I often joke that my kids are either going to be the President of the United States or in an insane asylum by how I parent. This post is one of those examples that shows my alternative methods.
Most parents just go take their girls to get their ears pierced. Not me.
See I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was in the 9th grade. And I still remember my first pair of earrings (and so do many of my jr. high friends! A couple of them mentioned the iconic silver hoops at my recent high school reunion.)
(Insert old high school photo here when I can find one…)
Anyway, so when Elle asked me when she could get her ears pierced when she was just six years old, I had to do some thinking about my philosophy on ear piercing. I thought and pondered and talked to my husband and we agreed on a few requirements before it was time to pierce her ears.
1. I knew she had to be at least 8. This is the age that I feel she is able to make important decisions. And I think putting a hole in your ear is an important decision that I wanted her to be capable to make for her own body.
2. But the ear piercing could not be associated with her 8th birthday at all. In our church we get baptized at age 8 and I wanted 8 to be all about her baptism and that special occasion, not about getting her ears pierced.
That is where the moral issue ended for me and the rest of my requirements were responsibility based. (It’s possible that these next requirements are just stall tactics because I didn’t want my little girl to get boobies earrings.)
3. Elle had to demonstrate sufficient responsibility. I can barely get my kids’ teeth brushed and my own legs shaved. I don’t need another hygiene issue to worry about every day. Elle would need to be responsible enough to be completely in charge of her own cleanings and maintenance.
Last year when Elle asked me again if she could get her ears pierced, I said, “You can’t even keep your room clean. (See this post.) I am not giving you something else to clean.” That excuse worked for a year.
But this year her room has been picked up every day. (See this post.) So I gave her another requirement (can you see me stalling here…)
4. I told her she needed to do the research on where we should go. She had to call 3 places and ask questions and price check. We brainstormed together who she could call and what she could ask. She recorded everything in a notebook. Here are the questions she asked the different businesses:
How much does it cost?
What does the price include?
Do I need an appointment?
When is the best time to come?
She was really nervous (in fact it took her a few weeks to get the courage to complete this requirement) so we role played a few times what the phone conversation might go like. We played both Elle and the store worker.
When she was ready to make the calls, she googled the stores names and got their phone numbers. It was cute to listen to her talk with these businesses on the phone.
5. At the very end, I threw on another requirement to continue the stall. She had to interview 5 friends about their experience. We brainstormed questions she could ask her friends.
Where did you go?
What was it like?
Were they nice?
Would you recommend them?
She came home from school the next day and had completed her interviews. From all her research, she decided she wanted to go to Claire’s.
It looks like Elle has proven that she is responsible enough to get her ears pierced. No more stalling. I must face that my little girl is growing up and going to get earrings. Now we just need to pull the trigger.