Passion for Piercing?

The day may come when you notice a small glint of bling or a slight slur of speech coming from your teenage son or daughter. They may be avoiding eye contact or even being around you all together. It’s quite possible your little bundle of joy has decided to modify their appearance with a piercing. After thousands of dollars in orthodontia, dermatologists, vitamins, and sun block, your little precious has decided to puncture his or her face, tongue, or nose with a sharp needle and then shove jewelry in the wound in the name of expression.

It’s hard to understand why teens desire to inflict this kind of pain on themselves. Many parents remember well what it was like to take these same kids to the doctors for their immunizations. Two doctors and four nurses later, your screaming and crying child is so scared of a needle they donkey kick anyone who comes near them. God forbid, they happened to be the unlucky recipient of a splinter or thorn. It could take up to ten minutes of blood curdling screams only to find the teeny-tiny piece of wood embedded under the first layer of skin. The sight of tweezers would only bring on a new wave of screaming frenzy. Why then, I ask, would they voluntarily request this pain and even spend their hard earned allowance on a piercing?

In the past, facial piercing has been looked upon as something only punk rockers, weirdos and freaks did, possibly even something seen on National Geographic channel that would typically include a topless tribal woman or a tribal man wearing only a loincloth with a bone shard wedged in his septum. Nowadays, it’s hardly shocking to see guys, young girls, moms of all ages, and professionals sporting nose rings, mouth jewelry, an eyebrow piercing and even stretched ear lobes. Facial jewelry has become somewhat of an accessory for many. Studs, bars and rings of all gauges are a way to say something about one’s self without saying anything at all. In an attempt to convey a sense of being tough, sexy, daring, punk, gothic, rebellious, different, similar, fashionable, or even trendy, teens make the decision to puncture or stretch themselves in visible places. Piercing seems to be one way teens can satisfy their desire to be noticed for something. Yes, I do declare from the mountaintop that teens who pierce themselves and stretch their earlobes want attention! Now that we have narrowed down some reasons why our little angels have become so hell bent on punching holes in their faces, it might be a good time to figure out what to do about it, especially since this piercing epidemic seems to be habit forming and may very well result in multiple perforations.

As a parent, you have options. Physically removing a piercing or plug is one choice, but may be met with extremely negative consequences. Social Services might be paying you a visit soon after. You could quite possibly be ordered to take a parenting class and/or see a therapist. Plus you would be required to pay for these helpful resources. Resorting to threats, screaming and yelling, grounding, taking privileges away, sneaking in to your teen’s room with a pair of wire cutters and removing said facial infraction while they sleep, or just kicking their disobedient butts out of the house. On the other end of the spectrum, you could embrace them with love and understanding, ignore and or pretend not to see the dangly jewel hanging off your teen’s face, invite them on a family piercing day and then get your septum pierced to show support for their feelings, or even have a “sweet pierce teen” party to celebrate your teen’s individuality. If one of these suggestions works for your particular situation, feel free to sign off now.

Here is the thing; teenage years don’t come knocking politely. They come with a battering ram, and shake your world with the intensity of a ten-point earthquake. There is so much noise and distraction in the lives of today’s teens, not to mention the horrible role models. Drama is inevitable. These key ingredients mixed with hormones and testosterone, form a very unstable substance. Reasoning doesn’t do well on this war field. Parents likely become the enemy no matter how cool they have been in the past. Mood swings are fairly commonplace. Teens tend to be rash, impulsive and easily influenced.

The reasoning skill that tells our teens to look at their decisions in the long-term sense is not fully developed. They are nowhere near thinking about that job they might never have a chance at because their ear lobes are so stretched out they’re resting comfortably on shoulders and distracting the interviewer. Tooth damage caused by one of their five mouth piercings wasn’t even an after thought. The fact that pierced teens have higher odds of being looked over for internships and jobs based on appearance might not have mattered to them at all.

It’s our job to be the responsible adult and to make our teens aware. Start a dialog with them and get them thinking. Bring your teen to work and talk to people in the position of hiring. Let them see you are not clueless. Go online and do a search on “Piercing in the workplace.” Let them see for themselves that employers are allowed to impose dress codes and appearance policies. They will be judged on their appearance. Make your teen aware and give them all of the information. It’s called a reality check and it has to be done quite often in those beautiful half-baked years. There is a small glimmer of hope that your little pumpkin may just listen.

The worst-case scenario is that your child ignores your vast wealth of knowledge and pursues their dream of puncturing, piercing, and stretching. They cross that invisible line that society sets. Family functions will never be the same. Your child will be the talk of the town, the black sheep, the walking freak show, ex communicated, and taken out of the will. Well, not really. Odds are, they will get over it and will be left with a small scar which will serve as an endless reminder of their youth. They did it and they did it their way. Life will go on.

Teen years can sometimes be the hardest time of ones life. Personally, I would never go back and live them over again. I strongly believe that teens need their parents just as much or even more than infants and toddlers. Preparing teens for the world of adulthood is our job. Sometimes this job requires a firm approach and other times reasoning and guidance works best. I am a strong believer in the “Pick and choose your battles” theory. In the end, we only have such a little time to instill in our kids the important things and to prepare them for the world. 

A THOUGHT: This is what happens when an obsession goes too far!

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About Chase Morgan
Chase Morgan is just your average, ordinary All-American writer. Chase began writing several years ago, but never published anything until the "Are You Friggen' Kidding Me?" blog launched in August of 2009. Chase simply got tired of standing around and just observing all of the craziness in the world, so this anxious writer sat down and wrote the first "Are YOu Friggen' Kidding Me?" article on August 19th, 2009. Now, any time something makes Chase say, "Are You Friggen' Kidding Me?", the issue get's transformed into an article. Chase is currently single, homeless and living under a bridge in South Florida.

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