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Right Age to Pierce Ears

Mommy Dearest: What's the Right Age to Pierce a Child's Ears?

Mommy Dearest —

My 7-year-old daughter is begging me to allow her to get her ears pierced, and I don't think she is ready. Many of her friends have already gone through the "punch," and each time she sees another one with some glitter in her earlobe, I get an earful of reasons she should be allowed to have it done. I didn't bejewel my own ears until I was 10 years old and I'd like to keep it that way for my daughter. Any advice?

— Mama With a Piercing Problem

To see Mommy Dearest's response,


Dear Mama With a Piercing Problem,

It sounds to me like you are facing two issues here. First is a very common one — the "but my friends are all doing it" syndrome. That's where good parenting comes in and as her mother, you must remind your daughter that your home comes with its own boundaries and as the mom, it is your job to establish and enforce them.

The second issue is your reasoning for keeping her ears free of holes. Every family is entitled to making their own rules and if 10 years old is your house rule, so be it. I can understand a mother wanting her child be mature enough to handle the responsibility of caring for her own ears after the procedure, as well as being old enough to care for her new jewelry. As the mother of sons, I must admit that I don't have much experience here, but I'll open it up to our readers to chime in on what they've found to be the right age.


— Mommy Dearest

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Image Source: Thinkstock
miss-leanne miss-leanne 6 years
My daughter had hers done at 4 months old. To this day, she still doesn't know they're there. It was nice not worrying about her touching them and risking infection. I had mine done at 1 year and liked it that way. I didn't have to go through the fear of getting them done like my friends did when they were older :)
amber512 amber512 6 years
I want to wait until my future kids can make that choice for themselves.
cloudtripper cloudtripper 6 years
I was born in Venezuela and common practice there is to do it in the first few days of life. I love that this was done since they have stayed pierced my whole life even during extended periods where I never wore any jewellery. I don't understand what you are afraid of? It's hardly a gateway to tattoos and crack cocaine lol. Just remember the more you deny your children for reasons they can't understand, the more they will be tempted to do things behind your back. In an effort to maintain my 'innocence' my mother forbade me makeup/shaving/nail polish until I was 15. Guess what happened - I felt hairy and left out and hideous in front of my peers, it affected me emotionally in negative ways, and ultimately I did these things behind my mother's back. I am pregnant now and I don't want to be an indulgent parent but I want to pick my battles carefully and these are ones that I think are just dumb and create distance between yourself and your child.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 6 years
My daughter wanted to do it at 6 years old but after talking it over with my husband we decided to wait. Yes, most of the girls in her class have pierced ears. It seems that kids don't have anything to anticipate anymore because they get to do it earlier and earlier. I think waiting to pierce her ears will ultimately make it more special for her.
bisou002 bisou002 6 years
My mom let me get my ears pierced when I was old enough to want to do it (I was six - I woke up one morning and had had a dream that I had pierced ears and that day, we went to the mall and got it done). She wanted me to be old enough to make that choice on my own. When I was 14, I wanted a second hole. My mom wasn't cool with this idea because she worried that once I got a second hole, I'd want a third and fourth, then a nose ring and an eyebrow piercing, etc etc. I ended up schmoozing my grandma into talking my mom into it - and here I am, 27, and I let that second hole close up years ago. The bottom line is, if you're concerned your child will get "if you give a mouse a cookie" syndrome by getting her ears pierced, there's not much you can do about it in the long run. At 7, I believe a child has the capacity to take care of her pierced ears - and it's not like she's asking you to get her first tattoo or anything. They're earrings. I say, let her do it.
corcar86 corcar86 6 years
I got my ears pierced for my 5th birthday present and I live in a community where it is very popular to pierce them while they are still infants. The plus side of doing young for me was that by the time I was 10 I was very into sports and needed to remove them before practices and games. As a result my second piercing (which I did at age 13) closed up because I could never leave the earrings in long enough to establish a good hole. That being said if you want her to wait till 10 because that's what you did and you feel it was the right time then by all means wait! Don't give into the pressure that other parents are allowing it! Good luck!
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