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#AskAlyson: Belly Piercing

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Dear Alyson,

My 16 year old daughter wants to get her belly button pierced.  I am totally against this.  I am worried if I don’t let her she will hate me and she has threatened me that she will use an ice-cube and needle and do it herself.  What can I do to convince her this is a bad idea at her age?

Distressed Dad

Dear Distressed Dad,

At 16 she will be able to get her piercing done without needing your signature, so this issue will resolve then. The questions then is, how do you want this last year to go?  As a fight you lost that hurts your relationship?  Or as concerned parent who wants to share their concerns and perspectives with the hopes of influencing her thinking and choices?

I would write a list of your fears and address each separately to see what she can do to alleviate the fear in you or prove she has made a considered choice.  For example:

You might fear infection.  Have her read up on this and pick her piercing service with this in mind.  Have her discuss the post piercing care with you.  Let her do the research herself.

You might fear she regrets the hole.  See if she might be willing to wait a few months to see if this idea is still appealing and not just a whim.

You might fear that this draws sexual attention to her.   She might show you that today these belly piercings are as common as ear piercings and that it doesn’t signal that you are a hussy or easy, the way a parent might imagine.

Remember, it’s your child’s inside character that matters.  So if they decide to go goth and wear black lipstick, or jump on the piercing and tattooing look, we have to show them we love them regardless.  They are finding themselves and their identity.  Love them while you offer some guidance. But in the end,  you cannot control them.


About Alyson

Alyson has been blogging parenting advice for over 15 years. She has been a panelist at BlogWest, Blissdom, #140NYC and more. Her content appears on sites across Canada and the US, but you can read all her own blog posts right here.

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