It seemed like a good enough idea. I negotiated a deal with my son, get your haircut, get an mp3 player.
I'm not sure when it started, but he just kept letting his hair grow longer and longer. I guess I figured that sooner or later he would get tired of it and want to cut it. But it never happened. It just kept getting longer and longer.
I realize there aren't many areas of self expression that kids have, so I didn't want to take it from him by force, so last week when he kept pressuring me to buy him an mp3 player, I thought I may have found a way to get his haircut.
The deal went down yesterday, and sadly to say, not that well. He wasn't pleased with how short his hair was. We bought him the player and this morning, he was really concerned about going to school with the new 'do'.
But that's not the worst part I'm finding out. I know, I may have erred in making a deal on something I could have just done. I'm the parent, I could have sheared the kid with no explanation. its a father's prerogative. Here's the worst part. My six year old daughter started working me this morning about her getting an mp3 player.
My son is sitting at the table eating his Fruity Pebbles, and is watching me back pedal with my daughter about how she is not going to get any deal like he did. Gabe pipes up and says "Act sadder Faith, then he'll do it".
I'm not sure how this is going to end up. But one thing has become amazingly clear to me this morning. My 8 year old son has graduated to full manipulation capabilities. Its sad to admit, but he has realized a truth that many already know- I can manipulate people with my emotions.
We had a talk, and I'm sure we'll have more, but the bottom line is this- manipulating people with emotions is wrong. Its not a good way to get what you want in this world. In the long run, its going to backfire, because people do not like to be manipulated.
Have you advanced past my son? Better yet, have we advanced past my son? Manipulation is not love, coercion is not love. Don't take advantage of those you love.
I may have flopped yesterday as a parent with this whole mp3 hair thing, but the good news is this. God can repair whatever was broken. It wasn't a huge deal. I guess its just one of those things you learn as a parent.
Gabe's hair does look good though!