Does this make me a bad mum – or the best mum?

My daughter wants to get her ears pierced. She’s been asking for them for years, but my rule has always been: when you’re old enough to take care of them yourself (aftercare/being careful taking clothes off etc), then you’re old enough to get them done.

She’s 8 now. She makes her own toast, Band-Aids her own ouchies and unstacks the dishwasher with ease. Therefore, I figure, she’s old enough to cope with managing some pierced ears.

So off we went to Skin Candy at Robina Town Centre, where we discovered you could book two consultants for an extra $10. The purpose: they can shoot both ears at once, meaning your little princess (or prince) only has to go through the emotional experience of having their ears pierced once.


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“Great idea!” my husband said.

“No way!” I said.

My husband looked at me, confused. “Why not?”

Here’s my reasoning…

Getting your ears pierced is not all that painful. A little sting, a little bite. A small ache for half an hour afterwards. Then it’s done and dusted, and you get to experience the joy and pleasure of having pierced ears forever.

It’s a small rite of passage and the way I see it, it’s one of a number of little manageable “pains” my kids might experience as they journey towards adulthood.

The thing is, I don’t want my children to grow up looking for the shortcuts. For the easy way out. For the opportunities to side-step the pain and dive straight into the good stuff. I want them to develop grit and resilience, and experience the pure joy and satisfaction of pushing through something difficult and getting to the other side!

Which is why I explained to my girl: “You can get your ears pierced right now if you like! But you have to get them done one ear at a time. Sometimes in life, you have to go through a brief bit of pain in order to get to the good stuff. Plus, we don’t want to waste $10 just to save 5 seconds of time, right?”

Luckily, she got it. And she decided to go through with it.

There were some tears and some anxiety, but when it was all over with, she beamed with pride. And so did I.

What do you think? Am I a mean mum and I should have opted for a double consultant – or would you do the same thing in my shoes?

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Henrietta Tooma

Good on you. Right decision. I had mine done first time very young and I fainted, got over it. Had them done with more holes later on and actually pierced ears for others in a jewellery shop where I worked.