Our expert says:
I don't remember gel use as a constitutionally protected right, but I may be wrong. In my experience, parents and headmasters, dimly recognizing that they cannot, try as they may, control what goes on inside a kid's head, try ridiculously hard to control what goes on ON that head. Maybe a Mohawk would be a bit over the top, and would limit some of his options, but hair gel is a fashion much more reversible than body piercing or tattooes.
Your story again supports my point about how important it is for parents, whether together or separated, to negotiate a set of reasonable rules and be consistent. Immediately Mom declares one law, and Pa declares the opposite, the kid learns that laws are arbitrary and silly.
And there's of course also room for conflict between the parents - maybe Mom bought the gel not so much to please the kid as to annoy Dad ?
That sounds very much like the situation. And she is thus using the kid to swipe at his father, which is to me abusive and unacceptable. Also, divorced or separated parents too easily get into a bidding war to spoil the kids and try to buy their allegiance.
It's not about Gel.
I think it's a foolish rule for a school to apply, but that's up to them. If they complain, that is an issue to deal with then. And then the boy can learn that rules developed and applied by a larger organization or society in general, are not so easy to break, whether or not they're reasonable, and are worth adhering to.
Meantime, can't Ma and Pa talk with each other and develop a common code -about actually important issues ?
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