Ear piercing is a topic that has many parents strongly divided. Some parents believe that piercing their baby’s ears is fine, and some parents believe that it is extremely bad. Feelings on piercing a baby’s ears are often decided by cultural tradition – it’s more common in some cultures than others – but many parents feel strongly one way or another.
But say you didn’t pierce your child’s ears when they were a baby, and they’re now asking for pierced ears. You might be on the fence about when to do it. Is seven to young? Ten? Should they wait until they’re adults? Deciding this isn’t easy, and there are many factors at play. Earrings for kids are certainly cute, but is your child ready for them? Here, you’ll read about some of the common arguments for and against having your child’s ears pierced.
Does Your Child Want their Ears Pierced?
Firstly, if your child hasn’t expressed interest in having their ears pierced, there’s no reason why you need to be worried about it. Even if they haven’t expressed interested in having their ears pierced, however, you might want to have an answer ready for if and when they do ask in the future. Otherwise, it could set you up for a fight.
What are Other Children Doing?
While the decision to let your child pierce their ears does certainly rest on you as a parent, it helps to know what cultural norms are. If your child, for example, sees other students in their class getting their ears pierced, they may feel more enthusiastic about getting their own ears pierced. In the UK, for example, the average age for children to have their ears pierced is seven years old. Again, while different parents will have different standards for what they want their children to do, it does helps to be knowledgeable about what others are doing. If your seven-year-old, for example, wants their ears pierced, but you’re not quite ready for that, perhaps you can offer them a different age-appropriate reward instead.
How Well Does Your Child Handle Pain?
Ear piercing hurts. There’s simply no way around this. If you know that your child is not very good at handling pain, this might be a reason to push off getting their ears pierced until they are old. It’s no good, for example, if they get one ear pierced, decide it hurts too much, and don’t want to finish the job.
There are ways to combat this, however. Your child should know ahead of time that getting their ears pierced will hurt, and they can decide if it is still something they want to do. Additionally, many places will offer to pierce both ears at the same time to lessen any negative effects.
How Responsible is Your Child?
Even if your child gets their ears pierced at a doctor’s office, the piercings can still get infected if they are not taken care of effectively. Pierced ears require several weeks of daily cleaning in order for them to heal properly. If your child isn’t responsible to take care of their ears with a minimum of supervision, they may not be ready for pierced ears.
Piercing your child’s ears is a personal decision, but there are many arguments for and against it. Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your child and understand where they are coming from before you tell them yes or no.