How to Teach Child to Change Earrings

Updated on October 06, 2011
C.W. asks from Lutherville Timonium, MD
11 answers

I thought that getting my 8 year old's ears pierced would be the hard part. But she surprised me and the piercing part was easy. When I tried to take the starters out I really had to pry and she started screaming and refused to let me take them out. The next day my SIL managed to get them out but insisted that she put her own earrings in. After an hour of my daughter screaming and my SIL threatening to let the holes close up she finally got them in. She refused to change them again for a week. She finally let me change them but won't let me touch her ears now because she claims I hurt her again. I had my ears pierced at age 6 and I changed them myself and don't remember it being painful. What age should they be able to do this by themselves and is there an easier less painful way to teach her?

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answers from Roanoke on

My mom had my ears pierced at that age..I was scared of changing them too. My mom never made me change them until I was ready..which, since I'm a bit of a wimp, was about a year later. If you have a good starter pair, I'd just leave them in.

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answers from Honolulu on

There is no need to change earrings all the time.
Me, when I was younger, I rarely changed my earrings. I only wore my most favorite studs. I am talking MONTHS of wearing the same earrings.
I kept it clean.
That is all.
It was fine.
Changing earrings is not needed, other than for variety.

Just let her leave them in.
Keep it clean.
Turn them so it doesn't get stuck.

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answers from Los Angeles on

It DOES hurt to have someone taking your earrings out...poor thing :( And In my experience now that I have fibromyalgia my entire body is so sensitive I haven't worn pierced earrings for years, my ears hurt too much to put them in and take them out, and I LOVED wearing different earrings all the time.

My granddaughter had her ears pierced last year at 9, she'd been wanting it done for a long time, but she couldn't change them out on her own. She had such a negative experience she wouldn't allow the second one to be removed and had to go to the doctor as it got infected from all the trying to get it out. They took them both out and decided to wait until she's older and ready to take on the responsibility.

My daughter had her ears pierced at 2 months, I didn't take them out for years, there's no reason to take out the starters if they're a quality pair. She didn't start changing them out until she was around 12 or 13, when she cared to change them.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My 9 year-old daughter has had pierced ears since she was five and I never make her change her own earrings. She leaves one pair in for several weeks, sometimes many weeks, at a time, and eventually I need to change them because one is lost or she's just ready for a change. She'll tell me when she's ready to do it herself. In the meantime, it's really no big deal at all for me to help her.

I'm not surprised that it was painful for your daughter. Anytime you have to "pry" an earring out, it's easy to damage the tissue around the pierciing. Then putting the new ones in will hurt. Then it may take longer than a week for the new damage to heal up.

As long as she is wearing higher quality earrings, why is there a need to change them at all? Get her some simple ones that she likes and just leave them in.

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answers from Washington DC on

It's possible that it really did HURT her... Perhaps they weren't healed up enough to be changing the studs. It can take several weeks for the piercing to heal.

I had my ears pierced for my 4th birthday and wore THOSE studs for the next couple of years!

My advice would be to let her leave the studs in until her ears are good and healed. There's really no NEED to change them. She'll want them changed at some point. Wait until she's ready.


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answers from Dallas on

She's 8..... You are mom.

Why are you changing them? Ther should be no need to change if you bought a good starter pair.

If my daughter acted like this IF she chose to get her ears pierced and IF I allowed it..... This behavior would result in letting her ears close up. She's not ready.

I do believe in her body = her choice as far as piercings. If she is not responsible about it, then leave her ears alone, make sure there are no infections. Wait until she's old enough to understand the process then when she's mature enough, do it.

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answers from Portland on

If it hurts to take them out, they need to stay in awhile longer. Once they're healed they won't hurt so much. I remember that from my own experience and with my granddaughter. Her mom left the starter ear rings in for several months.

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answers from Redding on

My stepdad pierced mine when I was 11(with the potato and full moon thing, makes me laugh to think about it now, and ice to make my ear numb before he poked a needle and thread through, oh my!) and put a pair of small gold hoops in. I didnt change them for about a year. Best thing to do is give her some to hold in her hands and practice doing whatever kind of clasp it is over and over... then tell her just to do it, she'll figure it out when someone isnt hovering over her most likely. I'd wait until they are not tender at all before trying it again.

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answers from Norfolk on

As long as she keeps them clean there no need to change them that much.
If she has really sensitive ears, maybe a dab of Anbesol might numb her up a bit.



answers from Atlanta on

My daughter had her ears pierced last fall when she turned 9 and she still has trouble changing them herself. The earrings today are much harder to get the backs off of and she just can't do it by herself - no problem, I help her when she wants to change them - which is not that often. We take them out to clean every month and she keeps them clean while they are in between the "take-out" cleanings.

Another thing to consider - maybe her ears were not completely healed and that's why it hurt her when you took them out. It took my daughter's ears about 9 months to completely heal! She was constantly bleeding when we took them out (despite turning everyday). It took us a while, but we finally discover that the posts on her starter earlings were too short for her earlobes and were not allowing proper air circulation! We got her a good pair of little hoops that allowed airflow to the front & back of her ear and within a few weeks her ears were finally healed up enough that taking them out & putting them in was not painful anymore.

I would not make it a battle - make it a partnership. Let her try taking YOUR earings out and putting them back in. If she can do that, since your holes are completely healed, the problem is most likely that her ears are not completely healed and you just need to be patient and work with her. Good-Luck!



answers from Washington DC on

I had the same problem with my daughter, I finally decided that I just needed to clean them once in a while and would try to take them out and clean the posts once a month, yet clean them while still in her ear regularly. That worked out best for us. I think the issue is that these studs are so well made so they don't lose the backings that it is so difficult to change them without pinching and pulling the ear so much. She just started to be able to change her own last year at age 8. Pierced at age 6. Once she started wearing the "cheap" earrings where the backs come on and off so easily she could do it herself. Also, her ears are well healed now and she doesn't have any pain issues now. My daughter was also very afraid of more pain from the earrings I think. Just tell her she needs to keep the studs in for at least a year so they are well healed and then she can have the cheap fancy earrings and can change them herself. Less frustration on both parts this way I think. This worked for us at least. As she wanted to wear the "cool" earrings she developed the desire to work through it and to learn. Good luck and don't stress about it. It will come with time and as she gets more used to them.