Dear David Coleman: My daughter wants her ears pierced but she's only seven and it's causing a family row
Q My daughter is seven and several of her friends already have their ears pierced. Needless to say she is forever asking can she get hers done. I don't agree with piercing at her age, so I've told her she'll have to wait until she's 10. Unfortunately, her dad disagrees, because he thinks ear piercing is cute. We have two issues; we keep rowing and she keeps demanding! Any advice?
David replies: I think you are right to identify that the lack of agreement between you and her dad is the key reason that she keeps asking. Aside from the peer pressure, it is the hope that she gets - from her dad - that perpetuates the possibility that you might change your mind.
The resolution to both problems will come from a proper discussion between you adults, where you try to identify some common ground. Ultimately, the decision about ear piercings is all about taste and personal preference. Picking an age at which it becomes allowable is an arbitrary thing. Perhaps you and her dad need to learn how to compromise.
At the moment everyone is losing, so maybe you need to focus on how everyone can get something from the situation. Being entirely dogmatic is often a real block to achieving a win-win.
Her dad and herself may need to wait, if you aren't yet ready to let her have the piercing. But, in turn, you may have to move the age forward if you are to avoid continuing to be undermined. I would guess that if her dad felt that the piercing will happen sooner he might be more willing to support you.
Health & Living