Why I Said ‘Yes’ to My Teen’s Piercing
This is one important date I will never forget.
For a few years now, just like my previous side-shave, I had to do some serious thinking about whether or not I was going to take action. I tend to think and think and then think some more about decisions I make. Especially the more serious ones, like putting holes in my body.
My teen daughter, on the other hand, is fairly spontaneous. I'd call her 'responsibly spontaneous' most of the time, for which I am very proud of her for.
She's been wanting a nose piercing for about 2-3 years also For the longest time, I kept telling her 'no.' She's a very intelligent kid who will give any adult a run for their money when it comes to logic and reasoning. And that is when she's not even technically 'arguing' or yelling. She's still a kid and has a lot to learn but is well on her way to being one amazing, capable and critical thinking adult.
I'm going to get really vulnerable in taking you through this process of parenting with me. I hope some of it resonates with you.
This issue really pressed me to truly and deeply consider the reasons behind my 'no.' Was I worried about some sort of freak damage to my child's face? Yes, naturally, those 'worst case scenarios' are unfortunately and usually, among the first things I think of. I was also worried once she got what she wanted, her behavior wouldn't reflect the helpful person she became in the journey of trying to get this piercing. After all, she followed through on all the things I asked of her. Now that it was my turn to follow through, I felt such resistance. And I was a little taken back as to why.
Finally, once I mulled it over enough, I realized that I was mostly worried about how others would view us, me as a parent, and her as a young teen. Would the stereotypes follow her more than her character? Would she be judged by adults and peers negatively? I also worried about being judged as a parent and how I would be perceived for allowing it.
Once I realized that my fear of judgment was greater than her desire for this experience WITH me and her need for self-expression in this way, a light bulb went off for me. I realized I had done the thing I warn my children about doing. I started worrying about things that haven't even happened yet. I was worrying about judgments that don't really exist. It's funny how we do that.
So, I chucked the fear and moved forward.
There are so many reasons I could think of to support her in this and only one reason keeping me from bridging that gap. I had to choose what my gut instinct told me to do. Plus, she wanted this experience to be something we both shared. To be honest, I don't know if I would have ever followed through with the nose-piercing or the side-shave without her. Every once in awhile, she reminds me to be fun. And I adore her for that.
After a brief poll on Facebook about who to go to in the Quad Cities, hands down, Nick from O'Tool Design in Rock Island was highly recommended. Come to find out, he was part of the crowd who taught me how to play street football and his sister and I used to put on dance shows for the neighbors. It's a small, and fun world, after all.
Nick was thorough, hygienic and very informative about the process. It only took a couple of minutes each and we were on our way.This is something she and I only share. It was just as sentimental for me as it was physical. Sharing this experience with your teen isn't for everyone. And that's ok. So much goes into our decisions as parents. I respect yours. Now that it's all said and done, I feel I have made the best decision for both of us and I have no regrets. Now, for the next adventure, I'll go on that lovely-anxiety-driven-rollercoaster, wondering what in the world she will ask of me next!