13 year old and ear stretchers....help!

(55 Posts)
Fragglewump Sat 12-Oct-13 12:11:23

Dss is 13 and getting ear stretchers. This is being allowed by his mum. Dh and I are sad and concerned that this will damage not only his ears but future prospects. Are we old farts who need to get a grip? Or is there anything we can and should do? Help!

finallydelurking Sat 12-Oct-13 12:22:25

Where is he getting this done? Any reputable piercer wouldn't touch an under 14 (agreed code of conduct).

Can you take him for a consultation at a reputable piercer who will talk through pros and cons with him?

Is it something that's covered by his schools uniform policy? If he has to keep taking it in and out,he's risking infection (again a reputable piercer would be able to discuss this wit him)

englishteacher78 Sat 12-Oct-13 12:37:09

My school wouldn't allow it.

Fragglewump Sat 12-Oct-13 12:37:29

He's already had it pierced while he was with his mum. Now he's adding stretchers. hmm

englishteacher78 Sat 12-Oct-13 12:42:19

What is his school's policy on piercings.

finallydelurking Sat 12-Oct-13 12:44:21

Ah ok, lobe piercing can be done anywhere at any age. Generally the advice from a piercer/tattooist would be not to start stretchers under 14. I think your only course of action would be to take him to a piercer to talk through pros and cons of starting them at his age, proper care and if it's reversible if/when he changes his mind.

I believe they hurt and all but the most determined remove them pretty quickly. Good luck.

Ooh I would hate this. I can't look at those ear stretchers-they look horrible. sad
Can you talk him out of it? 13 is very young.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 12-Oct-13 12:57:05

This is really difficult if his mum has said yes, but in my mind, ear stretching falls under the "if you still want it in two years then we'll discuss it again".

My 13 yo has no concept of long term consequences. I'd be getting his dad to have a long chat with his mum.

BurberryQ Sat 12-Oct-13 12:59:19

ear stretchers at 13 are just not on, if the dad has PR can he not put his foot down?

BadSeedsAddict Sat 12-Oct-13 13:05:45

They can be gradually reduced down again; and in my experience (have a 10mm one) I have to practically tell people what mine is as it just looks like an earring. At thirteen he's not going to affect his long term prospects and you might be best off picking your battles and leaving it. He's not going to choose piercings over a good job (unless you make a fuss and encourage a rebellious attitude by doing so!). I really would just leave it, if he wants it but isn't allowed it he'll probably get it later anyway.

ChanelTunel Sat 12-Oct-13 13:11:13
BadSeedsAddict Sat 12-Oct-13 13:13:50

Chanel that's so funny! grin

If it's under 10mm and in for around 5 years or less, then it will shrink down again when removed until almost unrecognisable after a few weeks. Bet his style will change again before he's 18 so it should be all fine!

If he does get them, make sure he cleans them, they can smell utterly vile...

FloozeyLoozey Sat 12-Oct-13 13:23:23

If he only goes up to 10mm, he should be okay- they'll shrink down again. Mine have been up to 18mm and have shrank back down to 8mm (which sounds a lot but it actually quite un-noticeable without jewellery). Anything under 5mm looks tiny without jewellery, and won't generally be noticed.

glastocat Sat 12-Oct-13 13:30:14

God poor you, they are totally hideous IMO. Doesn't the dad get a say in this at all? My kid is 12 and there is no way in hell I would allow this next year or until at least 47.

NatashaBee Sat 12-Oct-13 13:46:00

They look awful but it's surprising how well they shrink back down. I imagine it would be a bit dangerous for PE though.

Fragglewump Sat 12-Oct-13 15:31:49

The trouble is I don't think his dad does have a say. He's mostly with his mum and so if dh days anything he's a party pooper. Sad.

Stricnine Sat 12-Oct-13 20:32:25

Having been through this with DD 0, now 17, she started stretching hers several years ago... but it is a long slow process and a LOTharder (and sorer) than theynthink it's going to be! I went down the 'ok if you must' route as to make it forbidden also made it more appealing!

Just encourage him to do in is slow steps, keep them clean (bathe in salt water if they get alll swollen/infected) and warn him it will take time... a lot of the reality takes the glamour out of it!

But as someone else has said above.. as long as it's done slowly and cleanly, up to 10mm will shrink back in due course.

DS1 stretched his to 10mm. I hated it but know the more I moaned the further he would go.
At 16 he got a job at Dominos and had to take tem hout for work. Then he forgot to put it back a few times and it shrank!

Then he gave up and to my delight the holes have COMPLETELY vanished.. no sign of them at all. He;s 20 now and you'd never knowsmile

I honestly think the less notice you take, the sooner the phase will pass!!

On the other hand DD1 has a stretcher in one ear..about 6mm and looks like a pencil. She is a medical student ...nearly a qualified doctor and lots of the patients are fascinated by her ear pencil grin It didn't stop her getting into a top uni to read medicine....smile

Fragglewump Sun 13-Oct-13 12:27:35

Oh no...I think we are old farts....cripes. Thanks for all your replies. Will try to play it cool and ignore in the hope that the novelty wears off!

fubar74 Sun 13-Oct-13 12:58:32

My daughter started stretching hers last year but she is 19 yo and I still wasn't all that happy about it, I would never have allowed that at 13, apart from the fact that she would not be fully matured its also school policies and generally what it looks like, luckily she hasn't gone to the extreme and it actually looks quite nice on her (she hasn't gone over 10mm which means they shrink back to normal if she wished to take them out)

I would definately get dad to talk to mum about it

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:02:05

pick your battles. It isnt permanent, and theyre his ears

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:04:14

They do shrink back quickly. I had 10mm last year. I havent worn any for a while. Can barely get 4mm in now.

I doubt theyll go back to nothing, but they dont look much when i dont have any jewellery in, and theyd probably shrink even more in the young

Another adding to the sensible voices. Done slowly, carefully and not over 10mm they will shrink down.

I am 34 and have 6mm tunnels in right now. When I take them out to shower, I have to put them back in straight after or I lose 2mm in just over an hour.

Stretching too fast and too large will result in blowouts which will not shrink back down and may require surgery to repair.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 13-Oct-13 13:09:21

The thing is it's all well people saying their experience of stretching, but not everyone's DO go back to normal, it all depends on how quick you stretch and generally some people are just very unlucky and can stretch to less than 10mm but still never get their lobes back to normal so I would really not allow it, or do your best to have a chat about it. If he REALLY wants it then can't you all compromise and say, well if your still convinced it's what you want at 16 then yes? Mine are 12mm and people are right, with plugs in (particuarly the ones i have with charms attached) they just look like earrings. Mine tend to shrink quick if i leave them out a while but then a friend of mine only stretched to 10mm, took them out for a year and they have never gone back to normal. sad

mirry2 Sun 13-Oct-13 13:10:51

I hate them but I didn't know they could shrink down again, so 've learnt something new from Mumsnet grin

Oceansurf Sun 13-Oct-13 13:14:06

13?? Oh dear me. Ugh. They are awful at any age imo, but each to their own and all that. But not when he's a child.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 13:37:42

God, why do people want this done?? It's absolutely hideous.

I doubt there's much you can do really OP, particularly if his mother is supporting him. Does she have MH problems?

TeenAndTween Sun 13-Oct-13 14:04:05

Against rules of DD's school.

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:00:18

DD has streched both her ears I think she went as far as 10mm maybe 8 she is now nearly 21 and her holes went back to normal she did it in her pierced ear I dont think it is a huge deal there is far worse things a 13 yr old can be doing to their body , I think if his mum said yes make sure he doesn't force them through and he has the patience to wait,

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:01:04

I doubt there's much you can do really OP, particularly if his mother is supporting him. Does she have MH problems?

oh stop it do you think a parent who allows ear piercin g has MH problems

Fragglewump Sun 13-Oct-13 17:05:57

Hmm sadly dss has inherited his non-existent patience from his dad!!

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:11:41

if he is going to do it really quickly tell him his ear lobes might split <shudder> I know you don't like them and it is ok to disapprove he wants you to disapprove and tut or there would be no reason for him to try and rebel wink

I didn't realise they were reversible, I thought you were stuck with them. I feel a bit better about them now, but I think they are best left until they are older.

They do make me feel a bit funny though.

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:20:54

they used to give me the creeps tbh dd would take it out to put another stud thingy it and my insides would churn

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:21:48

the studs she wore after streching were covered so you couldnt see through they iyswim

YY like that mrsjay-you get used to it presumably?

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:23:46

yeah i suppose I was quite glad when she decided to take them out for good though

Fairylea Sun 13-Oct-13 17:31:46

My dh has them. Quite large ones too, in both ears.

He is a university graduate and works in a senior management position in retail for a global company.
He wears a suit and tie every day.

He has never had anyone say anything negative about them except at one interview where they asked if he could wear flesh coloured plugs so they weren't noticeable.

He generally wears wood black plugs and they look quite smart.

However, he now says he wishes he had not done it and is looking into minor surgery (done at piercing studios) to have them sewn up. When done well you can hardly see they were ever stretched.

DropYourSword Sun 13-Oct-13 17:36:33

He'll have to learn patience if he wants to stretch his lobes!

Primadonnagirl Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:35

Why????????? Each to their own I know..but I'm genuinely perplexed why anybody wants to do this? I'm sorry and know someone is going to say its just like a piercing or a tattoo, but IMO its much more severe than that and not remotely attractive.Im not being judgey.. As I say I am genuinely baffled that anybody looks at them and says ...."Oooh! I want that!" They make me <boak>

Fragglewump Sun 13-Oct-13 17:53:36

I suspect primadonnagirl that is exactly why a grumpy teenage boy is attracted to it!

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 17:57:31

dd wore the plugs ( i couldnt remember what they were called before thanks fairy) she got some with designs on them they looked nice it was just the taking in and out that would make me queasy

pinkyredrose Sun 13-Oct-13 18:11:22

widdle Mental health problems? What the fuck are you on about? !

DownstairsMixUp Sun 13-Oct-13 18:22:02

Some really nice replies to this thread hmm

Fragglewump Sun 13-Oct-13 18:34:08

I'm getting the feeling lobe stretchers are like marmite.

Well it doesn't seem like saying 'Over my dead body' will help at all so I think you're best off respecting his choice - even when it's a bit daft. Help him keep it clean and safe and when/if he gives up and it out say nothing at all. Really it's best not to 'see' it all. If you praise it that's encouragement and if you oppose it then that's even more encouragement. Just let it become invisible.

The general rule of thumb tends to be don't stretch your ears bigger than your baby finger if you want them to shrink back.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:54

Because I can't believe that a mentally sound adult would go along with a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD having potentially irreversible, great flappy holes in themselves.

It was just a question. I'm not suggesting that everyone with MH problems would do such a thing, or that everyone with flappy holes has MH problems, or that there's anything wrong with having MH problems etc etc etc.

nocarsgo Sun 13-Oct-13 18:58:42

You have to be VERY VERY slow with lobe stretching, or you risk getting a blowout.

Make sure your DS really does his homework when it comes to stretching slowly and responsibly. Get him to research blowouts, what they look like and how to prevent them.

Sadly I suspect a 13 year old won't be mature enough to do this responsibly but... his ears, his mistakes.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 13-Oct-13 19:01:21

I don't agree with letting a 13 year old do that either but I'd hardly say she had mental health problems. Bit over the top like.

WiddleAndPuke Sun 13-Oct-13 19:04:13

I didn't say she did. I wondered if she did. Difference.

finallydelurking Sun 13-Oct-13 19:32:47

I don't think anybody actually wants their 13 year old to have piercings, but it's one of those choose your battles things. The best option is probably to accept you can't stop them, but you can compromise and you can ensure they do it as safely and hygienically as possible.

mrsjay Sun 13-Oct-13 19:41:53

I didn't say she did. I wondered if she did. Difference

you are still not making sense because a parent had agreed to let a teenager to have a piercing then she might have some MH issues . what confused

FloozeyLoozey Sun 13-Oct-13 21:17:42

It's not about age, people have been stretching for years. I know of people in their 50s and beyond with them, it's just that in the last decade or so they have increased with popularity.

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