It’s natural for parents to want to protect their kids: after all, the world can be a big, scary place, and kids can seem so small in the face of that. But one mom’s story shows us that we can’t protect our kids from everything, and it’s important to let them try new things.
Rachel Ann Carpenter had the best intentions when she refused to let her daughter Nevaeh dye her hair pink in 2016. “I initially said no because I know how judgmental people can be when it comes to children with colored hair,” Carpenter writes, in a recent Facebook message.
But when her daughter got in an accident that left 70% of her body covered in burns, she started to see things differently. Carpenter realized that there were things she couldn’t protect her daughter from. She says: “Just because someone is young does not mean they are promised time.”
It was a long and difficult recovery, but Nevaeh faced it with humor, courage, and determination.
This year, after she recovered from the accident, she asked to dye her hair again.
And this time, her mom gave her an emphatic “Yes!”
She posted a picture of her daughter with her new hair online, explaining why she let her have it. But she was blown away by the Internet’s response.
Carpenter was overwhelmed by positive feedback, as everyone who responded to her Facebook post had something nice to say about her daughter’s new hair.
Some people even posted pictures of their children’s hair transformations or their own.
Carpenter’s advice to parents in a similar situation? “Say yes more often, and don’t care if anyone thinks your child with pink hair is ridiculous!” As she said to Upworthy, “As adults, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a child and how easy it is to make them happy.”
So, yes, it’s important to protect your children. But it’s also important to give them room to take chances and make mistakes, whether that means letting them go off to summer camp for the first time or letting them dye their hair.