‘Mummy when can I have my ears pierced?’ That’s the question I’m being asked a gazzilion times a day by the oldest at the moment.
She’s six and desperate to have them done. So desperate it’s all she talks about morning, noon and night.
The thing is I feel her pain. I too was desperate to have my ears pierced from as young as I can remember but was always told I had to wait until I was 16.
In the end my parents caved in when I was 12, probably fearing I would go somewhere unsuitable and get them done or worse, do it myself.
I used to argue until I was blue in the face that I wasn’t going to change my mind so why couldn’t I just have them done now, and anyway, all my friends had them done.
I doubt BB will change her mind either, and it’s true several of her friends have theirs done, but that’s not the point. Isn’t childhood short enough as it is without encouraging them to grow up too fast?
Apparently seven is the average age for girls to have their ears pierced. BB will be seven next month yet it feels wrong on so many levels.
Ear piercing is for life: once it’s done it’s done and there’s no going back. I wouldn’t dream of letting her have a tattoo, yet it’s essentially the same thing when you think about it.
In a well known accessories shop on our local high street (which will remain nameless but starts with a ‘C’ and ends with an ‘s’) they pierce ears in the window for free. I’ve seen babies and toddlers screaming their heads off having had one ear done and being forcibly held down by their parents while the gun-wielding shop assistant attempts to put the hole in the other. As a mum it pulls on every heart string I have. Why would anyone do that to their child?
I have explained the pain factor and the aforementioned gun-wielding shop assistant to BB, but she appears unphased.
Then there’s the aftercare: the salt water baths, the taping them up for PE or even taking them out and putting them back in again herself. Can a six-year-old really be trusted to take responsibility for this themselves?
Of course it’s her body, her decision – and I think it’s important to respect that. But when she’s older, not when she’s six.
Should I let my daughter have her ears pierced? I asked some fellow parenting bloggers what they think and their answers fall into two very different camps.
Should I let my daughter have her ears pierced?
“If YOU think she’s too young then you’ve already answered your own question,” says Amy at Amy Treasure. “While I believe children should have autonomy over their bodies it is still our responsibility as parent to guide them and six years of age isn’t old enough to make this type of decision.”
“I begged to have mine done at seven, and my dad gave in (without my mum knowing),” says Emily at Emily and Indiana. “I was too young to care for them myself though, and in the end I just let the holes close up. I got them re-pierced again when I was a teen and much more responsible – but now I have two sets of holes right next to each other! I won’t be letting mine get them done that young. It wasn’t worth it!”
“No no no! My best friend got hers ripped out in the swimming pool when we were seven – unknown to her, the butterfly got caught on her hair and when she pulled her wet hair away it ripped the earring out,” says Tina at Girls Gospel. “My daughter is six now and I’ll be making her wait until the summer she is starting secondary school.”
“I think younger than 10 it really isn’t necessary and also it’s impractical for things like sports when they aren’t yet capable of taking them in and out themselves,” says Laura at Five Little Doves. “I also think children should be children. There’s plenty of time when they grow.”
“I was made to wait until I was 11 and I NEVER wear them!” says Nicole at The Littlest Darlings. “I wish I’d never got them done. It’s pointless me having them!”
“My daughter who is six has just had them done after asking constantly,” says Kay at Mummy Burgess. “I said at any point she didn’t want them she could say and we would stop. She saw me get another cartilage piercing and that still didn’t put her off! She didn’t even flinch when she had them done. She looks after them herself (with my supervision) and loves them.”
“I allowed my daughter to have hers done for her sixth birthday,” says Beth at Life As Mum. “She was so excited and she loves them. It was her choice and her words, which is why I didn’t mind.”
“My daughter really wanted hers done when she was little and for some reason I told her she could when she was eight,” says Angela at The Life of Spicers. “I was totally plucking a number out of the air. She never let me forget it so she did get them done on her 8th birthday and actually she looked after them very well. I made her understand that she had to look after them, clean them and that it was likely going to hurt the first time she took them out (and it did). However adhoc my decision was, it worked really well for us.”
“My son had his ear pierced as a Christmas gift (he was seven in the January). He had been adamant for a long time, had real clear points for wanting it done, and we had talked about the pain. He’s had his piercing for six months and has taken such care of it,” says Debbie at An Organised Mess.
“I was seven when I had my ears pierced,” says Laura at The Delaney Diaries. “I was so pleased and think I stood in front of the mirror staring at them for weeks!”
What do you think? Do you have your ears pierced and how old were you when you had them done? Do you have a son or daughter with pierced ears? I’d love to know what you think!