My 15-year-old son has long, shaggy hair that comes to his shoulders. And most of the time, he refuses to wear a tie to church.
As a parent of a child who doesn’t fit the ideal Mormon mold, it is sometimes painful to watch how fellow Church members react to my son’s appearance.
Don’t get me wrong. Most people are trying to be encouraging and good natured about it, but without fail, every Sunday there is someone who can’t resist commenting on my son’s haircut (or lack thereof) or his outfit. When this happens, I cringe.
Don’t they know how hard it was to get him to church in the first place? If you received unsolicited critiques about your hair and clothing every time you came to church, would it make you want to come back? The fact that he is here is a victory in and of itself.
But these well-meaning Church members don’t know–and that’s my point.
They don’t know that my son’s long hair is successfully covering his large ears that he is extremely self-conscious about. Nor do they know that he is struggling with his testimony, and it’s all I can do to get him to church at all. So on behalf of LDS parents whose children might look a little edgy or rough around the edges, I ask a few things of our fellow Saints:
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