Would you let your teen get a tattoo? #I've got a parenting question!#parenting dilemmas#tattoos#teens May 2 2011 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. Photo by Erika Liss, used with Creative Commons license. A friend recently posted a status on Facebook saying her four-year-old asked to get a tattoo for her birthday — and "not one that washes off in the bathtub." Of course, the idea of a four-year-old getting a REAL tattoo is ludicrous (and probably illegal), but it had me wondering — what if that four-year-old was sixteen? Would it be ok then? I have three tattoos, and I love them all. BUT, and it's a big but, I didn't get any of them until last year, when I was twenty-five. While I flirted with the idea for several years leading up to it, I never felt totally committed to having ink in my body forever until I felt it was something worth embedding. The tattoos I have now all mean something to me, something incredibly important — I shudder to think what I would have gotten tattooed on me when I was sixteen. This aside, the question still stands: would you let your teen get a tattoo? Why or why not? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS A Mega Man bedroom, plus cats and cameras make a C-themed shelf NEXT You already have a green thumb, or: how to grow houseplants Show/Hide comments [ 121 ] It depends on the kind of tattoo they want, the likelihood that my teen actually WANTS the tattoo and isn't doing it for crazy peer pressure/fashion statement/rebellion reasons, and I would say absolutely NO NAMES on the tattoo. xD If it's a small tattoo somewhere that it can be easily hidden, and something that I don't think they're too likely to regret later on (say, if it's just a Chinese symbol or something equally benign) then, I'd probably consider it. 9 agree Reply "just" a chinese symbol? I would exercise great caution in possible translations that aren't what were expected…these are a great source of amusement to anyone who can read the kanjii 1 agrees Reply As a Japanese major, I definitely second this. Unless you or someone with you can read kanji, do not take the tattoo artist's word for what it says! I have yet to meet one that used a reputable source for translations, and it has yielded results like a guy who wanted to have his arm say "dragon soul" which is 竜霊, ryuutama, and it actually says 外人、gaijin, which means foreigner. XD 1 agrees Reply I agree with the previous commenter. Depends on what it is, where it is and why they are doing it. I would want them to think about it for at least 6-12 months before deciding for sure. Absolutely nothing spur of the moment. Nothing matching any friends or symbolic of any boyfriends/girlfriends. I remember really wanting a tattoo when I was a teenager. I ended up getting it when I was 18, and it was the same tattoo I wanted for three years (an ankh on my ankle). So if my daughter was like that, then sure, I would take her somewhere reputable and safe and make sure she got the best one she could get. 14 agree Reply I found the design for my first tat when I was 16 and held onto it for two years before getting it. My theory then was if I still LOVE it in two years I'll always LOVE it. It's a small primitive little frog design (not tribal) I totally agree with your point of view 4 agree Reply While I do have a tat of my own (received after getting married at the age of 28 while we were on our honeymoon), I wouldn't let me my teen get a tat. Once they're 18? It's their call. I would go with them to the tattoo parlor and talk designs. But younger than that, I tend to think it's a commitment that might be a bit much to take on. I know that at 16, my idea of permanent was different than what it is now. 12 agree Reply I know that at 16, my idea of permanent was different than what it is now. Heh, this is an excellent way of putting it. I don't think anyone was ever harmed by waiting two years for a tattoo. If it's something they want forever, they'll still want it then, right? 7 agree Reply i would most defiantly let my kids get tattooed as long as i could take them when i was 15 my mom suggested i get a tattoo then took me to a place where she felt i was safe to get one… i plan on doing the same 1 agrees Reply I heard a rumor (that I never researched or followed up) that in my home state it was illegal for a shop to give tattoos to people under 18, even with consent. In light of that I was content to wait until 18 and I'll advise my children to do the same. "When you're old enough to vote for a political candidate or die for your country, you're old enough to decide if you want to permanently modify your body. How 'bout a tongue ring?" 9 agree Reply I'm pretty sure this is true in Washington. You can get a piercing under 16 with parental permission but not a tattoo. 1 agrees Reply It's true in Washington, and last I heard the age was 18, not 16. (Incidentally, my mother used to work in childcare and said that the reason that law came about was that little kids were coming into daycare with giant butterflies tattooed on their chests. o_O Dunno if that's apocryphal, but if it's true, it's MESSED UP!) Reply This is the law in CA. And frankly I am happy about it. 3 agree Reply I have had a lot of my friends when I was younger get their tattoo's under 18. Some of them were for personal reasons and they still love it. But many of my male friends and a few female got them because they wanted to fit in and look cool. Some of them charged by hormones and being very angry. Those few regretted it. My mothers advice? Refuse to let him get one until he turns 18 and he is 100% responsible. That way you don't have to hear about how it is all your fault and why didn't you stop him when it was up to you to allow him to get it. 7 agree Reply Exactly. My husband and I both have tattoos, so we're obviously not in the anti-tat camp. BUT! I sure as heck don't want the responsibility that comes with allowing/helping/funding my non-adult child's tattoo. If she wants to get one before she's 18, she's going to have to do it without me. No punishment, I just don't want to be tied into such a major thing. 1 agrees Reply As an offbeat teen growing up with very "on beat" parents, I was surprised that for my 17th birthday my mom signed for me to get a tattoo. It was actually a really great bonding experience for us. She sat there and held my hand and chatted up the artist while I laid there and got drilled with a needle. My mom wasn't very supportive of my decisions as a teen, but her decision to let me make my own decisions on what I wanted on my body permanently actually helped our relationship in a lot of ways. So, while letting your teen get tattooed at a young age might not be the best idea for every teen out there, it worked for me and my mom. And no, I don't regret the tattoo I got whatsoever. It's something only visible when I wear a swimsuit and something that has special meaning to me because my mom was there and supportive of me. 6 agree Reply i love you Reply will you marry me Reply NO! because i think back to the "cool" tattoos i wanted when i was 16, and i shudder to think if i actually got one of them! we aren't talking about something they can take back once they have it done like purple hair or a nose piercing. i would make them wait until they were adults and make them pay for it on their own. 4 agree Reply As someone who has many tattoos, all of which were acquired from ages 18-21; NO. Big big big no, haha. You change and grow as a person far too much between your teen years towards your adult years. I'm going to teach my daughter that tattoos can be beautiful, but they are something you have to live with forever. And until tattoo acceptance becomes widespread, you can bet your buttons that I will be discouraging ink until my babygirl is at least 25! Then, we can get matching mommy and me tattoos! Piercings are a completely different story though 🙂 4 agree Reply No. Never ever. I have 3 tattoos I got of my own accord once I turned 18 which have meanings for me, and put them in sensible places. I'm still happy with them at 23… but when I was 16 I would have not made such a wise decision. I would not let my son get a tattoo at 16, and by law he would not be able to. 6 agree Reply I'll make them wait until they are 18, just because I had to wait until I was 18. I like torturing my kids? I'm also not allowing ear piercing until 10, just like I had to wait… I really don't know why haha. The first tattoo I got was a tramp-stamp half naked woman, and I still love her… but I had to wait! 1 agrees Reply My mom took me on my 18th birthday to get my first tattoo — and she got her first one as well. We had a very long discussion about what it would be and where it would be, and she asked me about elebendybillion times if I was sure. I've gotten a few more since then (I'm 27) all of them with very deep personal meaning to me, and I plan on getting more. I think my mom's philosophy (she being a liberal but very onbeat parent) was the same as the first time I dyed my hair purple — she'd rather be there with me and help me than let me go through it alone. So in that vein, of course I would let my teenagers get them. As soon as they're legal adults (because most reputable parlors won't do tattoos on minors) and I'll be happy to go with them or let them have this coming-of-age-ish ritual all to themselves. 4 agree Reply What about people who have their babies ears pierced? Isn't that the same sort of thing?? I know a piercing isn't permanent but I have several and it does leave scars. I would probably tell my kids that they need to wait just like I had to wait. I would probably give in though, however their father would not. He hates tattoos. I would probably suggest some other sort of body modification that wasn't so permanent. 4 agree Reply I totally agree with you! I know it's not popular, but modifying my child's body for my aesthetic reasons, causing them pain for no purpose, etc etc – no. Also one of the reasons I'm against infant circumcision. 8 agree Reply My sister is seven and my mom refused to have her ears pierced until she turned seven AND my sister asked to have them pierced herself. She did just a few weeks ago, and she must've really wanted it because we told her it is a little painful, your ears are sore, you have to clean them, etc. I am always so saddened when I walk past the piercing place at the mall and see little babies screaming like crazy! 1 agrees Reply This is something my partner and I have discussed at length, not only because we have 3 sons, but because he's a tattooist by trade, and encounters this every weekend. As an extensively tattooed mama I would support my boys wanting (or not, haha) tattoos. Here, kids a young as 16 can get tattooed with parental permission (I'm a bit foggy on the details) and Eddie (my partner) has tattooed 17 year olds. BUT, almost all of the tats he's done on teens of that age have been reworks or coverups of homemade, "kitchen table" tattoos. So yes, I think it's okay for a teen to get inked, but with qualifications. Parents should talk with their kids, find out their motivation for wanting a tat, and if they do get one, for them to go to a real, sanitary, professional studio 🙂 6 agree Reply My mom told my sister "no" when she asked for a tat at 16, so my sister found a friend who let her borrow his ink and a needle (not a machine, tho) and inked herself with a "prison tat" style blue heart on her ankle. And then my mom had to call around and find someone who would professionally cover it. Probably would have been safer to say yes in the first place and get a professional tat. (Neither my husband nor I are tattoed. I thought I was going to get one for my 35th birthday but I was pregnant. Now I think maybe at 40, I'll finally get my back tree.) 1 agrees Reply Personally, I would have let her live with an ugly tattoo rather than pay to fix her own mistake. I'm of the mind that if you say "no," you stick by it. 9 agree Reply Me, too. But my sister didn't actually ask for it to be fixed, our mom was offended by the aesthetics of it and required her to get it tattooed over. (Our otherwise totally hippie mom also refused to drive me places, except school, unless I was wearing lipstick and mascara. Um. Yeah. I rebelled by refusing to wear any makeup for years — well, I still mostly don't.) 1 agrees Reply Heck's no! I was such a dummy at 16 in so many ways. I did, in fact, get several tattoos at age 18 and 19 and, while I don't hate them now, I kind of wish I hadn't gotten them. I remember when I showed my mother she cried her eyes out. Not angry, just sad. And my reaction was: "What do you care? It's not your body." Now that I have a child, I totally get it, though. She is so perfect in every way. I shudder at the thought of her changing her perfect body. Especially with a 16-year-old's sensibilities. That said, I still want a sleeve. I'm a hypocrite! Reply I'm a hypocrite too. My 19 y/o is getting a highly visible tattoo this week. I thought I'd be totally cool with it, (I have a tattoo that i love)but the thought of her permanetly changing her body kind of makes me sad. And, i'm really glad I didn't say yes to the trendy finger moustache tattoo she wanted at 16. In any case, she's a strong, smart girl, and I know she's gonna rock that ink. 1 agrees Reply That would be a resounding NO. Not because I don't have faith in a sixteen year old being able to make a decision that will be permanently embedded in their skin forever barring uber expensive laser surgery… oh wait, yes, yes that's exactly what it is. At fifteen I knew I wanted at least one tattoo. I actually have one of the tattoos I wanted back then. It was my fourth actually, and the smallest one I have. It's also one out of probably fifty different designs I came up with as a teenager. I waited until I was nineteen for my first one, I doubt I will ever regret it, and if I had waited another year or two even then, it wouldn't be the same tattoo. I don't imagine many sixteen year olds have had enough life happen to them to be able to decide on something they won't regret later, either because they grow out of the stage that produced it, or realize it was just some tragic mistake. And if they still want it when they're an adult, they can still get it. Two years to eighteen is a drop in the bucket for something they will wear the rest of their lives. I can almost guarantee most teenagers will change their mind a dozen times in that span of time. Not to mention one of the things that takes the edge off the responsibilities of adulthood is the perks. Being able to defile your body any way you please with no one to stop you is one of those perks! I say let them earn the right to make what may be a huge potential mistake. I just hope my kid will listen as I teach him the right way to go about it, so he can be as safe as possible. Reply Note: I'm writing this response before reading anyone else's here. But short answer? No. I will be absolutely fine with piercings in the teenager years and would happily sign a consent for that because -piercings aren't permanent, my kid would have to understand there might be scarring when they take the stuff out some day, and because they're a cool way to express yourself. Mostly, it's the non permanence issue. I wouldn't sign off on a teenager getting a tattoo because so much changes in a person's life, especially in the teens and 20's. And a tattoo is forever, unless you want to pay mad money to get it removed. My kids will have to wait until they're 18 and make the decision for themselves to permanently mark their bodies. 2nd note: I have four tattoos myself, the first of which I got at age 19 and was a total disaster. 2 agree Reply Tough call… On one hand I'd say "Hells no!" because I was 18 when I went and got tattooed. The tattoo is bad, poorly done and oh so common. They do kind of mean something to me, and luckily I put them in obscure location. But the fact remains… Would I have gotten it if I was older? I'd say no. I do however NOW have another tattoo and I love it, and I plan on getting more. My husband has one he regrets as well from his teens and an arm piece he's wanted and loved for almost a decade. So… I guess I would advocate against it. But if she was committed I'd make sure she went somewhere skilled/clean and attempt to convince her something small and obscure location as well. No names either or symbols of something she might regret. I think it's better to explain the whole situation gently and perhaps compromise… Then to just say "no" and "forbid" the experience she's dead set on. Keep our relationship open, honest and keep me involved in her life. I did a lot of things unsafely and out of sheer anger because my parents were strict and refused. Reply I agree with one of the other comments about having them keep their design for 6-12 months first and then allowing it if it's something benign. I got my only tat at 19–almost 11 years ago!–after carrying around the cross-stitched pattern (I can't draw straight lines, but I can sew!) for a year. It's meaningful to me, beautiful, inoffensive, and I have never, ever regretted it. But I look at some of my friends with the tats they got on the spur of the moment and now deeply regret and am convinced that thinking about it for so long made all the difference. Reply When my daughter was 4 or 5, she was into tattoos in a big way, and I told her that when she was 16 I'd consider letting her get one if she wanted to. Now she's 15, and, well… It helps that she's since discovered that tattoos actually use needles and not Crayola felt tips. She's less keen on the idea. If she was insistent, I suppose that I could fall back on the fact that it's actually illegal here to get a tattoo before you're 18, and so anybody who would do it isn't somebody you'd want a tat from. Or that her dad would kill me. Honestly though, if I thought that she had really thought it through, and if the design and placement of the tattoo wasn't too shocking, I don't know why I should object. 16, 18, 21, I know 40 year olds who probably shouldn't be trusted with that kind of decision. 6 agree Reply I'm a tattoo artist and I deal with lots of young kids coming in looking to get their first tattoos. Minors and body modification is dicey, you can be pierced after 14 and tattooed once your 16, as long as there is parental consent. Piercings come out and heal to barely noticeable marks, so I would say let your kids get all the piercings they want. If they hate them, or change their mind, they can just take them out. The level of cover ups done at my shop because of stupid choices when people were teenagers is mind boggling. When I have children, they have to at least be 18 before I let them get tattoos. They'll be more sure of who they are and less likely to regret that unicorn on their hip. Also, if you're going through the process with your kids, for piercing and tattoos, don't pick a shop because it's cheaper or faster. Pick a shop with a great reputation, high health standards and good people behind the counter. Just because it's a shop doesn't mean it's good, you can still find people that don't know what they're doing trying to make a fast buck at the expense of health, safety and ability. 1 agrees Reply I love tattoos and have several myself, but big fat NO! I got my first tattoo when I was 16. It was spur of the moment and after the big teenage break-up, so needless to say it wasn't a great idea, and I had it covered up when I was 18 (also not great, but now my reminder of the folly of youth). I also got my teenage tattoo without parental consent. I could do that because I found a shady shop that didn't ID me. I plan on talking plenty with my daughter about the importance of tattoos when and if she gets interested in them. Like sex, you don't WANT them to do it but you NEED them to be informed because they're the ones in control of their bodies. At 16 I thought I'd never have kids and lacked quite a bit of foresight so when the time comes I'll just show my daughter this giant star I have on my hip, misshapen by stretch marks, that covers a heart with a dagger through it. 4 agree Reply My brother got his first tattoo when he was sixteen. A close friend of his and mine died in a car accident, and the tattoo honors her memory. He'd wanted a tattoo since he was about four. This first one was done illegally at someplace disreputable, and fortunately the only consequence he's suffered is having a poorly done tattoo. The ones he's gotten as an adult are all gorgeous, where that one is fading and kind of sad looking. Given this experience, I think I don't have a concrete answer. If my son were as confident in wanting a tattoo as my brother was, I would try to talk him into waiting. But ultimately, I'd rather he do it legally and with my consent at someplace safe than find someone who would tattoo a minor without parental consent. So I guess I'd probably discourage it, but if he was persistent, I'd take him to have it done. 2 agree Reply I think this would be one of the situations I would say yes in, but I would still instill a 3-6 month waiting period to make sure the idea was still there and to find the right shop to do this. 2 agree Reply Absolutely yes, with restrictions. I got my first one at 16, and at 23 I still like it. My mom took me to get it done and these were her rules: 1. I had to think about it for months beforehand, do extensive research on how tattoos actually work, and make sure on my own that the establishment I chose was clean (though I'm sure she also looked at the autoclave on her own as well). This was to make sure it wasn't a spontaneous decision. 2. It had to have a special meaning, and I had to be able to articulate it to her and anyone who asked. That the special meaning I chose was a feminist message and my mom takes pride in having taught me to be a feminist probably didn't hurt! 3. It had to be somewhere I could choose to hide it if necessary for a job, or if I got tired of it. I chose my upper back. 4. I had to pay for it with my own money. I would probably follow all these guidelines if my teen ever wanted to get a tattoo. I would rather try to establish all these rules as values my child would follow in the years to come regarding tattooing, rather than issue a blanket ban and have my kid go out on her/his eighteenth birthday and get something not meaningful that they would regret. 19 agree Reply Yes! I have these rules exactly! Reply While I would probably fall in the "wait until you're eighteen" camp, this seems to be the best way to do it. It's what I think I would do (with modifications as necessary, of course) if my kid wanted to make any big decision. Reply I got a tattoo with parent consent at 16 . Its not my favorite, and I kinda dont want it anymore. But I dont hate it enough to have it removed. It depends on the kid, the tattoo, and their grades, behavior etc. I would consider it. But my tattooist wouldnt, she only does over 18, even on her own kids. Reply With what I have said I do have to say my son and I do have conversations about everything. When he asks I will talk to him about it. Heck he is 5 and will ask me about everything there is to know about life. I am the kind of momma that doesn't even flinch when he asks where do babies come from. But right now I am hoping Henna tattoos will keep he satisfied in the future. It costs almost as much as a tattoo if you go through a professional. Minimum 200… oi! Thank goodness for a very talented artsy aunt and non-perminant dye. We will be talking about diseases due to sharing needles and that will come into play with homemade tattoo kits. And we will talk about the shops as well. I have had my belly pierced with my mother (she dared me). But I was 20 years old. At 19 I really wanted a tattoo but over the years never had the money. Now at 29 I am just too lazy to do it. And I am finding it isn't as important to me as it was when I was 19. Reply I was an extremely level-headed and mature 16 year old, and I still cringe at what I might have chosen for a tattoo at that age (I'm 24 and still have none). So, hell no. Plus, I can't count on my kid being as mature at that age, they might be like my friend and get a Red Hot Chili Peppers tat, because, omg, they're like so brilliant and it like means so much to me! 1 agrees Reply Absolutely, my boys can have a tattoo. But the same rules apply to them as I put on myself before I got my first one. You have to have the same design and location for at least one year, with NO changes at all, before you get it inked. If you can't go a year without changing it, it's not time to get it done permanently. Reply Doubtful. I got 3 stupid (and large) tattoos from ages 18-22. I hate them all. Everything I got after 24, I love. it's amazing how much a persons ideals, likes and dislikes can change in the early 20s. My mom was and still is very anti tattoo, and I think that if she had ever opened a dialogue with me, I might have held off instead of getting inked in spite of her. Reply We've discussed this one a lot because my husband has multiple tattoos and I have none. I'm not against them, just to fickle to pick something that is permanent. We've decided on the "learn from Dad's mistake" approach. No tattoos until they are 18 but we'll really encourage waiting two years after deciding what they want to get it. If they still want the same thing after all that time then have at it. My husband somewhat regrets most of his tattoos except for his half-sleeves which he waited almost 5 years to get while looking for the right artist. Reply I generally agree with most of the "no, not when they're teens" comments. And holy crap! That tattoo looks innocent/happy-go-lucky until you really look at it! Reply OMG, you are so right! What is that unicorn doing???? 2 agree Reply The circumstances would have to be right for me to allow my furture teenage son to get a tattoo before he was old enough to get it done himself. I was 16 when I got my first tattoo but it was after a huge trauma and a big depression and it was very symbolic for me. I love my tattoo and it still represents what i went thorough. That being said, at 16 I did not have the insight to realize that I should not get a 4 inch tattoo on my wrist. Piercings on the other hand, as soon as I feel he can take care of them, he can get as many as he wants. Reply I can not believe how AGEIST some of these comments are. Do you really feel that when you turn 18 you're somehow magically wise and knowledgeable, able to make good decisions? And that those under 18 are not any of those things? Every person is different. To stereotype someone because of their age is the same as stereotyping them because of their sex, skin color, or sexual orientation. Why not treat your offspring as individuals? Actually TALK to them, find out why and what kind of tattoos they want. You might be surprised. 4 agree Reply In some cases I think that the "wait until they're 18" comments come from the fact that once they turn 18 (or whatever the age of majority is in your area) the parent no longer has any direct control over their offspring. For better or for worse, it is no longer the parents decision to make. I know that when I tell my daughter that she has to wait until she's 18, it's because of that. It means, "I don't like it, but at that point I can't stop you". That is the age that a person takes complete legal responsibility for their actions, good and bad. Hopefully a parent and child have a good enough relationship that parental influence continues, I'm nearly 40 and still take my mum's opinion into consideration, but it's a voluntary arrangement at that point. Reply I agree that our laws generally give 18 year olds full control over their lives. But I feel that many parents use that to not deal with certain issues and decisions. It has nothing to do with whether they feel their offspring or any 18 year old has the wisdom to make those decisions, but that the parents don't want to be involved. Kind of a "plausible deniability" angle. Reply I agree with Barbra too, once they're 18 it's their choice whether we like it or not. I hope to do a good enough job raising my daughter that when she turns 18 she respects me enough to still ask for and listen to my opinion. Like I said below, I didn't get my first tattoo until I was 20. Ideally I would prefer she wait that long as well but as soon as she's 18 it's not my choice. I understand that everyone is individual and maybe some 16y/o kid is making a sound, well thought out decision about what tattoo they want on their body but what's the harm in waiting? Scientifically the part of your brain that allows you to think through a decision and weigh the consequences doesn't fully develop until you're 25 so maybe waiting till your older is better. On top of that, it's both a personal issue and until the child is 18 it's a family issue. Each family is different and has their own sets of rules/morals/cultural norms/ect. All I can speak for is my family and our choices, which involves waiting until you've turned at least 18. And all of this is going off of the premise that she will want her own tattoo, but maybe she'll want nothing to do with them. At this point she's not even 4 yet. Reply Similar response to what I said to Barbara, Some parents just don't want that responsibility. Also, I think part of growing up is making mistakes, and then learning from them. Of all the things a person could do in their teens, getting a tattoo would probably be one of the least likely to have an effect on their life. Unless they get something extreme or highly visible (face) how is getting a flower, an animal, or a symbol inked into their skin really going to make any difference? On your last point I disagree because I don't believe that just because someone is your child you should have full control over them. But that's just my opinion. Reply I absolutely plan to open a dialogue with my daughter, discuss how to choose a shop and a design and placement (I have several tattoos) and hope that if she wants a tattoo, the discussion about getting one will be a bonding experience for us in her teens. And I will still refuse to sign for her to get one before the age of 18 (if that's even an option according to the tattoo licensing laws in our state). A permanent mod should be her own journey, with her own ID and signature, without Mommy tagging along to sign off on the paperwork. 2 agree Reply The "wait 'til you're eighteen" thing for me is that it's an enforced waiting period. Just like some people here have been saying "wait 3-6 months" or "wait a year". I think that it scales nicely with the maturity needed to make that decision (so basically, it's saying to a fourteen-year-old "wait four years"). Reply There is also truth that biologically our brains are very different as teenagers. In some ways you really aren't the same person you will be. Reply True, But we hopefully learn and grow throughout our lives. I know I'm not the same person I was when I was 16, 18, 21, 26, or even 30. Reply I guess it would depend on what it was. My dad let me get my first tattoo when I was 17 and it is on my left shoulder.but how am I suppose to say no to my child when I have a half sleeve on my arm? Guess I will see when the time comes.lol 1 agrees Reply I don't have kids (I'm an offbeat auntie!), but I would let them under three conditions: 1. They were at least 16 2. They had earned the money themselves (showing they were able to save for their goals) 3. It is a tat they have been thinking about for at MINIMUM 6 months and have made a rough drawing of – not something their friends got, or that's copied from a book of pics. I got my first tat at age 36, after thinking about one for – no joke – 16 YEARS. And even then, I got a completely different one than the original one I considered. I don't think I would have regretted the one I first thought of, but it is interesting that it took me so long! Reply My daughter will grow up knowing that she isn't allowed to get one until she's 18 and that's just how it is. What goes along with that is discussing it before she even starts asking for one (if that even happens) and being open and honest about it… kind of like taking about sex 😉 I have many tattoos but didn't get my first until I was 20, and I can't imagine what I would have on my body now if I had started earlier. Reply If they can design an image that they love for four whole years and pay for it themselves… I had a design sketch book and could never stick with one favorite concept. I was changing in my teens, therefore my taste was changing. This more than anything else means I STILL haven't got one (28 now). Reply Of course I would! I would have stipulations as a parent though. They would have to think it through and be committed to the design for at least 6 months. They would have to wait until at least their 17th birthday. They would either have to pay for it themselves, get it as a birthday present, or as a reward for a year of good grades and no traffic tickets. They would have to get it in a place where it can be covered up. That way it won't interfere with their ability to get a job and move out of my house. That means no sleeves, hand, neck, or facial tattoos. Lol! Reply Depends what and it depends where. The tattoo I wanted at 15-16 years old is the same one I want one, but now I don't have disposable income to spend on a tattoo. I also had friends who got tattoos as teens and don't regret them. 1 agrees Reply Oops…. I meant, "The Same one I want now" not the "Same one I want one" Reply I've got 7 tattoos, including a nearly-half sleeve, but didn't start until I was 18. My dad absolutely HATES them, and there was no way he'd let me ahead of time. I didn't mind waiting though, because once I turned 18, I reasoned that he now wasn't allowed to get mad at me because of it. I wouldn't let my kids get one ahead of 18, though. My stepsister desperately wanted one when she was about 15, and managed to talk her mom (my stepmom) into it. I love my stepmom to death, but man, she can be a softie:) Anyways, my dad freaked, flat-out refused, and my stepsister ran into her room crying, as per a normal teenage freakout. I convinced my dad to let her get a henna tattoo, after explaining that it's only temporary, and went to tell her, to which she responded "I don't want a henna one, they're not even cool!" Quite obvious that she only wanted a tattoo because she thought they were cool. I'd hate to be the reason my kid was allowed to get something that they would regret later. I figure, once you're 18, hopefully you've outgrown, to some extent, the need to do things just to fit in. And if not, at least it won't be my fault! 🙂 Reply It's funny because my husband and I are opposites in terms of tattoos. He made his own tattoo gun (they're very easy to make, fyi) and now has random homemade tattoos all over his hands, stomach and one on his leg. We've been together for 2 1/2 years and I still find little blue pinpoints all over him. I got my first TINY tattoo (the Pleiades constellation–literally seven dots and lines between them) at 25 after mulling it over for five years. I waited until my mid-thirties to get my other two, which are substantially larger and also very well considered. I also did a lot of research to find just the right artist (thank goodness he's local) before allowing anyone to do what I envisioned. And I LOVE my tattoos and am SO glad I waited! So to answer the question…totally depends. I'm guessing no but it really depends on the what, why, and where. My hubby wished he hadn't been quite so ink-happy as a teen; I loathe to think what I would have put on my body at that age. But perhaps our still-percolating-in-the-womb daughter will be wiser than us…who knows… Reply I think it definitely depends on the situation and subject matter. For instance, my 16-year old step-daughter (will be 17 in three months) lost her grandmother to breast cancer last year. She will be getting a tattoo of a pink ribbon soon to remember her grandma by – her mom and dad have both approved it, and were she my flesh and blood, I would, too. If she were just wanting something frivolous, like Tinkerbell (as an example), I'd probably say wait until you don't need parental approval. Reply NO! I have tattoos and I want a half sleeve and a zillion more. So does my husband. BUT I cringe hard at the tattoos I would have gotten at 16! Hell, I cringe at the tattoos I would have gotten if I'd had more money at 18. If you want it at 16, wait until 18 to get it – They are permanent, after all. Reply no way for me. my husband and i are both tattooed and i love it, but i'm not going to sign over someone else's body. especially when i know that someone isn't in their right mind, hasn't even found their right mind yet! you have no idea who you really are until you go out into the world on your own. so, still living in your parents' world, still in high school where your priorities are wonky, still a baby in the whole scheme of things….not a great idea if you ask me. 🙂 all that being said and even though i think 18 is a little young, once they can walk into a tattoo parlor on their own and pay for their own ink…go for it! i would always advise them to really think about it, find a fantastic artist, and then think about it some more (you can always get it later!) but ultimately that body is legally all theirs. i'll protect it from their foolish teenager ways until then though!! Reply No. I don't care how mature they are, how well thought out the design is or how meaningful it is to them. Where I live it is illegal until you're 18, and if the artist is willing to work illegally then they aren't the kind of artist I want working on me, or my family. I would however also make sure I had an ongoing conversation with my kids about all body modifications. I want them to grow up to understand the benefits and risks of body mods, so they can make considered decisions. Reply I'd would ask them to mull it over for a year, It seems like a long time but chances are, if they still want one after a year then they really want that on their body. 😛 Reply I think it depends on the teenager. I have some friends who got tattoos when they were under 18, and the results are mixed: some of them LOVE their tattoos to this day, and others regret it. I waited until I was 18 because my mother told me once my 18th birthday passed, she would pay for it. Definitely a big incentive for waiting, plus it gave me time to really think about what I wanted and where I wanted it. The whole thing turned out well, and I love my tattoo. A bonus was that my mom came with me and stayed the whole time, so it was a bonding experience. Of course, if my future kids think critically about what they want and pick something that not only has meaning but will stand the test of time, I think I might give them my consent when they're sixteen or seventeen. MAYBE. But who knows? Reply I'm thinking no, BUT… I got my first at 19, something small, because I didn't want to commit to something huge at that age. 7 years later I now have an appointment for a 2nd much larger piece. For my first, I henna'd the design on for 6 months before deciding I definitely wanted it – it's a really great way to give a tat a test run! Reply I have thought about this, considering I have a a very large tattoo and really love them. I NY you have to be 18. My plan is to tell my kids that I will pay for their tattoo IF they pick something and want it for a solid year, like I did. I burned through so many ideas before I settled on the one I have, and I hate to think what would have happened if I didn't have the foresight to be patient. Reply I would tell them to draw a picture of the tattoo they want (or print it out, or whatever). If after one year they still want the same tattoo, and I approve of it, they can go ahead and get it. Teens change so much over the course of a year I doubt they will still like it! Reply Yes I would. But I would have them pay for it and pay for it's removal down the line if they hated it. I might draw the line depending on the content too. But there wouldn't be many topics I would ban honestly. Tattoos are a coming of age ritual for so many cultures. If my child chose it as theirs, so be it. Hell, I got my nipple pierced at 16. Oops! Reply I'm 21, and I STILL feel like I'm not ready for a tattoo. Just this weekend, a local tattoo parlor was giving 3 by 5 designs for only ten dollars to celebrate their grand opening, but I decided against going. The biggest part of it was I just didn't like the quality of the work, but I also didn't want to rush headlong into something I might regret later. As for my own children, I would follow much of the advice shown here. They have to keep the same design and placement for at least 6 months, pay for it themselves, and no names. I also loved what my mother-in-law did for her boys. She had the designs they wanted drawn in Sharpie, and every day for 6 months, she would redraw it. All of them gave up on it after a month! 1 agrees Reply Depends somewhat on the kid; but I'd certainly consider it. Bare minimum requirements, though, would be for them to have settled on the design for a full year before getting inked, and for them to pay for it themselves. If they're that committed to it, they're mature enough to live with the consequences 🙂 Reply My husband and I are heavily pierced and tattooed. we have agreed, other than ear piercing there will be no ornamental body modification until they are 18. We both waited until we were 18 for a number of reasons…We just don't see any reason to allow our children to put a permanent mark on their still developing body. at the end of the day we waited and so can they (it also doesn't allow them to come back on me for giving my consent for a tattoo they end up hating years down the road) 1 agrees Reply My (six-times tattooed) mother (though they're all pretty small) took my brother and I to Mexico on a cruise as our Christmas gift, and while we were there we each got a small tattoo. I was fifteen and he was twelve. Her restriction was that it couldn't be larger than a fifty-cent piece, and it had to be able to be hidden. I still love mine and it means a lot to me. My now 20-year-old brother isn't so fond of his, but then again, he got his initials tattooed on his own buttcheek. Perhaps twelve was too young…8^) Still, it was a great bonding experience for our family, and my brother and I remember that day fondly. As for my daughter, Olivia on page 1 hit it on the head with her restrictions. Very sensible, my friend. Reply No, I would not. I have some pretty large tattoos and I love them. However, I got my first small pieces at 17, with permission from my mom. I don't really like them anymore, but I'm not concerned enough to get them covered or removed. (While everything I've gotten over age 18, I still love and mean much more to me.) I hope to teach my teens that tattoos are 100% acceptable, but they are a decision to be made by a self-sustaining adult. And of course, I would want to make sure they are clear on shop and artist quality. I wouldn't recommend that anyone get a tattoo that they haven't planned on for at least a year. So if they really feel solid about what they want, it won't be much longer for them to wait anyway. Reply I would allow my child a tattoo on their 16th bday, because that's when I got my first. It was my mom's idea and she just stipulated it had to be somewhere easy to cover it up. 13 years later, I still love it and it's even more beautiful and meaningful to me now than it was when I chose it. It was actually insanely cool to uncover the layers of meanings in the design. It probably also helped that I was a pretty mature and intuitive 16 year old. My mom trusted me to make a good decision… If, God forbid, my 16 year old seems to lack foresight and judgment, I would hold off. 1 agrees Reply i would have to say yes. i got my first tattoo at the age of 15, and i love it so much! mom and i went in and got tattooed together. i designed it, and i wear it proudly to this day. i have since purchased equipment and the majority of the tattoos on my body are ones that i have done myself. i have a couple that were at one time crap, but i fixed them. if my daughter, or my stepson wanted a tattoo i would help design it for them, and if i thought the idea was stupid i would help guide them, but it would be hypocritical of me to say no. i have done so many cover ups on people of stick and poke tatts they got as teens and pre teens, and they all covered nicely. yes tattoos are permanent, but you can always alter them at later dates or cover them up. at the end of the day it really isnt that big of a deal. Reply I have 6 tattoos, my husband has full sleeves, a huge chest piece and one on his leg so we are obviously very tattoo friendly. My daughter is 16 and I would let her get a tattoo right now if I could, however our state doesn't allow tattoos for minors, even with parental consent. She really wants an origami coelacanth on her inner arm. She loves that ancient fish and it was an idea we both came up with months ago. I think it would be beautiful! Reply It depends. I have a few tattoos with plans for more as does my husband, sister, brothers, and many other people in my daughter's life. She is 3. When she was 2, she told me she wanted a sleepy tiger across her stomach. At that point, she still couldn't differentiate between tigers and lions, so I told her to wait. In all seriousness though, I think it depends on the kid, but I think I will probably encourage holding off until 18. As pointed out, because it's illegal in my state and because there are certain rights of passage that shouldn't be rushed. There are lots of things happening in the teenage years; I recommend enjoying them. 18 is soon enough to start the tattooing journey. Reply I guess it'd depend on my kid. We would consider it and talk at length about it and if they had bad reasons then it'd be a NO, but if they had good reasons then I'd work with them to design something and then make them wait on it. I can't honestly say that an 18 year old is overall more responsible or decided than a 16 year old. Reply as long as i pay their bills after 17, i was going to have my kid (s) submit a written request, essay format. 12 pt font, double spaced of what they wanted and where they wanted to get one, and what shops they have researched and the pros and cons of said tattoo and the placement thereof. and then they have to take me with them. even then, decisions for or againsr rest upon my parental discretion. no joke. all of this coming from me, who has several! but if they dont think about it, then they will end up getting a prison tat or a pink zebra on their face. body mod is something that kids see and want because its cool, and they dont think "oh shit i could get hep from this…." Reply I think it would depend mostly on my teenager's personality. When I was sixteen I had already planned out two tattoos that I wanted to get and I still want to get them but I have a serious phobia of needles. The tattoos I want to get are really meaningful to me and reflect important parts of my life and myself, buuuuut a lot of sixteen year old teens cannot think past next week, let alone twenty years to think if they REALLY want that tattoo. My fiance got tattoos as soon as he was eighteen. He spent five years filling in one of his arms and now he really regrets it because he hates most of them. They were basically random ideas that popped in his head, plus he never got them colored in properly, etc. So his experience makes me very iffy about letting my teen get a tattoo. I met a guy from Hawaii who is a budding tattoo artist and had the first boy in his family in twenty five years. He's convinced that by the time he is five the kid will have a tattoo (a family crest I think, or something similar.) and he was completely serious. I'm pretty sure I almost shit myself in horror. Just had to share that tidbit. Reply I had a friend who got a tattoo <18, but it was after the death of her best friend and it was a memorial tattoo– I don't think she'll ever regret it. But I think, had I been allowed to tattoo myself as a teenager– I would probably be running around with Sailor Moon or Gundam Wing tattoos O_O SRSLY. (absolutely no thing wrong with that, but definitely not for me) So I think it depends on the context 🙂 Reply I didn't read all comments but agree with most: oh no, definitely not. Besides the obvious fact that teens change their mind very quickly, their bodies are still changing, too. Especially boys, who might not have reached their final height at 16: what about getting a tattoo on a body that is still growing? Reply My parents never said no to tattoos (or piercings, or anything else of that nature) when I was growing up. Instead, they discussed consequences. Not the, "you're grounded," type, but the talk about how it would be there forever, how I might feel about it later, etc. Suffice to say, I am 23 and still without tattoos, though I'm considering a wedding ring tattoo when I get married. Reply I have an engagement ring tattoo and I love it to pieces… I'm trying to find someone willing to upgrade it to a wedding ring tattoo for next month 😀 It's nice to have an engagement ring I can't lose, and no prospective employer has balked at the sight of a visible tattoo- most don't notice, and those that do think it's awesome 😀 It was an excruciating experience though, not just for me but for my poor tattooist, who spent 45 minutes etching an intricate Celtic-inspired design around my tiny child-sized finger. Not sure if your marriage is impending or not, just thought I'd share my notes 🙂 Reply I agree with many posters, who suggested making the teen wait for a year. Conditions for sure! Another thing I would bring to the discussion is an awareness that tattoos are not as acceptable in many countries as they are in the US/UK. I got my first and only tattoo when I graduated from college, a few months before moving to Japan. I didn't know that tattoos are associated with yakuza (gangsters) here, and that many public baths and most gyms have no-tattoo policies. I've been kicked out of the public bath, and my husband had to put a bandage over my tattoo every time I went to the gym! Not fun, and something adventurous teens should be aware of. 1 agrees Reply I'm a firm believing in the 12-month rule. If a kid really, truly wants something for 12 months, and it stays the same something for that whole time, I'd be very willing to consider letting her/him get a tattoo after age 16. I hold myself to this rule (mostly so I don't end up absolutely covered in ink), and have ended up with only tattoos that I love and that are meaningful, or at least memorable. I'll impose some restrictions (no names, nothing "inappropriate," no brand logos or band/celeb-related commemorabilia) just because I know a lot of people who have regretted those types of tattoos, but my kids are free to get creative work from quality artists with strong, established reputations (ideally someone I or my FH have been tattooed by before). Piercings within reason are okay, but nothing on/in the mouth (health/safety reasons), nothing genital (here's hoping they never ask ME about that), and nothing that has a high infection/rejection rate. For either option, grades, behavior, responsibility, and all that other good stuff would be considerations, but as long as I felt that my kids were mature enough to handle it, why should I deny them something that has given me so much pleasure? Reply I have tattoos. Got them at 24. Regretted it ever since. I've finally accepted them after years but still don't like them. I've gotten others, which are easier to hide when they need to be, that I like a lot more. But I would definitely say no at least not until 18 and I would urge them to wait longer and make sure they knew what they were getting into. Maybe a sharpie one for a few weeks just to remind them it's not going anywhere. Reply My momma took me when I was 17, we got our first tattoos together… I had been employed for 4 years and the deal was that I paid for em and she signed for em. I got a tramp stamp. I have tattoos in 7 locations on my body now and my tramp stamp is now a full back piece. I think the decision has to be different from kid to kid… I was responsible,and my mom felt like it was something cool that I had earned. Reply No, I have tattoos as does my husband. But due to my brother, who is our artist, I think they should be at better place in their life to determine what permanent really means. I was 20 when I got my first, even then I think I could have waited. Ultimately my brothers rule is you have to sit on an idea for a least a couple years, if you can still say its the right one then go for it. Reply I would say no. I have a tattoo, but I didn't get it until I was 25, and it was something I'd wanted for a long time (to echo what others have already said) and it carries a lot of significance about who I am. But if I had to pick something in my teens (or even when I was 19 or 20), I would have HATED it once I grew up a little more. Reply As a 21 year old with no kids, I can't say I have a lot of experience with parenting. But I do have a lot of experience being parented. I can definitely say that I will never let my kids have a tattoo until they turn 18. When you're 18, you can make your own decisions, and parents have to accept that. But now, as a 21 year old, I am actually getting my very first tattoo tomorrow. Sure, if you're 60 years old, the difference between 16 and 21 is nothing. But undoubtedly, I was a completely different woman at 16 than I am now. My interests, my life goals and philosophies, my hobbies, my friends, the music I listen to, EVERYTHING has changed. I was mature enough to handle a tattoo at 16, but I'm so glad I didn't. Reply I got my first tattoo when I was 14. My mother brought me and my father paid for it. Eleven years later I don't regret getting it. It wasn't like my tattoo had any significance to me at the time but now it symbolizes a certain time in my life and is definately a good conversation piece. However, I am a mom now and I have to say I would not let my daughter get tattooed at 14! Reply My son asked me for a tattoo. I said "sure" providing that the tattoo featured neither cartoon characters nor words (two most regretted features), the artist was well-researched (I recommended British Ink in DC), and he paid for it himself. "Cool!" he responded, excitedly. [pause] "Wait, how much do they cost?" "Oh, they start around $100, no color." "Ouch!" It's been three years. He still doesn't have one. Reply I think I might have a 'stick to reversible modifications until your 20s' rule and suggest, for their own good a 'No band names/faces/symbols until you're 30 – if you still like 'em when you're 30, then they're with you for life at least' 😉 I have seen a few regretted band name tattoos in my time. Reply I think my parents handled it really well with me when I told them at 14 that I wanted a tattoo. They said, "The state says you legally can get a tattoo at 18, so you have 4yrs to think about it." I think they assumed I would forget about it! =D A few month after I turned 18, I got my first tattoo. Now, I get a new one every couple years, but I have a rule of thumb for myself. I generally think about it (with a design in mind) for a year before I actually get it just to make sure it is what I want and not just a phase. I imagine that this is what I'll use with my son when it comes up! 1 agrees Reply i got one when i was 17 because my mom knew i had been thinking and talking about what tattoos i wanted to get since i was about 5 or 6. she knew it was important to me and that i was responsible enough to handle the commitment. it's been several years and i still love it. i don't relate to it as much anymore, but i can look at it and remember who i was then. 1 agrees Reply Exactly, it's a snapshot of who you were at that point in your life. Reply My offbeat mama and papa bought me two tattoos when I was 16 as a reward for agreeing to go to college. Never regretted the decision, still love my tattoos (both highly visible on my wrists) and have gotten 2 more since then. My parents made the right call, but they also know me really well and probably wouldn't have made the same decision about my brother. Its all about knowing your kids and how well they know themselves. I'm sure if I'd wanted a 3 foot python wrapped around my neck and chest they would've been a little more cautious, but we're all happy with the choice they made. The only tattoo rule I live by is: no names unless they're blood related (since you can't escape them anyway). 1 agrees Reply i think part of a parent's job is to look at the long-term. studies now show that the judgment/long-term consequences area in most teens' brains actually don't mature until the early to mid 20s. so we stomp on a little of their vaunted freedom or creativity now and then — that can be good. it acquaints them with a reality that exists in the real world, that they can't do everythng they want because they feel like it. when they're 18, if they still want that peace sign on their ankle (the one i wanted at 15)? they can get it. if not, well, that's a good indication they shouldn't have gotten it earlier! also, for some kids it's helpful to have parental influence NOT to do everything in life immediately. "you should get a tattoo." "my parents would kick me out of the house!" it's nice for them to have something left to do by the time they're adults. if they've already been having sex, taking all the good drugs, getting tattooed, wearing slutty clothes, traveling the world… well, what's to look forward to? Reply I'm a moderately tattooed and pierced mommy. I decided shortly after my Monster was born that I would be okay with her wanting tattoos when she was older (by the age of 2 she ws expressing an interest, putting stickers on herself in the spots where I have tattoos). My rule is going to be that when she picks a design, she has to put it in a number of highly visible places, where she would be obligated to look at it multiple times a day, for at least 18 months. If she got through 18 months and still liked the design, I would take her to have her first tattoo done at a reputable shop and would get one with her. I have a tattoo that I got right after I turned 18, without looking into the shop, without much thought to the design, and matching someone with whom I was only friends for 6 months, and it ended explosively. I don't want her to make the same bad decisions, so I want to show her a better way to do it. Reply I have 4 tattoos and there is no way i'd let my 16 year old daughter(if i ever have one!) get a tattoo. Making them wait until they're 18 will not be the end of the world no matter what they tell you! I picked out my first tattoo when i was 13 and got it when i was 18 so i had 5 years to think about it, it isn't a tattoo i'd get now but it could have been worse. Make them wait then if they end up regretting it they can't make you feel bad about it because it was entirely up to them. Reply I'm only nineteen. When I was fourteen, I decided on a few tats I wanted to get eventually. The most important was a tat like my dad has– a bear in the Pacific Northwest Native style. My mom wanted to get me the tat for my 16th, but I chickened out (needles! ack!). She knew I was responsible and sensible enough to either be happy with what I got, or deal with the consequences. 1 agrees Reply I got my first tattoo at 16, and I decided on what I was getting maybe an hour before I actually got to the shop. I was more spontaneous than I am now (I'm 21), however I knew that I didn't want a tribal butterfly on my lower back or barbed wire around my arm (anyone who has those, you rock too :)), I knew I wanted something meaningful to me AT THE TIME. Because it was meaningful to me at the time, it still is now. I got 'loyalty' in a simple script across my foot. I dislike discrediting tattoo designs that come out of a book because the reason they are in a book is because they are generally amazing pieces that weave common threads through people. We are after all only human and we experience all the same emotions and express them in very similar ways, ex. a flower to represent a death of a loved one, birth of a child, a new beginning of your own life, anything and everything. So simply saying no because someone else has that tattoo is silly. If my kid picked up a book of Sailor Jerry designs and picked out the classic 'homeward bound' ship I would be proud. Also the whole talk of regretting tattoos makes me sad. You shouldn't regret the tattoo you got that expressed something meaningful to you, you should celebrate it a a part of your life that you're currently not living anymore. 1 agrees Reply i would be more ok with something not so permanent like piercings or dyed hair or something like that as long as my child could have those things at their school. I would hope that my child will be open with me about it things like this though, i would much rather be able to take them to a reliable artist than some random person and run the risk of getting an infection. i would pay for them to get a tattoo or piercing if the trusted me enough to let me take them! 1 agrees Reply Honestly, I would allow my daughter too, depending on what the tattoo was and what she wanted it for. If it was something that I know is not important in life (song lyric/ boyfriend name/ i love someone) definitely not. But if it was something honoring someone who's passed in the family, something like that, meaningful and beautiful, something I could see myself getting, I'd let her. 1 agrees Reply I got my first tattoo when I was 16, actually, and seven years later, I still love it just as much. I'm very close to my mother so when I brought up the idea of getting matching tattoos she was all for it. I got a celtic star and moon, she got a celtic sun. It has a lot of meaning for me. As far as my future child(ren), it would really depend. Maturity level is the biggest issue, some 16 year olds are fully capable of making that type of decision/commitment with real thought and meaning, while others are fully capable of making stupid decisions to try to look cool. It really depends on the kid, their maturity level, and of course what the tattoo they are wanting is. But the truth of the matter is, it's their body and I'd like my future kid or kids to have as much freedom as possible when it comes to expressing themselves, same as I was raised. And it wouldn't be on my body for the rest of my life. 2 agree Reply As a daughter (on the flipside of this) and a fan of sharpies, I had the tattoo i ended up getting drawn on for over a year. It got to the point that when i finally did get it inked, no one even noticed!! I think being dedicated to the idea and completely sure of it helps a lot. The "why" behind a tattoo can be just as if not more important that the actual tattoo. (it helped calm my parents that, when planning tattoos i realized i was going to go on to teach third graders. my tattoos are a bit like wheres waldo…and i have to go out of my way to show them off) Reply I am 17, when I was 14 I was in a severe car accident as a passenger, my foot got entirely de-gloved I would like to get a tattoo on my skin graft to make it more unique. But I have taken my time to figure out what possible tattoos I would want permanently and I know the tattoo artist and his shop very well he does some of the best tattoo work I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot, I have looked online and at pretty much every tattoo shop in my town (which there are a lot) and his shop is sanitary (they open brand new needles right in front of you) I know when I officially decide on my tattoo (which I am very close to doing so) then it will be one that I will not regret. Reply I think it's all about what they want and why they want it. I know when I was a teen of coarse who had them, not many people. But I wasn't one of the normally seen teens. I didn't want it to be cool or to show off. I wanted it bcuase my dad is in the US ARMY and serving in afganistan and what I wanted was right before he deployed I wanted and picture of him and take it to a tattoo parlor and get it on my bicept. Somewhere sometimes noticeable. You know it's there and if needed you can hide it Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.