Q: My 12-year-old son wants to dye his hair. While his father and I understand, we don’t feel that this is appropriate. However, he says it’s important to him because the other members of his garage band have done so. Should we give in, or will that send the message we are pushovers?
A: Your son is at an age where he wants to express his individuality and, at the same time, be a member of a group — in this case, the band.
Hair colouring is a short-term change, not a permanent one; unlike a tattoo, for instance, dyed hair will grow out. While I agree it’s important for parents to mean what they say and stick to their decisions in general, in this case I suggest you tell him that, on reflection, you have decided it’s his hair and he can colour it however he wants. You can certainly add that you may not be thrilled with how he looks, but you will respect his decision.