Dear Miss Emily:

My daughter is 18.  She is model-beautiful.  Everyone tells her so. She thinks she needs a nose job because her nose  is asymmetrical and it is a tiny bit wide at the bottom.  I think she has body dysmorphic disorder, because I have OCD and it is related. The flaw is imperceptible to others.  She saved her money and made a surgery appointment.  She still resides in my home.  She wants me to drive her to her appointment.  I am so against this surgery, even though I had breast implants and a deviated septum fixed at 39.  I was not 18!  I am worried it is more of a psychological issue, and we are all sending mixed messages to our girls.  Her father was not in the picture much and this may be part of the problem. So what do I do?  Refuse to drive her to her appointment?  Or do I figure she is an adult, can join the Marines, vote and get a tattoo. What if the surgery goes awry?  Will she blame me?   I can't sleep over this.  Pleas help us come to an understanding before I go crazy.
Mom Who Wants Sanity

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------------

Dear Mom:

Sending mixed messages are the messy part of parenting.  We usually teach by example.  In other words, it’s hard to tell a child not to do something when the parent did it.  I’m not saying that you don’t have a valid reason for opposing this surgery, but I think you’re going overboard in explaining why your daughter wants it.  Society does dictate perfection, although unattainable, and all of us are under pressure to try to measure up.  Kudos to those who rise above it, accept their uniqueness, as well, realize that inner-beauty is the ultimate asset.  That said, shift gears and drive her to the surgery.  It sounds like a minor procedure, in that you have said there is just a small imperfection. Stop losing sleep over this.  I suspect with your over-analysis concerning this matter, that you worry about a lot of things.  She is eighteen.  Allow her to learn about life from living it, and not through your battle-weary interpretations.