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Having it her way

By Robin Dearing
As I've mentioned before, I have a hard time distinguishing between what's right for me and what's right for my daughter. I've been battling this question. Sometimes I think I get it right; sometimes not. On Mother's Day, I heard Margaret crying in the bathroom as her dad combed her hair. This is a daily occurence. She hates getting detangled, but in my view, it's got to be done. If it were up to her, she'd happily walk around with a wild rat's nest. She has thin, fine hair that is prone to tangle and if often adorned with leaves and grass (Mar's a tomboy dressed in pink). I've threatened to cut her hair if she didn't acquiese to the daily combings more readily. The threat never worked and recently she's begun lately saying, "Good. I want my hair cut like Aleise's." Ever so slowly, I realized that she had long hair because her dad and I wanted her to have long hair — not because she did. So, Sunday I brought my scissors into the bathroom and said, "I'm gonna cut it." Bill said, "No." Mar said, "Yes." Hair.jpg Mar got what she wanted — six inches cut off the bottom while I muttered to myself, "She doesn't like it long. It doesn't look good. She cries when we comb it." over and over again. She loves it. I think it's cute and her dad can live with it (secretly he's more than pleased with how easy it is to comb in the mornings). It was the right thing to do. We got it right this time, but what about the harder questions? When is the right time to let her make her own decisions and when do I step in and guide her? What is non-negotiable? When should I bend?