Our little girls mature fast and maintaining a solid relationship is key. Speaker, mother and author Erika Katz, “Bonding Over Beauty” (Greenleaf Book Group) http://www.bondingoverbeauty.com, shares how to be there for your budding beauty at every step in a fresh, fun and meaningful way.
Build Trust: Be present for your daughter and she will seek your advice. While it’s hard to watch your little girl grow up, help her learn. Even if you think what she wants to do is not yet age appropriate, listen to her. No matter how trite the issue, validate her by saying, “I did not know you felt that way,” If you are there for her when she’s ready to tweeze her eyebrows, color her hair or use tampons, she may come to you later when she has a question about sex, drugs and alcohol.
Stay Open: Your daughter should feel secure to approach you with any issue. She may feel embarrassed and freaked by her body’s changes – pubic hair, body odor, discharge, etc. Reassure her that these things are universal feminine experiences! What’s important is how you handle it, so be honest, help her navigate and do not shame her. Shame forms the basis for anxiety and long term insecurities.
Positive Feedback: When complimenting her appearance, highlight her nature and attributes versus just saying, “you look good”. Choose gentle terms and stay positive. Exchange “you look fat in that outfit” for “it’s not for you or I love the other outfit on you because it flatters you.” After all, makeup should be about fun and sparkles than hiding imperfections.
Promote Her: Permit your daughter to develop, define and find her personal style. A great mistake is trying to make children into a mini-improved versions of parents. Let them be who they are, not who you want them to be.
Beauty Coach: Learn the basics so you can guide your daughter. Research where to go for hair cut, color, spas, facials, etc. For cut and color, splurge at the John Barrett Salon or try a neighborhood place. For facials, Mario Badescu, http://www.mariobadescu.com, Georgette Klinger, Oasis Day Spa http://www.oasisdayspanyc.com/salon . For pain free bikini waxing, try Bliss the lavender chamomile wax http://www.blissworld.com
Learn their language: Each generation has their own slang so learn their language, watch their television shows, read their magazines and know their favorite celebrities so you can gauge who and what they are emulating.
Beauty Days: Spending time together is the prettiest gift. Whether at the makeup counter, Sephora, getting manicures, Bloomingdales or a night at home concocting homemade facemasks from avocados and mayonnaise, be together and enjoy the moment.
Inner Beauty: Focusing solely on your daughter’s outward appearance can never replace the importance of the inner beauty. Her sense of self will last after her lipstick wears off. Positive affirmations from both parents will go a long way.
Now, go be gorgeous together!
About Erika Katz
Author of the book Bonding over Beauty, A Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust (Greenleaf Press, March 2011), Erika Katz uses her beauty expertise to help moms bond with their ‘tween daughters. A former child model and actress, Erika appeared in over 100 commercials, print ads, and films. As the mother of a ‘tween girl, she now writes a popular beauty blog for mothers tackling the drama of the ‘tween years.
Before college, Erika interned in the beauty department at Seventeen magazine. Using her experience at Seventeen, cosmetology classes, and lessons learned through her extensive work in television and modeling, she created a beauty guide that served as the foundation for Bonding over Beauty. Though the guide initially targeted young women, after joining several parenting groups Erika soon realized many mothers were unsure of how to bridge the generation gap when dealing with the beauty and hygiene issues their daughters faced. Believing that a parent’s job is to nurture their children’s self-esteem and happiness, she turned her beauty guide into a valued resource for moms that contain advice and numerous bonding rituals that can ease the difficulties faced by young girls growing to physical and emotional maturity.
Bonding over Beauty focuses on encouraging and strengthening the mother-daughter relationship through simple, fun, and intimate activities such as teaching your ‘tween basic beauty rituals like painting her nails or making an organic face scrub from scratch. The book also helps mothers navigate sensitive topics that often arise with ‘tween girls, from dealing with unwanted body hair to menstruation, and everything in between.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Erika lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
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