- In Southampton resident and author Erika Katz's
new book "Bonding Over Beauty" gives readers insight on how to form a bond with their tween through beauty activities.
Katz was inspired to write the book as one day she was sitting with her daughter who'd had a bad day at school. When she asked what was wrong - her daughter would not talk to her. Later as she was cutting her daughter's nails her daughter started to tell her that a girl at school had been mean to her. Katz finished her nails but wanted to hear the rest of the story so she grabbed a scrub and started scrubbing her daughter's hands. She rinsed the scrub off but wanted her daughter to finish the story so she grabbed the moisturizer and began to give her daughter a manicure.
The next day her daughter wouldn't talk to her again so she started braiding her daughter's hair. Katz realized that when women go to the hair dresser they tend to reveal everything on their minds, so she decided that this might also be a way to get girls
to talk during their tween years when they don't really want to tell you everything. Katz believes, "For some reason when you are doing something together you can really get your children talking and that is how the concept of 'Bonding Over Beauty' started."
She and her daughter worked together on recipes for the book, and when her daughter's friends visit they think Katz is the 'coolest' because she gives them facials and manicures. Katz also has a blog where she gives beauty advice to tweens, and people send her products to try which she uses with her daughter.
Katz believes that beauty is many things including how a person smells, and how the environment around them smells. She states, "When you make your room look good and smell good, you feel good." She loves farmers markets, and using fresh flowers, and she and her daughter make flower sashes out of lavender. For back to school she recommends looking at trends that your child likes and doing it yourself. An example is the flower that performer Taylor Swift
often wears in her hair. To do this buy a ribbon and clip on a silk flower as it costs a fraction of the price and creates an opportunity for mothers and daughters to bond while making it. It teaches creativity, and Katz feels that just because it is in a store does not mean it can't be a do it yourself project. The book is really about bonding, and Katz uses beauty to get there.
Katz would love to do a show and be able to talk to mothers about these issues. She says, "Parenting is extremely difficult and there are not a lot of shows about it. It is very hard to know who your children are in contact with or what they are doing with modern technology as it is so hard to monitor." One problem she believes parents have is they do not pay attention to what their children are watching on TV or reading in magazines, for example, her daughter wanted a blue hair piece, and when her daughter told her this Katz was thinking 1985 punk rock hair, but her daughter showed her a TV show where all the girls had clip-in hair pieces. Before parents say no to their kids, they should see if is trending - because something that parents might think is awful, may just be mainstream and not that bad.
The real message Katz wants parents to know is they need to start talking to their kids when they are young, as when children get older it is much more difficult, and the issues are much larger.
"Bonding Over Beauty" is available through Katz's website and amazon
.com. Katz will been signing books at the Southampton BookHampton
on August 26, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, click here.