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Infant, teen, or in-between: When do you let your daughter pierce her ears?

Martin Karius / Startraksphoto.com file

Girl time: Angelina Jolie with daughters Shiloh, Zahara and Vivienne (in her arms). Zahara recently got her ears pierced, while Shiloh opted out.

Some moms do it soon after their daughters are born.

For some, it's a cultural thing. Others just want their little girls' ears pierced. Maybe it's so people know without a doubt that the bald bundle in the Bugaboo is a girl, or maybe it's so sweet pea won't remember the pain of the piercing gun when she's older.

Angelina Jolie held out a bit longer for her older daughters. The mom of six recently took Zahara, 6, and Shiloh, 5, to a London salon to get their ears pierced. Perhaps she waited until the girls could decide for themselves whether they wanted it -- or not (Shiloh opted out after seeing big sister cry).

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It got me thinking about when I would say "yes" to my girls, ages 5 and 8, who often ask when they can adorn their ears with more than stickers. My parents made me wait until I was 10, which seemed like FOREVER because my girlfriends all had their ears pierced in kindergarten. Looking back, I wish they made me wait longer. My pierced ears were victims of the big, heavy, dangling baubles of the eighties -- chunky hoops, clanking metal triangles and long beaded styles that took their toll on delicate teenage earlobes.

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I now test how light an earring is before I buy it and I rarely stray from wearing tiny studs. I've found that with my friends' kids, the thrill of pierced ears quickly wears off -- but I'm not sure when my daughters will learn that for themselves.

I think I'll follow my parents' lead and wait a few years before giving in. I've got plenty of stickers.

What about you? When were you allowed to get your ears pierced, and when will you allow your daughter (or son) to pierce their ears?

Julie Weingarden Dubin is a Michigan-based freelance journalist and author with three rocking kids, a loving husband and a trashed minivan. She covers health, psychology, parenting, relationships and pop culture.