A local mom’s best advice on teaching kids self-care? Make it fun (and add glitter tattoos).
Teaching self-care, an umbrella term for any personal action that promotes health including hygiene, nutrition, advocating for your health and much more, is necessary to raise healthy and functioning adults.
Small business owner Anitrea Dortch is here to help. Thanks to Dortch’s business Shimmy N’ Shine, kids in metro Detroit have been experiencing the benefits of a little self-care.
Shimmy N’ Shine is a traveling party company started by Dortch in 2018. While the brick and mortar she operated in Redford is now closed, Dortch is still providing services by going directly to clients’ homes to create special spa moments for kids.
“I believe it’s important for young adults because they may have been bullied or teased, but when we provide those services to the girls, it boosts their self-esteem,” she says. “So, it’s a self-esteem builder, I believe.”
Dortch is a licensed manicurist with more than 20 years in the beauty industry as well as a licensed nurse. She says she takes special precautions to keep the participating children safe, all the way down to vegan nail polish and strict COVID-19 hygiene rules.
Her most popular package is her Alternative Spa, which includes a manicure, pedicure, facial, makeup, glitter tattoos and the option of a tea or painting party. She also includes a backdrop for pictures, a balloon arch and custom treats.
“They think it’s fun, they like it, and when you give them the mirror, it puts a smile on their face,” she says. “They say ‘This is so beautiful, I love it!’”
“Sometimes with the smaller girls you have to get them to warm up, sometimes they’re upset at first, but it always turns around,” she adds. “Putting a smile on their face and hearing many of them say ‘This is the best day ever,’ is everything.”
Dortch lives in Southfield with her four children, ages 20, 14, 11 and 4. Her two youngest — Aariona and Kamran — are always excited to help their mom with her spa parties.
“My 11 year old, she really helps out, while the 4 year old does a good job keeping the younger kids entertained,” she says.
For kids still feeling the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a little “me” time can be extremely beneficial. Dortch says the services she provides fall under the umbrella of self-care, an important concept to teach children.
For kids uninterested in spa packages, Dortch also has parties with activities like Build-a-Bear, making your own lip gloss or bracelet and painting.
Packages run from $325 to $650 and are designed for children ages 3-16. Each package is designed for eight children, with a maximum headcount of 15. Visit the website to learn more.
Dortch’s Top Tips on helping kids learn to self-care at home
Relax with kid-friendly screen time: Teaching kids to unwind and relax is important, whether it’s through approved screen time or reading a book together, Dortch says. “The most popular thing is a kid-friendly movie, or the learning channel, to help kids learn their ABCs and 123s.”
Quality time in the kitchen: Dortch says cooking with kids is a valuable way to teach self-care. For those just starting out, helping kids make popcorn for movie nights is a good way to begin.
Spa nights with the little ones: Teaching children self-care in the form of hygiene is necessary to raising any functioning adult, but Dortch says it doesn’t have to be a chore. Her 4 year old knows the importance of keeping her nails clean and clipped and her 11 year old is excited to help her little sister with manicures, pedicures, and of course, glitter tattoos.
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