair. For a lot of people, they are not sure how to take her, but like you said — she loves Jesus, has a big heart, and wants to help others find them. But I want her to be who God created her to be and not a cookie cutter of what everybody else is.

    Loved your “random thoughts” today Kris!

    1. You know what? Okay this is a surprise, so you can’t tell. 😉 I can share it here since my kids don’t read my blog and, even if they did, they probably wouldn’t read the comments. I told Brian last night that I think we ought to let Megan get streaks in her hair for her birthday (blue or pink) because she’s been wanting them for a long time. He didn’t even bat an eye. He said, “Yeah, I think so, too. She’d like that.”

      I love that guy.

  3. yea mama!… you have read my heart today. both of my girls have put streaks in their hair. i let the littlest one wear pretty much whatever clothes she can find in the house, in whatever random combination , and the older one wears long skirts all the time. My son was thinking of getting his ears pierced, i said okay its your birthday or christmas present (but legos, or a nerf guns have always won out instead). there are a lot of ways for kids to be creative and it also teaches them to stand up for themselves because their choices are not always popular. As long as they are good kids, there are battles i am not going to fight. Hair grows back, clothes can be changed, but creativity and good manners last a life time.

    1. Yes, I remember when my cousin wanted to get an earring (this was a LONG time ago). His parents wouldn’t let him and that’s their choice. I totally respect that. It it were my son, though, I’d probably let him. It’s a hole. It will grown back. (Okay, it won’t really grow back because I have four of them in my ears, but still…)

      Now, those gauge things that make the giant holes in the ears? Nope, he’s gonna have to be 18 for that. I don’t like those and I would want him to wait until he’s an adult to decide if he wants that big hole in his ear for the rest of his life. That’s just me.

  4. I definitely agree as a parent that if you want to let your child dye her hair blue, that is up to you. I think that particular Bible verse can be taken out of context, though. You certainly should not judge people by their appearance — their skin color, height, how attractive or unattractive he or she is, because the way he or she appears is how God created that person. However, things like tattoos, piercings, haircuts and colors, and modes of dress are all things we, ourselves, choose. They are personal expressions. A personal expression can be good, bad or neutral.

    1. I hear what you’re saying and I don’t disagree. I really thought about that when I used this verse because God was talking about David and his brothers’ physical appearances. Still, I think that the verse fits and, if nothing else, serves as a good reminder. You know, I think about the big, beefy, bouncer-looking dude with a heart of gold who would do anything for people versus the clean-cut, preppy-looking, Ivy college guy who turns out to be a serial killer. Those are, of course, general illustrations, but it happens.

      I think Christians, especially, have to be careful about making judgments based on appearances. I’d hate to turn someone off of a relationship with Christ because I wrongly judged them based on their outward expressions of personality. I think of that Casting Crowns song that says, “…have we become so blind that we can’t see God’s gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt?”

      It’s a hard, fine line many times. And, just so I don’t sound “judgey” or preachy (because this is just casual conversation over a glass of sweet tea, right?), I very often fall on the wrong side of that line. If I’m with my kids at the park, I’m likely to be the one telling them to stay near me when the bouncer-looking dude is around and not worrying so much about Mr. Ivy League, you know? It’s hard to see people the way God does, but I’m trying to allow myself to be a work in progress. 🙂

  5. This was awesome to read! I have done the same for my girls and yes, if coloring their hair or the latest boy band is as bad as it gets, bring it on. My 12yo Piper has a bedroom that looks just like that! I had a good chuckle 🙂

  6. Amen! If we strive daily to be more like Christ the judging will lessen up a bit! Sadly , there are a lot of terrible things that young girls are doing. Decorating their bedroom and doing their hair with some creative style is awesome!

  7. There is no such thing as holiness or being set apart from the world anymore. God is holy and shouldn’t we be striving for the same? Even the lost know a Christian is supposed to be different! We are called to be examples of Christ in every aspect of our life and not just “kindhearted” and “good” people. Lost people have kind hearts and help people too! Would we not be ashamed if Jesus walked into our home and saw a wall covered in pictures of boy bands? Can people actually imagine our holy God “rocking out” to “christian” rock music. Do we ever try to see things as He does? In our politically correct churches it is considered judgmental to have holy standards now. Appearances are important, whether we think they should be or not, that is the first impression people get of us. The young people in our churches look no different than those at the rock concerts! Even the little boys in our church are coming in with mohawks because the parents said they are afraid if they don’t let them now they will rebel when they are older (true story!). When I was younger I thought my parents were too strict and I rebelled a bit as well, but you know what? I am so thankful that I knew what to come back to when I had my fill of the world, which thankfully did not take long. I am glad my parents had the courage to let me know some things were wrong, whether I liked it or not. Are we more concerned with being their friend or training them to God’s standards?

    I know people will think I am being legalistic and of course first becoming a Christian is the most important thing, but how we live as a Christian is important too. And while God does offer salvation impartially and equally to everyone (regardless of appearance), once we are His we are called to be different.

    I think Christians know this too, otherwise I wouldn’t keep seeing posts like this with people trying to justify these decisions.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

    Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    1. You’re not going to be lambasted, not by me anyway. You’re entitled to your opinion. I have a very dear friend who shares your opinion. It was very hurtful to me when her daughter told mine that she wouldn’t be allowed to play with Megan if Megan had blue streaks in her hair. I thought this friend knew my heart better than that. Perhaps it isn’t that, but she shares your feelings.

      I’m not trying to justify anything and I don’t think I’m failing to train my children in God’s standards. As I said, they love Jesus and desire to share Him with others. I didn’t only say they were good or kindhearted. They’re nothing apart from Christ, but I honestly don’t think He is judging my daughter by her hair color or boy band posters on her wall.

      I commend you for sharing your thoughts, though. Really. You’ve made me think…and isn’t that what friends do when they have a conversation together? I may not agree with you 100%, but I’ll consider your words.

  8. I agree with what you said. While the commenter above does have a point about how we are perceived, I have heard from so many people who walked away from the church because they felt so judged. I do think we should avoid even the “appearance of evil” but I interpret this as in what we DO rather than what we wear, what our hair looks like, how we decorate a room, etc… but I’m sure you already know that’s how I feel based on our previous conversations! 😉

  9. Hi Kris

    Secret is out, my Homeschooled kids are born again spirit filled… daughter (18) has blue streaks in her hair too!! I like her creativity. I had an undercut dyed bright orange in my day……..

    My son is 16 loves God and produces Dubstep music in his free time, I used to go to punk bands and drink myself into stupidity.

    They are both in The Phillipines on a mission trip alone without me loving God, praying, preaching and working with the Youth Group in a slum, I did nothing beyond myself at their age……

    I know what I prefer!!!

    My life was alternative with NO fruit, their life is alternative WITH fruit!

    No brainer hey?

    I Enjoy your blog!

    Hugs from Your Aussie Follower

    1. Thanks, Cath. That is so encouraging. Praying for your kids to have an amazing experience in the Philippines sharing the love of Christ with the people there. My daughter heads to Haiti this weekend to serve at an orphanage there. She’ll turn 18 in Haiti. {sigh}

      1. Thrills my heart to hear about your daughter, but I feel your sigh…….I am actually dreading the day all my munchkins leave…….a sad day indeed! Praying that she will be a light and a cuddler and a nuturer to those treasures in Haiti. That my blog friend is your fruit and your arms extended to those babes in Haiti. The blue hair is nothing and fades in the light of your daughter wanting to grow and share and love! Hugs to you Cathy XXX
        PS I run a sponsorship programme in the Phillipines where 120 Mothers and Babes are taken care of in Pregnancy and Birth (that is why orphanages are close to my heart too!)

  10. Although I detest the color, I vote for pink hair. It is my daughter’s favorite color. A nice shade of pale pink. The heart is what folks should be concerned about. Remember the clean but friend in Leave it to Beaver? I think his name was Eddie. Externally, he appeared to be the model kid. hmm.

    1. I remember that kid. Makes you think.

      Oh, and I think Megan is leaning toward hot pink. Just a few streaks, not the whole head. 🙂

  11. It’s hard when we know our children’s hearts and others do not and the reality is that we are all judged on outward appearances and we shouldn’t be. Sometimes what’s underneath the most beautiful exterior is the ugliest heart and the other way around. I am trying to learn that line of what battles to make into mountains and which to just allow my kids to express themselves. Our second oldest recently wanted to skip school (he goes to the high school this year) with a friend and walk around town ala Ferris Bueller. It was a gorgeous day out, he asked us ahead of time, we saw him walking around town several times and he was doing exactly what he told us he would be doing, he got caught, apologized to his teachers, took all of his detention without complaint…I’m sure there are those who think we are bad parents because we let him do this but I’ve been reading a great book that I totally agree with about how our society has taken away all opportunities for our kids to take good risks and learn from doing and I weighed this out and saw that this was a way that he could feel like he was risking but it was all in a very controlled environment and he had communicated with us, asked us, not gone behind our backs.

    Wow! This comment is turning into a novel…all that to say…I like this type of blog post where it’s like a conversation in your kitchen!

    1. I remember my mom letting me skip school on Senior Skip Day. I was a good kid, a rule follower, so that was a big deal for me. I don’t think I even left the house – just hung around with my best friend, but it’s still a fond memory.

  12. Kris, I appreciate how you are open to different viewpoints, and are being so charitable in your discussions. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Leslie. I know we all have different viewpoints. I try to be open-minded. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m never 100% right. 🙂

  13. My family had always been very authoritarian when my brother and I had been growing up; though now that we have moved out and our sister is growing up now, I think our parents have come to understand this better. I think that giving a little freedom shows that when you do say “no”, they see it as because you care about them and not because you’re being controlling.

  14. “There are a lot worse things they could be doing than wallpapering their rooms with today’s version of Shaun Cassidy or dying their hair blue. There are probably things that they’ll want to do that I’ll say no to. But these little expressions of creativity that don’t hurt anything? I’m okay with those.

    The way I figure it, if I give them a little freedom to express themselves, maybe those inevitable no’s will mean something to them. Maybe they’ll look for the heart and the wisdom behind the no, rather than just hearing a denial.

    I think, sometimes, we get so caught up in looking at the surface of things that we don’t see the heart.”


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