As girls approach middle school, many start asking when they can get their ears pierced. Parents often look to see what others are doing before deciding on the right time for this right of passage. A milestone event like a graduation or birthday can provide a good way to highlight the event and make it special--or provide an excuse to put it off a bit if that's also a goal.
Carolyn Wootton noted that her first daughter was allowed to pierce her ears when she graduated from 5th grade, but the second daughter got permission a little sooner, right before 5th grade. Same thing happened with PG movies at our house.
Many choose the 13th birthday. It may seem strange to some cultures that we Americans wait so long, because it's common in some cultures to pierce girls' ears when they are infants or toddlers.
One thing's for sure, according to mom Andrea Bucklin--make sure the sports schedule is clear for a bit right after the piercing. In contact sports like soccer and basketball, officials will make you remove the earring during athletic contests and coaches will do the same during practices. For those first few weeks when the earrings are not supposed to be removed, it's best to avoid this hassle!
Parents of the younger set may not realize there may be pressure for a second piercing later, in the cartilage part of the ear or just as a double piercing in the lobe. These second piercings seem much more controversial among parents, some of whom worry about impressions made during college admissions and job interviews.
Let us know what you're doing at your house!