Mum, can I have my ears pierced?

girls watching TV

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.

 

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About Marianne Weekes

BLOGS AT: Mari’s World; TWITTER: @maris_world.

Mother of four and nana to three, Marianne Weekes has spent half her life in the UK and the other half in Italy.

Blogging since Jan 2010, she finds it hard to drag herself away from her laptop and writes about food, travel and lifestyle.
Always on the lookout for the next thing which takes her down many surprising lanes.

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3 Comments

  1. 04 November 2015 / 10:35

    My Daughter is Three and I would not think for a second about getting her ears pierced. I just don’t think they would suit her and to be honest taking care of a pair of lobes is just another job to add onto our already busy lives!!!
    However .. I do have my ears pierced and after begging my Mother for over a year she finally agreed to let me have them done on my 9th birthday using my birthday money. And at that age I was fully able to care for my new piercings myself.
    I would be adamant to draw it out as long as possible. Ear piercing leads to nose piercing and then naval piercing!
    Good luck with making your decision – contending with twins cannot be easy, especially girls ?

  2. 04 November 2015 / 19:36

    My Mum was adamant I wasn’t allowed to have my ear pierced ever. I went on a school trip to Paris when I was 12, came back with some of my pocket money and went into Farnham with my best friend and we both had it done. No parents in sight. You can imagine how happy my Mum was when I rang her from a phone box afterwards. Can’t imagine jewellers even being allowed to do that now.

    My eldest niece had her ears pierced as a baby, and I don’t agree with that, it’s a choice to make when a child is older in my opinion. But I know where my parents live in Spain, its the norm.

  3. 06 November 2015 / 22:03

    My daughter asked if she could have her ears pierced 2 years ago when she was 10. I was happy to let her use her Birthday money to get them done. As a child I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 16 and remember feeling that it was unjust! As I parent I feel that throughout the next few years there will be bigger battles to fight!! However, I don’t agree with babies or very small children having piercings. I think a child should be old enough to make a choice about whether to have their ears pierced and responsible enough to independently manage the aftercare!