There's a small but important difference between suggesting a design for your child and telling them what they have to get. It's hard to make the distinction sometimes--you see Hello Kitty, and say "You love Hello Kitty! Let's get you painted with Hello Kitty." But most of the time, it's better to just step back and allow the child to pick their own design. We as face painters like to speak directly to the child and ask them what they want. After all, they're the one who will be painted, and they're the one who needs to look in the mirror and love what they see when we're finished! Nothing breaks our hearts more than when a little girl wants Spiderman and is talked into getting a unicorn by someone else. You can see the disappointment in their eyes because they would've preferred their first choice. This applies to placement, too--we ask every child "would you like it on your face or on your arm?" because some children don't want the paint on their face. When we paint their arm, they can watch the process, look at the design frequently when we're done, and there aren't any pointy brushes in the vicinity of their eyes (something that freaks out lots of kids!).
It's a small thing, but to us it makes a big difference. Ultimately, we're there to make the children happy! If a child says they want a butterfly on their arm, that is what we will paint. It doesn't matter if they're a boy or a girl, or if their parent says they should get something different. Remember, kids know what they want! You just have to take the time to ask them.
Until next time,