Sunday, January 13, 2008


I hear myself doing it, I hate myself doing it... but I still do it. I won't bore you with the various ways in which I'm a nudgy pain in the ass - that's my husband's matrimonial right. I just want to talk about this one: I'm nagging my pre-teen daughter about her acne. I'm a bitch, I know! I see her once perfect porcelain skin peppered with ugly, red bumps and whiteheads and all the best parenting advice flies out the window. I've tried being subtle - buying her the facial washes and medications. But you can bring a horse to water and it doesn't mean she'll drink, ya know? If I'm silent about it, her skin gets worse because her hygiene habits are, shall we say, less than consistent. If I push her to wash, her skin improves markedly within days. It's so frustrating. It takes so little. I try teaching her lessons from my own experience with acne - which I STILL HAVE AT 46!!! But here's the rub: she doesn't seem to care.

My dream of being the perfect mother has gone "poof". I imagined handling adolescent sensitivities with aplomb. I never fathomed she wouldn't readily accept my advice. (Now that I'm here - DUH!). Despite this new information, I keep shining a spotlight on her imperfections as she heads into this volatile phase of development. Am I paving the way for low self-esteem? Slipping grades? Eating disorders??? Will she complain about me to her future therapist, blame me for... EVERYTHING? Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm not really this hysterical - maybe a little. I'm aware my irrational fears are undoubtedly about looming issues much larger than acne. So, tell me, how do I stop this train? How do I protect my precious girl from the corruption of adolescent hormones? How do I help without becoming THAT mother. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

While I wait for your feedback...

I often share with friends the interesting things I read while cruising the internet. Now my blog makes it simple. I love Nora Ephron. Here is the link to an opinion she wrote in Sunday's New York Times. It's hysterical. The Chicken Soup Chronicles.


Robert A. Flutie said...

Ok, so I'm not a member of the Oprah Winfrey Book of the Month Club, but I read "Eat, Love, Pray" and I hope that qualifies me to join in the fun. Besides, I love women's fashion, hair and make-up (no, I'm not gay).

Love your writing and only because I now know you, I am able to laugh out loud. Not at you, but with you. Besides, as a proud card carrying member of the "oh my God, it's 6:30AM already, here we go again" club, I'd like to think that I can join the fun.


cpckqueen said...

As much as I agree with you that's it's so simple why can't they listen - she's gotta want to do it in the first place. Fortunately it's not contagious or fatal. So my advice...have another glass of wine bite your tongue and ignore it.

Good luck to you on that one!!!


Robert A. Flutie said...

Now that I've cleared the first round of high security scrutiny, I'd like to chime in (ding) and offer my sage advice. Any parent worth half their weight in Robek's Awesome Acai Juice would want their child to practice rigorous general hygiene. Left to their own device, pubescent boys and girls WILL increase the time and energy that they spend on things like washing their face proportionate to a) their general sense that they want to make themselves attractive to others (yes, boys), and b) the desire to bankrupt us by buying a lifetime supply of Proactiv .

Yes, it's time for another generous pour of your finest Merlot!

Dawn said...

Can you bribe her? Every time she washes her face and uses the products you've generously bought her she earns points and then can trade them in for something she wants?

It works great with 4 year olds; not sure if tweens are as motivated.

Good luck!

©2010 All rights reserved. Reproductions of any portion of this website only at the express permission of