DEAR ABBY: I have been blessed with a gorgeous 4-year-old daughter who is (even more importantly) smart, funny and kind, but I have an issue. Every time we go anywhere or meet someone new, the person feels the need to comment on her beauty. We receive comments like, "Just wait till she's older. Boys will be all over her!" This happens not only with older distant relatives and my in-laws, but also random people at the grocery store.
I understand they are trying to pay a compliment, but I find it disturbing that they are thinking about my little girl in this way. I'm tired of it, but I'm not sure of the appropriate response when people make those comments. -- PROTECTIVE MOMMA
DEAR PROTECTIVE: Talk privately with the relatives and tell them you don't want them filling her head with that nonsense before she's even in elementary school. Tell them you prefer she be praised instead for her brains, her manners and her niceness, which will reinforce the qualities you are trying to instill in your daughter. And when a stranger does it at the grocery store, immediately interject with examples of her more important internal qualities.