17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To Pierce...or NOT to pierce...that is the question.

I think there is actually only one of us on here who already has children with pierced ears...which begs the question: WHEN?

When I was growing up, I was told that I could get my ears pierced at age 12. This was an excruciating announcement because I was the girliest of girlie girls, and I wanted to wear earrings so very much.

I would look longingly on my friends with their hoops, diamonds, crazy 80's earrings, and just WISH I could have them too. I don't remember exactly how I did it, but I got my mom to shave off 2 years, and I got them done when I was 10. In fact, I think my mom actually surprised me...blindfolded me and took me to Merle Norman. Mom...are you out there? Is that what happened?

This approach was actually really great, because I HAD to just get brave all of a sudden, and I didn't have time to think about it.

Here in Queens, more than once the well-meaning passerby has said with a bit of shock in their voice: "Their ears are not pierced?" about my girls. (Frankly, they might even say it about a boy as well....)

Oh, ummm, well no. Why? Well, this topic is not of huge importance to me as far as really thinking it through and knowing what I am going to do before I am faced with it, unlike say, drug-use, abstaining from sex until marriage or whether or not I will play strip poker....all of those things I had decided, when approached, I will say NO. This whole ear piercing thing I hadn't even considered. So, if I WERE to care a ton, and WERE to answer that question I guess it would be:

1. I don't want to cause my baby unnecessary pain (however brief).
2. Why not let HER decide if she wants holes in her ears for the rest of her life?
3. I don't want to maintain little itty bitty baby earrings.

Before the Prophet announced that we should all take out our double-pierces, my mom and I got them done when we are on a trip, just the two of us. We came home, and my Dad didn't notice for several hours, until we finally showed him. He couldn't even speak. He was so upset. We had to take them out the night we got back. Now of course, I am glad, because I don't have to deal with my emotions and empty holes in my ears, in connection with trying to follow the prophet.

Anyway, my daughter, Pukey, who is 5, brought up to me yesterday that she is READY to get her ears pierced. We spoke about it for a while, and then I decided today that I would do a little research. I found some great videos to show her, even one that stars one of her Disney Channel idols, Ashley Tisdale, getting her ears pierced.

After watching these three videos, she said to me: "Well, maybe when I'm 8."


  • I think we finally settled on "10". I have no idea why, I guess I figured at 8, they're still a little young to really care for their little ears and the earrings. So, somehow 10 sounded good?? We'll see in about 18 months I guess, when my oldest turns 10!!
    posted by Blogger Wendy at 8/15/2007 06:22:00 AM  

  • I got mine (kind of) in conjunction with my baptism at age 8. I think that's a good age. The whole thing is a longer story than that (saving it for my blog) but let's just say that your trip to Merle Norman was a MUCH more painless endeavor.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 8/15/2007 07:41:00 AM  

  • My mom originally refused to let me have mine pierced until I was 21. She changed her mind (or I wore her down -- I don't remember) when I was 10.

    I'm definitely on the side of "good grief, why would you pierce an infant's ears and give yourself that much more to fuss with?" Some people are willing, for whatever personal or cultural reason and that's find for them. Me, I'm not gonna bother. I'm surprised that other people seem so shocked.

    As far as little girls getting their ears pierced -- well, you'll have to check with me again in about 10 years when I might have actually had a little girl and had to make this decision. As it stands, I think our kids are growing up too fast and are certainly sexualized too soon. I'm leaning toward not letting her pierce her ears until she's 12 and entered into the YW program. I'm also debating not allowing it until she's 16 and dating. I don't know.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 8/15/2007 08:07:00 AM  

  • I guess in some ways I must have a little rebellion in me. When I was growing up one fo my friends moms always used to act like it was so scandalous that my mom let me have pierced ears and wear fingernail polish. Give me a flippin' break!

    We got Lena's little ears pierced when she was 5 mo. old! She looked so much like a boy- and everyone ALWAYS thought she was- so that was one of my main excuses for getting it done so early. Many pediatricians offices will do it now days, but we just went to the Icing and they had two girls stand at each ear and do it in one shot. She cried less than she did for her immunizations, and then fell asleep. It was not trouble at all. She looked SOO freakin' CUTE!

    The good thing about it is that you can get them healed and kind of used to the feeling of them before they are old enough to start grabbing at them. She NEVER even realized they were there, and now she loves them. We have fun coordinating little crystal and flower earrings with her outfits.

    But growing up our "family" age was 7. I personally don't see why to make a rule about it. They are cute, and honestly - if they grow up and don't want them- the can always stop wearing them.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 8/15/2007 08:15:00 AM  

  • " unlike say, drug-use, abstaining from sex until marriage or whether or not I will play strip poker....all of those things I had decided, when approached, I will say NO."

    Interesting way to phrase it.

    So, will Kage use drugs? NO. Play strip poker? NO.

    Abstain from sex until marriage?


    Way to go, Kage! :P
    posted by Blogger Kaimipono at 8/15/2007 08:46:00 AM  

  • Kage,

    I remember getting my ears pierced at age 11 before my best friend moved away from Illinois to Utah (of course- you remember Emily G??). It was a cool experience to do it with her at Claire's in the mall and I'm glad I was old enough to remember it. My cute little 6 year old stepdaughter just had hers done because she broke her arm on the jungle gym this summer and I felt so bad for her that I surprised her by taking her to the mall to our Claire's and getting them pierced since she'd been wanting them for months. She was SO ecstatic and like you, she had to hurry and be brave and not have time to think about getting scared off. She loves them now and is old enough to clean them herself and take care of them. However, there is more to her story. When she was only 1 year old, her birth mom (who is not in her life much anymore) pierced them without my husband or I knowing. The poor little baby was miserable every time we had to clean them and one day she was being wild and pulled one right through her ear lobe. She was in horrible pain and it was a pretty bad experience for her. I vowed to NEVER pierce my baby girls' ears until they were old enough to want it and take care of it themselves. I don't think there is a magic age to do it, just when the girls are individually ready. I think you're smart to show your daughter videos of her role models and let her decide for herself. It should be a happy and memorable experience with their mom or friends. Good luck! :)
    posted by Blogger LJ at 8/15/2007 09:07:00 AM  

  • I had to wait until 12, and I'm leaning in that general direction for my only daughter. Not sure why, though. I don't objct to others piercing babies ears- I just kind of feel, for my daughter, it's her body. I have a string of old (no longer used!) piercing up my ears, and even one in my nose, and the holes never really go all the way away. What if she doesn't want ear piercings? Meh, so I'll wait.
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 8/15/2007 09:22:00 AM  

  • Age ten was the age that we picked in our family and that has worked out well. I have 3 daughters and the youngest will soon be ten and she has been planning the experience for months. It is almost as exciting as when she was baptized at 8. They grow up so fast as it is, so to have a big girl thing to look forward to is fun. I remember when I had mine done at 12 and how life changed, lol.
    posted by Blogger delilas at 8/15/2007 09:37:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger delilas at 8/15/2007 09:37:00 AM  

  • For me it was age 12. By the time I was 12, I wasn't interested in being stabbed--even though I'm sure it really doesn't hurt as much as it looks like! I'd also seen a few too many friends get infections or be allergic to certain kinds of metal and it seemed so painful. I will admit to not being a terribly girlie girl, though. I still have never pierced my ears and the only times I've really wished they were was for school dances, like prom, and my wedding day. Otherwise, I'm smart enough to know all the money I've saved over the years by not being able to buy the dang cute earrings! So far I've only been blessed with boys and hope I never have to worry about them wanting piercings!
    posted by Blogger colds1 at 8/15/2007 10:11:00 AM  

  • I was 9 - mom was cool about it.

    Honestly, I feel like I have so many other things in my life to worry about that deciding whether or not or WHEN to pierce my daughters ears is the least of my concerns. I just want her to keep her clothes on and not talk to boys (she's 2 1/2).
    posted by Blogger chloe at 8/15/2007 10:20:00 AM  

  • Kage said:
    He was so upset. We had to take them out the night we got back.

    I hope you mean that you chose to take them out. While your father's opinion counts for something, he shouldn't have control over what you do with your body, or what your mother does with hers. Choosing to take them out rather than upset him is another thing entirely.

    Chloe said:
    I just want her to keep her clothes on and not talk to boys (she's 2 1/2).

    I hope you don't mean that the way it sounds. (Well, the keeping her clothes on part is fine.) I have a 2 1/2 yo boy, and he's friends with quite a few girls, especially since there's a lot more girls than boys in his nursery class. I would be really sad if one of their mothers didn't want them to be friends with him just because he's a boy.

    And, in response to the post, we got to get our ears pierced at 10 growing up. If I actually have a girl some day I'll probably let her get hers pierced at about the same age. One reason I would never pierce a daughter's ears when she was little is because my skin is severely allergic to metal, and I want to know if that's an issue before I let my daughter get pierced ears.
    posted by Anonymous Vada at 8/15/2007 10:39:00 AM  

  • I couldn't get mine done till high school. I will wait for my girls until they are old enough to take care of them themselves. Frankly, I've never understood wanting to get the little ones' ears done. Why add one more thing to do? :) I also am the type that has to turn away when my kidlets get shots, so choosing pain for them for nothing but cosmetic reasons would simply be trauma for this momma.
    posted by Anonymous m&m at 8/15/2007 11:01:00 AM  

  • I didn't read all the comments yet, but my mom took us to get our ears pierced when we were 10 and it was special thing. It was all built up, like that is what you got for your 10th birthday (if we wanted to get them pierced - which of course me & my two sisters did!). There were times when I remember being 8 or 9 and LONGING to have them done. But my mom made it this really special outing (just me & her, go get ice-cream, too, or something) and it was really meaningful. I think it's a cool thing to get to do, and I for one loved the way my mom did it. Then I really got to be a part of it.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/15/2007 11:10:00 AM  

  • After reading everyone's comments, I am thinking I am not the norm- but oh well! Maybe when she's 8 or 10 we'll go get mani-pedi's together as a special first time treat!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 8/15/2007 11:44:00 AM  

  • kaimi, you caught me!!! Bring on the sex...oh yeah, already married, too late!

    vada, yes it was our choice, my dad is not dominating in that way, but we are pretty sure he wouldn't have spoken to us for a long time. On my 18th b-day I told my dad I was only way to get my ears double-pierced and he said he'd buy me an outfit if I didn't...so I took the outfit, I love bribes.

    I have nothing against any little child having earrings, Im like rachel h, think tasteful jewelry on babies and little ones is so cute...even earrings. I just never had this plan to get my baby's ears done, probably b/c WE didn't as kids. And now that it has come up, I am exploring the options...it sounds like 9 to 12 is a good time to do it? But also like rachel h, I can think of other ways to have first-times and make memories that don't necessarily have to involve pain, swelling, and more pain.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/15/2007 12:07:00 PM  

  • I have been thinking that I will get my girls ears pierced when they turn 10. I didn't want to deal with cleaning them all the time when they are young, it is just one more thing to add to my already too long To-Do List. :-) I also didn't want to deal with infections, allergies, lost earrings, or my younger dd finding a loose earring or backing and eating it. It just seems easier to me to wait until they are responsible enough to take care of them themselves. I also like the idea of making it a special day.
    posted by Anonymous MKC at 8/15/2007 12:12:00 PM  

  • Kage - I don't remember it being THAT excrutiatingly painful.... but maybe that's just me. I guess you should always be prepared though b/c everyone has a different tolerance for pain.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/15/2007 01:20:00 PM  

  • We said the girls could get theirs done when they go their period. It was brilliant -- first because it was out of our control, and second because it became a kind of rite of passage [that and flowers from their Dad] for the whole period thing.

    I saw a 5 year old get her ears pierced in the mall. She screamed and cried and wouldn't let them do the second one, even under threats and extreme pressure from her mom. I don't know what finally happened 'cause I left -- just couldn't stand watching the whole abusive thing any longer.
    posted by Anonymous Not Ophelia at 8/15/2007 02:41:00 PM  

  • Not Ophelia -- ooh, I like that idea. I think I'll go with that one.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 8/15/2007 03:18:00 PM  

  • Too bad you had to show her videos of only "scared, bad experiences". I totally agree with those that don't give a hoot when it happens.....really, there are LOTS bigger battles to face and honestly the chance of girls WANTING to pierce their ears someday is ummmmmm.....like 99%. Seems like you may be the one not wanting it to happen. Didn't she want to do it?
    All 4 of my girls have pierced ears. We did it on the same day and they were 7,5,3 and 1. SO DANG CUTE!!! The only one that even budged is the one year one. Not a cry, as we put numbing solution on her ear first....dreamy! Not a single one has gotten infected either. AND, I only insisted that they clean them twice a day for 10 days. I don't think the bad, ugly infections are as common as you'd think.
    Good luck! I'm sure it'll work just fine whenever it happens.
    posted by Anonymous cali at 8/15/2007 03:19:00 PM  

  • I got my ears pierced with my mom at 4. I had to wait until 18 to get my double holes and love them, miss them, but follow the prophet and have not worn them for years. My husband and I never felt strongly either way about when our daughter could get them pierced. We ended up piercing them right before she turned 2, and now almost 4 SHE LOVES THEM! In fact, just the other day she came up to inform me it was time to change the earrings to new ones (we rotate studs every few months). She doesn't remember the piercing and actually she didn't cry. They pierced them both at the same time and she gave me a look of disgust and then was over it. No trauma!
    posted by Blogger Kellie at 8/15/2007 04:15:00 PM  

  • cali, if you watch the link on great and then on videos, you will see that I showed her an example of happy child with piercings and sad child with piercings, so that she could see the scope of what she might experience. I am fine if she wants to get them done...just don't want the one ear done and then won't get the other one done thing...or the meltdown right before it happens, like when we recently got blood taken.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/15/2007 04:16:00 PM  

  • My step-daughter had hers done at birth. Her mom is Puerto Rican, and it's a Latino thing. My mom had me wait until I was 12, and my DH and I decided that's what we want to do with our girls. For me, it's a part of becoming a young woman. I want my little girls to stay little girls as long as possible. They grow up too fast as it is. Anyway, that's why I have stuck with 12.
    posted by Blogger jlk at 8/15/2007 06:47:00 PM  

  • it was the age of accountability for me, 8.
    posted by Blogger brenbot at 8/15/2007 07:37:00 PM  

  • I got mine done at 8, I don't think it was any special reason, I believe I wanted them pierced, we were at the mall, and my mom went for it. I remember wearing lots of fun, big earrings in the late 80s/early 90s. I got my double holes when I was 13 or so, and my mom took me to get them done. She okay'd a cartiledge piercing when I was 17, but I waited to do the rest until I was 18. I SO miss all of my earrings (a total of 9 holes altogether). I would love a nose piercing.
    It looks like the consensus falls within a four-year window from 8 to 12; I think that any time after they can take care of the holes themselves, it's perfectly fine to allow a girl to get her ears pierced.
    posted by Blogger VirtualM at 8/15/2007 08:11:00 PM  

  • I liked Not Ophelia's idea, too! Only I would have had to wait until I was 14! That would have been torture for me as I, too, was a girly-girl.

    I got my ears pierced at age 10 which appears to be a popular age. I had just gotten braces so it was a nice way to balance the metal in my smile with something pretty. I still remember getting it done and choosing silly little blue popsicle earrings for after the studs could come out.

    I think it was a good age. I was old enough to take care of them and old enough to have it be a fun memory.
    posted by Blogger lainakay at 8/16/2007 11:52:00 AM  

  • Personally I think it's a little bizarre to link it with some big entrance into womanhood thing A)is a 12 year old a woman anyways?
    B)I don't want my child to feel that girls who have it done earlier are doing something wrong or weird because it's neither. I'm letting my kids choose whenever they want to do it, it's fine by me.
    posted by Blogger Amelia at 8/16/2007 01:56:00 PM  

  • Stopping my lurking for a minute to throw in my two cents (more like a dollar, this is a really long comment).

    The rule in my family was that the girls could get their ears pierced when they turned 16 and could start dating. My mom and my older sisters had theirs pierced, so I was quite excited about getting mine done too. For my sixteenth birthday cousins-party, we went to the mall and I got mine done and several of my cousins got theirs done too (after some begging and pleading to their mothers).

    I cleaned them regularly. They didn't seem to be healing well. I continued to clean and rotate the studs for almost a whole month longer than they had told me was necessary. Finally I decided that they were healed, and switched out my studs for a different pair. I left them in for three days, then decided to switch to another pair again, an old pair my sister had given me.

    After it taking so long to heal the first time though, I decided to be extra careful and clean the hand-me-down earrings off thoroughly before I put them in, after I had already taken the other pair out. Approximately three minutes later, when I tried to stick them in the holes, I could not get them through. It hurt horribly. My mom had told me stories about how she had accidentally repierced her own ears when her holes had closed up a bit and she stuck her earrings through in a slightly different direction than the original hole had gone, and I decided I didn't want to do that to myself. I'm a wuss when it comes to pain. I also found out, a while later, that my mom and sisters are allergic to cheap metal earrings and all have to have the ones with the more expensive silver or gold posts, which made me want earrings even less.

    So, a few months later, the holes had grown over. Now, eight years later, I still haven't ever repierced them, and there's only the slightest of bumps that only I can feel to indicate the holes were ever there.

    I still see really cute earrings occasionally that make me do little squeals and go over and examine them closely, but have not ever had the desire to pierce my ears again. I don't even wear clip-ons, because they pinch my ears a lot (and, as stated earlier, I'm a wuss about pain). My husband doesn't care whether or not my ears are pierced, and nobody has commented on it for years.

    I think other people's pierced ears are really cute, earrings can add a touch of fun or elegance to a lot of outfits and hairstyles. It's just not important to me and my ears though.

    Long story short, I've had a completely different earring experience than most anybody I've ever met. Just thought I might throw a slightly different perspective into the mix.

    All that out of the way, I really like the idea of making ear piercing something special reserved for a specific age or occasion as an act of celebration for your daughter. Though, getting them done spur of the moment without a lot of waiting and anticipation has a lot of benefits too. Good luck deciding!
    posted by Blogger kadusey at 8/16/2007 02:21:00 PM  

  • Well, my ears are without holes. My mom didn't let us until we were 18. As a girl I never begged, pestered, etc. Out of 7 girls in the family, only 3 have done it. (The youngest, who isn't 18 yet got her way I think.) I don't have the same moral issue (don't put holes in the body God gave you) my Mom did, though I respect it. Sometimes I'm really tempted to go get a sweet short haircut and pierce my ears. I just go back to the fact that I don't want to always have earrings in and be left with holes when they're not. We'll see. Maybe when my girls are "of age" we'll do it together. It'll be a good pre-mid-life crisis thing.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 8/16/2007 03:22:00 PM  

  • katie...help me understand short haircut...just so that the earlobes will show?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/16/2007 05:04:00 PM  

  • Umm, yes. Earrings seem to be seen better with short hair! But I know, it's not a must. I'd probably freak out with too much change all the sudden. :)
    posted by Blogger Katie at 8/16/2007 06:19:00 PM  

  • Hey guys!

    Sorry I have been so out of the loop. Summer vacations + buying a house + moving have been severely limiting my computer visits lately. You know it's bad when the Tales girls have to call me to tell me to about a post!

    Anyway, I am the Tales girl Kage alluded to in her original post -- the one who has kids with pierced ears. I had them done when they were each 4 months old - on the day they got their shots. I figured they already had tylenol in their system and it was already a bad day of sticks so might as well do the piercing on the same day.

    My mom has never had her ears pierced and her attitude, I think, is similar to Katie's mother. For most of my sister's it was 18 year old. One of my sister's got it done at 14 I think because my other sister took her and I got mine at 12(?). And it was a huge fight to get there. I hated that she wouldn't let me do it before then. I was frustrated at her opinion that it was this HUGE deal. Anyway, there were many fights and a lot of contention over earrings in my house which I think is one of the main reasons I just decided to do it while my kids were babies. Even though I am sure we will find a million other things to fight over, I do find a little comfort knowing that it won't be over getting their ears pierced (at least not their first earholes!).

    And as silly as it sounds, I have always looked for ways to get back in touch with my Mexican heritage and having my babies with pierced ears (and usually gold jewelry) was a little way of connecting with my heritage.

    Finally, I think that if you want your kids to have pierced ears when they are young, do it when they are babies, otherwise wait until they want it done and can take care of it themselves.

    And just a few tips for people who might want to pierce their babies ears-
    -Most pediatricians will pierce ears (which might sound like the best option), but not all of them have the aesthetic skill for placement or the latest tools to do the job, so do your research.
    -Make SURE the place you have the piercing done has two guns and two people to do the piercing at the same time. If they don't, find a new place.
    -Take time to make sure the placement dots are even on the ears and are in a good spot because being the slightest bit off on a tiny lobe can turn into a lot off as the lobe grows.
    -If you buy a few sets of the same earrings, you can lose one and not have to replace the entire set.
    -I have found the using earrings with the traditional metal back + a plastic back stays on the best.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/17/2007 05:50:00 PM  

  • This is actually something that DH and I talked about before we even got married. Mostly because his parents told their girls not until they moved out (The only one who did did so after she got married.) and his younger sister is dying for pierced ears.

    We basically decided that when they are old enough to ask about it and be able to take care of them, we'll let them. DH didn't want to do it for them when they didn't have a choice, and I agree (even though I got my ears pierced at 6 mos, as did my 2 sisters).

    It'd be fun to make it a mommy-daughter date thing. I might. I remember going with my BFF and her sister when they got their ears pierced. They probably remember doing it together, too. So, I'd also like my girls to be old enough to remember the experience.
    posted by Blogger Erin Marie at 8/19/2007 03:36:00 PM  

  • Just a quick last comment on linking ear piercing with coming of age: we linked it with having a period and it was great. I know our culture -- LDS or otherwise -- doesn't really do rituals for girls, but my kids' whole period thing was positive and not horrible like mine precisely because there was some greater significance/ priviledge associated with the biological event.

    So some advice from an 'older' mom -- find something positive to link to the whole period thing. We chose ear piercing because it was easy. But there are undoubtably other things that could accomplish the same purpose.
    posted by Anonymous Not Ophelia at 8/20/2007 07:23:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home