What is the right age to let girls wear makeup ? I have a daughter in the 5th grade . Most of the girls are 10 and 11 years old . They are just beginning to take an interest in beauty . One of the girls has come to school a few times wearing lipstick . It was bright red . I thought it was inappropriate . Obviously , she is not my child , but I am concerned about my daughter getting the wrong impression of what is right . I don't want to speak poorly of this girl . but I want my daughter to be clear on what I think is appropriate . I currently allow her to wear colorless lip gloss and that's it .
Setting the Standards ---Jackson Mississippi
Dear Setting the Standards,
Playing with make-up on your mom's dressing table is a rite-of-passage many of us will remember, but the regular wearing of make-up certainly has become a more controversial debate.
Many girls are starting to wear make-up from the age of 11 - three years younger than it was a decade ago. Peer pressure from friends, older siblings and wanting to feel grown up are being blamed as the main cause. They are also influenced by what they see on TV and the internet.
Unsurprisingly, most women don't approve of the shift in pre-teen girls and their beauty habits. Women are mostly concerned that these pre-teen girls might develop an unhealthy obsession with their appearance. This is a reasonable viewpoint.
The general guideline ( after asking a few dozen moms of pre-teens) seems to be: clear or pink lip gloss between 11 and 12, conservative eye make-up, somewhere between 13 and 14 and light foundation between 14 and 15 as long as they are not having problems with blemishes.
You and I know that make-up is a part of every woman's life . And so teens should be taught how to use cosmetics properly and keep them light and natural looking.
Set some guidelines with your daughter...such as:
You may wear light pink lipstick at 12....mascara at 13 etc. So that she has a clear picture of what you expect. What you don't want, is for her to feel left behind by her friends. She wants the same privileges as her peer group. She is excited about becoming a young woman.
Pick your battles; this isn't such a big one. Look ahead a couple of years. Soon you will be dealing with when she can wear high heels and when she can start dating. Better to take a firm stance on boys, drugs, alcohol and getting her homework done.
Tooth decay runs in my family . Nearly everyone who got to be 40 has ended up with dentures . I am the first one to retain most of my teeth . I have had a bunch of dental procedures, but so far, no dentures . I mention this because I have two children who have inherited poor dental habits even though I have been vigilant about my own teeth . I don't know what to do to get them to understand the repercussions if they do not start practicing better hygiene .
Dear Clean Mouth ,
For a start you could look up some scary images on the internet of people with decayed and or missing teeth due to poor dental hygiene. That kind of "scared straight" approach can awaken them to the potential downside of bad habits .
Also, get your dentist to warn them as to what can happen to their teeth and gums without proper care, as the years progress. Ask him/her to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing and give them a routine to follow. If they follow the routine, they should get some kind of reward each week.
Possibly one of your relatives might even co-operate by telling the children how they regret not taking better care of their teeth.
If all else fails, you may have to take away privileges until brushing and flossing becomes a regular routine. This is something you have to police pretty closely, for their own benefit. Good luck.
My husband died 11 years ago . Our son "Marcus" was 6 at the time . His dad was in intensive care for two months, and because of his young age, our son was not allowed to see his father .
Before he died, my husband asked his younger brother to keep his drum set until Marcus turned 18 . Marcus' uncles used to call him on his birthday, which also was his father's birthday . But since my husband died, neither has called to wish their nephew a happy birthday .
Marcus will be 18 soon . He is into music and wants the drums . I have asked his uncle on several occasions by sending a message on Facebook . I also asked my son's half-brother (from my husband's first marriage) to get the drums and Marcus could pick them up from his house . Nothing has happened . I recently noticed a picture on Facebook of a guy who used to play in a band with my late husband . In the photo, he is playing drums that look suspiciously like the ones that belong to my son .
Marcus has nothing of his father's . He was not included in any decisions on what to sell and what to keep, or even asked what he'd like to have . He was also given his dad's El Camino . But my husband put the title in the name of Marcus half-brother, who sold it . He didn't even give my son any of the money from the sale . That was bad enough , but Marcus only really cares about the drums .
The entire family knows that my late husband wanted Marcus to have the drums . What should I do ? File a lawsuit ? How do I honor my later husband's wishes and give my son this final gift from his dad?
Distraught Mom of a Musician
Dear Mom of a Musician,
Is anything in writing? If not, you might need to file a lawsuit, but in order to prove your case, you probably will need other credible witnesses to testify that your husband's wish was for Marcus to have the drum set . An attorney will let you know if you have a case .
But a lawsuit should be the last resort . Asking personal
questions on Facebook is making your family's business open to the public and I am not surprised you got no response . Pick up the phone . Call the uncle who supposedly has the drum set . Be nice. Tell him what a wonderful 18th birthday present it would be for Marcus to finally have this memento from his father . Ask if it would be convenient if you or Marcus picked it up, and what you can do to facilitate the transfer .
Marcus could also call his uncle . Family relationships work both ways and Marcus is old enough now to establish his own contact with his uncle. If he told him in person, how much it would mean to him, you might get a more positive response.
Marcus should have established a relationship with his uncle long before now. He is nearly eighteen, almost a man. He may be the one to best handle the situation.
But for certain, If you hound this uncle you will only make the situation worse and make him dig his heels in.
Dear Maxy ,
Last week , our son came home from school and told us that a boy at his school had killed himself . The boy had been a friend of his since fifth grade .
The school had a moment of silence over the public address system, but never mentioned the boy's name . Most of the details about the suicide are nonexistent, although there are few things mentioned on a website asking for help paying for funeral costs . Students who didn't know the suicide victim are guessing it was caused by bullying . Our son says that's not true . Some students are even saying the fund requests are a scam .
We haven't heard anything about whether the school is offering grief counseling . We've talked to our son about the tragedy and are trying our best to help him . Because the students have no information, they are making wild guesses and placing misinformed posts on social media . My question is why is this tragedy so secret . Should the school do more ?
Dear Sad Mom,
Sometimes, the school is ill-equipped to deal with such tragedies and does nothing, which tends to create a whirlwind of misinformation . Also, the administration may fear
that mentioning the details would further negatively affect the kids or even encourage copycat suicides . But the details do not need airing . The acknowledgement of mourning , however is important .
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (asfp.org ) offers a Toolkit for Schools , and you should mention this to the administration . The foundation is also an excellent resource for anyone dealing with a suicide and you will find information there that will help you talk to your son about his friend . There most definitely should be a grief counselor at the school to help the children deal with the loss. It might be helpful to talk with some of the other parents to see what you can do as a group to arrange something with the school.