The morning of School Picture Day, my nine-year old neighbor shocked her mother by picking out her own outfit (a mutual favorite), doing her own hair (bangs pulled back away from the eyes) and even selecting shoes that matched (a bonus, even though the school portrait wouldn’t account for this rarity.) On her way out to the bus, she called to her mom, “Is it okay if I bring a little lip gloss for the picture?”

Sometimes in our parenting lives, we look back on certain moments that seemed so innocent — so perfect even — and realize that ignorance truly is bliss.

When the school portrait proofs were sent home one week later, my Mama-friend could still hear the lip-gloss request in the back of her head, though all she could see in the photo proofs were the brightest (I never knew red could be a neon color) and biggest (I’m talking nose to chin) set of painted lips you have never seen in your entire life.


To read the rest of this story about limit testing, conflict and effective confrontation, please click here or on the link below to read it on its original home, the HuffingtonPost Parents section.

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