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#1 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My step-daughter's birthday is on Wednesday and she has said that all she wants is to get a second piercing (just above her first one, in her ear).  I don't think this is appropriate.  I do not want it for my daughter (who is 11 and already wants this too).  i feel that they are perfect the way they are and if they want to do things like that it can happen when they're 18.  it feels really not ok to me.  but my husband thinks it's fine,  "what's the big deal - it's not a lip or eyebrow"?  i don't think it's fair to the girls to let one of them do it and not the other.  my husband and i (who've been married for 4 years, together for 5), generally, each, have the last say on parenting when it comes to our own, bio-daughter, but in this case i think we must come to an agreement.  

 

also - my ex-husband (who has say-so, obviously, in what happens with our daughter), probably won't be ok with it for her (though he has about 4 piercings in each of his ears, and several tattoos). And in our blended family - i feel - as strange as it may seem - we all need to get on the same page since it wouldn't be ok to let dsd do it and not dd.

 

i'm not an up tight parent at all - but i feel their bodies are beautiful and sacred and i feel it sends the wrong message - to begin altering them at this age.  If that's a choice they want to make later - i truly feel it will be up to them and i'm sure i'll love and support them in their adult choices (with a twinge of maternal sadness).  but if they started now, not only do i think it will send the wrong message - but the earlier they start, i think, the more will come.  

 

thoughts please,

 

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#2 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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i feel like your dh.

 

i have trouble with the whole body is beautiful and sacred part. (not against you, but in general). do you allow her to wear make up? i feel piercing and makeup should be the same thing. altering of any kind is i think the inherent nature of man. its been done since early man. i see it as an art form and thus no harm. 

 

some kids are really into it. some are not. dd begged and begged and begged and got her ears pierced at 3. i have pierced ears. its something she has enjoyed since then. 

 

however one thing i am recognizing is - when my now preteen asks for something - i have to evaluate and see where my decisions are coming from. is it truly my own hangup. is it truly that big? does it really matter that much. in other words choosing the battle. our family has a history of messed up relationships with their kids during the teenage years. i am trying to avoid that trap. 


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#3 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i hear you meemee,

 

i'm very open minded.  exhusband is tattooed and pierced and i think it's beautiful.  i don't have any judgment there.  but they are not adults and i think these kinds of alterations are for adults, not 11 and 13 year olds.  maybe even an older teen could think of piercing a second whole in their year - but probably not this young.  but maybe i'm wrong.  would like to hear from more mamas.  

 

and no, neither of them wear any makeup.  my 11 year old wants to.  we had some conflict about this one day a few weeks ago.  but i've told her she can wear clear lip gloss to school, but nothing more.  could wear pale eye shadow to a special event.  13 yr old doesn't want to wear any makeup at all.  

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#4 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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aaaaah sea - you are going to have trouble with the whole grown up adult issue. i see that with dd's teen friends.

 

however i will tell you i see in my city quite a few preteens with a second earring. 

 

this is a hard place to be. why is one ok, why is the second not. 

 

one of the things i am discovering is talking. real open talking (which means you will have to listen to some hard truths). gosh i discovered dd is far more conservative than i am on certain things and that surprised me.

 

sometimes they have not thought of all the aspects of their action. 

 

perhaps it will give you another way of looking at things that will not make this decision so tough.


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#5 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I don't think a second piercing in an ear is a big deal at all. Really not a hill to die on for a 13 year old.

 

Part of the problem seems to be the decision making process with a step child and a bio child and all the adults involved.I think it could continue to get more and more complex over the next couple of years. This stuff can be tough for parents who are raising their bio children together, and the step family thing adds a layer of complexity.

 

"generally, each, have the last say on parenting when it comes to our own, bio-daughter, but in this case i think we must come to an agreement. "

 

You seem to like the idea of each parent making the choices for their own child, but you seem to want to have the same rules for the kids. That won't work. You can't have it both ways.

 

My kids have different rules than some of their friends -- they know that part of the deal. All kids know that is part of the deal. Trying to force your husband to say no to his child about something because you *think* it will make is easier for you to say no to your child is misguided. You kid is going to know other parents who are fine with this -- that isn't a secret. Letting that parenting difference drive a wedge in the relationship with the man you love is a waste of energy.

 

There will be more things in the upcoming years -- you are at the beginning of the next stage. Figuring out how you guys will approach these situations could have a massive impact on your marriage.


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#6 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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I think the normalcy of a second piercing depends on the kids your children hang out with. My kids friends aren't into the piercing thing outside the standard single set of earrings. I haven't seen any of my 15-year-old friends with a double pierce. Mine barely wear earrings and she wouldn't volunteer for more pain lol. I don't have an issue with piercing in general, it's just not our scene.

 

Since your a blended family, if you are both the main custodial parent and both girls are living under the same roof, I'd personally stick with the more conservative vote and be uniform. If your DH's daughter is just over every other weekend or such, well, then it's not quite the same and I'd let it go. Who knows if your DD will even WANT a second piercing and if you are open with her on why you disagree with the choice, she may be very understanding.


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#7 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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I don't think it is a big deal to get a second piercing on your ear when you are a teenager. I had free range over my ears, face, and hair as a teenager and I enjoyed exploring who I was and what I wanted to look like. I do think you and your Dh need to decide together where your boundary will be after that though. Your step daughter is a few years older than your dd and it is reasonable to tell your dd that you will reevaluate the ear piercing request when she is fourteen. Older children often get a little more freedom than younger children because the freedom is reasonable and gives them a sense of control that children often crave as they get older.
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#8 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure why the second hole is different from the first one...  Why was one hole okay and why is this second one different?  I think that may only come down to a matter of "what's in", ie, it's "normal" to have one set of holes.  

 

I do feel somewhat like you've described OP, in that I wouldn't want my kids to alter their bodies at a young age.  In a way I do think their bodies are sacred (though I'm not sure what that quite means since we're not religious or anything  --  maybe just really special and irreplaceable).  Anyway, I see a lot of very young people with lots of tattoos and other body mods and I do think it''s sad that they're never going to be able to escape from decisions that they made so young.  At least where I live, there are a lot of 16 and 17 year olds with tattoos covering large portions of their bodies in hard to cover areas.  

 

OTOH, I don't think that two sets of ear piercings will be seen as fringe or weird anywhere these days.  As Linda said, I can't see it as a hill to die on.  And also, it wouldn't be the end of the world, imo, for the girls to have different rules about this.  Your dd's father does have a say about what happens with her, but not with her step sister, and that's fine.  I had a step sister who was two months younger than me and we had different rules sometimes.  She got stuff I didn't a lot (her mother had money).  She had another parent she could run off to if she wanted.  I didn't.  I might have been jealous at times, but I understood that those were just the circumstances of our lives.  

 

I know I'm all over the place here, but I guess I'm saying either way, it's all right.  If it is really important to you, then stick to your guns.  It's okay for just one of them to have two holes.  OTOH, maybe having two holes is not as big of a deal a you're making it out to be and you could be more flexible.  

 

And, just as an aside, I had one set of holes repeatedly pierced because they got horribly infected no matter what I did, so they've been closed now since I was about 12.  I hate the scars!  If it were my dd I would probably make her wait a lot longer for the first set and really try to discourage it.  I have a friend who has really lovely piercings on her face and I have seen many tattoos and other body mods that I've loved, I have a small tattoo myself, so it's not that I'm against it all, but I do feel bad for very young people who've done it.  I have changed so much since 16 myself.  I'd hate to be stuck with anything drastic I had decided to do then.  And as I said, I do deeply regret that dumb first set of holes.


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#9 of 19 Old 10-07-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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My step-daughter's birthday is on Wednesday and she has said that all she wants is to get a second piercing (just above her first one, in her ear).

 

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Originally Posted by seacatnp View Post

i'm not an up tight parent at all - but i feel their bodies are beautiful and sacred and i feel it sends the wrong message - to begin altering them at this age.  If that's a choice they want to make later - i truly feel it will be up to them and i'm sure i'll love and support them in their adult choices (with a twinge of maternal sadness).  but if they started now, not only do i think it will send the wrong message - but the earlier they start, i think, the more will come.  

 

Wait, I'm confused. At first your post sounds like you're talking about a second pair of piercings in addition to the one she either already has or that you are okay with her getting, but then later in your post it sounds like you don't want them to begin body alterations at this age? If they already have one set of piercings, they've already begun body alteration whether they get the second or not. I know you're talking about two different girls, but it sounds like they're in the same boat (or at least you have the same concerns about both of them) so I'm not sure if I'm totally misunderstanding or what. All the pp seem to be thinking the same thing I am (compatible opinions anyway), but maybe we're all confused.

 

If you are okay with a first piercing (and don't consider it a body modification?) but a second piercing is not okay, could you clarify why you feel that way?

 

Is the second piercing still in the earlobe? Or is it in the cartilage? 

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#10 of 19 Old 10-09-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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I would be OK with it. My DDs are 9 and 13 and dye their hair with semi-permanent dye (older one purple all over, younger one blue stripe) - actually DH dyes it. DD1 just started wearing eye liner, which I also OK'd. They both have pierced ears, and I have already said a second piercing is OK when and if they want it. I would want them to wait until 18 for more serious piercings (lip, eyebrow, etc.) and other permanent stuff. It's just an issue we've decided we can be lax on to a point and we won't fight.
 

However, I do get your point about the relevant adults being on the same page. I would want to present a unified front as well.


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#11 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 12:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by seacatnp View Post

 

but if they started now, not only do i think it will send the wrong message - but the earlier they start, i think, the more will come.  

 

 

I don't buy the slippery slope argument. "You can't do X because it would lead to Y, and Y would lead to Z, and Z is totally off limits, so therefore you can't do X."

 

My parents did stuff like that and I always thought it was nonsense. I wasn't allowed to do things they didn't really mind that much because they didn't want me to do something I didn't even want to do! It was completely crazy.

 

It also totally backfired. Rather than teaching me any sort of decision making, they taught me that as long as they had power over my life, they called they shots. But when I had power over my life, I did. They never taught me a single things about about how to use that power! So, the minute I got freedom, I did a lot of really, really stupid stuff that I now regret.

 

With my DDs, we talk a lot about how to make decisions about body modifications, the risks and benefits of certain types of piercings and such. For example, my kids can easily explain why its a bad idea to get a lip or tongue piercing and the types of complications they can easily cause.

 

I think its far more important to be able to think through this stuff than to have it put off limits because learning to think about it last a lifetime. Keeping it off limits is a very temporary solution.


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#12 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 04:47 AM
 
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I wanted this for years, and my mom wouldnt let me get it. I finally got one at a party when I was 16 from a friend who had a hot needle. It got horribly infected and I regret doing it that way. IMO, it's super important to teach kids that if they want something done, they need to get it done the right way- professionally. Not at some boutique in the mall, and not in their friends basement, but from a decent piercing shop with hypodermic piercing needles and someone who is professionally trained to be poking holes in other people ;) 

 

And, I disagree that it's a slippery slope. I wanted two holes in my ears since I was about 10- but I dont have any other holes, and I waited until I was 21 to get my first tattoo. 


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#13 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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My daughter has double piercings in her lobes, and a cartilige (sp) piercing in one ear. Also a belly piercing. If her Dad had an issue with it? We'd have discussed it, and I would likely defer to the least piercing preference. BUT.... if it was an issue of my ex's wife and how she felt about it? Not my problem. How we parent our child is separate from how she and her ex parent theirs. I'd tell MY ex it was none of his business what they choose for their child. Just as, frankly, it is none of yours what Mom and Dad choose for their child. You can tell your daughter that life isn't fair.

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#14 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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I personally would have no issue with piercings, especially in the ears. The great thing about piercings is that if she decides in a few months she doesn't like the piercing she can take it out and it will most likely close up and nobody will be the wiser. It's their body not mine if they want to put holes in it should be up to them. I would make sure to take them to a reputable, clean, licensed tattoo and piercing parlor. I would also make sure they know about how to keep the wound clean and keep on the lookout for signs of infection just in case.


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#15 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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Linda made some really good points. I know a lot of young women who have had such things dictated at them, and as they've aged up have gone wild. I've tried to talk through these choices and decisions with my kids, and have found that they have both learned from the experience. They're both quite responsible and really think through their decisions wrt adult choices. Sex, drinking, drugs, etc.

 

Just something to think about.
 

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#16 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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This may seem a little off of the point, but its something I see cropping up with a lot of tween & teen issues socially. Parents are teaching their pre-school children "This is your body, and its special. You only get this one. Be careful with it (don't jump/climb/be unsafe). They continue that into the "stranger-danger" areas, as in, don't let anyone touch you under your bathing suit, and if  anyone tries to, tell me or your dad and we'll protect you."

 

But then that gets contrasted with, no you can't cut your hair, or your hair is too long, I have to cut it. You aren't allowed to wear that color... which would make sense if it was a gang related color or something, but only then. As teens, they can be pressured into sex and drugs and dangerous risk taking that, for me at least, was a way of rebelling because I wasn't allowed basic bodily control. 

 

 Talk to the other adults in the situation, get on the same page. But please keep in mind that cosmetic issues are a place to allow your children to safely take control over their self and discover their identity.  If the other parents in your stepdaughters life overrule you, as they may, then accept it graciously, because there are many more important things than ear holes, and an escalating power struggle will do none of you good.  Of course, explain your values to her, that's vital. But that sacred body is hers. 


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#17 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 09:56 AM
 
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i'm not an up tight parent at all - but i feel their bodies are beautiful and sacred and i feel it sends the wrong message - to begin altering them at this age.  If that's a choice they want to make later - i truly feel it will be up to them and i'm sure i'll love and support them in their adult choices (with a twinge of maternal sadness).  but if they started now, not only do i think it will send the wrong message - but the earlier they start, i think, the more will come. 

 

Both your dd and dsd have 1 piercing already? I think the boat sailed on the not altering their beautiful sacred bodies idea with the first piercing. Saying they can't start to alter their bodies doesn't make sense if they already have.

 

I do believe 13 years is old enough to make this choice about her own body but maybe you could ask her to wait until she is 15 or 16 instead. You can tell your 11 year old that she needs to wait until she is also 13/15/16 years for a second ear piercing and tell both of them that they need to wait until 18 years for anything else.

I don't think a second ear piercing at 13 years would send the message that they can pierce or tattoo like crazy or that their bodies are not beautiful as they are.

 

With my dd she had to wait until she was 8 for pierced ears and then decided not to get them done after all. At 12 years old she still does not have pierced ears. It is her choice.

Dd wears clip on earrings sometimes. Maybe you could explore some clip on or magnetic earrings or ear cuffs/wraps with the kids to let them know they don't actually have to have more holes to wear more earrings.


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#18 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi guys.  wow!  so many opinions.  i guess i asked for it.  No more needed at this point.  

 

just a very brief response to one person's comments...I was a wild child.  I had free reign over my body and too much freedom can be a problem too.  it was for me.   too much restriction and too little boundaries can both be problematic.  i'm trying to create a real balance for my kids - structure and freedom of expression.  

 

thanks for your opinions, they helped me to clarify my own.  

 

Seacat

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#19 of 19 Old 10-10-2012, 10:16 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by seacatnp View Post
\

i'm trying to create a real balance for my kids - structure and freedom of expression.  

 

 

 

But this isn't your kid -- this is your step kid. It isn't your decision, and making a stink over it won't do much expect put stress on your marriage.

 

The idea that each of you get finally say on your own kid except when you disagree about things with HIS daughter seems like a bad direction to go. 

 

(just my 2 cents)

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