Teens and Piercings - What Parents Need to Know



Are piercings necessarily a bad thing?

Piercings are big here in the Hudson Valley, and shops are springing up all over.  More than ever, teens are getting pierced.  Long before the likes of Britney Spears, and many other pop celebrities began sporting  body piercing, this form of body art was a desirable form of adornment throughout the centuries. It’s mentioned in the Bible, and even Shakespeare is reported to have enjoyed a gold earring. But when your own kid wants one, it’s a different story.

Parental Opposition Can Backfire

First, if you totally disapprove, putting your foot down and refusing to give them permission may not be enough. That’s because, according to some piercing experts, when a teen decides they can’t live without a pierced nose or eyebrow, parental opposition may not be enough to change their minds. “Instead of just saying ‘no,’ talk to them,” suggests Jorian Trowbridge, co-owner of Metamorphosis Tattoo in Kingston. “Otherwise, many teens just rebel and get a piercing anyway.”

Talk About It

Jesse Madre, a professional body piercer affiliated with Millennium Tattoo in the Town of Newburgh, agrees. “Discussing and deciding together about a piercing can actually encourage a better relationship with your child,” he says. “Otherwise, some teens are likely to just to do it anyway, in the bathroom, or have a friend pierce them”— which is much less sanitary than going to a piercing studio where professionals use sanitary equipment,” Madre adds.

Trowbridge, who has three kids, says piercings sometimes get a bad rap from parents who haven’t taken time to become educated about them. Still, he adds, piercing can be a touchy subject. “It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea — it’s sort of like musical tastes that vary from person to person.”

Have Faith in Your Parenting

Some parents, Madre adds, worry that getting a piercing will turn a child into a drug user or start them down a negative path. “But parents should have faith in their own parenting ability,” says Madre, “the one thing isn’t connected to the other.”

Grace McCoy is a writer and editor who lives in the mid-Hudson area.