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little girls and earrings

Josie is going to be five in a few weeks, and for her birthday she really wants her ears pierced. I know! Where does she hear about this stuff?

Preschool! the social pressures, you wouldn't believe it. She's been asking about this since she was three and saw other girls in her class with earrings.

I asked her, "Do you want earrings just because your friend sophia has them?" and she said yes. hmmm. too bad about the conformity, but points for honesty!

I had friends who had their daughters ears pierced as a baby which I was totally against. For one, a lot of them had their ears pierced so that people will "know she's a girl" and that's an unfortunate reason, why is it so important for people to know that an infant is a girl? How about we just let them be little people as long as we can, before society's tight gender boxes get around them?

Second, I am against the idea that any person can decide that any other person should get a cosmetic body modification. Leave kids the way God made them. I thought it was totally weird when people asked if I'd get a strawberry mark on top of Josie's head removed... I was told it'd probably fade away anyway, or get covered by hair. Why accept the risk of a medical procedure? And if she'd been a boy, she would not have been circumcised.

I was not going to get Josie's ear pierced unless she herself asked me for it.

Then she did.

So do I just give in? Or choose some other arbitrary age, I think my mom said I had to be 12, I don't know how she came up with that.

I think Josie is old enough that she'll take care of them herself a little bit, keep them clean, turn the posts, with a little help from us.

But then she'll be wearing earrings, forever. A rambunctious little kid on the playground, with earrings? does that sound bad?

I'm tempted to keep coming up with reasons to wait.


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 13th, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
I'd go for the compromise position of saying that she can have them if she *still wants them* in a year - a time frame long enough to not make it about immediate I WANT (followed shortly by regret). But I don't have a kid. I had mine done when I was old enough to go alone (although my Mum relented and took me) by which time I'd wanted them for years.

She won't have to be wearing earrings *forever*, if she doesn't want to. They do come out :) indeed my Mum no longer has pierced ears because she quit wearing earrings.

I do think that some sporty-things go poorly with ear-ring wearing; but after a few months you can safely leave them out while doing those things that don't go well with earrings.
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:05 pm (UTC)

Did you mention that needles were involved in the piercing? Maybe telling her that a needle has to go through her skin in order for her to have earrings would change her mind.

My mom wouldn't let me get mine pierced til I was 16. And I 100% agree with you on getting an infants ears pierced.  It's not necessary & I figure it would be a good grown up decision for the child to make on their own later on.

Apr. 13th, 2015 03:00 pm (UTC)
yes! I told her they had to shoot a gun through her ear. it deterred her for a couple days then she came back and said "I still want earrings!"
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:18 pm (UTC)
My oldest was 5-6 when hers were done and she did great with them. My youngest has had her original holes close up from non-use and had to have them redone as an adult. I'm all for waiting until they're a bit older to start poking holes in their bodies.
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:19 pm (UTC)
A few thoughts:

I think it would be okay if she asks for it since two years to get her ears pierced. These kind of piercings are rarely regretted and are mostly not really visible, if she chooses not to wear earrings anymore. I know there could be a discussion about "But if I allow that, what else should I allow? What if she wants her nose pierced next?!", but you can argue that often.

Second thought: She really might not wear earrings always and forever. I have pierced ears and wear earrings maybe once a year.

Third thought: A friend of mine does not have pierced ears, but has a ton of earrings she wears - with screws! Also available is clips, but she is really into screws. It might be a compromise you could look into first :)

Some very random examples:
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:29 pm (UTC)
I wore non-pierced earrings for years because I wasn't allowed piercings. But they HURT SO MUCH. I wouldn't recommend them for kids. OW.
(no subject) - elfy - Apr. 13th, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - naath - Apr. 13th, 2015 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cactus_rs - Apr. 13th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:26 pm (UTC)
I was told by my mom that if I really wanted to get my ears pierced that I could do it in grade 3.

It does seem rather arbitrary, though.
Apr. 13th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC)
I was told that I had to wait until I was 13 to get it done. My mum figured teenager = able to make the decision. She told me I had to be able to responsible for caring for the holes by myself, even if they went gunky and sore, and not come complaining to her if they hurt, so 13 was the age designated. I wasn't pleased, but I wasn't the kind of child to go against her so that was that.
Apr. 13th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
My mom also told me I'd have to wait until 13; I think her reasoning was that she didn't particularly object to my having pierced ears, but she wanted me to be old enough to care for them myself. In the end she let me do it at 10-11, presumably because she realized I was capable then of caring for them (and I did).
Apr. 13th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
I would say 7. It's a good number, very classic in terms of storytelling and the world.
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
storytelling? when I hear 7 I just think of signs of the apocalypse, or 7 deadly sins, lol
(no subject) - athene - Apr. 13th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 13th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
You could guess your kid wants it as long as she realizes that procedure hurts as fuck.
Apr. 13th, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
I had my daughter's ears pierced at 9 months and we never had any issues with earrings through the years. We figured if she did not want pierced ears, she would let her holes fill in on her own. Not the case, she loved her earrings, even when she was in her sporty phase. Playground, beach, pool, horseback riding, nothing was a problem, she usually wore studs anyway. Her ears are still pierced and she has now added a few tattoos to it all, LOL...
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
If you're worried about her losing earrings on the playground, go with surgical steel captive bead rings. Those things stay in better than other kinds; she can change the beads for different looks. And it's better to go to a piercer than someplace that uses those guns- the guns are much more painful and bruise the tissue, where the cannula is a clean cut with far less pressure. They may look kind of scary but they are more hygienic (make sure they autoclave their instruments)because those guns spatter blood and tissue (in very small amounts) and they are impossible to autoclave.

Oh, and the rings are easier to sleep in; they lay flat against the side of the head instead of poking.

Edited at 2015-04-13 03:04 pm (UTC)
Apr. 14th, 2015 02:56 am (UTC)
I second this! Go to a professional piercer.
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:06 pm (UTC)
I once read, and wish I'd practiced more with my kids sooner, that you should always have a certain amount of time that a kid waits before making a big decision/purchase. It's supposed to teach your kids (and I believe adults are told to try doing this themselves) to not impulse buy or be reckless. I don't remember a suggested time frame. Actually I think for adults it was 3 days. For kids I'd imagine it'd be longer? But maybe come up with some general rule that applies across the board for the future too?
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC)
I think she might be coming up on a full year of asking for these, since I know she brought it up in her first preschool class.

For me, I talked about getting the same tattoo for something like ten years before I actually got it. So that's a good starting point!
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
We have some clip on ones that don't seem to hurt her ears, but I tell her she can't wear them to school (we lose so much stuff). I don't know, it seems like it might be hard to do that with Josie though, since the primary reason is that she wants to be like her school friends.

I had to wait until I was 13, honestly now I wish I hadn't done it at all but it was kind of a right of passage or something. I dunno. Good luck?
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
She wouldn't like clip-on or magnetic earrings?
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Personally, I can't see the objection.
Apr. 13th, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC)
Being the mother of two daughters, I can confidently recommend waiting. She is too young to make that decision on her own, and someone getting angry with her on the playground and pulling her earring off can do some serious damage. Some things should be a milestones. You can have earrings when you are thirteen, to celebrate your becoming a teenager. Like that. Oh, and guns are not needles. It's a psychological thing, I think. :)
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