In November my six-year-old daughter had her ears pierced, and I talked about it on VancouverMom.ca‘s Facebook page and Twitter stream. Based on the number of responses everyone here at VancouverMom.ca could tell this was a hot topic. We decided to catch up with some Vancouver moms to get their take on ear piercing. What’s the right age to do it? If they’ve done it, how did it go? If you’ve ever wrestled with the decision of when (or if) to get your child’s ears pierced, you’ll want to read these three perspectives.
Piercing a Baby’s Ears
In many cultures it’s normal for very young children to have their ears pierced. Babies can be easily held still for the piercing, and they won’t pull on their ears or interfere with the cleaning process. Lenore Jaggard shares her experience having her baby’s ears pierced:
I just got my daughter’s ears pierced a week ago. She is six months old, almost seven months. I decided to have it done at this age for many reasons: to ensure that I am in control of keeping the new piercing clean, her hair is still short so it will not get caught in the new piercings, with her being young she does not tug or pull on her ears so there is no worry with the healing process, and she has had three sets of immunizations now so I worry a little less about her getting an infection from it. It is amazing the change in the decision of getting your child’s ears pierced from the early 1970’s and 80’s to now. Back then it was rare for a child to have their ears pierced and now it is rare to see a child without. It was not a difficult decision for me to choose to have my child’s ears pierced at all.
Letting Your Child Decide
Based on the responses on Facebook and Twitter, most moms wait until their child asks to have their ears pierced, which usually happens somewhere between four and seven years old. Lisa Schwartz of Schwartz Chronicles shared her own four-year-oldaughter’s ear piercing experience:
My daughter Sarah (four and a half years old) got her ears pierced this weekend. Last year, she admired her cousin’s newly pierced ears, but wasn’t ready to take the plunge. This weekend, she decided she wanted her ears pierced. I didn’t have any hard and fast rules about when she would get them done because as a child I had to wait until I was 12 years old and I found the wait torturous. We chose the Claire’s in our area because they do both ears at the same time. Upon arrival, I filled out the necessary paperwork and Sarah chose her earrings. Sarah didn’t cry at all and shows off her newly pierced ears as if she is flashing a new engagement ring.
Holding off on Ear Piercing
Some moms choose to hold off on ear piercing for a number of reasons. Natasha Greensite had this to say about her decision:
I had my ears pierced when I was 13, a present for my birthday and upcoming Bat Mitzvah. It was therefore an easy decision in my book, when my daughter turned 13 that would be the deal for her, too. I grew up in London, England and the majority of my friends had their ears pierced around the same age I did, but it seems here in Canada, a great many of my daughter’s friends had theirs done when they were much much younger. This posed obvious issues, because my reasoning was suddenly put into question. I strongly feel that with ear piercing comes responsibility, they need regular cleaning and looking after and I think at 13 a girl can do this pretty much independently. However at the age my daughter first asked me, on her fifth birthday and then every year thereafter, I don’t think that responsibility can be fulfilled. It would my job to do and with three kids, selfishly I see it as just one more thing on my list! As I say to my daughter, every time she asks, she will wait until she is 13 and she will still have over 50 years (please G-d!) to enjoy them! So why the rush?
What are your experiences with ear piercing? How did you decide the time was right – or not? Leave us a reply and share your thoughts on kids and ear piercing!
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.