Ear piercing with a three year old

Our daughter Zara first told me she wanted her ears pierced the week before she turned 3.  I wanted to oblige, but part of me was worrying that it would hurt, that she would tug on them, be uncomfortable, or be super upset.  I remember when she asked me this past February and all of that flashed through my mind, and then I said that there wasn’t much time to get it done before her birthday in a few days.  I see now that I don’t think I was ready!!  Tee hee!   I am so grateful that I’m really starting to see when I put all of my life experiences on Zara, when they really don’t apply at all.

A few weeks ago, she said, “I want to get my ears pierced.”  I had somewhat forgotten about it and I said, “okay, do you want to go today?” and she jumped off the couch and was ready to go.  I had stopped in at the mall a few weeks before and had talked to them about the process, so I explained it to her, I said, “they’ll put a device next to your ears, you will hear a loud clicking sound next to your ears, and you might feel some pain, and then you’ll have earrings.”  I asked her if she would be okay with that and she said she was ready to go.  So I suggested that she tell her body that she wanted earrings and that it was going to be okay and that it might hurt but that it could just heal quickly. I figured that if she communicated her intent to her body, it might not be as much of a shock to the body.  So out loud she said, “okay body, I want earrings, so I’m going to get them, it might hurt but you can just heal.”  My heart was really happy, I was thinking that was really going to help…I remember my terror even at 15 or 16 at getting my ears pierced, I remember how it hurt for days, but then I didn’t know that I could work with my body, I didn’t realize that the terror I was feeling would prevent my body from doing what it sooo knows how to do, regenerate and heal.

So back to Zara’s story. I explained that there were two stores at the mall and that she could choose. I told her the names and she chose one based on the name.  I told her we could see both stores when we got to the mall so she could get a sense of the energy of the stores first since she feels energy so much.  She still chose Ardene so we went in.  The music was blaring and to me it felt kind of frenetic in there. I saw her get caught in it, just like I did, so I told her to take her power back from the store and know that this is where she wants to be.  I saw her adjust a bit and settle in.  I learned that trick from Jean Brazeau, our family’s healer/coach guide.  It worked like a charm.  I made sure we found out the person’s name who was going to be piercing Zara’s ears and we talked with her a bit to get more comfortable. She was awesome, she was explaining everything to Zara, and Zara got a chance to pick the earrings she wanted.  She was getting ready to do it when one of her colleagues came over so they could both do it at the same time so that Zara didn’t have to have one ear done and then the other.  The second girl seemed really nervous and pent up, so I tried to send love her way to help her settle so she wouldn’t necessarily send any of that energy over Zara’s way.  They got ready and they went for it.  I could see the look of shock come over Zara’s face, there really isn’t any way to prepare for that I don’t think!  She seemed okay with it, but one of the backs of the earrings didn’t go on properly and the girl was panicking about it.  I looked at Zara and I said, “it hurts, eh?” and she nodded, and I told her it was okay, her body was going to heal and that if she wanted to cry she could.  She didn’t quite yet, because the girl was still fumbling a bit to get the back of the earring on.  I reassured her and we looked at it together and it was on, but not a ton and I told her it was just fine that it would hold and that she could relax, it was okay!  It was funny, she seemed more upset than Zara, she was just trying to make it a good experience for her, it was really sweet.  So then Zara’s eyes filled up with tears, so I scooped her up and I said, “it’s okay, cry if you want, does it hurt more than you expected?” and she nodded and cried.  Everyone in the store was looking so I told her, “see, they all know what it feels like, they remember the shock and they’re sending you some love,” and I think it helped.  So we went out of the store while her dad Robbin paid and I congratulated her because she had done it, she made a decision and she went for it.  She calmed down some and then asked me to put her down and we ran to find a mirror so she could peek.  Once she saw them, she was totally fine, she was running around the mall screaming with delight about her new earrings.  I saw there and then that preparation is helpful and so is the attitude towards the body and it’s abilities.  Zara never once complained about her ears, we never put any alcohol on them and they’ve been fine ever since.  And she’s seemingly much more empowered about her ability to handle painful situations and recover from them, that it’s okay to cry and then move on.  She doesn’t play the victim role like I did when I was little (and did up to a year or so ago!!), so she didn’t need to really experience the pain to get attention or anything.  It’s brilliant, she’s brilliant.  She shows me what’s possible every day!

So I say, let’s empower our kids, let’s explain things to them, let’s give them some options, let’s teach them, let’s guide them and let’s let them flourish and grow and discover their power as they grow and go out in the world.

before ear piercing!
After ear piercing! And she is wearing my new bathing suit top, which was almost as exciting as the ear piercing!
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