At what age is it okay for a parent to allow their child to have their ears pierced?
It's an issue that's divided parents across the land after one mother posed the question on a Mumsnet forum, asking whether it was appropriate to take her four-year-old daughter to have her ears pierced over the summer holidays.
Her daughter, who would have turned five by the time summer comes around, had reportedly been asking her mother to have her ears pierced for a year.
The mother explained that her daughter is “pretty articulate for her age and so knows it will hurt”.
One of the reasons why the young girl wants her ears pierced is to emulate her older sister, who’d had hers pierced at four years old.
To add another spanner in the works, the girl’s father is heavily opposed to the idea despite having previously been fine with her older sibling having her ears pierced at a young age.
The father, who’s now separated from the mother, was the stepfather of the mother’s eldest three children and is the biological father of the youngest daughter in question.
The mother’s post sparked a debate on the parenting site, with many stating that they believe the father’s stance on the matter is very hypocritical.
However, others professed that they believe the parents should come to a joint decision on the matter.
“I wouldn’t go against her father’s wishes,” one person wrote, while another stated that they believe the father has stated his opposition as a demonstration of “power”.
“I think doing that to such small children is horrible, so I agree with him that you shouldn’t,” one person wrote.
“But then he’s being pretty hypocritical isn’t he,” they then continued.
There is currently no legal age restriction on piercings in England or Wales, meaning that individuals of any age can have bodily piercings without parental consent.
However, those under the age of 16 in Scotland are required to have a parent’s permission before having anything pierced.