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The Unschooling Haircut

The Unschooling Haircut

While this may sound silly to some, brave to others and completely and outright ridiculous to most, I allowed my 17 year old daughter, at her request, to give me  a hair cut. After all we are unschoolers, we believe in learning freely, experiencing one’s quest and desires openly, in the comfort and love of one’s kitchen. Her vision was supported by mine, her history of the task limited to dolls, but I agreed and told her to have at it. The results of this whim as my husband so solemly expressed in just a few cleaver, yet very effective words, were, “You look like a Roman Soldier!”

She combed, leveled, measured, and designed the whole outcome in her head. She invisioned her ending with such enthusiasm that at one point we both giggled like teenagers together and practically drizzled our pants with gut wrenching laughter. We were bonding, we were living the rebelious world of unschooling to some, but experiencing a moment to remember. We were unschooling!  And it was magical.

Why is this situation, to some just down right absurd? How could someone allow their 17 year old daughter to cut and chop away at their hair? Because of trust, respect and love you say? Well, maybe. But in our reality, it is because my daughter wanted to try. She wanted to see if she could sculpture her creativity onto me. She is very talented, artistic, and always has been, so why the heck not? Unschooling…..That word again. The freedom to enjoy life together, to live the moment, not the future, but that precious existence together, in that second, while learning.

I’m not sure if my daughter Autumn will become a world famous hair artist. She draws well, paints enthusiastically with overwhelming results, that even she did not realize existed within her, until this past year. She is learning. Her 3D Animation classes still ongoing, her love for reading, writing, and believing in herself still growing and expanding. Her surmontous memories of her youthful teen years slowly passing, but through it all, she is remembering, she is smiling, and yes, she is unschooling.

My hair did not turn out too badly. She even colored it a beautiful shade of red. She herself wears her hair in a short pixie cut, so why couldn’t mom? I must admit, my hair has never been this short since exiting my mother’s womb, but it is what it is. A haircut from hell, a memory for me, and memory for her, a time of sheer laughter together and a day not forgot. The haircut isn’t just a haircut, it is a experience, a learning time, an adventure, outrageous to some, but never a regret, an unschooling magical moment to share. It will grow.

Be well, enjoy the second, cherish in the moment, and never regret your life lessons. We are real, we are here, we are unschoolers even if some do not support our methods, our beliefs, we do, and that is all that matters.


Written with love, by Kimberly Sharpe Slage

© 2011 An Unschooling Life

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21 Responses to “The Unschooling Haircut”

  1. Ginac says:

    Wow, what an awesome story! The fact that you did something most others wouldn’t even consider makes it even better. You’ve just removed a barrier in rational reasoning. With such openness, trust, and empowerment, I bet your daughter has lots of creative ideas!
    Ginac´s last post: How to Turn Your iPod Touch into a MicroscopeMy Profile

  2. Tammy says:

    I don’t know if I would be brave enough to allow my daughter to cut my hair. We’ll see. She’s only 8 now, so I think I have time before I have to think about that. I do let her “style” my hair. That’s always a big laugh for both of us.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Hello All,

    I am trying to see if I can get my picture to post. Joanne, I may need your help with this.

    I love you all,

    Kimberly´s last post: Wonderful Unschooling QuotesMy Profile

  4. I loved this! What a GIFT to give your child complete trust and unconditional love. Truly an example which inspires me in such a small act of letting your child cut your hair. Awesome! I laughed so hard with the comment about looking like a roman soldier! I got a short mommy haircut once and a friend of mine told me I looked like a Vietnamese Boy. Never cut it that short again. LOL! Thanks for sharing Smile I wish there was a picture.

  5. Carey says:

    Love this!!!! Smile

  6. Teresa says:

    *pout* I really wanted to see before & after pics. Did I miss them somewhere?!! BTW, I love that you let her do that. I like to think I’d do the same, but, well, it’s a leap of faith & courage to be sure! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for loving so wholly and completely – the rest of the world will surely reap the reward of your gift!

  7. moonchild says:

    hello kim,
    this something so great to share. what parent has this kind of trust with his/her child/children.
    a new article that inspires me again, to go even further in my adventure with the unschooling……thank you.

  8. Twitter:
    Kim, You are an awesome mom. I’m sure Autumn will remember it for years to come. If she wants, send her over here and cut mine next. Oh wait, I shaved my hair off two weeks ago. lol
    Billy Akerman´s last post: Stock Market – 1st Week of July 2011My Profile

  9. Wow! What a mom! Now, that’s a true sign of love.
    Christina Pilkington´s last post: 10 Unusual Ways to Explore ArtMy Profile

  10. This is great how you allowed your daughter to give you the haircut- I bet she will always have a happy, intimate memory of that moment. What a beautiful trust!

  11. Sarah says:

    Love this story. Such a beautiful experience will be there to be remembered always. You are a brave one. It was a great reminder for me to let go!!!

  12. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. You are a true example of what I believe the spirit of unschooling is all about: The courage and confidence to try living.

  13. Kimberly says:

    I will post a picture of my hair in a bit. I too have learned so much from Unschooling with my children. Our entire family is always trying new things that we may not have ever considered before our new outlook on learning. Smile

  14. Erin Cannon says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this! It reminds me of The Secret Life of Bees — when the house was painted Pepto pink simply because it was the color that someone special to them wanted so badly. It was just paint, but her joy was more than worth it! Thanks for reminding me to think more deeply about what really matters — every moment of every day with my children.

  15. Aadel says:

    Very sweet and so cool that it got you giggling together! What is the worst that could happen-hair will regrow but your relationship with your daughter is more important!

  16. Faerierebecca says:

    You’re a braver woman than I, Gunga Din! I let my 14 year old experiment on her hair and on friends’ hair. I’ll keep mine on my head lol Funny the things we’ll let our kids experiment with in the name of homeschooling Smile

  17. Shannon Rose says:

    I LOVE everything about this article! I can see no good reason not to indulge a kid and thier needs, (yes, wants ARE needs too), and this is something your daughter will remember for life.
    I wanted to be a hairstylist as far back as I can remember! I cut all my sisters dolls and my sisters hair, and got beat but GOOD each time but I LOVED doing the haircuts and so did my sister and her friends. I just wish more parents understood how wonderful an experience like you describe can be! Oh, and P.S., despite my mothers abuse, I grew to be an award winning stylist and the stylist to the stars in Nashville TN, and loved every minute! Ya never know!

  18. Faith says:

    I love it! You gave you child a gift as she gave you a haircut. My 14 y/o has cut and dyed my hair on numerous occasions Smile She has for her papa and brother too! (Zola isn’t wanting a haircut yet) I think opportunities are amazing.

    It reminds me of another article I just read yesterday when a father took his son to the store to buy “wood tape” and it turned out to be a thought out project of that child’s.

    Hair will grow back but relationships are harder to repair. Wounds to our children may never heal.

  19. Sylvia says:

    I love this story! I’ve given more than a few unpredictable haircuts in my life (some even recently!) and I love that anything we can laugh about makes for wonderful memories and connections.

  20. Jenniffer says:

    Very sweet. Your example of trust and joyful living is inspiring in our culture of “no”

  21. Stephanie says:

    What a wonderful example of the relationship you have with your daughter Smile
    Stephanie´s last post: What is holding you back from unschooling?My Profile

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