Ask-A-Teen Column: Teen Pressure, A Piercing Issue

This article is by Renae, Maria Elena and Sofia, the writers of the Ask A Teen Column where readers can write in to ask our teens for advice. Email for your question.

“My daughter just left this snapshot on my computer…(see attached) pulling my chain for a not-so-subtle teen wannabe/bday hint…her BFF just got one, didn’t help my summer fun ;-)

(*note: this was not the exact photo, but very similar)

sheesh… What would some RP responses to countless badgering and comments like:

1.) Why do YOU care, it’s my body?
Or teen terrorist tactics like:
2.) It’s like piercing my own ears, if you don’t wanna let me I’ll just do it anyway, wouldn’t you rather have it be a pro?”

I was 13 when I got my first piercing (other than my ears) even though my mother told me not to. She accepted it and told me it was my body and that she knew she couldn’t stop me from getting something I really wanted. I had a major appreciation for her saying that. I felt like even though she was my mother she understood that I liked being different and I liked standing out. She also understood that piercings were what I was into and that was my style. You can tell your daughter no, but she’ll find a way to do it. Think about the reasons why you don’t want her to get it. In my opinion, the best way to handle this situation is to persuade her with your knowledge of piercings that go with your choice. As in, if you don’t want her to get that piercing, tell her it’ll be hard to get a job. Explain your reasons of not wanting her to get one. If she still decides it’s what she truly wants then just make sure she’s informed of everything having and getting a piercing entails: the healing process, the chance of infection and the prices of jewelry that you’ll want her to pay for. = )

~ Renae is a 16-year-old from Lowell, MI. She is a creative individual who spends a lot of her time reading and learning Japanese because she would like to become a Journalist in Japan.

Well first off, look at the positives first: at least your daughter
a. hasn’t gotten anything pierced yet and
b. had the decency to ask you.
So, at least you know that she wanted your approval in some way.

On the other hand, you need to let your daughter know that you are the one in charge and that what you say not only is the law, but what is best for her.  Now, from personal experience, being a 16 year old girl, I don’t always agree with my mom and I definitely think that some things are not fair, but after a few days I learn to get over and live with whatever my mom says I am not allowed to do.  Though it may not be easy, your daughter will have to realize this too.
First things first, do not let your daughter be a master negotiator and let her talk you into letting her get the piercing she wants.  If this happens, she will think that she can get whatever she pleases whenever she pleases (see The Age of Negotiation: 7 Ways to Stop a Kid-Lawyer).  Let your daughter know that as long as she lives under your roof and as long as you take care of her, she should be able to wait.  Suggest the idea that when she is 18 and making her own money that she can do what she wants but not while she is living with you.  The typical answer “But my friend has one!” may throw you off, but ask her why she wants to be like everyone else, or how will these piercings look in the long run; give her something to think about.
Also, let your daughter know that if she does decide to go ahead and ignore you and do the piercings herself, that there will be consequences for her actions.  If you want her to take you seriously and listen to her, she needs to know her boundaries. You can choose whichever punishment you think would help her remember not to disobey you again but just remember that you should choose a punishment that only reprimands her and not you.
Lastly, make sure that, above all, that you as a parent control the situation.  There is nothing worse than letting your child control any decisions that you must make.  Do not worry about how your final answer will make your daughter feel, she will always love you no matter what and a silly belly button or nose piercing will not change that.  What you say is the best for her well being and she will learn to accept that.

~ Sofia is a 16-year-old from Los Angeles, CA.  She loves the beach, shopping, and enjoys studying psychology because she would like to become a psychologist when she is older.

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