Ear piercing is a rite of passage for most American girls, not to mention their Moms.
And it can be difficult to know not only the right age to let them have it done but how to turn it into a meaningful experience for both of you.
We here at Pair Piercing believe that a girl’s piercing event should encompass more than just a quick trip to the mall on an impulse. In fact, that’s why we founded Pair Piercing: to help provide parents with a way to not only elevate the piercing experience above that of, say, buying a new pair of shoes, but to use the occasion as a way to open the doors of communication and bring you closer together.
One of the first decisions you will encounter is the question of when to have it done.
Some parents and some cultures believe in piercing their children’s ears as infants. Others want to wait. But until when?
A few moms on a parenting discussion board wondered the same thing, saying they had received requests from their girls as young as four, five, and six years of age.
As with so much in their lives, the answer depends on the individual child. Most experts recommend waiting until she can assume the responsibility of properly caring for her ears, but the ages vary.
Because of the risk of infection, after-care is crucial. If your child is begging for pierced ears because her best friend just had it done, or she’s the only girl in school who doesn’t have them, but you’re still not sure she can handle the responsibility, you might try one expert’s suggestion. She/he recommended offering her a bargain: If she would walk and brush the dog or clear the table after dinner or perform a similar chore every day for six weeks without being reminded, that would prove her ability to maintain her piercings properly.
Of course, you can’t leave it all up to her. You should be prepared to step in and gently guide her through the process of caring for her newly pierced ears, offering tips when necessary, and cheerleading her through this memorable event in her life.
And here’s where the communication comes in. Ear piercing is an opportunity to celebrate alongside your daughter the myriad of changes that she will experience as she grows from a girl to woman. Before she gets her ears pierced is an opportunity to sit down with your daughter and begin a conversation about feelings, emotions and physical perspective. Pair Piercing provides a short script each month in every box with expert-written questions about these complex topics.
The anticipation of getting her ears pierced may include the excitement of the moment, choosing the piercing studs and the first time she looks in the mirror with newly pierced ears. And of course, after her ears have healed, she will have access to beautiful new earrings, such as those offered by Pair Piercing which is only sold in Sterling Silver and 14KT, best for newly pierced ears.
Her fears will surely include whether or not piercing her ears will hurt or if she will remember all of the post-piercing care steps necessary until her ears heal. It’s important, to be honest with your daughter regarding all these aspects of the experience, and to encourage her to ask questions.
She may ask you about your ear-piercing experience, offering you a chance to share part of your life with her, possibly passing down family traditions or stories about important people in your life who led you through the same rite of passage.
You can also offer one of our favorite suggestions, which is to throw a piercing party by hiring a Pair Piercing Expert to make a house call to do the piercing. Being surrounded by her friends and family can certainly turn the already unique experience into a truly unforgettable event where she feels supported and loved.
The key is to use your daughter’s piercing experience as an opportunity to bond with her, and to create a bridge of trust that you can build on for the future.
In a later blog, we’ll explore ways to make sure her piercing experience is safe, how to ensure it’s as painless as possible, and offer tips for aftercare including wearing earrings made of real metals such as 14KT Gold in that first year.