Q: All children are beautiful to their parents. My three children are of mixed race and get a lot of attention because of it. The boys are aloof about random compliments they receive from strangers. However, I’m worried about the pressure it may put on my daughter to be “pretty.”
I care more about my daughter’s character than her looks, but I’m concerned that if I say that to these people, it will come off as rude. Also, I don’t want her to think I don’t think she’s pretty. How can I respond in a way that isn’t rude to well-intentioned strangers, but at the same time allows me to make a statement about the importance of character over beauty? — Mom of Beauties
There have been times when I have packed up things to give to friends who have younger daughters than ours, or taken them to a resale shop. My mother then becomes upset that I’m not returning the items to her. She is saving them for my sister, who isn’t even pregnant yet.
While I have no issue with saving some things for a potential niece, my friends need these things NOW, and I feel strange essentially being obligated to return them. Is my mom out of line? It’s off-putting to receive a gift that comes with a return clause. — Confused in Central Texas
And yes, however well-intentioned your mother may be, she is out of line to demand that everything she has given be returned to her. (I mean, what will she do if your sister has only boys?)