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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lil' Smarty Ear Piercing

By Jen P, Charlotte Smarty Pants

When to get your daughter's ears pierced can be a big decision for many parents. For some cultures, piercing a baby's ears is as natural as birth. For others, parents set a specific age, often times in the double digits. It's a personal choice. Since I'm not really that into body piercing (didn't get my ears pierced until my big sis and boyfriend dragged me into the piercing pagoda at age 16!), my only rule is that my daughter needs to be old enough to take care of it herself.

So Ansley is now 8 1/2 and has been nagging for a good year and a half. I decided to tie it around an incentive program for her to improve her grades. I'll do anything to get her math scores up! You can bet she delivered and then some! The very day her report card came out, conveniently on a Friday, she had already arranged for her entire entourage to accompany her to the mall that night for the big event. I have to say, I was quite impressed with her strategery. She naturally invited her b/f/f's but she made sure the one who had already gotten her ears pierced was top of the list. Brillz at such a young age!

Surprisingly, I hadn't done a lot of research on this. In fact, I had done none. Everyone I know who has gotten their ears pierced has gone to a Claire's Boutique. So we packed up the girls and decided to make it a pizza outing as well. SouthPark is the closest location to me and I just assumed you could walk on in. Normally you can, however this night, the ear piercing gun was broken. Are you kidding me? Isn't that their main source of revenue? My disappointed crew hopped back in the car and headed down to Carolina Place. Note to self: next time, call ahead! By this time, it was getting pretty late and the 'lil miss party planner herself was getting cold feet. We arrived at the 2nd Claire's location and I think this was a blessing in disguise. We were greeted by the store manager and assistant store manager, which made me feel like we were in expert hands, not just the evening high school help. The staff at Claire's was extremely professional about the entire process including liability waivers, parental consent, gloves, the whole shabang. They also dotted her ears with marker first to make sure the holes were even. Now it was time to rock and roll. And Ansley was definitely nervous and got out of the chair.

I certainly didn't want her to feel like she HAD to do this. This was 100% her doing. I stood back and watched the power of girlfriends kick in. The only thing I said to Ansley was "Sweetie, don't feel like you have to do this. Remember, this was your idea. The only thing I'll tell you that may help you make your decision is this. I'm not coming back ANY time soon for a do-over." That said, she reached for her friends' hands and squeezed tight. This is the coolest part. Her friend who already had pierced-ears coached her the rest of the way, while her other friend contemplating doing this sometime soon herself just listened in awe. Her friend gave her an example of the pressure by pinching the skin between her thumb and pointer finger. She told her it would hurt for a second and then it would stop. Right then I nodded to the managers and they simultaneously did both ears. That was another thing I did not even think about but was thankful for the expertise at Claire's. The managers sensed Ansley's apprehension and without even asking, stood by both ears at the same time. That was key in my opinion. My best friend's daughter in Florida was inspired by Ansley but her ear-piercing place did her ears one at a time. Well, sweet little Karlyn is walking around with only one daisy earring and feeling completely defeated. So make sure you request both ears at the same time.

I would highly recommend Claire's (found usually at malls). For a complete list of Claire's locations, click here. Our outing turned into a sleepover too since we didn't roll out of the pizza place until 9:30p. But it was a success. And Ansley couldn't be more proud. I did ask her if we had done one ear at a time, would she have agreed to the 2nd ear. Her answer: "no-way, hurt way too much!"

So Smarties, how did you decide whether or not to pierce your daughter's ears? What age do you think is appropriate? Where did you go - Claire's can't be the only place? We'd love to hear from you!

Don't forget to register for our August Giveaway! You could be one of five lucky readers who will win a $20 gift card to Boutique of Couture in Winston-Salem. Think new fall clothes!!! Just click here to take a short survey. You must be a TSP newsletter subscriber to win. This giveaway promotion will run through Noon on Friday, August 13. Winners will be immediately notified and announced on TSP a few days later. Good luck, Smarties!


Lisa Witherspoon said...

I just had this discussion with my oldest daughter. She turns 8 tomorrow and wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday. After considering it and talking to other moms, I decided that she is not ready - which crushed her. For me, it is also about maturity and personality. All I could see in my mind was the scene in the Dr.'s office this winter when it took three adults to hold her down for a flu shot. I just decided we didn't need to give her anymore reasons for drama!! For the record, of the moms I talked to, the general consensus was 10-12 years old, although some have already done it with their younger daughters and others said it all depends on when their daughter asks for it.

Jennifer said...

We just got my 3 yo daughter's ears pierced in May and also went to Claire's. I had always said that it was up to her when she wanted to do it, and she'd been expressing some interest. We actually went into Claire's not necessarily to get her ears pierced, but so that I could show her where she would go to get them done. I had made it clear to her that it was not a painless process - I didn't want to lie. Our experience with Claire's was also exemplary. In fact, my DD got really scared after they had opened everything up and marked her ears. I didn't want to traumatize her, so I didn't make her do it, and they were kind enough to not make me pay for the earrings. As it turned out, as we were leaving, she saw the case of belly button and "other" piercing stuff and asked what that was. I told her what it was for and she said, "I want to get my belly button pierced". I told her I didn't think so (gotta draw the line somewhere) - we started with our ears, and that piercing the belly button hurt way more than ears. So, with that, she changed her mind and got the ears done instead!

Anonymous said...

My daughter, who is 5, has been asking to have hers pierced for a bout a year. She has several friends who have them, and even though we go by "different rules for different families," it is hard to hold her off. I also have maintained that she needs to be able to take care of them herself. I remind her who remembered to feed her fish for its 3 month life (me) and that usually stops the nagging.

Anonymous said...

I think middle-school age is appropriate.

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