Ear Stretching

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2004
Ear Stretching
11
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 11:35am

My 13 year old stepson got his ears pierced last year in October (he was 12 then). I wasn't thrilled, but I was okay enough to let him do it.

Since then he has become interested in "Ear Stretching" or "Gauging". It just involves changing to a larger diameter earring every six weeks or so, so that the earlobe slowly becomes stretched out. Eventually you work up to the point where a pretty large earring or plug can fit into the lobe (an inch or more). I'm sure most of you have seen it or know about it, it's not at all uncommon now.

Again, I was hesitant, but okay with him doing this -- to a certain extent. I did some research online and found that

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: elc11
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 1:46pm

I realize that this is a very old thread but want to comment to the reply of the PP. As others mentioned, piercing can be considered "temporary" because they will eventually disappear after removing the ring or stud. But the ear gauges will always leave the ear lobe unnaturally stetched, unless your dss can afford plastic surgery. Right now he's sure that he wants this look but my point is that what seems like a good idea at 13 or 16 may not feel the same in 10 or 20 years.

My dd begged for permission to get a tattoo as a minor and we refused. At 18 she got her first tattoo and she's now 27 and has at least a dozen--she got the most recent one about 6 months ago, an elaborate work of art. However she does regret getting a few of them--one in particular seemed very meaningful at 18 but now seems kind of stupid. She cannot afford to get it removed so she has to live with it, but at least it can be covered with clothing or makeup if she really comes to hate it. 

There's no hiding stretched earlobes---and the PP's dss has already stretched his lobes so no going back for him. But any other parent who wants to allow their teen to alter their appearance for the sake of self esteem, please insist that they stick to temporary methods. Part of our job is to protect our kids from themselves when necessary, and that sometimes includes choices that may haunt them as adults. Piercings, hair color, hair cuts can all be grown out if the teen out grows the look.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2013
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 12:19pm

I have a 16 year old son and we've gone through the same thing. When he was 13 he wanted snake bites (two bottom lip piercings) and I wasn't thrilled but I allowed it. When he was 14 he wanted angel bites (two top lip piercings) and his tongue, again I wasn't thrilled that he was putting 5 holes in his face at only 14 but I allowed it. He began stretching his ears at 13 as well, this he kept a secret until I noticed it was getting bigger. He pierced his septum himself and has his ears at 1 inch, you wouldn't believe the amount of people that ask me why I would allow it. The truth is, no I don't like that he has his face filled with metal and I feel that he doesn't need it but you hear of all these teenagers killing themselves from the simple words of bullies? I would rather my son be happy and confident with himself and his appearance rather than have low self-esteem which can lead to depression and worse. I'm not saying to let him get whatever he wants, but sit down and have a serious conversation (with an open mind) as to why he wants it and then compare it with the risks. All in all it's a complete acceptance thing from you, you should love your stepson even if he has 'disgusting' holes in his ears, apperance should not matter to you. But it does to him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 9:02pm

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Ericcccccccccccccc!

Seriously, Eric saying NO is what parents are for (step and bio).

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 7:21pm

Those big ear holes just gross me out--I can't imagine why anyone would think they are attractive.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 6:12pm

Piercing the ears is one thing; gauging is something else.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 4:02pm
ahh, that makes sense. I just wanted to throw that out there, especially since I didn't know the situation, though I know that some stepparents would make the decision regardless...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2004
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 3:54pm

Tracy,

Unfortunately the bio dad of my stepkids has very little to so with them. We live in Texas, and he is remarried and lives in Rhode Island. He hasn't seen either of them in 5 years and has very little communication with them, so he's not involved at all in

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 3:32pm
I have to agree with the others that at 13, to make a permenant decision like that is not a good one. That is why you have to have parents' permission to get a tatoo or ear/body piercings under the age of 18. This sort of thing is just as permanent.

The other question I have, and since I am not on the board all the time, it may be knowledge others know of that i don't, but if he is your step son, what does his bio dad and mom have to say about this one. Even if my step son lived with us full time, that would not be a decision I would ever be making, it would be his dad and biomom's decisions to make.
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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 1:03pm

No, no, no, no, no.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 12:51pm
Don't let a 13 y.o. under your care and supervision do that to his ears. And yeah, the larger one goes, the more it is permanent. Buck up and say no.

 

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