• September 11, 2021

The War of the Belly Rings: When Mom Says Yes and Dad Says No

Parents do not always agree with what their children want. Parents don’t always agree with each other. This is true with little things like what’s best to eat, as well as a few other things, like whether or not it’s okay to wear belly rings. It can be frustrating to get the green light from one parent only to have the other parent slam on the brakes. This happens in homes where the parents live together, as well as in homes that have been separated by divorce. It is an equal opportunity enigma.

So what can you do, the teenager, who wants nothing more at the moment than to get a piercing so that you can wear one of the cute and trendy belly rings? This may be your first persuasion and negotiation lesson. There is no guarantee that you will win the battle of the belly rings, but you will have the opportunity to learn a little more about your parents and a little more about how to defend your cause effectively.

How you approach this dilemma will often depend on your relationship with your parents, as well as their relationship with each other. I have seen terrible power games as divorced parents continue their personal struggles under the guise of doing what is best for their children. Children don’t want to be in the middle of the situation, but they often are.

You can choose to go to the parent who agrees with the piercing and ask him to sign the permission form and then happily choose the belly rings to buy. The challenge with this is that you open a “can of worms” with the other parent. They may blame the consenting parent for undermining them, or they may feel hurt and betrayed by you for not listening to their decision.

The other option you have is to embark on a persuasion campaign with the opposing parent. If you want to be seen as a young adult ready to handle your choice and the extra attention that will come with wearing belly rings, then you need to act accordingly.

Explain why you would like to get the piercing. Let them know about the procedure and the aftercare that you are ready to follow so that there is no infection. Ask them why they are opposed to piercing, their answer may enlighten you. Based on that answer, you may be able to provide information that you may not have considered before. They may object simply because they know someone who knows someone who has a daughter who wears belly rings and is a troublemaker or a bad student. They may fear that by getting a belly piercing you are somehow like that other girl.

Remind them who you are. Remind them of your values, your uniqueness and everything that makes you the great person you are. Let them know that you respect them and that you would like them to reconsider their objection. Ask them what they would need to see to agree with your wishes.

This is all a process and will not guarantee that your jewelry box will be filled with belly rings as a result of your efforts … the objecting parent can still object. The decision to pierce or not pierce is still up to you. You can choose to do it now, without the full support of both parents, or you can wait until you are of legal age so that your parents do not confront each other. Try persuasion, you may be surprised by the results or the relationships that are created thanks to it.

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