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What Not to Say to Your Grown Child

“Did you try something different with your hair?”

I tensed and looked up at my mom. The emphasis on “try” was not lost on me. “Yep,” I said. “I scrunched it instead of curled it.”

A smile crossed her face, and then a little laugh. “But it’s totally flat in back, Jen. Why don’t you use a root lifter and the cool burst on the diffuser?”

Grrr. Maybe because I don’t need '80s-like volume ... Sigh.

Now, my mom and I are extremely close. She is my best friend, my adviser, my therapist. She lets me sit on the metaphorical couch of honor, allowing me to vent when I’m piled under heaping loads of love-life stress. She takes me shopping when I’m in need of a work break. She talks me through the best way to make 10-minute meals in a pinch. I love her for all that, and so much more. No matter what.

But. I know when a critique is coming on—when my mom is about to seize the opportunity to go into full-on, licensed-cosmetologist mode—and to me, it always seems to spill out as a dig at my style decisions.

And although I thankfully inherited her innate sense of style, my mom and I have hit-and-miss tastes. Our fashion senses deviated a while ago, somewhere between my childhood penchant for glittery headbands and my current obsession with boyfriend jeans. I know she means well, and I love her advice—on most other subjects. But as a style and beauty writer, with years of experience at this point, I’d prefer not to have my judgment questioned.

If I have a minor style slip-up? Unless it’s repeated on an alarmingly regular basis, well ... I’d happily be left in the dark about it. It’s one lesson better learned on my own.

(Mom, if you’re reading: Yes. Yes. Even if I decided to wear those awful, knee-high argyle socks from 7th grade. Love you.)

Here are 10 things not to say to your grown child, no matter how close you are:

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