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Ruined Skin and Taking a Knee

Dr. Catherine Pearlman on

Dear Family Coach: My daughter is a freshman in high school. She's addicted to makeup and wears it all the time. Sometimes she just plays around with it in her room for fun. She's gotten quite good at it. But her complexion is deteriorating. She doesn't seem to care, even as she breaks out. What can I do to get her to wear less makeup and care for her skin better? -- Concerned

Dear Concerned: Gene Simmons and Bobbi Brown were also addicted to makeup, and look where it got them. Your daughter is a teenager, and she's experimenting with makeup. That's certainly age-appropriate. Asking her to lay off of it is akin to asking her to stop texting with her friends. It's just not going to happen. Also, her skin might be deteriorating due to puberty, not just the makeup.

I'd tread lightly when it comes to commenting about your daughter's skin. Parents generally think they are offering constructive suggestions to help their children improve themselves. It's all meant with the best of intentions -- you know, to be helpful. However, children end up feeling criticized and bad about themselves.

Offer to take your daughter to a dermatologist, as you might any teen. If she is interested, let the doctor discuss how best to care for her skin. However, if she isn't interested in seeing the doctor or caring for her face, leave it alone. It's her face.

Dear Family Coach: My son is a member of the high school football team. Several of the boys plan on kneeling during the anthem in solidarity with some of the NFL players who are protesting. The coach is fine with it, but I'm not. Should I forbid him from participating in this protest? -- Stand-Up Dad

Dear Dad: Forbidding your son from kneeling, even if you disagree with it, isn't the way to go here. While you may not approve of this form of protest, it isn't about you.

Your son is trying to support a group of people who may not have as strong of a voice. He is kneeling to help others recognize injustices that occur every day. This type of civil protest was the basis for significant changes in history. The likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi led millions of people to initiate change. How incredible that your son wants to continue this legacy.

By all means, share your thoughts on the protest and why you believe it is wrong. Then, with equal measure, listen to your son's reasons for kneeling. Look up why players are demonstrating, and have an open discussion about the issues. Then, allow your son to do as he wishes on the day of the game.

Whether or not your son kneels isn't really that important in the grand scheme of life. What is vitally important is his level of empathy and connection to people who might be struggling under oppression, social injustice and prejudice. It certainly would be better for you to work to preserve his desire to support others than for him to sit this one out. Don't discourage him now, when he is young and impressionable. If you can't support him on this, then at least get out of his way. We all need more like your son.


Dr. Catherine Pearlman, the founder of The Family Coach, LLC, advises parents on all matters of child rearing. To write to Dr. Pearlman, send her an email at To find out more about Dr. Catherine Pearlman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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