DEAR ABBY: All children are beautiful to their parents. My three children are of mixed race and get a lot of attention because of it. The boys are aloof about random compliments they receive from strangers. However, I'm worried about the pressure it may put on my daughter to be "pretty."
I care more about my daughter's character than her looks, but I'm concerned that if I say that to these people, it will come off as rude. Also, I don't want her to think I don't think she's pretty. How can I respond in a way that isn't rude to well-intentioned strangers, but at the same time allows me to make a statement about the importance of character over beauty? -- MOM OF BEAUTIES
DEAR MOM: When someone exclaims that your child is beautiful, accept the compliment and say something like this: "Yes, my child IS beautiful, but more important, she is beautiful on the inside." It will reinforce the message to your daughter that character is equally, if not more important, than physical beauty.