We didn’t pierce our daughters’ ears. Is that really a big deal?

April 9, 2013  |  

My mother-in-law bought our two daughters matching pairs of gold earrings last summer.It was, I guess, her biggest hint yet that our daughters are long overdue for getting their ears pierced.

And I guess, in some cultures, she’s right. With daughters age three and one, we’re years behind when some would think to pierce their daughter’s ears if we had any hopes of a) the earrings staying in and b) minimizing the risk of infections caused by hand to earring playtime.

Maybe we should have gotten their ears pierced sooner, or at least that’s what some often do tell me. But, honestly, I never thought much about piercing my daughters ‘ ears until others began asking about it all the time.

Call me naive and very American, but I always assumed that piercings would come later, perhaps around middle school. That’s when I got my ears pierced. And that happened only because I told my mom that’s what I wanted. So, when it came to ear piercings for my daughters, I assumed we’d do the same. Or, at least, this is what I tell curious strangers, family, and friends who would ask, often, very eagerly, if we planned to get our daughters ears pierced. “No,” we would always say before adding that while we have nothing against the idea of little girls with earrings, we just kind of thought that whole thing would come later.

And, usually, that answer along with some explanation about ear care is enough–for some. But sometimes it’s not. And usually when that happens, the curious family member/friend/stranger begins again with random familial anecdotes about baby girls who they know who did “just fine” with the piercings. “There’s nothing unsafe or cruel about it!” they’ll say, usually in an accusatory tone that presumes I’m judging the safety and morality of ear piercings, which I am not.

I am for the idea of little girls with pierced ears, even though I kind of stumbled into choosing to do differently with my girls. So, my girls aren’t pierced. But I know that one day, one day, maybe soon, my daughters will ask to wear those gold earrings from my mother-in-law. One day soon.

Did you wait to pierce your daughters’ ears? How do you explain this decision to the pro-ear piercing supporters in your life?

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