Following in Momma’s footsteps: teen piercings

Guest post by Winona Follansbee
Winona (and her piercings)
Winona (and her piercings)

I was a bit of a late bloomer into the piercing thing. I started with tattoos at 21 but it wasn’t until I was thirty that piercing became cool in my book. As a rocker chick, it just seemed a natural next step. I had my ears pierced since I was 12, but I was ready for the next big thing. And, apparently, so was my daughter.

I have always felt that I wanted my kids, all four of them, to feel like individuals–rather it was purple hair, no hair, or gulp! Piercings. I was all set to go get my first piercing and my then-thirteen year old wanted one, too. I nearly choked! I wanted her to be expressive, but a piercing? Was it too soon? Was she too young? There was no way I going to get a piercing done and declare them off limits to her.

I called the pierce and tattoo shop and asked some questions, looking for some advice. They were more than happy to answer questions for me. Here in Maine a person under 18 can get pierced with parental consent and the shop had no problem as long as she was old enough to care for it. So, I made an appointment for us both to go and get pierced. I got my tongue pierced, and the kid was sporting a shiny new nose ring.

Winona's daughter.
Winona’s daughter.

Since our first outing two years ago, the both of us have discovered a love of piercing. At 15 she has had several, some she eventually took out. Currently she is sporting Viper Bites and a Vertical Labret in her lower lip, and a shiny new hoop in her left nostril. Re-pierced last week on a whim!

I now have become a piercing collector myself. Angel Bites in my lip, my tongue, both nipples and an eye brow ring very soon! My partner also has himself pierced, with his two in each lobe gauged to a 12.

Her piercing experience has taught her a lot about being responsible, probably more than I ever could. She had to care for them herself, and has done a perfect job! In fact I think they all suit her personality.

As she is the oldest of my four, she has certainly set a trend. The younger ones are already planning their “first” with excitement. We use a trusted quality shop in our area to minimize the risk of complications. Like so many other things, there is a risk involved, and you need to make an informed decision about what is right for your family.

Comments on Following in Momma’s footsteps: teen piercings

  1. THANK YOU for this! I was also blessed with a momma who was very open about piercings and the like. I got my ears first pierced when I was six or seven, but continued with the piercings through high school and early college. Her philosophy: “They can always be taken out if you don’t wan them.” True to that, as I’ve gotten older I have taken some out, but I love the ones I still have and have considered re-doing a few of them and adding a tat or two to the mix. I don’t have kids yet, but after being married for a year my husband and I have discussed parenting, and this is definitely an attitude I will adopt. If my kid wants to get their nose pierced or dye their hair blue, heck, I’ll be doing it right along with them!

  2. Hee!

    When I was 14 I desperately wanted to dye my hair bright red (yes, My So-Called Life was a big hit at the time). My mom only let me use temporary dyes, which I remember thinking was so odd…it’s hair, it’s all temporary! It grows out!

  3. My oldest son, 9, started talking about wanting to shave his head several years ago. Not buzzed, BIC razor smooth! We first let him do it at 7. He loved it! We let it grow back and shaved it again at 8. Now, at 9, he wants to keep it that way and every month of so will ask for me to shave it off again. I’m getting better at it (the shaving w/out cutting him part) and he’s getting more tolerant (of the standing still and getting used to a bit of razor burn on his head part).

    Although, I think he’s lucky, he does have a nicely shaped head!

    • There’s shaving balm specifically made for shaving heads. My dad uses HeadBlade and doesn’t get razor burn from it. It’s like the consistency of hair conditioner so its not foamy or anything.

  4. Good on ya for this post. My husband and I are covered in tattoos and plan to allow our kids to express themselves how they wish when the time is right. My stepdaughter is 18 and is pondering her first tattoo. We told her, think on it, if you love it in 6 months go for it. I grew up in a house that would never allow piercings or what not. I remember being terrified of going home in college with my nose ring! I took it out the first time and it closed up. I refuse to have that kind of house for my kids.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to ask questions and not just make assumptions, especially regarding caring for the piercings. I used to work in a retail shop that did ear piercings with the cartridge/gun system and often I would get parents back, complaining about infections and trying to put the blame on our store. Usually if asked if they had been cleaning the earrings, the kids would ‘fess up and the parents would drag them off in a huff. FYI: you’ve just stabbed a hole in a sensitive body part. It’s gonna require some kind of maintenance!

    Your daughter’s piercings are awesome and you should be proud of the responsibility she’s learned. Great post!

    (PS: I understand a lot of people don’t agree with the cartridge/gun system used in retail stores, but 99.9% of the problems our customers had were either because they weren’t taking care of their piercings OR chose a cheap earring and had an allergic reaction. It happens with needles too!)

    • I agree that the allergy thing isn’t discussed a whole lot. I got my ears pierced with a gun and that’s how I found out I was allergic to nickle. I never worry about that at my piercing shop because I think that there is less likelyhood of running into nickle at a good shop. But I’ll never forget waking up one morning and not being able to change earings becuase my ear had grown around it in the night after an allergy fit! My mom had to take me to the doctor and get my earrings surgically removed.

  6. Good post. If I feel my child is responsible enough to care for the piercings, then, sure, why not. I am also a fan of not piercing your child’s earlobes until they can make the choice and care for them themselves.. Even though I am a pierced/tattooed girl.. I won’t be piercing my child because I think they should wear them.. I want them to make that choice.

    • Fight it!!

      The school tried to tell my daughter that she could have a hair color that “wasn’t a natural color”…well, every color occurs in nature. When I threatened to sue them for discrimination they changed their tune really quick.

      Stand up for you rights!

  7. I got my ear lobes pierced at 7. With my grandma! It was a birthday present to both of us, as she had never had pierced ears. My mother let me decide and I’ve never thought anything about it. My guy and I both have piercings and tattoos, so clearly it will be something that will seem normal in our house when we have kids. I agree it’s a good idea to let the kids come up with the idea, and to not do it before they are responsible enough to handle it. Earlobes are easy to care for and they heal up quickly. Other piercings would be up for discussion later. They’re removable, but I wouldn’t want my kid to get a painful infection or discover that their piercings grow out after spending a good chunk of money. That is another thing, I would pay for ear lobes being pierced once, but beyond that it would be part of the responsibility that if they want it they have to look after it AND pay for it.

  8. I’m not sure if I agree with this post. As a heavily modified mama, I understand that my son will probably want piercings of his own some day, and perhaps some tattoos. However, I do not think that most children understand the permanence of piercings. Yes, it is not as obvious as a tattoo, but in many cases retired piercings, especially ones set aside due to improper care or, I shudder to think, keloids, can leave lasting scar tissue, often times in prominent places. Children need to be educated and understand that anything they do to their bodies can sometimes leave a lasting effect, no matter how innocuous it may seem.

    • I personally wouldn’t consider a 13 year old too young to understand the possible permanence of peircings.

      Also, considering all the scars/marks people get from accidents in prominent places, I dont imagine some scar tissue would negatively impact their adult lives. Certainly not the way a visible tattoo could.

      I suppose it would very much depend on the maturity level and attitudes of the child.

    • I would like to
      point out that anything you do can lead to scars. I, as an example, have my
      ears pierced multiple times and have never gotten a scar, but in high school I
      had a mole that was removed due to a worry for skin cancer and they had to
      remove more tissue, I ended up with several large keloids. I had to just
      learn that it was a part of me and it makes me who I am. So what if
      you get a keloid from a piercing? I was raised to think the goal of life isn’t to
      arrive at the grave intact and whole, it’s to slide in looking a hot mess being
      pleased with how you got there. Not trying to upset or step on toes just
      offering a different perspective.

  9. I love this post!!!
    I got my ears pierced at five, second holes at nine which I later took out so that I would have enough room to stretch my lobes to 00.

    I was 14 when I got my nose pierced and got my first tattoo. I had bugged my dad since I was 12 about getting my nose pierced and he made me do a whole bunch of research to make sure I understood how to take care of it, what the risks were and so on, same with me getting a tattoo… and my father was a tattoo artist!!!

    I don’t think a lot of people… even adults realize how much care goes into taking care of piercings, specially if it’s one that takes 6months to a year to heal [like a nostril or navel piercing]. No matter your age you need to do your research.
    I have piercings and both of us have tattoos [my love is doing his apprenticeship!] and I know that I will not be letting any of my children do anything to there bodies without doing the research.

    Seeing as we are talking about piercings I also wanted to mention that you should never get pierced with a piercing gun. Getting pierced at a tattoo or piercing parlour doesn’t cost any more and you will have less of a risk of getting infections. The gun is one part and they can’t be cleaned properly, also, the part that actual pierces into your skin is the stud.

  10. i’m totally a pro piercings/tattoo mama!

    i got my first tattoo when i was 15 (which my mom had actually suggested i do, i had never thought about get a tattoo before that!) and first piercing actually during my dad’s 50th birthday party (my dad considered getting his ear pierced, but chickened out) , i also had pink hair from the time i was 14 until i was 21.

    as soon as my kids have any interest in tattoos and piercings i will take them myself to a clean place, i rather take them to a place i know (i’m from jersey) then them sneaking into the city (nyc) and getting something done incorrectly (which i have done)

    as for currently, i have no piercings (sigh) yet at the height i had 14 i’m waiting for my newest member of my family (due in oct.) to be old enough NOT to pull on say a lip ring, but i will definably go get pierced with my kids

    • My godson’s parents both have piercings. His mama has a labret and various others and the little one seems to think it’s just a part of her face so far. He’s a year and a half now, but she’s had it since we were kids. Way before he was born. Of course necklaces, rings, watches, those he goes crazy for. Maybe he knows those can come off and the piercings never do?

  11. Great post!! Both my husband and I have a facial piercing each and tattoos, and we’ve discussed the prospects of our kids wanting either and what my husband said was this, if he can see it, it’s fine. It’s the ones he can’t see that he’s uncomfortable with because you know it’ll get shown off lol

  12. So this is slightly embarrassing, but I typically shudder at the sight of piercings, even if it’s the typical earlobe ones. When I was living at home and saw my mom’s or sister’s earrings on the sink, I would actually use the other bathroom if at all possible.

    We’ve been talking about raising our future kids to be who they want to be, but I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if they want piercings as I really will get a little nauseous if I have to look at some piercings too long. Any suggestions?

  13. Thanks for this, my 13 year old daughter has been asking for her first piercing (other than her ear-lobes) and I was unsure when the right time would be to allow her to do so. She’s old enough to care for them and knows what she wants and since I have piercings I’m not against them but was just unsure what other mum’s thought and if I would be doing the right thing allowing this before she’s 16. Other mum’s i know have’nt even allowed a simple earlobe piercing at 13 least I feel happier now letting her!

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