By the time your daughter reaches the preteen age, parents are used to hearing all about what everyone else gets to do except her. “But mom,” she protests, “Sidney gets more allowance than I do.” And, “Haley’s parents let her get her ears pierced – twice.”
During this stage, parents can count on “doing most things wrong and a few things right” in the eyes of their tweens. No matter how you approach the infamous “ear piercing” question, you’re bound to meet a little resistance. But, before you give-in to your daughter’s fad-of-the-moment, it’s important to sort out the pros and cons of ear piercing. Your preteen should understand what responsibilities go along with having her ears pierced – and so should you. Because once the decision is made to get pierced, be prepared for the next thing she’ll hit you up for…all of the bling she wants to wear in them!
Piercing Points to Consider:
- Age matters. Generally, it’s a good idea to wait until your daughter is able to take care of the piercing herself. This age will vary with each child, so use your best judgment. Unless it’s for ethnic or religious purposes, you shouldn’t pierce your child’s ears too young because she may pull out the earrings which can cause a choking risk.
- Pick a sanitary sanctuary. If possible, get her ears pierced at the doctor’s office because it’s the most sanitary and safest method. .If you choose a common venue, such as the mall, be sure to check out a couple of places before committing to one. Look for stores that sterilize their tools and have a single use needle practice. Stainless steel or 14k gold posts should also be used to minimize the risk of infection.
- Conquer the fear factor. Talk with her ahead of time to let her know that there will be pain involved. Also, let her know how her ears will be pierced. It can be very unnerving for a young girl to see a huge piercing gun coming straight for her head!
- Care for the piercing. Make sure she knows how to take care of her piercing. Usually, her ears will have to be cleaned with rubbing alcohol twice daily and the studs (worn for 6 weeks) will need to be twisted to prevent sticking.
- Search for signs of infection. If you notice any signs of infection, or your daughter has constant pain, see your doctor immediately.
- Say “No” to multiple or cartilage piercing. Don’t let her tell you that it’s ok because her friend Kayla did it (besides, by now we’re really tired about hearing how great her friend’s parents are!). Be sure to lay down the ground rules ahead of time and let her know that one piercing is enough – and that one piercing will be in her earlobe. The latest trend is to have your ear cartilage pierced, or other parts of your body, but you can wait to debate those things when she’s a teenager – besides, it’ll be more fun that way!