Life Advice



Ask Amy: ‘Best of’ questions are all about gifts

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

What do you think we should do?

– Concerned Parents

Dear Concerned: You could try to control the gifts coming into your house by having a “theme” party, asking parents to help their youngsters give an “outer space” related book or toy, or to bring something related to bugs, horses, or NASCAR. However, ultimately you cannot control other parents (or kids). And so you must do the challenging work of educating your daughter about the messages conveyed through these fashion dolls and about your own values regarding them. – October 2012

Dear Amy: I grew up playing with these dolls and am now an avid reader, expect to graduate near the top of my class, and have a very healthy self-image.

– Better Than Barbie

Dear Better: Thank you for pointing out that these dolls might not be as "dangerous" as this mother thinks.

Dear Amy: When I was growing up, I loved my Barbies. I lined them up and we played school. I taught them what I learned in class. I helped them solve little-girl problems. For a child there is much more to a Barbie than the way she looks.


This mom should relax and allow her child’s imagination to take over.

– Barbie Fan.

Dear Fan: I agree. In my experience as a parent, the worst thing about Barbies was trying to get their shoes to stay on those tiny pointy feet.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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