Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
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 teens) seems to be lip gloss between 11 and 12, eye make-up, somewhere between 13 and 14 and foundation between 14 and fifteen as long as they are not having problems with blemished skin. 
You and I know that make-up is a part of every woman's life . And so they should be taught how to use cosmetics properly and how to 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.
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."

Dear Maxy,
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 .
Clean mouth 
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 as the years progress, and give them some helpful advice.
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. Good luck.

Dear Maxy ,
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 there nephew 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 happen . 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 as no included in an 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 . Tat was bad enough , but Marcus only really cares about the drums .
The entire family know 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 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 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 . he 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 n 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 ?

Sad Mom
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  ( )  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.

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