Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Piercing Debate


There is a six-year old girl in our house with her heart SET on getting her ears pierced.  She's been mentioning this desire off and on for a few months.  I've been doing my best to politely acknowledge and quickly sweep her request under the carpet. 

Not that pierced ears are a bad thing.  I know...I've got seven holes in my ears.  It's just a little unnerving when your young child comes up with her own ideas about her body and wants to assert her rights to mutilate her tiny little earlobes.

So, we've been talking it through.  I remind her that it will hurt.  Not only will it hurt when they jam that little earring through her ear, it will hurt for weeks afterwards.  She'll have trouble sleeping because every time she rolls over her tender earlobe will bump the pillow and send a little jolt through her body.  She'll have to clean the piercings twice each day and twist those little studs in her ears even if they are swollen and sore. 

She remains committed.

This week one of her little school friends got HER ears pierced and now the ear piercing desire has gone into high gear.  "I want heart earrings just like Kiera!!" she pleaded at dinner last night. 

In my mind I'm frantically flashing forward 10 years when she wants to dye her hair purple, or stay out until 2am or smoke a little weed "Because Kiera's doing it".  No offense to Kiera.  I'm sure she's a lovely girl.  I'm just feeling a little unprepared for how to handle this peer pressure at age SIX! 

And then my mind regresses to my own childhood when I wanted pierced ears SO BADLY I thought I would die.  I begged and pleaded and did all the annoying things that kids do to try to get their way, and still the rule in our house didn't budge.  No pierced ears until your 10th birthday.  It was torture.  I'm pretty sure I was the last girl in the entire elementary school (or maybe the whole city of Oakland) to get her ears pierced.  It pains me, still to this day. 

So here we are at the parenting crossroads.  Do I teach my child a lesson about thinking for herself and not doing anything just because everyone else is doing it?  Or do I heal my own childhood trauma, make a better life for my kid and allow her to get those dainty little lobes pierced??

Well, as I said we've been talking about it...discussing the pros and cons, describing the care routine and the pinching pain that goes along with getting a piercing.  Today we visited the jewelry store in the mall and spoke with the highly trained, 15-year old piercing "professional" about how the whole thing goes, how much it costs and what earring options are available.

Tonight we turned her piggy bank inside out, scraped all the quarters together and discovered that she indeed has enough money to finance this venture herself.  So we have tentatively agreed to give it a go, after a brief "Cooling Off" period. During the next two weeks we will wait and see if this passion fades. We have marked a date on the calendar and IF her desire still exists (even after the excitement of Keira's piercing fades...), and IF her piggy bank still contains sufficient funds, we will march on over to the mall and participate in this youthful right of passage. 

Still struggling with how to handle her little brother, who has already requested to pierce his ears, too. 

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