In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Spa time for moms and daughters–The NY Times thinks it’s all about bonding…it’s not!

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 1, 2007

An article in today’s NY Times caught my interest –about moms bonding with their young daughters over spa experiences–manicures, pedicures and even facials and massages. I have two daughters and I’m all for the occasional manicure, but the idea of eight or nine-year olds getting facials and massages as a way to bond with their mothers seems problematic to me and I’m not talking about the cost or the general sense of “what’s left to look forward to if you do it all now” that the article talks about. But rather, the idea that a child’s body integrity can become extremely distorted if she has strangers massaging it and otherwise “caressing” it long before she is old enough to process the feelings evoked by such an experience. Girls need to know that their bodies are sacred and private, not to be shared until they are much, much older. Mothers should find ways to bond with their daughters that might be less likely to cause this type of confusion.

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