To not let my DD have her belly button pierced

(64 Posts)
niceguy2 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:27:34

DD is 17, 18 in 5 months time. Last year she came to me asking if she could have her belly button pierced. I said no. She's already got her ears pierced several times per ear and frankly I hate piercings.

She split up with her boyfriend on Tuesday and today has asked me again. I said no, she can wait til she's 18. DD isn't happy with this. Says her life is so depressing, she's no friends, nothing to look forward to and having her belly button pierced would make her happy. And what does it matter anyway since she'll be 18 in 5 months.

My argument is that she's trying to make herself happy today but it's not addressing the fundamental problem which is that she's unhappy with her own life. She's boxed herself into a corner with her friends. The really good friend who lives next door she rarely sees and only calls when she's bored. As a result friend has grown more distant. She's two 'best friends' who she also rarely sees as one is constantly with her BF and the other rarely comes out anyway. I was sort of hoping they would go to a different college since DD managed to make lots of new friends when she did NCS last year but they've all fallen by the wayside as her two old friends followed her to the same college.

AIBU to say no to her having belly button pierced? I would actually consider giving way if she was happy in herself but right now she's just trying to have a quick fix. And as I've told her, i worry she's treating the symptoms and not the cause. Ie. tomorrow she'll be down again. What will she want piercing then? Her argument is she'll deal with that tomorrow and she just wants to do something today or sit around the house.

So MN'er's. AIBU

PS. Mum is about as useful as a chocolate teapot and would make things worse, so not point in talking to her. She's grown up with me and I'm the primary carer.

whitepuddingsupper Thu 24-Apr-14 10:31:03

I thought you could get piercings at 16 without parental permission? I definitely wasn't 18 when I had it done against my parents' wishes. She will probably get it done anyway, it's not that big a deal and I wish I still had the young flat belly to go with mine, sadly my bikini days are over.

HighwayDragon Thu 24-Apr-14 10:32:33

she's 17? And you've said no? Are you serious?

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 10:33:41

I would stand by your decision and say yes, she can have it done WHEN she is 18, but in the meantime what can you do to help her with everything else.

I know that if she's going to have it done in 5 months anyway, the temptation is to just say get on with it, but I think it's a good thing to have some boundaries and for her to learn that instant gratification isn't always a good thing.

Out of interest did she ask you about having her ears pierced too?

Yep - it's 16 for belly button piercings without parental permission.
She will just have to sign something saying she is over 16.
I had this with my DD.
She had it done at 14 (on the sly) - I took it out.
She had it done again at 15 (on the sly) - I took it out.
Then she had it legally done at 16 (I was with her).
If she is paying for it herself then she doesn't need your permission really.
But very glad she has the respect to ask you.

You need to butt out, it's her body and she's an adult.

It's fine to not like piercings for you but you're not having it.

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 10:35:16

Fwiw, you should be proud of having raised a dd who not only asks, but takes your 'no' for an answer!

Goldendandelion Thu 24-Apr-14 10:35:24

She is 17! I'm surprised she asked your permission tbh.

blackandwhiteandredallover Thu 24-Apr-14 10:35:49

I think you are confusing two issues really. If she wants it done and she is paying for it herself then what is the problem?

squoosh Thu 24-Apr-14 10:36:31

She's 17. She doesn't need your permission.

niceguy2 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:37:00

It's not about the legal side. It's more about respect. I'm really happy she's asked and i've told her that. Like I said, i personally think they're awful and I worry she's doing it for the wrong reason.

If she had come to me when happy and have asked then I'd have probably given her my blessing even though personally I'd still hate it.

But right now I fear she's doing it for the wrong reasons. To make herself Tomorrow she will wake up and she'll still be split up with her boyfriend, still have no useful friends to hang out with and still unwilling to put herself outside her comfort zone and make new friends.

BerniesBurneze Thu 24-Apr-14 10:37:40

Yanbu. Your house your rules and all that.

Goldendandelion Thu 24-Apr-14 10:38:49

So what! Let her be happy today and then help her work on the other things. The two issues are related.

Binkyresurrected Thu 24-Apr-14 10:41:02

She has respect for you, she asked you before doing it.

You need to respect her, she has the right to do what ever she chooses to her body and is at the age to make those decisions independently. If it is a mistake, it is her mistake to make.


TattyDevine Thu 24-Apr-14 10:44:21

I would help her address her other issues, which exist whether or not she gets the belly done. Okay so she's trying to make herself happy, she's more likely to realise this by having her belly done and still not being than not being allowed - she will just focus on the belly button until she gets it done then finally realise.

I'd let her get it done and then once that's out the way focus on the real issues - which she may be more willing to address when she realises a belly ring isn't the answer to her problems.

Ploppy16 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:45:58

Can you ask her to wait until she's 18 and help her deal with the more pressing issues right now?
Help her to look for outside interests to keep occupied and meet new people, and offer to pay for her belly button to be done yourself as part of her 18th birthday present.
Would she be willing to try volunteering or look at a new hobby that you could possibly start together?

mindalina Thu 24-Apr-14 10:46:50

I didn't get my lip pierced until I was nineteen because my parents said I couldn't, I never visibly disobeyed my parents while living under their roof, that can't be that weird surely? Anyway OP I see your point but when I did group therapy for pnd and anxiety they made a big deal out of doing things to make yourself feel good and help motivate you, and it does help, so maybe this could be the pick me up your daughter needs? And for what it's worth belly button piercings are often shit, mine never healed up and I got bored of it after a year and took it out, so it might well not last anyway.

Ruushii Thu 24-Apr-14 10:49:04

And what does it matter anyway since she'll be 18 in 5 months

Complete logic fail.

Ploppy16 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:49:21

Btw, you've obviously raised her well, she's asked you and accepted your decision smile
I just feel you could meet her in the middle somewhere.

Shonajay Thu 24-Apr-14 10:55:33

It's not up to you really, at that age. I took my dd to a specialist well known and immaculate place for her tongue piercing when she was 16. My worry was she would do it anyway and get it done somewhere unhygienic and horrible. The deal was if I went with her, and she wasn't allowed to wear the ball at school, just a flat plastic retainer that you can't see really.

She's since gone on to have a few more done, but since she's doing a nursing degree she's really sensible about where, so I trust her judgement. She had a beautiful tattoo of lilies, in black and white for her 18th, very expensive and long waiting list but again, these things are permanent so need to be done by professionals. Oh and she got her nipples done at 19. To look at her she has a dark brown bob, subtle make up and no evidence of anything untoward!

niceguy2 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:55:44

Thanks all. Having seen the replies it's made me less anxious about the belly button piercing but she does need to sort her life out.

She's just so afraid of rejection that she'd rather not ask. So when I suggest she calls/texts/message someone who isn't her best friend to see if they are busy and if they may want to do something she'll run a mile in case they say no.

I guess it's hard when you are a teenage girl.

Cyclebump Thu 24-Apr-14 10:55:46

I was 17 and got mine done even though my parents said no. You are saying no for the right reasons but she may well just get it done any way.

Be proud that you reorganise and care that she's unhappy. I love my parents but they had no idea how miserable I was at that age, despite a lot of the problems being rooted at home.

Shonajay Thu 24-Apr-14 10:58:27

And I don't see how other issues have anything to do with it- when she goes out she wears outrageous wigs, etc and looks mad, wears long doc martens but by god I tell you I'm glad- my neighbours daughter is all clip in extensions, completely orange, drawn on eyebrows and pale pink lipstick with silver knickers and those huge heeled shoes. I'm turning into my mother- always wear shoes you can run in! X

Ploppy16 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:59:07

Could she benefit from some counselling do you think? A trip to the GP? Her self confidence sounds like it's in the pits and she could be suffering from depression.

Nocomet Thu 24-Apr-14 10:59:08

I'm on the fence about naval piercings since only women aged 16~25 should wear a cropped top except on a beach and I don't she the point if your not going to show it off.

If any of my DDs have facial piercings (other than ears) or stretch their ears I'm not having them in my house if they are 16 or 60, facial piercings make me feel physically sick.
(Stupid as I'm a biologist and not normally squeamish, but I cringe even at pretty discreet nose studs).

Dawndonnaagain Thu 24-Apr-14 10:59:25

I too hate piercings. Ds2 - two nose piercings, four ear piercings, one lip piercing. Dd1 ears - 5, nose 1 collarbone 1. Dd2 ears -6 lip 1.
Dds are 17. Let them get it done now, they'll have removed them by the time they're 25. Don't allow it now, they'll be getting them done at 30! grin

LokiDokey Thu 24-Apr-14 11:02:32

Be proud of the fact she's come to you and asked. She's fed up and wants something to cheer her up and personally I have no issues with piercings.
It's removable when she's had enough.

SaucyJack Thu 24-Apr-14 11:06:24

YABU. IMO you need to respect the fact that your little girl has grown up and these things aren't your decision any more.

Initially, I would have agreed with you
But after reading other posters and your post about her friends, I think you have nothing to loose by letting her do it.

It will give her something nice to focus on.
Yes, the same problems will still be there, but it will give her a little confidence boost, which should help her in how she deals with those problems. Might even help her contact some less close friends, so she can show it off ...

funkybuddah Thu 24-Apr-14 11:27:26

She's 17. Let go off those reins. She can do what she likes.

kali110 Thu 24-Apr-14 11:28:31

My dad finally let me get my lip pierced when id broken up with my bf to cheer me up at 18. It did and gave me a confidence boost also.

AuntieStella Thu 24-Apr-14 11:36:34

Hold your ground.

But negotiate. Is she still at school? If so, how about compromising that she gets it done around the end of term?

I think you are right to dissuade her from piercings as a form of emotional release IYSWIM. Better as a happy event, not a reaction to turmoil.

Could be worse - could have been a hasty decision (and later regretted) tattoo.

DamnBamboo Thu 24-Apr-14 11:53:05

She doesn't actually need your permission.

DamnBamboo Thu 24-Apr-14 11:54:55

And why do you think it's a quick fix and just a distraction if she has already asked you once before?

It's really no way to parent when you going to second-guess everything that might happen and base your decisions on those.

LadyVetinari Thu 24-Apr-14 12:01:59

If it's a "quick fix" that she's obsessing over instead of actually acknowledging the real issues, surely the easiest way to redirect her attention onto what really matters is to allow her to get the piercing and let her realise that she's still unhappy afterwards?

However, I'd show her a few pictures of what happens to navel piercings as a result of pregnancy before she makes up her mind. I know a few people whose piercing sites stayed really distorted even after the skin had shrunk back to pre-pregnancy size, and they all say that they wish they'd waited until after they had children/never got the piercing at all.

Loverdose Thu 24-Apr-14 12:05:34

Eee. I had mine done at 14 with my mother's permission. By 17 I had my tongue pierced, again with my mother's permission.

I don't really see the big deal. If she ends up regretting it she can remove it. It's not as permanent as, say, a tattoo.

I moved out at 17 so I guess my opinion would definitely be it is her body so it's up to her. When I started reading I thought you were going to say she is 13 or something.

YABU. FYI she could get it done without your permission at 16 anyway!

QuacksForDoughnuts Thu 24-Apr-14 12:17:48

Look at it this way - piercings need to be cleaned out a couple of times a day, which forces some sort of self care to take place at times when you wouldn't otherwise feel motivated to do anything. I don't know from your post whether your daughter has full on depression or just normal teen angst, but tbh both can mess with your survival instinct. Having to do something to look after yourself, with a smelly, stingy reminder if you don't do it, is a good way to kick start the process of getting up and doing stuff.

YANBU. If the law says she has to wait until age 18 for a body piercing then it is your business and you are perfectly entitled to say no.

Stupid law that allows you to get married without parental permission at 16 (in Scotland) and go off and die for your country (at 17) but won't let you have a belly button piercing until you're 18 without parental permission. But you don't make the laws and it's not your problem.

Don't give into emotional blackmail. A piercing won't make her happy if other issues in her life are upsetting her.

googoodolly Thu 24-Apr-14 12:26:36

She can get it done regardless of what you say.

There are bigger battles to fight. My parents were firmly against piercings. At eighteen, I had my ears pierced. Since I left home, I've had another thirteen piercings. I'm 25 now and I'm working on getting my triple helix piercing.

My dad loves them now.

leedsgirl231 Thu 24-Apr-14 12:27:44

YABU. she is legally allowed to get piercings without parental consent.
If she wants it because it will make her happy, let her have it. I got a tattoo and I feel 10x more attractive than I ever have done. She can actually do what she wants, and she will do it on the sly. I got the middle of my nose pierced and the top of my ear at 15 and my mum never knew. I felt amazing with my piercings.
let her do it, its her body not yours.

googoodolly Thu 24-Apr-14 12:28:44

Stupid law that allows you to get married without parental permission at 16 (in Scotland) and go off and die for your country (at 17) but won't let you have a belly button piercing until you're 18 without parental permission. But you don't make the laws and it's not your problem.

The law says you can get any piercing under the age of 18 without parental permission except nipples and genitals.

Fleta Thu 24-Apr-14 12:46:05

Nocomet - are you serious? You wouldn't let your daughters in the house with facial piercings?!

Bloody hell. If the worst thing my daughter ever does is get her lip pierced I'll be pretty bloody proud of the job I've done as a parent!

OP - let her get it done. It might make her happy, it might not. It isn't a quick fix but it might help. And if she doesn't like it she can take it out.

Dawndonna - I'm in my thirties and have my tongue pierced grin

Make sure she knows what she'll have to do WRT care of the piercing and that she goes somewhere liscenced and reputable.

If she wants to have it removed what will it look like afterwards?

My DD wants another ear-stud, it's a tiny minor thing and yes, it's her ear.

niceguy2 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:04:02

I've told her she can do it tomorrow. That way she's got a little longer to look forward to it. Besides she's not got enough time anymore today to go since she needs to babysit for me in an hour.

I've told her I hate them but I respect the fact it's her choice and also the fact she's asked me rather than just doing it.

The shop she's going to seems pretty established but I've no idea about what is reputable or not. She says it will cost a tenner. Is that too cheap? I've no clue.

The friends thing is the biggest problem she's got but then you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. If she won't reach out to people and doesn't talk to people who have proven themselves to be a true friend unless she's down in the dumps then it's hard to know how to help.

MammaTJ Thu 24-Apr-14 13:19:12

I let my DD have hers done at 13, chose the place she had it done and went with her and help her hand. So I disagree with you not letting her get it done based on her age.

Having said that, I do agree that she is not in a happy place and is seeing it as a quick fix. That is never going to be good thing.

Ultimately, please let her get it done,so I can remove the splinters from my arse, from sitting on this fence.

Panzee Thu 24-Apr-14 13:21:38

Do people still pierce belly buttons? I thought it was a fashion long since passed.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Thu 24-Apr-14 13:24:10

I too hate piercings anywhere other than ear lobes, and one per lobe is sufficient.

HOWEVER, it's a piercing, not a tatoo, and therefore not for ever if she does change her mind. It's not somewhere highly visible, where it might affect job prospects etc (some might arge that piercings shouldn't affect prospects, but they do).

So... on balance, with an 18 year old DD I would be inclined to pick my battles, and let her have this one.

thebodydoestricks Thu 24-Apr-14 13:24:58

God grief I am amazed you think she should ask you except out of courtesy.

She's nearly am adult!

My dd had it done at 15.

Far far bigger issues that need serious consideration.

Topaz25 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:33:39

I thought you were going to say she was in her early teens. At her age, all you can do is advise her as she can legally have piercings without parental consent. She is trying to involve you in her life and it is one of those things it's better to be open about or she will just go behind your back. I do regret getting my belly button pierced when I was a teenager because it is an area that is under pressure and prone to infection and rejection but it is her decision. Encourage her to research the procedure and after-care and choose a reputable piercer if she decides to go through with it.

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 13:41:45

Thinking logically, waiting 5 months means it will be autumn/winter and she won't get as much chance to show it off old gimmer presuming girls actually cover up in winter!

Maybe you should let her do it sooner rather than later, perhaps as a reward for sorting out something which will improve her social life, like joining a club etc.

Topaz25 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:41:56

Sorry I missed your last post. Look up reviews of the piercing parlour online to see if they have positive reviews. I think a tenner is average but it's a while since I've had a piercing. Here is some more information about what to look for in a piercer:

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 13:45:35

Ah just seen your update. I'm sure she'll be temporarily really happy and a someone else said up thread, when she realises that the rest of her life is still the same perhaps she'll be motivated to do something more positive while she's feeling happy about her new piercing (and her cool dad who gave her his blessing even though he hates them wink )

Swoopdewoop Thu 24-Apr-14 14:40:44

Oh let her get it done. She's going to get it done anyway and she'll either remember you as the person who made her wait for no reason at all, or the person who gave her space to be who she wants to be.

If she changes her mind, it can come out. It's not a tattoo. No big deal so why make an issue of it?

happystory Thu 24-Apr-14 14:45:38

Agree with swoop where's the harm? Just let her. FWIW dd had it done at 16 and 17 and both times it rejected....

pebblyshit Thu 24-Apr-14 14:51:27

I really struggled with friendships in my teens and my biggest barrier was my parents refusal to allow me to be my own person. It was hard trying to fit in with my peers, develop as an individual and meet parental expectations at the same time and it all had to me done in dorky clothes and one stud in each ear.

pinkie1982 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:51:35

She might just get it anyway. It's not as though she is getting a tribal tattoo on her face is it? It isn't going to be on show daily for you to disprove of. It can be taken out. It is cosmetic and not life changing.

Ploppy16 - does she need councelling?? Are you serious? I have a tongue piercing, lip, nose, numerous ear pearcings and 8 tattoos. Do I need counselling? No I am getting things I like and forging my own identity

bigdeal Thu 24-Apr-14 14:59:19

shes nearly 18 its not up to you what she gets pierced at her age, what is it with controlling parents , cant they see the damage they do in the long run.

Well done OP. Hopefully she will be so happy with how it looks that she'll contact her friends to show it off.

Re friends situation, there isn't really a lot you do to help her. Just be there for her I guess, and maybe try build her confidence. It is hard when the solution seems so obvious but she lacks the confidence to take it on board.

GrumpyInYorkshire Thu 24-Apr-14 17:42:30

I'm glad you've relented, OP. At 17, it's her decision to make - and chances are, she'll have removed it by the time she's 21!

FWIW, I got my navel pierced at 14, when my mum told me I couldn't get my ears pierced. Thought I'd go the whole hog, as it were. Over the next few years I got just about everything pierced, but you'd never know it now (all healed, v respectable profession etc!)

The only piercing that remains is the navel. Which, despite what a poster said above, survived pregnancy absolutely fine, and now looks little different to how it did almost 20 years ago (frantically touches wood....)

Anonynony Thu 24-Apr-14 17:44:39

I was 13 blush

The law says you can get any piercing under the age of 18 without parental permission except nipples and genitals.

Not really any less stupid is it?

Marylou62 Thu 24-Apr-14 18:13:15

Well done OP. I let my DD have hers done at 15 with the strict proviso that if she came home with any facial piercings she was out. (whether it would have come to that....?). I actually had mine done at 38 and went on to design my own belly bar from broken bits of gold I had for my 40th. No one knows unless were talking about it and I show them (not a pretty sight!) But I love mine! What's the worse that can happen? Gets taken out and they're left with a small hole. My DN had her lip done and it caused erosion of the enamel on her teeth. She took it out and now she has a hole that looks like a big blackhead. Luckily my DD saw it so says she'll never get that done.. She's an adult now and her body...but I hope she never gets a facial piercing or a visible tattoo. Any thing that she might regret later but will always be there.

specialsubject Thu 24-Apr-14 18:43:49

she can do it - if she wants to look like everyone else. There are also healing issues if you have swimming sessions soon.

but of course it won't make her happy, she'll be the same miserable person with a pierced stomach. If this is depression she needs help. If it is teenage angst she needs reassurance that there will be more boyfriends, and needs more in her life to keep her busy and happier.

whichever it is, hope it is sorted.

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