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Ear-Piercing Parties ... for 6-Year-Olds

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This new trend is disturbing to one mom.

young girl smiling

Meanest Mom Jana Matthews: A few days ago, my six-year-old daughter received an invitation in the mail to a friend's birthday party. The party is being held at a children's hair salon in town. After being educated in the art of prepubescent hairstyling, each of the party guests will be treated to a beauty treatment of her choice: a manicure, a pedicure, a classy "up-do," or a free ear piercing. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a box labeled "tattoo," because I would have checked it.

Question # 1: Who throws an ear-piercing party for six-year-olds?!!

"Mani, pedi, or hairdo?" I asked my daughter, pencil in hand.

"I want my ears pierced!" she cried. The panic rose in her throat as she realized that my omission of her desired choice was not by accident.

I reminded my daughter of our agreement: she could get her ears pierced when she was eight. This proved to be small consolation to a six-year-old with a penchant for glittery hoops.

A few days later, I was telling this story to my friend when she broke me off mid-sentence. "You're not seriously thinking about letting your daughter get her ears pierced anytime soon, are you?" she asked.

That's when I heard about nasty infections, imbedded studs, earrings that rip through ear lobes, and a host of other problems endemic to pint-sized pierced ears. To be honest, I had never thought about the "proper age" to get one's ears pierced, but the more friends I spoke with, the more I realized that a lot of people have very strong opinions about when it's okay -- and when it's not -- to pierce your daughter's ears.

So what's your take?

Question # 2: When did you let or when do you plan to let your daughter pierce her ears and why?

A six-year-old with a fondness for hoops (and her mother) want to know!

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92 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mary512 June 30, 2009, 11:00 AM

you guys are being a bit silly, babies get their ears pierced all the time, and I was allowed to get my ears pierced at age 6 because I asked and thought about the responsibilities of it, and never had any problems.
dont be so over protective! Let your child make the decision if they are old enough to understand the responsibilities and commit to them.

Elizabeth June 30, 2009, 11:10 AM

My mom had my ears pierced when I was 6 months old. We live in the south and it’s almost a right of passage, when you become a mother of a little girl, you get her ears pierced, that’s pretty much the way it is. I’ve got 2 sons. I’m expecting another baby in September, if it’s girl I expect I’ll get her ears pierced before her 1st bday. No stripper poles in sight! LOL…that’s ridic…all the little girls I grew up with had their ears pierced…we’re in our 20s now and only 1 girl actually ended up being a stripper. I’d say that’s pretty good odds in this day in time.

Tanya June 30, 2009, 2:43 PM

Personally i think that babies do not look cute with pierced ears. They tend to look tacky to me but that is just my opinion. I have 4 daughters. Hayden10, Carter8, Anna6, and Olivia3. I set a resonible age for pierced ears which is 8 years of age. So Hayden and Carter have them done which is totally their choice not mine i just set the age. Anna has been begging for pierced ears but i am sticking to my age. If your daughter is just like anna offer her some stick on earrings which is a fun alternate to earrings for girls this is what i did and she has stopped begging. Hayden is now wanting a second ear piercing but i have set the next age at 13. which she is a little upset about but understands she is too young. after 13 any other piercing wants will have to wait till 16 or 18. depending on what i decide.

Nina Kristine June 30, 2009, 8:50 PM

Oh my God, STRIPPER?? Are you kidding me? My mother, like my grandmother and aunts got all our ears pierced when were six months old with tiny locking gold studs that I stil have to this day. They had it professionally done and I can tell you that all of us are college graduates or current students and none of us have taken our clothes off for money (in FACT, none of us have even slept around!). My innocent little studs have done nothing but spared my parents the agony of having their daughters beg for piercings and spared us remembering the pain of the needle!

Marisa July 1, 2009, 4:42 PM

I had mine done when I was around 1. My mother has pictures of me with studs in my ear when I was a baby.

Melissa July 6, 2009, 3:30 AM

I had my ears pierced when I was four for my birthday and my friend got hers when she was a baby. Her parents wanted people to know she was a girl, which I can understand. It’s the parents’ choice, but forbidding a kid from getting his or her ears pierced can cause them to be tempted into doing it unprofessionally, which can be very dangerous.

Danielle July 6, 2009, 12:40 PM

I had my ears pierced for the first time as a newborn (around 6 weeks, I think?) I got my 2nd piercing in each ear in the 6th grade at the age of 11. Then, at the age of 14, I got my cartilage at the top of my left ear pierced. My belly button was pierced at the age of 17 (following my HS graduation) - So I guess go ahead & think what you want of me (and my mother’s parenting skills)… nothing you say will phase me :)

Maddison July 8, 2009, 5:12 AM

i think its ok to get your childs ear pierced early. I got my daughters pierced when she was a year old. the up-dos and mani and pedi for a 6 year olds now a days is very common because the way are socity is basicly they say look good no mattter how old u are. Ages 1mounth to 100years no matter what socity says look your best and get all this work done or you wont be cute. its just sad to see what are worlds come to.

Jessica July 14, 2009, 1:06 AM

Well at least you’re giving her a choice. Parents that pierce their baby girls ears before they can give their consent anger me a lot. After the holes heal, they won’t close, so make sure the child really wants this and is willing to take care of it. My mother let me have my ears pierced when I turned 12. It was my birthday present. I think the age limit should be at least 10. No younger.
Make sure that she knows that she can’t take the studs out for any longer than 10 minutes at a time. She needs to sleep in them as well. They also need to be cleaned with rubbing alcohol periodically. They should be healed completely by a year’s time. At the end of that year, she can take them out for extended time periods and the holes won’t close up. Make sure she knows any rules that you might have before hand.
The reason why I say that you shouldn’t get a baby’s ears pierced is because it should be their choice. My 16 year old sister never had her ears pierced, and has never had the desire to. She says it would just get in the way of her hair.
I think that its just monsterous to get a babys ears pierced. I mean what’s next? Naval piercing before they can walk and talk? Disgusting.

Anonymous July 14, 2009, 1:26 AM

Nell, thats something you don’t understand about piercings. If you leave the piercings in and wait for the holes to heal into an open hole, they WILL NOT close later. After getting a piercing, the stud must stay in the ear, to allow the hole to heal into a permanant “o” shape. That means that after about a year or so of almost constant wear, when you remove the earring, the hole won’t close up. I’ve had my ears pierced, left the studs in for the amount of time I was supposed to, and now if i remove my earrings, my ear holes won’t close up. Ask anybody in a piercing parlor. I can’t believe more people don’t know this. It’s common sense. So to say that “If the child hates it sooo much when they get older (which I doubt, surely none of us did) then they can simply take them out and guess what? THE HOLES WILL CLOSE” is just stupid. Read up on the facts before you make comments like that, or you’ll just end up looking like a fool in the end.

aurhynn July 15, 2009, 1:54 AM

My ears have been pierced since I was a baby. I had ONE ear that kept getting infected, but now, they’re perfectly fine (I’m 30 BTW working on my B.S. in Computer Studies). I think I hopped on a pole at a bar (it was there for customers to play with) once. Never was a stripper. That type of stereotyping has no place in today’s world. Check out the world around you a bit, Kathleen and join us in this decade. My daughter loves to wear earrings (mainly mine) but will let me know if she wants them out and when she wants to put them back in (she’ll be 3 in Aug). Never had a problem once with her ripping them out or other children ripping them out. She would take them out to look at them, but that was about it. I really don’t see what the outrage is. Different cultures, different customs.

A Mom of Two July 18, 2009, 9:22 PM

A lot of issues can be eliminated by going to the proper place to have ears pierced. Your pediatrician should offer this service. My three year old had hers done there by nurses.

PlumbLucky July 20, 2009, 10:40 AM

Issue at hand - a piercing party? Are you kidding (okay, obviously not but still). That just seems to be a poor idea to me.

Mine were done when I was 10. I had a second pair done when I was 17, a third set when I was 18. And Kathleen, I’m not a stripper :-). (Been a while since I’ve seen a comment so stupid that it cracks me up, and much needed this morning)

I do not have a daughter (yet); should I ever have a daughter, I will probably use my Mom’s guidelines:
1. Old enough to ask for them.
2. Old enough to take care of them.
3. Old enough to know what she’s getting into.

And I will likely be having a conversation with my MIL that she will not, under any circumstances, pierce her granddaughter’s ears. (Yes. I do not have a daughter and I can already see this issue as she’s already told me she will. And I’ve already said “no, you will not”.)

Anonymous July 29, 2009, 8:27 AM

we think that is NOT very nice for a six year old to have a party like that. having your hair done or things like that, that don’t hurt is fine but ear piercing thats awful!!!!
from J+C

Anonymous August 1, 2009, 2:26 PM

I’m not a mom, however, I would not make my daughter wait to have her ears pierced. In fact, I’d just do it as soon as she had her first tetnus shot. She is going to want to do it anyway, so why make her wait? However, I would only sign for up to four EAR holes, before she turned 18. I absolutely would not let her pierce anything on her body besides her ears. Ear piercing is harmless, so I don’t think a parent should say no to their daughter. If you don’t think she can handle the after care requirements, that is a different story. But in general, ear piercing is harmless.

Sophia August 1, 2009, 4:08 PM

Really, what is the point of setting an age that a girl can have her ears pierced? I agree that it is innocent enough, and it DOES NOT make a girl look immoral in any way. I can remember a lot of parent saying “Well, if she does it so young, she won’t have anything to look forward to.” I thought that was so lame! I can assure you that driving a car and getting married are a lot more exciting than getting your ears pierced. I say let your daughter get her ears pierced if that is what she wants. When she learns to drive a car, that is when to have strict ground rules, but ear piercing is not an accident waiting to happen. I had it done twice before I even turned twelve, and I don’t regret it.

April August 11, 2009, 9:59 AM

My parents let me get my ears pierced when I was old enough to ask to have it done. I was five and in kindergarten. I got them double pierced at 13 and got a cartilage piercing my senior year of high school. I was a good kid who made good grades, so it was never a big deal to my parents.

jenna gad August 12, 2009, 1:40 PM

hi well i wen t through that experience of the earrings being ripped through my ear but it was really worth it to have them for like 3 months

Ashlee August 13, 2009, 2:56 PM

Kathleen, are you really that stupid? Do you seriously believe that piercing a baby’s ears is all it takes to condemn a young girl to a life of stripping? God forbid bad parenting or lack of parental supervision be to blame. Get serious!

k August 13, 2009, 8:10 PM

I’m a kid. I have gotten my ears pierced ever since I was a baby a few weeks old. I
don’t wear big earings that can rip my earholes and hhave small earings only gold.(My sister can only have gold. Teh plastic ones give her allergy. )It’s perfectly ok. I always wear the same earings everywhere.

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