By Rosalind Wiseman
Q. I think my 11-year-old daughter is too young for eye makeup but I'm tired of arguing with her about it. What do you think?
A. This is a rite of passage in your child's life and it's your job to make it meaningful for her, which you can do and still set some limits. Acknowledge that she needs to feel grown up by saying, "I know that you want to use makeup, and I'm going to let you wear lip gloss at 12 and eyeliner at 14 (or whatever ages you decide), but first I want you to learn to take care of your skin." Then buy her some nice, affordable cleanser and moisturizer and teach her to use them.
By the way, I've had great success offsetting the makeup craze with my tween students by having them research and experiment with homemade facials (using olive oil, honey, avocados, etc). It's totally messy, crafty, educational—and distracts them from wanting that horrible blue eye shadow.
Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine.