My two Monkeys have always been quite different.
Big Monkey was always super shy. The kind of shy that hides behind your skirt… or, sometimes, under it. Once he got to know people, he would be confident but it would take him the bones of one hour to warm up to a different environment. He is also a very sensitive boy who takes things to heart. He is very soft and his heart would get hurt quite easily.
Chaotic Monkey is a very different person. He is far more outgoing and needs more social interaction that the big fella. Although some of his confidence comes from the fact that his big brother has always been around him, he is a very happy-go-lucky kind of boy. He doesn’t take things personally – not like his brother.
The boys used to have longish hair when they were small but since they could choose, they have always chosen their haircuts. Many a time I have got ready to cut their hair with a picture of Anakin in Star Wars Episode 2 or Luke Skywalker in Episode 4 – no joke… There were times when we would not be delighted with their choices, but it is only hair at the end of the day… you cut it and it grows back.
Around October last year, Big Monkey decided he wanted to grow his hair. He got really into playing the guitar and I guess that watching videos of Kurt Kubain, David Grohl and few other artists with long hair inspired him to let his hair grow. We agreed.
We had no problem with him having a long hair but, because of his sensitive nature, we did sit down with him and explained that some people might say things that he might find hurtful, even as a joke. He totally took on board our comments and said that he was still happy to let his hair grow.
It is funny how such a little thing has made him grow in confidence at an accelerated rate.
There was a bit of healthy teasing from his school friends when the hair started getting quite long and then nothing. There have been some not-so-nice comments from other kids in school and he has ignored them completely. He was even picked for the girl’s team one day while visiting a different class and he thought it was hilarious!
The fact that he chose to let his hair grow, knowing that he had the backing of his family and friends has made him so much more confident and resilient!
Every morning I am amazed as to how much this boy has matured and grown in confidence in the last year alone. From the little boy who would hide behind me, to a confident kid that brings his guitar to school to show his class how much he has learned and to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of his friends.
It is not amazing to realise that kids thrive on love, support and encouragement.
But I am still amazed at how much effect a haircut (or in this case, lack thereof) has had on my child and how much it has helped him along.