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Should 14-Year-Old Daughter Get a Navel Piercing?

By May 14, 2010

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Mom seeking advice on the forum: "I have a 14 year old step daughter and she has decided she would like her navel pierced. Personally I think NO!! My hubby however is wavering towards yes. Basically I would really like some feedback on other parents whether they would say yes or no if they were in the same position."

Denise's thoughts: "I have a problem with navel piercings at such a young age. It really needs to be taken care of or infections can spread into the abdomen. One of my girls from the teen home I worked at had it done when she was 19yo and ended up in the hospital for three days dealing with an infection. She didn't take care of it like she should have.

I would allow it at a later time, after her body is done a little more of it's growing and after she can show that she is mature enough to take care of it."

Asking our parenting community: Would you allow your teen to get a navel piercing? Please share your thoughts, advice and opinions in our comments area.

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May 14, 2010 at 9:42 am
(1) Amber says:

I would not allow a 14 year old to get her navel pierced. That type of piercing has sexual “look at my body” overtones and in my opinion 14 is way too young for that.

May 14, 2010 at 9:43 am
(2) Laura says:

I think 14 years old is too young. I had 2 daughters that wanted it done. I made them wait until they were 18 for that. Same with tatoos. They both developed infections from the navel piercing.

May 14, 2010 at 9:43 am
(3) Angela says:

As a ‘responsible’ mother I had my naval pierced when I was in my mid-30s – it was very painful, and it also went infected. My advice is similar to Denise’s – I think you should encourage your daughter to wait a while before piercing anything …

May 14, 2010 at 9:50 am
(4) ruth says:

i agree, foutrteen is young, but then in general, in conflicting issues such as this one, i would always make it as difficult as possible for the teen. if they get everything they wish without opposition ,then they will never how to say no themselves to more serious things.. my daughter did it behind my back at sixteen, we told her there is a limit to what she can do, eventually she got fed up with it.. later on she did the tongue piercing, which she also decided to take off as she got bored with it. so i think it is basically a matter of keeping certain boundaries, some things are allowed on conditions, and others out of question sort of thing. i believe , that when kids are raised with values, this is just a phase in their life. however, it s not easy having said all this . good luck


May 14, 2010 at 9:54 am
(5) Nikki says:

Trying not to sound “preachy”…absolutely not. No. 14 is just too young. 18 is a more appropriate age to make a decision like that. I would ask my daughters (I have 3…my oldest being 15) to wait.

May 14, 2010 at 10:04 am
(6) cindy says:

too young! too”sexy” and the risk of infection too high.what is your husband thinking? stick to your guns and say “not yet,wait until your older”
good luck

May 14, 2010 at 10:51 am
(7) Paula says:

I have a 14 year old daughter, and I have had to make it very clear that as long as she is living here at home, she will not be allowed to get any tattoos nor will she be allowed to pierce anything other than her ears (max 2 piercings per ear). The thing is they are too young to understand now what they might want/not want when they are adults, so she can do what she wants once she move out and is on her own. This is an attempt to get attention and show off their bodies–trying to be too “sexy”, I think it is inappropriate and you should say absolutely not.

May 14, 2010 at 11:15 am
(8) schniedes says:

There was a French track star who died as a result of a naval piercing and subsequent peritonitis. There are a lot of bad bugs out there and your bellybutton is pretty close to the inside of your body. I would say no, plus I think they look pretty slutty.

May 14, 2010 at 11:42 am
(9) teacher says:

Fourteen is too young for any piercing. At that age, they’re exploring their sexuality. The real red-flag is the tongue piercing. Those have only one connotation and it’s not a message I’d want my daughter sending, but that’s another talk you may want to have. It’s hard to have those “talks”, but while driving them back and forth from school and other activities you have “windshield-time” to discuss recent headlines and the lives of teens in general. You don’t need to try to discuss them or their friends directly (at least at first). They are learning to make decisions, but the part of the brain that influences judgement won’t fully develop for a few more years. They want and need your voice of experience. This way, they can always tell their friends “my mom would kill me.”

May 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm
(10) Tammy says:

As a christian mom I say no. Here are a couple of reasons: She will be attracting attention to her stomach area something she may not want. (If she does want that kind of attention, you have bigger prolems) Second, the risks of infections are very high for belly button piercing. Most people do not even know they have an infection for months. Then they end up in the hospital with IV antibiotic and possible surgery. But I think the bigger question here is why. You need to have an open dialogue with your step daughter to find out what the driving force here is. Is it peer pressure, to be cool, or sexual. Either way she needs some guidance. Jesus calls us to be followers of him and his teachings, not follow the what the world or society dictates.

May 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(11) Linda says:

If parents continually block the wishes of a teenager, you end up with a rebellious teen. Better would be to agree that she is allowed to have individual expression keeping in mind that a piercing is not as permanent as a tatoo. Then have your teen do some research with you about it and the possible consequences, and then leave the decision to her (at 14 she can decide for herself) and then YOU as the parent should help remind her to take care of the piercing to protect her health. As for how sexy this is for a young teen…the child’s upbringing should always instill individuality with respect for herself and her values, thus, the child will already be established as confident and mature young lady by this age and she won’t require the piercing for any other reason but that she likes it. Let her be an individual.

May 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(12) Annette says:

My daughter wanted it too at 14. I think that is too young to look sexy, it gives the wrong message to guys that she is “easy”. I told my daughter that while she may not realize this and merely wants it cause its “cute”, belly button piercings are seen as a sexual invitation and gives guys the wrong message that she is ready to go down that path. Naturally she rolled her eyes insulted and huffed at me in disgust… but I told her if she still wanted it at 17 then I would agree to that (she ended up changing her mind and does not have it pierced). You are in a difficult situation because you are the “evil” step mom who is getting in the way of what she wants. Ask the Dad if he is truly ready for his daughter to be seen in a sexual way and he might wise up. He is probably agreeable because he wants to be the good dad. If at all possible, I dont know your situation.. talk to the girls mother and let her know you are concerned about it…

May 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(13) Cheryl says:

Often and too soon, we as parents agree to allow our teenage children to do the new in thing, the new fad, and as a responsible parent we allowed to say no and explain why she at 14 shouldn’t be getting her navel pierced. Her body is a temple unto God, and she is already designed and enhanced with beautiful qualities, that a piercing would not enhance or beautify. Respecting their bodies is a greater enhancement. I experienced this with my now adult daughters and nieces, I was raising and did not give in. Two later got them pierced after leaving the nest, but let them close after only a month because of the pain, the care and really outfits they couldn’t wear to show them off. Getting right back to a waste of time and their regret. We as parents need to take and stand and just say no. It worked for us.

May 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm
(14) MAUREEN says:

No I wouldn’t let my 14 yr old get anything pierced but her ear. My 14 yr old wants a lip ring, I said NO.

May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm
(15) ANN says:

I have 14 year old twin girls, and no, no, no!!!

May 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(16) Dana says:

Nope. My husband and I make the major decisions regarding our children until their 18th birthday. I hope they have learned our fairly conservative values by that time and would no longer be interested in this type of thing. With our eldest at 12 years old, so far it seems this is working.

I have explained how some of the tattoo/piercing places are kept clean and follow the rules for sterilizing, etc. and others don’t. We’ve talked about the dangers of this type of thing regarding infection and communicable diseases.

I always felt a piercing was better than a tattoo until a physician-friend explained to me that he sees a lot more dangerous infections from piercings. It surprised me, but it has made me think piercings aren’t as benign as I originally thought.

May 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(17) Mom of a 22 year old girl says:

My daughter got her naval pierced at about 16, tongue at 18, nose at 15, removed all of them at 18 1/2, doesn’t want any piercings now except for the ears. I was probable a bad mom, father and I disagreed on the piercings, he thought it was no big deal, anyway she is okay now. I personally think that it looks trashy anyways but I would rather have them being pierced than tatts all over the place and those are forever.

May 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm
(18) Susanne says:

Like Dana, I told my “16″ year old daughter NO. I told her when she is 18, I can’t stop her but until then I want her to take any adult decision she is thinking of seriously and to research her options. She won’t be 18 until Feb, 2011 and I no longer hear how desperate she needs this procedure. Although my daughter is older, I reminded her that many employers will not look kindly to all these piercing and I also asked her…I can imagine her being a Grandmother someday and asking her self….what was I thinking?

Being only 14, I would bet the peer pressure is the heart of this need. As parents and knowing her best, is this a decision she would make if there was no peer pressure?

This is an adult decision and a 14 year old is not an adult. Although she wants this, does she need it? If she wants it so bad, she will want it when she is 18.

Good luck

May 15, 2010 at 1:07 am
(19) maria says:

Take my self example, I come from a Greek background and I am age 33. I could not get a tattoo or piercings on any part of my body. And still I can not, if I did that I would be in big trouble from my parents and my brother, and he is 11 years older than me. And also not only that they would also hit me, so. Coming from an old Greek background can be very hard, because of the strictness of it.
Which now days parents all parents of younger generation can think very different, and not as strict, as mine example.
Now of my other advice well, if she wants to do it she will, because teenagers now days are more rebellious. Because what she may also do is hide her stomach too for you to not to see it, you see. That my view of it.

May 15, 2010 at 7:28 am
(20) sudhibrata says:

She should not be allowed to do that. 14 yrs is not enough the age for piersing any part of your body. Let her see the life first. Let her realise what the real life is. Then only (S)he can do. It is the thing to draw the attention others and mostly from sexual point of view. At this age she is not mature enough to handle that attention mentally or physically.

May 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm
(21) mom of 18 and 16 yr old girls says:

Absolutely not!!! Whatever you do, ignore Linda, comment (11). Age 14 can’t make that decision. She can’t drive, can’t vote, can’t drink. If you need to remind her to take care of it, she’s not capable. It’s WAY to sexual of a thing. Totally unnecessary. No one needs to see her abdomen. I don’t allow that for my girls except in bathing suits and I still cringe. Parents need to pick their battles, and this is one. She will not be a rebel because of this, she will thank you someday.

May 16, 2010 at 2:10 am
(22) Annette says:

I wanted to follow up and suggest you offer a compromise rather than a flat out NO! Maybe a second ear piercing, a special something for her room… I find that offering an acceptable compromise that you can live with is a lot easier that battling over something that will make you both miserable. You can also say “yes” followed up by… “when you are 18″ .. technically, you are not saying no…. just don’t get in the circular argument of why.. why… why… because this, that and the other… but.. but..but… speak your mind, end of discussion.. change the subject…

May 16, 2010 at 9:23 am
(23) Shannon says:

My daughter who is now 24 wanted her naval pierced when she was in high school so about the same age as your daughter. I sad NO! Who is going to see it I’m certainly not going to let her go around with her belly hanging out. I recently asked her if she ever did get it peirced since she is now graduated from college, she said no and thanked me for not letting her do it in high school, Go firgure. Hold your ground and tell her how bad it hurts, she’ll forget about it soon enough.

May 17, 2010 at 1:16 am
(24) Tanya says:

My daughter wanted a naval piercing when she turned 13 as all her friends had one, so we decided to take her to get one. The lady who was doing the piercing said that because of her age, her skin is still going to stretch more, and having the piercing done so early will not be good. We then waited until she was 16 and had it done and she has no infections.

May 17, 2010 at 10:17 am
(25) Denise says:

I agree w/ Linda. We are quite conservative Christians (and yes the early day Christians had body decorations & tattoos – read your bible). My daughter had it done at 14 – didn’t hurt much and no infections (same with nose stud at 13). She enjoys both. I think they’re cute. She also wears a purity ring; I think often its the adults who turn everything sexual. Remember not to focus on the outside! I work with teens – many may seem “more decent” in the eyes of those commenting here as they have no tattoos or piercings, but have been treated numerous times for STDs and have had abortions (talk about deadly risks!). I’d rather let my daughter experiment with piercings. When you don’t want the piercing to show, it’s as simple as removing the jewelry :)

May 17, 2010 at 11:41 am
(26) Tricia says:

Having read the previous 25 comments before responding, it seems to me (and I experienced this with my son) that there are certain ages that kids want to have something that is a sort of status symbol among their friends. 14 is definitely one of those ages. And as others said, by 18 or so, a lot of it has passed as they get more comfortable identifying themselves as an individual.
Parents don’t want to be too lax or strict during these years and balance is a day by day endeavor. Also, its us adults that can get hyper with the red flag warnings (as we should) but the child’s overall attitude, outlook and behavior need to be considered. If your daughter is exhibiting lots of “I want to be sexy” signs, then don’t ignore them, get those dialogues going!
And like other commenters have said, you can start to establish “age appropriate” boundaries now for lots of things, knowing that the requests will continue to come up. Once you allow something, it will then become new boundary for all future requests. There are kids who will never want to do body enhancements. And there are kids who will want every new trend that comes along. We let our son get his ears “gauged” not knowing how that trend would explode, and we’ve had to take back the privilege more than once when he kept coming home with bigger gauges and larger holes. Once the cow’s out of the barn (so to speak), its not fun to have to get it back in. Taking back privileges can be harder than not allowing them in the first place and not knowing how these trends will expand and what that will do to their bodies in the long run is something you have to almost be prophetic about. Once our son had gauges, why not a nose piercing? why not dyed hair? why not a tattoo? Parenting is tough right now with new (and weirder) trends popping up everyday. I have found this website to be quite helpful as a “heads up” when I read of other parents’ dilemmas and successful strategies or painful hindsights Take others’ advice based on their experience into consideration and give yourself lots of leeway to learn and grow as you go, just as your daughter is doing. Good Luck!!
PS One great tool I’ve used from this website is having contracts. Putting expectations of responsibility into writing can take the emotional charge out of boundary making discussions, and while our son thinks these contracts are really lame, we know that he knows what’s expected and what the consequences will be if he isn’t responsible.

May 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm
(27) dustin says:

hi im 14 i dont think kids at m age should have a bellybutton piercing because itn sends a message 2 guys.one guy willn play her and shell think she loves him.he will get in her pants and then leave .to sum it up its an open invitation to social mental phyysical health a other problems.itv will affect her socially because people may start calling her a hoe slut and etc it gives the wrong impression im a guy i should know 5 girls at my school were raped because of this they call them really bad names and talk about the 1 girl was crying at lunch beacause ppl kept on making fun of them im tellin u its the wrong choice yeah shell be mad but shell get over it and live

May 19, 2010 at 7:48 am
(28) t says:

I would not because than if you give in, what will be next, can I have a tatoo, etc. Today’s generation is so far removed from past generations. Sex is like a kiss, tatoos, piercings, no college, and not even finishing HS. Parents are too lax. Tell her when she is 18, in college and has a job, then it is on her, but in the meantime, you don’t agree. Have a second piercing in your earlobe instead, but body piercings are prone to bacteria and when she gets older and looks back as wse all do, she will regret the mistake and always have the hole. Piercings remind me of the cave days and not very attractive. Tell her to not follow a trend, but to dare to be different by being herself. Too many kids fall into peer pressure and what everyone else does. I would rather follow a clothing trend then body piercing. Maybe you can find someone who has done it and regrets it and to share their story with her. I would not cave because they need boundaries and body piercing is just the beginning of what will be next. Compromise with an extra earlobe piercing, a second hole, but no where else on the body, it is really not attractive.

May 28, 2010 at 7:31 am
(29) Tina says:

Absolutely not! Children are precious gifts from God and their bodies are precious. Its up to the parents to teach and guide their children.

June 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm
(30) v says:

After reading alot of the comments from parents I find I disagree as a daughter/teenager.

Negative or even sexual connotations regarding the navel piercing are overrated. If a girl is “slutty” and dresses that way, a navel piercing isn’t going to enhance that. It’s all in the attitude and persona your daughter gives off.

My parents would never allow a navel piercing, yet I got one anyway. Before the sexual/slut stereotype begins to form, I’m 16-17, sleeping only with one very special person and don’t fulfill the high school dropout stereotype. I don’t see how a navel piercing can change who I am and what my values are.

Fact is, men are going to sleaze onto you for different reasons and I’m sure having a navel piercing is a minor one in comparison to others. Navel piercings can look tacky but I honestly believe that is dependant on the person – I love my navel piercing, treat it well and it hasn’t gotten infected. Although I’m not some saint who never dresses up suggestively, I highly doubt my piercing is going to change that.

I mainly got it as an accessory for when I’m in a bikini, not to impress guys but because I think it looks adorable and I love it.

14 is fairly young yes, but I think age is just an overarching Guide on maturity. If your daughter is mature enough about herself and her values, I honestly don’t see the harm.

July 2, 2010 at 1:29 am
(31) maddie says:

i would let a 14 year old girl get a navel piercing. if your not going to let a girl get a navel piercing well they will just end up piercing it themselves and i think that is a lot worse than getting it done properly. if she isn’t showing it off all the time then she isn’t a slut. there are many people that have them and don’t look slutty such as keira knightley. just keep it clean and look after it and you should have know problems and if they don’t like it when they are older they can just take it out. Yes i would let a 14 year old get one.

July 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm
(32) Lydi says:

SPeaking as some one who has had a navel piercing, I can tell you, first hand, that it is not something I would allow a 14-year-old to have done.

Navel piercings are one of the easiest to get infected and most difficult to treat when that happens. Here is the reason why- the navel stays covered most of the time, especially when there are things like school dress codes to be maintained. This keeps an open wound – it is until about 3 months after being pierced, when it is considered “healed” in a moist, warm environment, perfect for growing bacteria. Even showering regularly doesn’t deter it much because have you ever been able to COMPLETELY dry your navel after a shower? No one has, meaning more opportunity for bacteria.

Frankly, I don’t recommend a navel piercing at all. I’ve even removed mine and allowed it grow closed (it will, it is a muscular piercing, not a skin or cartalege peircing like ears, nose, etc, which will remain open after fully healing.) If she really wants to get her navel pierced, she can do it after she is 18 and can make those foolish choices for herself. At least, that is what I have told my daughter.

July 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm
(33) Emily . says:

The only reason some one shoudl not be alloud to have a navel pericing is because there parents dont feel there responsible enough. young girls my age and younger think there more mature & cool with this peircing so they think they can drink & smoke and there parents wont mind.. NOT! parents know there kids very well ! they should know if there child realizes its a cute peircing just for show & that your not mature because you have one, you have one becasue your mature. im 15 & want mine done & i understand i have to wait til im 18. i just wish my parents understood that im different and that its not about the whole its about the jewelry! the whole just makes it permanent. yess they get infected alot ! some worse then others, but it all comes with taking responsibility for your actions & wanting it enough to take that risk. & ofcourse taking care of it . you know your daughter well i asume, do you think she is ready ?

July 30, 2010 at 1:29 am
(34) Ashley says:

I am 14 also and I would like to have my belly button pierced. I have read that your stomach will stretch and stuff. But I think if the person is responsible enough and will take care of it then it should be okay for them to have it if they don’t mind it possibly stretching or whatever. This is the reason I want one, it’s not because everyone has one or anything. I would simply like it for the fact that I know its there and that I think it looks pretty. The only way you would see mine was if I was swimming because not everything is sexual. People have said its only sexual but its not.

August 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm
(35) mary says:

look okay, i think you need to trust your daughter to look after it properly. sit down with her and hear her side of the story and tell her yours. show her pictures of what it can get like, not to scare her, but to warn her. then if she still thinks she can risk it, show her sites about what to do to look after it. it is hard work, but if she really want it im sure she can.

I got mine done at 13, and im fine. because i wanted it and looked after it properly. its time you let her make her own mistakes and let her make her own decisions on whether she wants to risk it or not.

August 11, 2010 at 1:47 am
(36) M says:

As someone who got their navel pierced, at age 14, actually, I felt like I should offer up my opinion.

First of all, I would ask your daughter why she wants it done. I personally got mine because I liked how it looked, and I did it for me, not to show it off to a bunch of guys. If she is just doing it to “fit in”, then I would say that’s not a good enough reason.

Secondly, I don’t think parents give their teens enough credit. I see many teens who are still treated like they are children. Yes, the brain doesn’t finish developing until around age 23, but that doesn’t mean that teens are completely incapable of thinking for themselves. My parents and I discussed it, researched it, and made an informed decision.

After I got it done, I did not dress and more sexy and I didn’t start becoming sexually active because of it. In fact, the only time anyone saw it (and it was usually just my friends) was if I went swimming. Basically, my values and morals did not change because of an extra tiny hole in my body. If you have instilled in her good values already, getting a piercing isn’t suddenly going to change her.

I would also like to add I’ve never been pregnant, have my HS diploma, have been dating the same guy for years, and am currently a senior in college. Getting a piercing didn’t prevent me from doing any of these things, as some people seem to think.

Now, two tattoos later (I waited until 18 to get those), I am very happy with all of my body modifications. And even if she gets a little older and decides she doesn’t like it, it will close fairly quickly and won’t leave much of a mark.

If she wants one for the right reasons, is well informed, and is responsible, I say let her. Teens are constantly testing their parents, and I think this is one thing that is safe to give in on.

August 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm
(37) Shiela says:

I am currently 19. I am not a mother, nor do I plan on being one in the near future, I just feel as if I should say something. I was 14 when I got my belly button pierced. It has never been infected, and I can say I stayed a virgin for a very long time after getting it done. It did not change me what so ever. I still wore appropriate clothing, I wasn’t walking around showing everyone! Now I did show my girlfriends but of course I wasn’t just showing all the boys in my school. I took care of it VERY well, it healed up in the right amount of time. I’m not permisicous, I don’t do drugs, I’m a good girl, and I’ve even added to my collection. I have 2 in each ear. My industrial, Tregus, Belly Button, and nose. Along with two tattoos. Mind you both of my parents have paid for MOST of my body modifications, and they couldn’t have asked for a more well behaved daughter.

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