Recently I was having a conversation about parenting with someone. I made a statement that left this person looking at me like I had lost my damn mind.
"I have no emotional attachment to my daughter's body."
In 5th grade my daughter decided she wanted to get a pixie cut and shave the side of her head.
What she does with her hair is and has always been totally up to her. It belongs to her, so it’s not my place to decide.
When it came to shaving. Not my body or body hair. I taught her the safe way to do it. Taught her about not sharing razors. When she decided it needed to be done, it was not my call, it was hers, and I was there to support her.
Earrings, jewelry, nail polish etc. - Not my call. It's her body, so she gets to decide how she would like to accessorize it.
Her clothes - as long as they are appropriate (ie. No cursing, covers her private areas, etc.). All her choice.
I was also recently asked in this group "Would you prefer that your daughter wait to have sex until college?"
My preference doesn’t matter. It's not up to me. It's her body. All I can do is educate her on all aspects of sexual intercourse. I have no emotional attachment to her virginity. I want her to understand that it’s her decision and she should only do it when she wants and chooses to, not because she feels pressured one way or the other.
My belief is this… “How can I teach her it's her body, her choice if I am the one making decisions about her body?” As her mother I believe it’s my job to educate her, give her all the scenarios I can think of, and support her however I can. The final decision regarding anything to do with HER body is HER choice.
So far, for me/us, this has worked. She makes well thought-out and fully educated decisions. She is one of the sweetest, kindest kids you will meet. She is thoughtful, mature, kind and smart. And I think my not trying to control her has given us a much more honest relationship.
When my daughter wanted that pixie cut, girls at school told her she would look ugly. Instead of giving in to what those girls thought she should do, she came home and talked with me about it and ultimately decided to go through with it. She said it was her hair and what they thought doesn't change her mind. That’s where my emotional attachment lies… in my daughter’s ability to be comfortable with being the person she wants to be. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids? Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves?