Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Magic Age

Another blog post, another blog post without photos. Sigh ...

I had a very interesting conversation at our Sunday school 4th of July bash last night. It all started when my friend's little girl launched into a very dramatic speech on how her daddy said she couldn't wear a bikini. In fact she said that she hadn't worn a bikini "in her whole life" (she's 6). That led to a discussion on, if we do allow our little ones to wear bikinis, at what age do we stop it. That led us to the topic of "the magic age".
Growing up in my house, there was a magic age for everything. Can't cut your hair until third grade (for reals). Can't go to "sleep camp" until you are 9. Can't date until your 16 ( for really reals). I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 11!
So, we started talking about what our magic ages were for our kids. Some said they couldn't pierce their ears until 7, some said 5, some were contemplating piercing their babies' ears. Others said no more two pieces after kindergarten, some said upper elementary.
No boyfriends until Junior high, some didn't care, some said college! (I think they were joking.)
What was most interesting to me was that while we all get along pretty well, I don't think there were any two people who were of one mind on all things. There was no "magic age" that we could all agree upon.
For the record, our girls can:
pierce their ears - when they ask and are old enough to take care of their ears themselves
wear bikinis - there's no need, there are plenty of other cute options to choose from (Except for Eliza, because that girl in a bikini is pretty cute)
date - daddy says never, mommy says it depends on how well she knows the boy's parents

I realize that these issues are not super important, but it was kinda fun to think about. :)


Chandra said...

I was 7 when I got my ears pierced, and I wasn't supposed to date until I was 16, but I got to go on my first date when I was 15 because my mom liked the boy. Lucky me. And I was never given permission to wear a bikini, and even my one piece had rules like the leg holes had to be VERY low on my thighs, not the higher cuts. It was very difficult to find a 60's style swimsuit in the 80's/90's.

Brian, Jamie, Molly & Sarah said...

Funny, we already have our "magic age" worked out, but since Brian is a boy...he was very easy going about most. However, our one that did cause us pause, the appropriate age for shaving your legs :) I say when ever my dark haired children are coordinated enough to hold a razor.

Amy Griffin said...

Ears for me was 13...Ella thinks she wants them done now but I told her when she could take care of them herself (same with her hair -short until she can fix/keep it clean herself). I wasn't sure how I would feel about bikinis at first but at 5 I still have no problem wiht them...that's just me though. There is ALWAYS going to be something though!!

Kim said...

I bet that was a very interesting conversation!!! As for bikinis, it's still a no-go for this 31 year old! And... I was not allowed to see Dirty Dancing back in the day, and I still have not seen it. HAHAHA!!! But really, I think that being a little strict is better than having wild, ungodly children. Hang in there!

Crystal said...

I couldn't get my ears peirced until I was 8, could not have sleep-overs or "sleep camp" until I was 9, I could wear a bikini (but I was on swim team and we wore the two-peices that look like a sports bra with bottoms), and couldn't date until I was 16. Our "magic ages" are:
Ears peircing: when they ask for them and can take care of them
Two-peices: anytime, but not string bikinis
Sleep-overs: undecided
Dating: 16

ashleigh said...

How did I miss that discussion?

Seems like there are more "magic age" issues for girls than boys, but there are more growing-up milestones for girls, I think--make-up, ears pierced, etc, etc.

Here is an interesting fact about dating: In a study about dating & sexual activity, about 95% of girls who started dating at 13 were sexually active before graduation. Only about 20% of girls who didn't date until 16 were sexually active.

That's your youth ministry fact o' the day :)