DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter often has one of her friends over after school and on weekends. I have noticed that this girl does not have very good hygiene. Her hair is usually dirty and greasy, and many times her clothes are soiled. My daughter has never been to her house, so I have no sense of what her life is like, but I am concerned about her.
This is a delicate topic. I want to be able to help my daughter’s friend, but I’m not sure how. One thought I had was to buy a double set of shampoo and conditioner and offer it to the girl, telling her that my daughter loves it and she might, too. Would that be considered offensive? How can I be supportive of this young lady without crossing a line? -- How To Help
DEAR HOW TO HELP: Since this young lady comes to your home sometimes on the weekends, what if you invite her for a sleepover that you design as a special girls’ event? It can include an at-home beauty salon where you do the girls’ hair, or they do each other’s hair. You can buy a few spa products that they can use, like bath bombs or face masks. Meanwhile, you can launder all of the clothes and have the girls wear jammies.
This will be a fun pampering experience. Unless you make a goody bag for both girls, I would not just give her toiletries to take home. You never know how her parents will react to that. Instead, just make the girls’ night a fun experience that they can repeat at another time.