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Parenting Teens

Peer Pressure
Political Process and Teens
Positive Attitude
Put A Ring In It!
Respectful Communications
Risky Business
Sharing Cultural Heritage
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Single Parenting Teen
Social Life and Teens
Suicide and Your Teen
Teen Depression
Teen Volunteerism
Teen's First Car
Teen's Hygiene
Teens and Body Image
Teens and Death
The Bully Pulpit
Up In Smoke
Victory or Defeat
What's Eating Her...
Why Don't I Understand...
You Are What You Eat


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Put a Ring In It:  Discussing Piercing

The first question to ask your teen when he brings up the subject of piercing is, Why?  This is an important issue because he is very likely doing it because some other friend has.  That's not necessarily a bad thing since most of us follow fashion.  However, he needs to take time to consider if this is a fashion trend he wants to follow.  Remind him that this is not like wearing a certain type of clothing that he can put on and off.   He is doing something to his body that is somewhat permanent. 

Ask him what type of message about himself he hopes to send with his piercing.  Encourage him to look through some magazines he likes and consider what he thinks of those he sees with piercings.  Also, remind him that a piercing in an obvious place like an ear or nose can be seen by everyone, including future employers and romantic interests.

The next issue that you need to explore with him are health concerns.  While a piercing in the ear is pretty innocuous, other parts of the body such as the tongue or the belly button can easily become infected.  Help him research the physical impact of the piercing he is considering and make sure that he is aware of the care needed to keep it from getting infected.

Finally, if you are satisfied that your teen knows what he is getting into, and if you consider him mature enough to make this decision, consider letting him do it.  After all, piercings are much less permanent than tattoos, and rings can be removed after they are no longer wanted.  This might be a good time to let him dabble in a more permanent form of self-expression than he has in the past.

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