Yvette writes:

Recently, especially with the Sesame Street song being out, I have seen a lot of articles regarding how Black women view their hair and what type of message they send to their children (especially daughters) with comments, either negative or positive. And that got me thinking. The last time I went home for a visit, my 4-year old niece who did not have a perm the last time I’d seen her, now had a perm. I asked her mom why she chose to do this, and she said she was too busy to take care of her daughter’s head (she’s an engineer for Los Angeles county) … understandable, but putting in a relaxer takes time too. After that, I had a conversation with another cousin of mine who is transitioning, and she told me I should just tell my niece’s mom to stop relaxing her hair. But I have yet to do so because I feel like I am telling her what to do with her child, especially me having no kids, where do I get off? My question is:

How do you talk to your “elders,” so to speak (my niece’s mom is 10+ years older than me so I just can’t speak to her anyhow) when it comes to a sensitive subject like their children and hair care?