On Friday I took my seven-year-old daughter to get her ears pierced. I honestly never thought she would have them done because she has shown absolutely no interest in having piercings before even though I have had many in my face in the past. For Christmas this year my mum bought me three sets of silver earrings in a beautiful little box. Whilst I’ve worn earrings in the past I can never really afford the good quality ones and have always opted for sterling silver or plated versions. I’m not allergic but these do get a bit uncomfortable from time to time so I don’t wear them. The new proper silver ones which are really beautiful have been in my ears now since Christmas and haven’t given me any discomfort at all. I hardly even feel them or remember they are there.
I think this and the fact that some of Evie’s friends in her class have earrings in has helped her to decide that she wants them herself. I was going to wait until the summer holidays to get them done so they had plenty of time to heal without the worry of school but we just thought why wait? I took Evie into Claires Accessories and spoke to the very nice lady there who gave me all the information and let Evie take a look at her choices for her first pair of earrings. She happily chose 9ct gold earrings which were going to set me back £54 with the three week hypoallergenic, paediatrician approved cleaning solution. We talked about what it would feel like and how it would be done and it didn’t deter her decision in the slightest. They should be fine to change within six weeks of having them pierced and then she needs to keep something in her ears for the next six months to prevent them closing up. Hopefully, she will keep them in, will look after them properly and will be relatively pain and infection free. We’ve talked about the importance of keeping hands clean before touching them too.
I think this is why I’m glad I waited until this age because she understands much more than she would have done if she had been younger. I was eight when I had my own ears pierced and I’ve never really had a problem. I was also old enough to understand how to clean them and change them properly when I needed to. I don’t remember getting any infections with them either. It makes me think about if there’s a right age to get children’s ears pierced and I think we are absolutely at the right age.
I think one of the main reasons I never took her to get them done before is because she had never given her consen
t. I really oppose the decision to pierce a babies ears and it’s never something I would ever do. I don’t believe in any form of body modification on a minor unless there is a serious medical reason or they are old enough to give their consent. Whilst it’s not something I would ever call someone out on, piercings are never a choice I would ever make on my child’s behalf. I really don’t think it matters if the baby doesn’t look like a girl or that the parents think pierced baby ears look nice. You are still changing a part of their bodies without them asking for it. I think giving consent is really important because children should be aware of bodily consent. How can you teach that when you’ve already crossed the line and pierced their ears? I know it isn’t exactly a serious issue compared to some which require consent but you’re still deciding something should happen to someone else’s body without them asking or even wanting it. I take Evie’s consent seriously enough that I always ask her for permission before I share photos of her on my blog and on social media. Most of the time she is really happy to share her photo but sometimes she says no and I respect that.
I think it’s important to note here too that I wanted my nose and lip pierced before I was sixteen and my mum always said no. Partly because she doesn’t like piercings but also partly because I think she wanted me to wait until I was out of school and it was completely my choice. My parents also waited until I was old enough to ask for my own ears to be pierced and I’m glad I’ve also given my daughter that choice. Since then I’ve had a lot of body piercings, most of which have been over the age of eighteen. Some I have had repierced and still have today, some have been removed but all of them were completely my decision.
So yes, I do think there is a right age for a child to have their ears pierced and that age is the age they ask for it to be done. The age where they are giving consent to have a piercing and that they understand what it will mean. I’m really glad I waited until Evie actively showed an interest in having her ears pierced and then ones she has chosen are very pretty. However, if she decides later on that actually, she doesn’t want her ears pierced, at least it was her choice in the first place.
I agree, the child needs to be old enough to understand: not even just want them but also get that they will need aftercare and so forth.