Posted on 17 Comments

What age is appropriate for pierced ears ?

Many of you won’t have come across this issue yet.    It is one that has many parents from all walks of life debating on the rights and wrongs, or the reasons for and against.

I am against and I also have pierced ears. 

So why, oh why did I agree to boyo here getting an ear pierced when he was 10 years old ?

Lets look at it this way.  Boyo spends a lot of his life missing out on things that he should be able to take part in as he has a brother with a disability.    He spends his life defending his brother on one hand, while also feeling resentful and upset at what he misses out on.

He really, really wanted his ear pierced, and because I say no to so many things that he asks to do, I had to think hard.  I skirted around the subject for a couple of weeks, saying neither yes, or no.  I exaggerated how painful it was to get done and regaled him of tales of festering, pain and misery.   One day I looked at his face, animated as it was while he was asking for this one thing from me.  I realised that it  is not an issue at all.   This was one thing that I could say yes to, and make him happy.

Some people may not like it, and I certainly don’t.   It did however give him a massive boost to his confidence and his face has beamed with pride wearing his ear-ring since the day it was done.   For his confidence, it was worth every second of disapproving looks that come our way.  If he needs to, he can take it out for jobs and interviews as he grows older, and he may decide on his own to remove it. 

He knows it will be the one ear-ring and I am not going to agree to multiple piercings.  Having the ear done has certainly done away with any talk of future piercings in other bodily places.

Was it the right thing to do?  Yes it was.  It’s a non-issue. 

A twitter pal said to me that she couldn’t argue with her daughters request for pierced ears with just the reason that mum didn”t like it.  I agree with that.  There are soo many other battles that need to be won in the parenting department, that are actually important. 

Then it comes down to the appropriate age. 

  • I am glad the issue didn’t come up pre 10.
  • I am glad my other two don’t want an ear pierced.
  • I am glad I don’t face the girl child debate for both ears done pre-school.    

I will never forget my mums words as I grew up pleading for my ears to be pierced. 
“If you were meant to have holes in your body, then you’d have been born with them.”

Well lets see.  If we were meant to wear make up.  If we were meant to dye our hair.  If we were meant to wear high heels.  If we were meant to be free of underarm hair.  If we were meant to have a tan.   Where does it start and where does it stop?

What do you think?  Where do you sit on the piercing debate?

I certainly don’t know what the “right” age to have a piercing is.  I don’t think there is one.

17 thoughts on “What age is appropriate for pierced ears ?

  1. If your kid is really set on getting it, just let them do it. Or at least give him or her your reasons for saying no, kindly. Otherwise they might end up like me, not that there’s anything wrong with that: loving body piercings, as a result of fixating over getting my ears pierced for years rather than just having had them pierced at my request. no offense to anyone, just trying to offer a different perspective.

    By the way scottish mum, im a psychology student and i think that you did a wonderful thing by letting him have his ear pierced. Children with disabled sibblings often have a rough time developing a sense of individuality, given the unusual (not a bad thing) closeness usually exhibited by families with a disabled member. As trivial as it may seem to some, i totally agree with you in that if it would make him happy to do so, there really is no reason to deny him that happiness.

  2. today i received an email from my eleven yr old daughter, on a year out with her mum and step dad in toronto. she got her ears pierced.

    i always tried to bring her up to nurture inner values and to eschew the superficial, and issues of vanity and ego.

    i thought she was doing so well – tomboy, guitarist, poet, reader, writer. But i cannot say how upset i feel she has succumbed to the mindless petty influences of the crowd rather than stay strong inside. we used to have an excellent relationship. but she has demonstrated she is empty talk and distracted by nonsense. how do i stick to my values and pass them on without upsetting her????

    1. I’ve learned there are some battles worth fighting and others that really aren’t. You’re asking the wrong person as I let my boy have his ear pierced. Sometimes being part of the crowd is what we need to grow and learn our boundaries. Kids have to learn to be independent and make up her their own minds. We can’t make our kids be what we want them to be. They will be what they want to be, and our influence can guide them to better choices as they grow older, and part of growing up is making our own mistakes and learning from them.

  3. I hate seeing babies with pierced ears but don’t really think there is a right age as such. I was 10 when I got my ears pierced, and would probably let my kids it done age 100 or older.

  4. Being pregnant to what we are led to believe is a girl in Spain the ear piercing subject is quite dear to my heart. Babies here have their ears pierced shortly after birth, now whilst I don’t plan to be leaping off the birthing table and wrestling here out of someone’s arms with a piercing gun, I will be making it absolutely clear that she won’t be having her ears pierced.

    I also know that she will be the ONLY girl in the village without her ears pierced and that I will probably allow her to have them done at a much earlier age than I would do if we lived in the UK (if we’re still here that is) but at least she’ll be of an age where she can decide for herself.

    The cultural issue is the main reason, whilst I don’t frown on Spanish/catalan babies having their ears pierced—why would I it’s the norm—British babies with pierced ears are perceived to be chavs or from common backgrounds and that’s probably the only reason I won’t do it.

    The pain, risk of infections, torn ear lobes must be ridiculously low if done correctly as I’ve never seen a baby or toddler over here with issues.

  5. Funny that I should come across this post today, I was just having this conversation with my 5 year old daughter this morning. She was asking me if she could have her ears pierced like one of her friends at school. It started me thinking about what age I would want her to do this and I’m afraid I’m leaning towards the teens. I just think it makes them look so grown up too quickly.

    I know some cultures believe in getting girls ears pierced really young (as in just a few months) I’m afraid this just makes me cringe.

  6. Well, I might be the only one, but cannot see an issue with having ears pierced as a baby. I have to say that I was just a few days old when my ears were pierced by a doctor at the hospital in the Czech Republic, and of course don’t remember any pain as a tiny baby…but am sure you can remember that when you are a teenager. All my friends had the same done and I have never come across a girl that had her ears ripped because she had an earing, and I used to be a teacher as well so have seen many girls in my life. As we are a billingual family, my husband is English, I am Czech, our Isabelle had her ears pierced when she was 3 months old by a doctor in the Czech Republic, and we have never had any problems or issues with that. I agree that it might be a cultural thing ( as you can clearly see from all the above comments), as well, as you start for example potty training much later here in the UK, my Isabelle was potty trained when she was 1.5 years old.
    I hope you don’t mind leaving a comment from a completely different point of view 😉 @Kahanka

    1. I don’t mind at all. It takes many different opinions and views for the world to go round. Thank goodness for all our differences or it would be a very boring world.

  7. I was 13, but I will not let my boys make any decision like that until they are 16. But you have your reasons and I will not judge you for I do no wasnt to be judged

  8. I love how this question comes up time and time again in our circles and it has to be said that my stance never changes on it. It’s a complete no no for me.
    There are so many risks (possible infection, tearing of the earlobe, catching on bedclothes etc) but above all that, I could never ever mutilate my child’s body by piercing it. As a parent, it is my job to say no even when they beg and beg if it isn’t the right thing. Just as I wouldn’t allow them to wear makeup, high heels or have tattoos as children either.
    This has been an issue with my daughter who is coming up to twelve and I still won’t allow her to have it done as I still have safety concerns as she does gymnastics, trampelining etc. We have reached a compromise of sorts though – magnetic earrings! She gets her earrings but without the piercing 😉

  9. Ooh tough one. With one child under 2 it hasn’t come up yet. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I guess my instinct would be to dislike, but then I remember that I had mine done aged 7. I wanted it done and my mum allowed it, but then it seemed to be very common back then in the early-mid 80s. I could be totally out of touch but I don’t notice it around so much now. I certainly haven’t seen any babies or toddlers with piercings for YEARS, but I would be a little appalled if I did. But I really like your reasoning on why you let your son have it done. And age 10 I don’t see a problem. I bet it’ll be out of fashion in a few years and he’ll take it out anyway 🙂 xX

  10. As an ex primary school teacher – who’s seen some pretty grim looking ears (LOL!) I mean where the earring has been ripped away in say a PE lesson… and the ear never recovers I’d ban piercing until they’d left school!

    But that’s not real life is it? I totally agree with why you let him have it done, and in a similar situation I’d have done the same.

    Just make him aware of how easily an earring can become caught in clothing, he must take them out or cover them for sports. Hark at me!! lecture over!! LOL!

    It was a good dilemma to blog about, most mums have a strong opinion one way or another! Mine is simply about safety really but I too hate to see tiny tots with earrings – ugh!!

    Helen – regards rainbow xxx

  11. One of my pet hates is babies and toddlers with pierced ears….I think it just looks ridiculous and can’t be that sensible as they’re surely liable to pull them out/catch them on things….
    I had my ears pierced for my 11th birthday (only because I nagged my Mum for weeks and weeks!) so I have said to my daughters that if they want to they can get them done when they are 11 but if they want to wait longer or not get them done at all that’s fine 🙂

  12. I think all piercings should be a personal choice so it’s a definite no for babies and I also don’t think it’s sensible for pre-schoolers or young kids just because it is too easy to catch an pull them – even studs. I have enough trouble with that and I don’t spend my time crawling through small spaces and climbing trees!

    My Dad hates ear piercings and didn’t speak to me for days after I had mine done for my fourteenth birthday. My sister conned my Granddad into taking her to have hers done when she was 13 (she was meant to be waiting ’til she was 16) and my brother had to wait til he moved out to get his done!

    I think I am going to enforce a ‘wait til you’re 13’ rule with my two (girl and boy) if they ask. If they don’t ask then they won’t get done!

    1. I was 14 when I got mine done as well. My mothers friends daughter took me as soon as my mum said ok. I knew if it was not done that day, it would be forbidden again once her friends left.

  13. Im an old fashioned girl at heart. Personally I don’t think girls should have them done before – say – 13 or 14,definitely NOT pre school. And I also (cowering, waiting for a cyberspace onslaught) hate boys/men with earrings. After earrings it moves on to nose, tongue, eye lids…..yuk!!But then Im not a tattoo fan (unless on the torso of Robbie Williams!!)

    1. I am not partial to men with ear-rings either. Hoping that one will be enough and there won’t be any more piercings.

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