To Color or Not to Color – Words Hurt

“Daddy, your hair doesn’t belong” – Alexa 3-years-old

This morning as I sat snuggling with my youngest daughters, five-year-old Elise asked me about why my hair on top is black when the rest is white. Alexa, the youngest, told me my hair on the side of my head doesn’t belong.

A Before Picture
A Before Picture

Immediately my heart sank. I knew I needed a haircut, but I began to question whether I needed to color my hair. Don’t take me wrong. I am not a vain person, and I don’t usually concern myself too much with my hair.

Growing up during the 80’s I liked it long. That was the style. Near the end of the end of the 80’s I cut my hair short, and I haven’t looked back. I enjoy being able to wake up in the morning, and not spend a great deal of time trying to get the perfect style.

In fact, a couple of years ago, I allowed students and teachers to shave my head during reading month. You can watch the video here. The students met our month-long reading goal in two weeks so I had the top readers in each class take a turn.

Why write about my hair on a blog about learning? I was reminded of a very valuable lesson this morning. We must watch our words. We must know what we say may not be what the listener receives. We must forget the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Words do hurt. Five words disrupted my morning. I knew Alexa meant no harm by her words, but for a few minutes I debated what to do with my hair. I was wondering what others thought about my hair.

If those five words can throw me off my game, we have to consider the words we use and how we can throw our students off their game. I have often dealt with children who told me that someone called them stupid. When the details come out, the person may have said, “I don’t think that is a smart decision” or “stop acting stupid.” However, the student heard, “You are stupid.”

Our relationships can be changed by a word or phrase quickly spoken. In a society, where speaking without a filter is a badge of honor, we have to remember we must think before we speak. And we must remember that what we model is what we will see (or hear).

I did get my hair cut. Here is an after picture. Not really much difference–just a little less white hair. Depending on your comments I might buy some Grecian Formula. LOL.

The After Picture
The After Picture


Share your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to continuing the conversation about our words. Please let me know what you think about my blog entries and help me to reflect and learn by commenting below.


My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge

I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.