Too Much Makeup

Dear Candid Candace: I knew it was coming sooner or later, but apparently “sooner” won out. My 12-year-old daughter is now starting to wear makeup, wear shorter dresses, and is getting texts from names not normally in her previous friend group (translation: boys). My wife and I discussed it and know we have a long road ahead of us but also understand that if girls start too soon, it can lead to problems later on. Any thoughts on “slowing down the process?” Overly-protective Dad

Dear Overly-protective Dad: No parent wants to see their kids grow up too soon. The bigger question is why does she want to? If it isn’t a crutch for her self-esteem, I think it’s harmless fun. If it’s to look older to date beyond her years, it needs to be addressed. According to, some kids start expressing interest in having a boyfriend or girlfriend as early as 10. (Which I think is too young.) At ages 12/13 though, kids are maturing physically, emotionally and socially. I think it’s only natural for an interest in dating to start to emerge as well. Your daughter is still young, though, so I would remain vigilant without being “overly protective.”

Dear Candid Candace: Our son is a junior in high school and discussions of college have begun. My husband is starting to put some pressure on him to get into a “good college,” i.e. Ivy League schools, Big Ten schools or other prestigious universities. I, on the other hand, feel it is important for him to pick one he is comfortable with, even a small school or a community college for the first two years. Your thoughts here? Mom of a Pressured Prepster

Dear Mom of a Pressure Prepster: The country’s eight Ivy League schools are some of the most competitive universities in the country. However, there are several universities (public and private) that are just as selective. Attending more prestigious schools is highly regarded by some employers, but it takes a certain type of student to thrive at these more competitive levels. Another fly in the ointment is whether to attend college at all. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell and MGM co-founder, Marcus Lowe, had little or no college education, and it didn't seem to hurt their careers. I think this is a very personal choice and shouldn't be influenced by parents. has some interesting discussions on this topic, both pro and con. Good luck to your son, I hope whatever path he chooses, it will make him happy and successful.

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