By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK
Did you know you can buy an ear-piercing gun at Wal-Mart? I think anything involving a gun and a sharp, pointy object aimed at a head seems like a bad D.I.Y. project, but when my friend told me she bought one, I was first curious and then impressed. My friend said it was one of the easiest things she'd ever done, and she got all three of her daughters' ears pierced for half the cost of those ear-piercing stations at the mall. Of course, I'm a little more squeamish than she is. Plus, my daughter is only two, and it feels premature at this point for me to pierce her ears.
Related: Gratuitous Pictures of Messy Babies
I was 12 when my ears were first pierced. It was my parent's house rule; I think they wanted us to be old enough to clean and maintain our ears on our own. (Unlike one of my friends growing up whose parents had their daughters' ears pierced after their first periods, a tradition which seemed more humiliating than fun, I think.) Nevertheless, I was super excited for that moment. I still remember purchasing my first real set of earrings-giant neon green palm trees, naturally. I felt all grown up! That may be why I hesitate to pierce my own daughter's ears. She can already put on eyeliner better than I can. Why would I want her to grow up any faster? Besides, I didn't grow her for nine months just to poke holes in her adorable earlobes.
Related: 5 Products to Speed Up Your Mornings
Many of my friends see it differently. My friend Janelle pierced her daughter's ears as an infant, because she said "it seemed like it would be less painful that way, and babies heal up so much faster." My friend Saretha pierced her daughter's ears because "it's the culture I come from." And my friend Amy admitted, "Hello! Because it's sooo cute!" On the other hand, another friend snorted, "How is infant ear piercing any better than circumcision?"
How old do you think a child should be to get her ears pierced?
-Pierce children's ears as infants. It's easier.
-Wait until they're old enough to decide for themselves and be responsible.
-We have a set age in mind for our children.
-We have a cultural custom that determines when and how we pierce their ears.
More from REDBOOK:
5 Man-Magnet, Figure-Flattering, Show-Stopping Outfits
Sex Toys That Give the Best Buzz
- 75 Most Iconic Hairstyles of All Time
- Fun, Cheap Date Ideas
- 8 Tips for Baby-Soft Skin
Permissions: Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.