It’s going to happen at some point, the question can your child have their ears pierced and it’s happening in my home, on a regular basis as my 7 year old twins start the debate on why, at what age and where.
I am enjoying their creative arguments, ‘So and so has her ears pierced and she got them done in preschool!’ I am enjoying the fact that they are clever enough to put me on the spot but I still have the upper hand, unless they heard my husband whisper, ‘I don’t see what the problem is.’
So when is the right age to have your ears pierced?
I put the question to Facebook.
My timeline is full of intelligent women whom I respect and admire (and men but the women are the most likely to respond.) I am lucky enough to know people from different countries and different backgrounds too which make a wonderful mix of opinions when it comes down to how much chilli pepper do you put in your chilli con carne or at what age should a child have their ears pierced.
I admit to having my older daughter’s ears pierced when she was two. I was living in Italy and it was completely the normal thing to do, I was younger and she had the cutest gold teddy bear earrings you ever did see.
But for the twins, something is holding me back. Am I holding on to their childhood for as long as I can in the knowledge that once it’s gone it’s gone? Am I being a mean mum?
What age did we have our ears pierced?
Reading through the replies it seems that as children ourselves, we were made to wait until an ‘appropriate age,’ which changes from family to family. Anything from the age of 5 upwards to 18 in some cases. My continental friends piped in with their take on the matter, ‘In Spain the doctors are waiting for the baby girl to arrive with earrings in her hand before cutting the umbilical cord!’
What do we need to take into consideration?
As mothers we have the final call and all of our decisions are made on what we think is best for them. One factor that weighs heavily is the after care needed once the ears are pierced. No mother wants to be trailing back and forth to the doctors with infected ear lobes. It is true that in the days following the piercing the earrings need to be turned daily and cleaned with antiseptic solution, so lots of mums have decided that the best time to get your daughter’s ears pierced is at the beginning of the summer holidays, allowing a good healing time before going back to school in the autumn.
PE and games plays a huge part in the decision making. Infant schools ask for earrings to be covered in plasters for ‘health and safety’ reasons and one mum, also a teacher, has had the unpleasant experience of seeing ears ripped open in PE.
One mother adds to the discussion saying, ‘Never. I’m thinking acupressure points and effects!’ Now I hadn’t considered that and I like acupressure. What are the effects?
What is the average age of children getting their ears pierced?
If I can work that out then maybe I can give my daughters a clear mathematical reply based on averages and percentages, that’ll impress them!
If you are a continental mother then you are most likely to have your child’s ears pierced at birth of within the first two years of her life. There are also some UK mums who had their babies ears pierced and swear it was the right decision.
Glancing through all the replies, I read, 4, 6, 7, 11, 16 which isn’t a clear answer we are all agreeing on. A lot of mums seem to be aiming for the transition from junior school to secondary school and I find myself nodding in agreement. Then I read the replies of the mums who cave in before; they had every intention of waiting for the summer before secondary school but got beaten on the long run up by constant demand.
There was one child who was adamant and her mum caved in, took her to a well known piercing shop on the high street but when her daughter heard another girl scream she lost her courage and hasn’t asked to go back since claiming she never wants to have her ears pierced, ever.
I keep telling her I had to wait until 16, which she regards as a disaster. So anything sooner than that is a bonus for her. — Jen Howze, Co-founder of BritMums
If you are tackling this decision like me, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to help you make up your mind but maybe you’ll find these tips from mums who have been there and done it helpful.
- I never have hoops or anything like that in her ears just small studs.
- Let her practice taking your earrings out and putting them back in again, all good practice.
- Let her care for her ears with salt water, twist them on a daily basis and take them in and out by herself.