“Choose your battles.” This is what I heard on the radio when my children were young. Listening to Dr. Dobson every morning, I tried to learn the good parenting techniques. This particular lesson hit home when my then 8 year old son wanted a mohawk. My mind screamed, “Are you crazy?!” Then I remembered the insightful words, “Choose your battles.” Having a mohawk was certainly not a Heaven or Hell issue, so why would I lay down a law only to give my child reason for rebellion?
I cut my sons hair and left it a little longer on top. We spiked it into a mohawk. It was really cute! We headed to church, mohawk and all. Matthew was ready to show off his new doo! The closer we got to church, the more nervous he became. “What if they laugh at me, Momma?” “If they do, I will take care of them.” I replied. I was still on his side and he needed that reassurance. As we pulled into the parking lot, I told him again, “No one is going to think anything of it, but if they do, they have the problem.” When I parked the car, Matthew jumped out and ran for the bathroom. He smoothed down the hair so it wasn’t a mohawk. He wanted it cut right as soon as we got back home.
Matthew has never wanted another mohawk. That conviction was his own and not Momma’s. Sometimes we must allow our children to experience their own convictions. If I would have refused to allow my son this experience, he may have ended up with a very rebellious heart and a permanent mohawk! I would rather have an eight year old learn this lesson than a stubborn teen who may do it for spite because he was never allowed.
This does not mean we let our childen do everything they want. We must still have limitations and boundaries. There are many things that can harm our children for life, but a mohawk certainly isn’t one of them! Never allow drugs or alcohol, bad influences or the wrong kinds of friends. These can harm your children. There are many things that they can learn and grow on that does not have to be a battle or a war. Be prepared, there are many battles, but you, as the parent, get to choose which ones you need to fight.
Let us fight the good fight and keep the faith!