Mommy and Me Manicures: Over the Top or Okay?

| April 25, 2011 | Comments (10)

Mother-daughter manicures have become a common bonding ritual. Whether mothers are taking their five year old or 15 year old daughters to the nail salon, many women view the experience as a nice, relaxing way of spending time together. We live in a privileged culture where our children can be exposed to such luxuries. I know that growing up as a little girl getting a manicure with my Mom was not within my realm of reality.

Well, recently, by complete happenstance, I ended up taking my seven year old daughter, Hannah, for her first manicure. We were having one of our special lunch excursions to Potbelly’s, Hannah’s favorite spot. As we enjoyed our “ritual” grilled cheese, smoothie and adorable conversation, I looked down at my rather unkempt fingernails and said out loud “Wow, mommy needs her nails done.” As quick as a blink, Hannah quickly replied “Mommy, can we go now and get a panicure?” Unable to resist such an endearing request for a “panicure,” we soon found ourselves at our local Avenue Nail Spa.

We all know that getting a manicure or pedicure can radically improve our mood. When life feels chaotic, you can look down at your newly done nails and feel as though one little part of you is put together. But, is it okay to expose our children to such luxuries? What message are we sending our daughters about materialism and what it means to be beautiful? Do we have to buy our children’s time by taking them for such treats? Are we spoiling them too young so they don’t enjoy such luxuries as they get older? Please let us know your thoughts!

Posted by Rowena Abrahams of She She Shoppers

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Category: Chicago, girls, New Posts

About Rowena: Rowena is an energetic city, turned suburban, Mom who loves fiction, art and travel and shares a passion for chocolate with her lively five and seven year old children. She truly appreciates “beauty" in areas including fashion and home décor. She is excited to be leveraging her marketing background from American Express and Hyatt by blogging about some of her favorite topics at www.shesheshoppers.com. View author profile.

Comments (10)

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  1. Angie says:

    Never thought of it as a luxury (ten bucks). Just showing my daughter that your nails don’t have to be fake to look nice.

  2. Tough one. It depends on your value of money, I think. And whether you want your daughter to think that her beauty has to do with things like manicures and haircuts or natural beauty or the beauty within. Which is a fine line.

    We don’t spend money on manicures in my house. Mommy might buy nailpolish but I won’t spend money on the salon unless it’s for a wedding and certainly not for my daughters. Although when my older daughter was biting her nails, I couldn’t get her to stop so the pediatrician suggested I paint her nails. She has now stopped because she likes the reward of having pretty nails. But she also has to behave and listen and clean her room, etc.

    To each their own.

  3. Amy says:

    Interesting that you brought this up! I do treat myself to manicures and pedicures on a weekly basis…just my little way of taking care of myself and gathering some “me” time. Often I have seen *little* girls at the salon and all I can think is *Oh puuuleeeze*. I think it’s a good bonding moment when you have a daughter in high school – not elementary school.

  4. I rarely get polish on my nails, but I did the other day and then remembered why I don’t usually do it. When you have a fresh mani there are so many things you can’t do because you don’t want to “mess up your nails.” That’s the issue I would worry about with my daughter. Her job is to play and get dirty, if she got a professional manicure would she not want to play with clay or in the sand because she didn’t want to mess up her nails? Would I want to spend $20 to have her get paint all over her nails the next day?

    That being said, I’ve promised her that we will go together to get a manicure when she stops sucking her thumb.

    I guess I think that as long as it’s a special treat, and that it doesn’t interfere with the more important business of being a kid, it’s fine.

  5. Shari says:

    As the mother of twin daughters, I’m on the side of not getting regular mani/pedis for young girls. I’m already shocked about how much of the first grade conversation is about looks. Their job should be to play and get dirty, not worry about messing up their hair, clothes, nail polish. This is the time for them to explore their interests, not compare nail polish colors.

    Yes, I know it’s only nail polish, but there’s a difference between our girls hanging with the jr high girls in the neighborhood to get their nails painted many, many different colors and me taking them to a salon. When the neighborhood girls do it, they are still playing. When I do it then it becomes a message about our priorities — about looks, expectations, how we spend our money, etc.

    When the girls are older we’ll go for special occasions like a wedding or party, but it’s not something I want them to do until they are old enough to distinguish between “special” and “needed.”

  6. mom-mom-mom says:

    I am the most frugal gal but do indulge in pedicures in the summer. (It’s really a public service — my heels are so nasty, not even a Ped Egg can make its way thru the calluses! No one should see that.)

    I have done both with my girly girl daughter: treated her to a special mom and daughter pedi and also soaked in the tub at home and painted our nails. She loves both and knows that it is a very special occasion when we get cute toes.

  7. Rowena says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your great comments! It is so neat to see the range of perspectives. From Amy who does not view manicures as a luxury to Shari who prefers to reserve manicures for special occasions. And, then there are other considerations I hadn’t thought of such as nail biting, thumb sucking and just letting our kids be kids.

    We all know how complicated parenting is and a seemily small question like mother/daughter manicures is just further proof!

  8. megryansmom says:

    I often do manis and pedis with my daughters. BUT, they are 34 and 23! Let them be little, buy some 99 cent polish and sit on the edge of the tub together and have a conversation.

  9. Dwana says:

    its a fun grooming ritual for which i have even taken my son … his crow toes had to be dealt with!

  10. scully says:

    My mom and I used to go get manicures together, and we would also get our hair cut and washed at the same salon. I think it’s a nice ritual as long as moms keep it age appropriate with colors and nail shapes. For kids, that means short nails they can still be kids with, and fun colors that aren’t too grown up. Grape scented purple polish? Color changing polish that goes from blue to pink? MEMORIES! I think you get into creepytown with long fake nails on kids in fire engine red. That’s kid beauty pageant territory.

    I was only ever allowed to have simple manicures and no fake nails, and wasn’t allowed to wear makeup (other than light lipgloss and concealer) until I was into my teens. I think getting our nails done was a bonding ritual, and I have fond memories. I loved getting fun colors like purple and blue on my toenails.

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