DEAR HARRIETTE: My 18-year-old daughter just came home with colored contact lenses. To me, she looks like an alien. She has dark brown eyes that she was born with, only now she put blue lenses on top of them. I'm sorry, but she looks crazy. I know she is trying to make her own way in her life, but this is just not a good idea. As her mother, I believe I am supposed to tell her, and so I did. As you might imagine, she was offended. Then she dug in her heels and said she likes them, so leave her alone. I don't want to put my foot down too hard on this one. After all, she can remove them. But I worry about her reasoning for wanting to change her eye color. She is a beautiful young lady, and I think she should be proud of her God-given attributes. I never taught her that she should try to change herself in any way. How can I get my point across that she is beautiful as she is? -- Concerned Mom, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
DEAR CONCERNED MOM: Young people try out lots of ideas as they look to cultivate their personal identities. While you may not like the colored contacts, at least they are not something permanently disfiguring. You can remind her regularly that she is beautiful inside and out. I would say no more about the contacts. She will get plenty of reactions from the outside world. Let her experience what comes her way on her own. Your job as her mom is to reinforce high self-esteem. Let her know that more important than how she looks is how she behaves and treats others. Be there for her if and when she gets reactions that are unkind.