It wasn’t until I came to England that I realised that piercing a child’s ears was such a big thing and that for most people, it needed to be their children’s decision and choice! I got both my ears pierced when I was literally 15 days old.
Back home in India, that age is considered the best because kids are wrapped up so well that there is less movement which meant less chances of getting it infected! Also the ears lobes are softer and easier to pierce causing much less pain than when you grow up!
Now my husband and I had no problems in regards to what constitute decisions children should and shouldn’t make. We both are very strong minded parents and although we respect their rights, we also believe that certain things are best left up to the parents to decide.
So when my five-year-old step-daughter asked me if she could get her ears pierced, I was convinced (simply because I always wondered why didn’t she have one already?) But daddy needed some thinking and convincing, of course!
For some fathers, I reckon it is firstly hard to let his little princess go through it! It seems like a painful process than it actually is! In our case, my husband just hadn’t thought about it much but was aware of not wanting to exacerbate an already pronounced consciousness about personal appearance!
“Do you really want our daughter to be conscious of her being a girly girl at this age?” My husband asked. I said: “I don’t see why not, I wore earrings all my life but lived like a tomboy? Apart from the earrings it was sometimes hard to say I was a girl”
Well, ok this gender discrimination thing is a hard one to crack. But once your child goes to school, no matter what you do they will start defining themselves into categories of being a girl or a boy, princess or a pirate! Honestly, we cannot control it that much. I want to dress up my daughter, I want her to wear earrings and accessorise her and dress her up in beautiful frocks! But I also teach her good dressing sense, that is, when it is appropriate to wear trousers instead of a skirt! It is about finding and teaching a balance in their mind.
“Pretty” – Yes I want my daughter to look and feel pretty. I am blessed with two beautiful children but even if they weren’t, I’d still make an effort to make them feel confident in who they are and appreciate how they look or what they have. If they need help to feel confident/pretty or simply feel like a woman by getting earrings – I will allow that (after explaining pros and cons)! But “when” is up to me until they are 18.
What I don’t want my daughter to learn is to disapprove people who are less fortunate with anything or in any regard! And certainly not compete with the other gender in an unhealthy manner. And I want my son to respect women of any size or shape or status or needs; and to not take a women’s strength for granted!
My son saw my 5 year old pierce her ears (she is one proud girl!), and said, “Can I get mine done too?” I said, “Sure, maybe when you are a bit older, boys tend to wait a fair bit longer.” (if it was up to my son, he’d also wear a bindi to school)
Yes, it is gender discrimination but there you go. Certain things are a go and certain things are simply no-go and the answers to “why” is a girl-boy thing I am afraid!
What do you think? When would you allow your daughter or son to get their ears pierced?