Tattoos, Piercings, And Other Things I’ll Never Let Into My Home

CA12644I’m going to sound old and out of touch now – but I’m okay with that. My children will not have tattoos, piercings other than basic ear piercing, or any other permanent body alterations done while they are living under my roof. Not because I dislike tattoos or piercings – but because I believe there are some boundaries that should be set by parents, so kids are forced to wait until they are mature enough to make certain decisions.

Tattoos are incredibly expensive (if they’re done right) and they are a life-long commitment. If anything, I want my child to understand that the kind of commitment a tattoo takes requires work, money and certainty. If the answer to the question “What do you want for your birthday?” is “I want you to pay to permanently modify my body” – the answer is no. If somehow, my teen manages to have a job that allows him to afford this on his own – the answer is still no.

I believe that if my child becomes fascinated with tattoos and piercings and if it’s something he’s really supposed to have in his life, the desire will stick around until he’s legally allowed to make those decisions without my permission. At that point – I won’t be able to stop him. But also – if he expresses an interest in these things, I want him to be educated about them an as art form; I’ll  buy him books, I’ll take him to art exhibitions – I will do everything in my power to support and nourish his interests. It’s not that I think teenagers are incapable of making decisions, or that I think a tattoo or piercing is a bad one – it’s that I think some decisions have permanent repercussions, and it’s my job as a parent to guide those decisions.

I think there is always a bit of parental influence shrouding the decisions that teenagers make – whether that is good or bad depends on the situation, I guess. Tattoos are important works of art and serious commitments. I will teach my kids this – just as I will teach them about many other of my own personal ideologies. If that makes me overbearing – so be it. To me – that’s parenting.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • ElleJai

    My stepmother always said I could do what I wanted when I was legal, but I’d better be damn sure it’s what I wanted.

    I have 5 tatoos. 3 I love (although the placement of one I should have considered better), 2 are eh, but all 5 have a story and meaning to my life.

    Piercings wise I had about 22, staggered at various stages, and as long as you don’t stretch they’re easilye removable when you’re bored.

    My only rule for my kids is that you will allow me to interrogate them regarding their health and safety adherence. A side of Hep C, for example, with your tattoo is not preferred.

    • Blueathena623

      I have 9 tattoos, and of those, i have 2 that had and still have serious meaning for me, 4 that had significant meaning at the time but due to placement location if they disappeared tomorrow I wouldn’t re-do them, and 1 that I don’t mind but my husband dislikes because its on my bum. The other two are fine, mostly forget they are there.

      Of the two that have serious meaning, one was the tattoo I drew up at age 16 and waited until I was 19 to get, and the other was a very tough custom piece that I saved a lot of money for. So those are lessons I will be passing onto me kids in terms of tattoos.

  • thisshortenough

    Piercings will close back up if you remove them and are nothing more than a dimple after that as long as it’s not implants or stretches. Tattoos I kind of agree about though

    • Lee

      I got my eyebrow pierced 10 years ago and only had it in for about 6 months. I still have to holes where the piercing was. My husband still has holes where his eyebrow piercings were too. I don’t regret the piercing and the holes are small but they are there are noticeable.

  • wonderstruck

    I think the whole ‘not while they’re under my roof’ thing is likely to come back and bite you in the ass. Let’s say one of your kids turns 18 in their senior year of high school, and takes money from their own part-time job and comes home with some kind of facial piercing. Are you really going to kick them out?

    • Emme

      I can’t speak for the author, but uh, this exact same scenario happened to me, and my mother most definitely kicked me out. I was 18/19, an A student, and employed, a “good kid.” But she told me if I got [another] tattoo she would kick me out, and I went and got another one, so she followed through! I wasn’t in high school–I think that would be a little different, but I was barely a legal adult. Looking back, I have a lot of respect for her for doing it.

    • pixie

      My best friend told me that when she got her tongue pierced at 15 her mom kicked her out for a couple of weeks. Her mom also kicked her out for short periods of time for various other “offences” as well and then kept feeling guilty and begging my friend to come home. She gets along with her mom, but there’s definitely a lot of resentment there for the less-than-stable teenage years. (she might not have been the easiest teenager to deal with, but she was a lot better behaved than her older brother and younger sister, neither of whom ever got thrown out, even when her sister decided to run away for weeks at a time at 16/17).

    • blh

      Why would you respect her for doing that? She seems like a controlling bitch.

    • Rachel Sea

      Because following through with consequences for breaking rules is part of good parenting.

    • guest

      Because this was a clear violation of her terms and conditions for living in her house. She is the parent – the child knew and tested her. Good for her- and I am also glad that the op has respect for her mother’s actions!

    • Maria Guido

      No way – I should have been clearer about that. I wouldn’t condone or pay for it – but I would never throw my child out of the house.

    • wonderstruck

      Thanks for the clarification! Glad to hear that. My mother felt the same way as you, and I came home on my 18th birthday with a pierced lip and nose, so that’s why I was wondering. She wasn’t happy about it but just kind of rolled her eyes and ignored it. I ended up being allergic to the metal in my lip, getting an infection, and having to remove it anyways. I think it lasted maybe a couple of months. The nose ring I didn’t take out until 25, but I don’t think she ever minded that one as much. Honestly, I haven’t really thought about how I’ll handle it with my kids. Piercings I don’t mind so much since they’re easily remove-able, but tattoos are a different story.

    • Lisa

      My parents had the same rules that you do. Like other commentators are saying, I’d maybe phrase it differently so that it’s clear that you don’t condone and won’t pay for it while under your roof, but other than that, I think your stance is completely reasonable. My parents’ want my sister and I to make those kind of decisions after we’ve thought about them and can take care of the consequences on our own, and I’d say it’s worked for us as a family.

    • pineapplegrasss

      What you tell them is that if they come home with a tattoo, you will pay to have it laser removed. That’s what I told my girls and even though they talked about getting one a lot as under18teen’s, they never did. I was serious, and I think they knew that. I really would have done it. I’m actually a very lenient parent, but I put my foot down when it comes to body mutilation. I don’t want to start a tattoos are not body mutilation fight here, I just personally, do not approve of my teen daughters getting tattoos. (Dad has many, many tattoos, I have none) I did let them get a few piercings though.

    • pineapplegrasss

      And no stretched ears allowed either.

    • matt30fl

      That kind of all falls into the category of “things to get after you have a good job, not before you go to the interview”.

    • Allen

      Yeah, I think that wording carries more serious implications than what was probably intended. It’s one thing to not let your minor child get tattoos and piercings. That’s completely reasonable. But a lot of people live with their parents when they’re over 18, even if it’s only for a short time while they’re on break from college, or just after graduating. And sure, since the kids are adults, the parents can set whatever conditions they want. But I think telling your college student child that they can’t stay at your house over the summer because they got a tattoo is, well, rather controlling. I don’t think that’s the type of situation the author was imagining, but that’s what “Not while you’re under my roof” implies to me.

    • meteor_echo

      Example: I’m 25, living under the same roof with my parents. Seeing as how I pay some of the bills and a loan they’ve taken, it’s also my roof, and if they started trying the “not under my roof” bullshit, I’d remind them that it’s also MY roof and I’m free to set rules for myself here.

  • barefootwithoutagun

    I’ve been a professional body piercer going on 14 years now, and I fully agree that tattoos/piercings should only be undertaken when the recipient is mature and sensible enough to a) understand the full implications of how they’re modifying their body, and b) employ proper aftercare techniques.

    Here in the U.K., you must be 18 or over by law in order to be tattooed. Piercing is more of a grey area, but it’s widely accepted that 16 is fine for most piercings other than genitals and female nipples (18 for those!). That doesn’t stop many unscrupulous ‘kitchen magicians’ from mutilating youngsters though, and these people tend to get work through word of mouth, the fact they’re not fussy about I.D., and ‘Yeah but Mum, all my mates went there and only two of them got infections.’ Argh.

    • Eve Vawter

      I think you should write about this for me, because so many moms have tats and piercings now and basically it’s all we ever talk about

    • barefootwithoutagun

      I’d love to! It’s the kind of discussion I can find myself embroiled in for weeks. Seriously, I’d be happy to write something for you :)

  • Cee

    My mother and her sister (my aunt) were the same way.

    My mother discovered a huge bar sticking out of my ear cartilage during Thanksgiving when I was 16ish/17ish. She flipped, my dad shrugged and laughed. I would later get more piercings. My cousin would go on to get two HUGE wrist tattoos while under my aunt’s roof.

    I think for the most part, my cousin and I were bound to get what wasn’t supposed to be attained under our respective mothers’ roofs, but the fact that it kept getting drilled on us that it wasn’t supposed to happen actually kept reminding us that they existed and that we might want them.

    I guess I would advice you to keep your rules, but choose a way to express your disapproval without being so constantly passionate about it because it may be counter productive.

  • pixie

    Ear piercings were fine with my parents; they took me to pierce my ears for my fourth birthday. Even when I got my second holes and cartilage pierced, they didn’t bat an eye (I was 17/18 when I got those done and paid for them myself).

    When I was in university I got the top and bottom of my bellybutton pierced, my right nipple pierced, and my nose pierced. My parents weren’t thrilled, but as I was old enough to make an informed choice and pay for them myself, they didn’t get mad at me. Same with my tattoos. They accepted that I was an adult and able to make my own informed decisions on body modifications, and even if they didn’t agree, they at least knew I was smart enough to research tattoo and piercing places and not go blindly to “Joe’s tattoo, piercing, and hep c emporium”.

    I do agree with your policy; I hate seeing parents taking their 13 year olds to get bellybutton rings and then seeing the piercings get infected because the 13 year old doesn’t know how to properly care for a healing piercing. Not that all 13 year olds are like that or all older people are able to perfectly care for piercings and prevent infection, but I’ve known more than a few preteens/young teens who end up with nasty infections. As long as you teach your children the importance of permanence and waiting for something they want (tattoos are permanent, and if they want their nose pierced at 15, it shouldn’t e a huge deal to wait a few more years to decide if they really want it or change their minds…even though I know waiting even a week for something at 15 can seem like an eternity).

  • shelby

    I was 15 when my mom took me to get my belly button pierced and received 7 of my tattoos my between my 16th and 17th birthday. All which my mother had to sign for. And all of which I paid for with my own money.

  • Bebe

    I saw a dude in the window of a tattoo shop getting tattooed on the boardwalk at the beach when I was 7. I immediately demanded that I be allowed to get a tattoo, too. My dad explained to me that tattoos were for adults, and that I would have to wait till I was 18. I continued to love tattoos most of my childhood and teen years, drawing them on my dolls, drawing them on myself, wearing fake tattoos in high school when those were a “thing”. I read about the history of tattooing, read tattoo magazines, and couldn’t wait to get my first one at 18. My dad and mom of course would never have allowed me to get a tattoo before then, even if that was legal. They didn’t rail at me about the evils of tattooing, and I don’t think they would have kicked me out and made me sleep on the street had I come home with some bad underaged ink (because, I’m sorry, but that’s shitty parenting no matter how you justify it.) For my 18th birthday, I got…a stupid, shitty tattoo. Because an 18 year old is in theory no smarter than a 17 year old. I was about 25 before I realized that it was a stupid, shitty tattoo…and I had it covered up with something better. I have 27 tattoos now, and I love them all, but I don’t think that I would have been greatly diminished or suffered too terribly to have had some bad scratch work at 16. People have different lessons to learn, and different ways to learn them.

    The problem with “No X under my roof!” is you might have to put your money where your mouth is someday. You might want to ask yourself if you’re willing to have your 16 year old sleeping in the bus station over a tattoo before you make such blanket announcements to them.

    • Kheldarson

      I don’t think the statement “No X under my roof” necessarily equates to “You do this and you’re out” automatically. It more means that, as a parent, you will not be doing anything to encourage such behavior and that there will be repercussions to participating in such behavior.

      For example, if a child got a piercing they weren’t allowed to have, then step one would be to take the earring away. The piercing would then be allowed to grow over. Then I’d find out how, as an underaged child, they were able to get such a thing done and probably make sure contact was limited with whatever parties facilitated it.

    • smishsmash

      I think the key here is IF you find out about it you would be taking things away and limiting contact. My father in law instituted a no tattoos and piercings rule and guess what, both my husband and BIL have them, just in not very visible spots that my in-laws didn’t find out about until well after they got them.
      I personally think rather than a “not in my house” rule, if you actually want your kids to listen to what you feel are reasonable requests about body modifications, it’s much better to just sit them down and openly and honestly dicuss your concerns. Might still not work and they may still get the tattos/pircings,but it would probably limit the amount of secret prince alberts lurking in your house.

    • darras

      I’m with this. My mother was always quite vocal about disliking piercings and tattoos when I was growing up. But because she always talked about it with me in a rational and calm manner I never felt like I had to hide anything from her. I got my tattoo when I was 19, six months earlier I had talked to her about it and shown her the design I had in mind. She was still against it but she was so happy that I’d come to her to talk about it, listened to what she had to say and THEN made my decision that there was no drama when I decided to go for it some months later.

      My friend got her tongue pierced and tried to keep it secret from her mother. I mean really.. how is that ever going to work?? My mum was sad for her mother that she’d tried to keep it secret and was doubly glad I’d felt I could talk to her about my piercing and tattoo. We’re really close even now as I near 30 and I’d have it no other way! I hope to emulate her parenting (well most of it anyway..) with my son. Openness is always more important than the strictest of rules! And a child will respect a rule far more if it is explained in a rational and discussive fashion.

    • Tinyfaeri

      I kept a tongue piercing from my parents for over a year, and I don’t know if my dad ever knew I had one. I didn’t open my mouth a lot when I talked (still don’t, really).

    • jenstar

      haha it’s possible? I am hereby impressed! My friend’s got nasty infected, there’s no way she could keep it secret ;)

    • Rachel Sea

      It takes people ages to notice I have a tongue piercing. Unless I fail to cover my mouth when I yawn, it’s not visible.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Yup! That was what got me!

    • Gangle

      I don’t think Maria actually said ‘no X or you will be sleeping under a bridge’. She just said that she would not give consent or condone tattoos or piercings for her children while they are underage. She fairly clearly stated that she would be willing to explore the history and art of tattooing with them if it seems to be something they are really interested in, and I get the impression that if once they turn 18 they decide to get tattooed she will be ok with it. She just wants to provide some definite boundaries, because that is what being a parent is about. Besides, I kind of think if you allow kids to just do things because ‘what harm is there’ you kind of ruin the fun a little.. It is all that excitement you get to look forward to, like waiting till your old enough to walk to school on your own, wear make-up or drink.

    • elegantapple

      Totally agree.

  • Kheldarson

    Sounds reasonable to me. I’m reminded of a story shared to me at one point (I don’t remember where or who) of a family who took care of random impulse buying in a similar way: it had to be up on a board for X months (I think 3?) before Mom and Dad would spring for it. This taught their kids early the value of patience and making a decision. Your statement does the same thing by saying “This will have serious repercussions; let look at it until you can make the decision on your own.”

  • jendra_berri

    I think up until 18, you’re 100% right to prevent them from altering their body with a tattoo. Here you can pierce things at 16, though. I wouldn’t go so far as to ban it, though, unless the hole would be permanent.
    Once they’re at the age of majority, well, good luck. They will be at the mercy of their own bad decision making.
    Of course, not every tattoo is a bad choice. And you won’t necessarily see a tattoo. There are plenty of places you wouldn’t notice. For example, I have one on my bum. No one sees it unless I choose.

  • Lithy

    I think it’s a good idea to demonstrate an appreciation for art and showing them how to decide and look for the right artist and shop. However I think your “not under my roof” rule is extreme. Especially considering how temporary and easily removable peircings can be. I have had 9 peircings in my face, all bar one have been removed and unless you knew me previously or I told you – you wouldn’t know.
    Also I think making the consequence for making a personal choice regarding their appearance is that they can’t live in the family home anymore going a bit far. I’m all for not letting them get body modifications until they can legally and they must pay for it themselves but the thought of my daughter feeling she had to leave home to get a nose stud just feels unbalanced. Especially if she was paying for it with her own money.
    My mum used to lose her mind about my peircings when i was a teenager and in chats with her since then (it’s been about ten years). She mentioned that in hindsight she feels she made a big deal over nothing and that in reality a small peice of surgical steel circling my lip really had no impact on anything other than me and my experimentation with my appearance.

    • Blueathena623

      Tongue piercings can chip teeth and in very rare cases injure nerves in the tongue. I don’t think its wrong to say that if she is paying the dental bills, no tongue piercings.

    • JLH1986

      I had a nose piercing and to this day you can see the hole. So not all can just be removed without lasting proof. While I loved my piercing (and if I could get away with it professionally I would get it again) if you are hugging me etc. you can clearly see where the stud was and I’m asked about it. So it’s hit or miss if there are no lasting impressions.

  • Kay_Sue

    You can always react the way my grandaddy did when my aunt came home with her first– “Well, now you’ll never be able to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.”

    Please don’t ask me why my Irish-heritage, Independent Baptist, Appalachian coal miner of a grandfather thought this was the primary way to express his disapproval.

    Anyway, I think it’s totally appropriate for a parent to withhold the permission–and bankroll–for these things until their children are adults. It doesn’t seem like you disapprove of the action itself–it seems like you want to make sure that they are not making a decision that does, in fact, have permanent ramifications completely on the fly. Totally reasonable.

    • Magrat

      Now I kind of want to use “Now you’ll never be buried in a Jewish cemetery” as my go-to expression of disapproval for my kids, who will be raised Pagan/borderline atheist.

    • Kay_Sue

      You will go down in your family legends for it. He certainly did. That was nearly 20 years ago, and we still laugh about it. ;)

  • Magrat

    My mom wouldn’t allow anything but a basic (single) ear piercing until we were 16, and then we could only get a basic second ear piercing. I actually found it incredibly condescending, partly because it was clearly part of the same baggage that had her mom complaining about her clothes when she was a teenager (my mom was always a tomboy, and my grandmother would literally say things like, “You can’t go outside dressed like that. People will think your mother doesn’t love you!”). It wasn’t about me learning responsibility, it was about her not wanting to be embarrassed by how her children looked, which is stupid.
    Tattoos I understand, because they’re permanent, but I don’t plan to forbid my kids to get piercings, as long as they’re done safely and professionally. My thought is that as long as it’s reversible (piercings, hairstyles, clothes), teenagers should be able to figure out where their own boundaries are. They’re not going to automatically have better judgement at midnight on their eighteenth birthday, and saying “Well, I won’t be responsible for it anymore” is kind of passing the buck. You weren’t responsible for it in the first place, as long as it isn’t illegal and you made it clear to the kid that they’re responsible for it.

    • Rowan

      When I got my nose pierced – in my 20s – my mother saw it on a visit home and went into full Drama Queen mode. “You might as well have just written ‘I hate my parents’ across your face!!” Er, riiiiiiight…

    • Rachel Sea

      My mom did the same thing when I got tattooed. She even went so far as to lament that I could never be buried in a Jewish cemetery – never mind that for three generations, all of our family have been cremated.

    • Rowan

      When my mum saw my (first) tattoo, almost the first words out of her mouth were “Now you’ll never be able to wear a beautiful short-sleeved wedding dress!”

      Well, that’s my life over, then!

    • Magrat

      Once when I was a teenager I mentioned wanting to get my nose pierce, and my dad said, “Well, I wouldn’t if I were you.” I didn’t say anything, but my reaction (besides wanting to punch him) was, “Um, actually, yeah you would if you were me.” I got it done when I was about 19 and I’m honestly not sure he’s ever noticed. He also always told my sister and I that tattoos are awful and we should never get them. But when he first saw mine his reaction was, “That’s a really awesome tattoo!”

    • Cara

      When I was 15 I kept asking for my seconds done, my mother would always stall so I did them myself. She grounded me for months, but this only made me more rebellious.
      Now as a parent I try to not be controlling and overbearing because I don’t want my kids to be like I was.

    • Helena

      Honestly, I kept on telling my parents that I was going to get my ears and lip pierced. They didn’t believe me, but when I came back with said piercings, they were angry at first, but was then impressed that I did want them so much to go against them, being the good kid I was. Then, they told me that I could keep my ear piercings if I took out the lip piercing. So I took out the lip piercing. Drama over.

  • Meg

    While “throwing your child out of the house” may be dramatic, your house means your rules. If all house and parental rules went out the window once the child is no longer a minor but still lives at home, no one would ever move out! It’s excellent motivation. Of course you should still be a loving and supportive parent. I will also say that I worked at a tattoo and piercing studio for years as a teen. I saw so many regretful pieces with regretful owners. And when I look at my sketchbooks and the tattoos I was “sure” I wanted, all I can say is thank god I didn’t. I have some closed holes in my face that are rarely noticeable now, but I strongly suggest waiting, thinking, and making a truly informed decision.

  • jane

    So something I’ll never have a “rule” about. Do I want my kids to pierce their noses or get a tweety bird tattoo? Of course not. And I hope that as they get older we can have conversations about permanent decisions and making them wisely. (For example, I normally tell my HS students that if they want a tattoo, they should draw it out, put it in a drawer, and forget about it for a year. If they still want it after the year, they should go ahead and get it).

    But ultimately, their bodies are their own. Hopefully they won’t fuck it up, but it’s theirs to do with as they will.

  • Momma425

    Ha, my parents had the same “no tattoos and piercings under my roof” rules.
    My sister has a giant tattoo on her leg, and multiple piercings in each ear.
    My brother has two tattoos and got both of them while living at home and nobody knew. He still lives at home.
    I got my tits pierced when I was 18 years old, as well as my belly button. Lived at home for years, again, nobody knew about the nipple piercings. I also have had five different ear piercings, at one point had a nose pierced, and have 2 piercings (still there) “below the belt” if you will- although in all fairness those didn’t come until after I moved out.

    How did we get away with continuing to live at home while disrespecting boundaries? I got pregnant at 18 (I am the oldest) and then again at 21. My brother struggled with drugs all through high school. By the time we were getting piercings and tattoos and old enough to pay for them ourselves, mom and dad decided that a little hole in my belly button was the least of their worries. When my sister got her tattoo, I don’t think my mother even batted an eyelash. She doesn’t like it, but picks battles much differently. Stuff she thought was a big deal when we were younger turned out to be a drop in the bucket.

  • TngldBlue

    I got a tattoo at 16 and my parents didn’t know about it until I was 22. This was pretty common in my circle of friends at the time. So I think my personal approach will be that if my daughter wants a tattoo or piercing we will talk about it. While I would hope she would follow my rules, I know from my own experience even “good kids” don’t always do that. I’d rather know about it and be able to guide her to making a wise choice and if that choice is to do it, make sure it’s done safety and by a professional then have her be sneaky and have it done in some random guys basement (like many of my friends did).

    • Magrat

      This is the really important thing to me. Especially since piercings and tattoos can get infected so badly, I don’t want my kids risking permanent damage because they were afraid to come to me.

  • LettyLiberatore

    Every Young Boy and Girl is to take a Tattoo in Our body.

  • meteor_echo

    I started having my ears pierced since I was 13. Now I have 9 ear piercings, a bellybutton and a nose piercing, and one tattoo, all paid for with my own money (yes, even those that I got at 13). It’s my own body, I pay for the mods that I do to it, so it’s nobody else’s business. I don’t interfere into my parents’ decisions about what to do with their bodies, they have no right to interfere into mine, providing that I’m taking full responsibility about them.

  • Guestling

    I think your idea of education on the matter is really key. I’m a huge fan of well-done tattoos and piercings, and my dad has a few tattoos. My mother hates them, but she understands that it’s my body and I’m an adult now so she doesn’t get all judgey about them. When I turned 18 I wanted one and to make sure I didn’t get one that was poorly done or impulsive my dad agreed to pay for it as a birthday present if I waited a year and still wanted the same design, and took me to his guy. I have a couple new ones now and I’ve only gotten them from that same artist (who, even with parental permission, refuses to do them on anyone under 18). I have friends who had really strict parents who wouldn’t even have a discussion about these things, and as a result they ended up with “secret”, cheap tattoos and piercings that weren’t cared for properly. I think it’s fine to tell kids to wait, but educated them on why is an important part of making sure they get it done safely.

  • Alexandra

    My mom wouldn’t let me get my ears double pierced at age (I think) 10 or 11? So I did it at sleep away camp with a needle, ice cube and lighter (to sterilize the needle of course!!) Needless to say I was afraid of my mom enough that I took it out before I saw her at the end of the summer. I do think it would have been safer for her to take me to a reputable piercing place, but I have to say that I understand it was something she didn’t believe in (she’s VERY conservative). It will be an interesting line to walk when I have my own kids of that age – and I don’t envy any parents of teens or tweens!

  • Thyme Lord

    My parents always stated that as long as they didn’t have to pay for it, or sign for it, they would deal with whatever I did to my body. I dyed my hair constantly starting at age 14, and while my mother was not pleased with the colors, she didn’t force me to stop or anything. When I turned 18 I got my first nose piercing, and I warned my parents about that 2 weeks in advance. Since then, the only piercings my mother has voiced her opinion about was my septum, and my micro-dermals. She has told me on multiple occasions that while it is my choice, it does upset her, and it’s taken her almost a year to be able to say that she doesn’t mind my piercings. I only have one tattoo, because they are permanent, and much more expensive. The way my parents went about it, I never felt judged or forbidden to do anything, but I knew I had to wait, and that it was a big deal, and should be thought about.

    • pixie

      When I was 17 my mom decided to treat me and paid for me to dye my hair purple with pink highlights. :)
      She has the opinion that hair grows back so if I wanted to do something “fun” with it, she had no problem. (other than dying my hair black, because my hair is blonde and blonde doesn’t always recover well from being dyed black).

    • Thyme Lord

      Yeah, I have (had) natural auburn hair, so my mom was more upset that I might not be able to get my hair back to my natural color

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    yeah…good luck with that… i was raised by two very different parents. mother who was 23 years my father’s junior.
    he was dead set against any modifications whereas she was cool with it.
    my granny paid for my first tattoo at 18, and my mother paid for my nose rings.
    my father accepted that it was what i wanted and my way of expressing myself.
    he even came with me to get my tongue pierced.

    i am 23 now and have 23 piercings (2 in my nose, two in my neck, 22mm stretched earlobes, 5 others in each ear, tongue,four in my bellybutton and each nipple done too) and 7 tattoos, including both of my sides and a massive backpiece- it hasn’t changed my attitude or who I am.

    Kids are going to get piercings/tattoos done with or without your permission. my parents decided they’d rather see to it I went to reputable studios rather than get a buddy to do a scratch job.

    My kids are at the age now where they know I will be the strict one with regards to piercings but at least I have the right to comment on it because I have so many myself.
    Seeing as my partner is a tattoo artist also, he can handle that side of things.

    Kids will always disobey the rules and always push that little bit harder- the issue is whether you can put your views aside in the face of their safety.
    My mother put it to me perfectly, when at age 14, I wanted my nose pierced with two hoops- “It’s your body, you’ve to live with it, but as long as it does not damage you, do what you want”

  • elegantapple

    I hate how kids are growing up with lack of discipline. The people who promote letting kids be free to do what they want are the main ones who complain about the amount of idiots in our society, due to the lack of discipline from parents. She’s the parent, she pays the bills, so it’s her rules. You have to understand, the permanent decisions you make as a child or teenager can result in regret latter in like. Tattoos and piercings are permanent (well, tattoos aren’t always permanent because you can have them removed, at an expensive price). I had to abide by my parent’s rules too, and I appreciate their discipline, because who knows how I could have been without it. I don’t know. I think I might be the one with the unpopular opinion.

  • SarahJesness

    Sounds reasonable to me. Tattoos are permanent and teenagers won’t usually be the same person in 5 years. Getting a tattoo at a young age is much more of a risk since it’s harder to be sure if you’ll like the same things in a few years. I’m considering getting a tattoo someday, but I want to wait a little while to see if the ideas I have now will still be cool to me in a few years or so. (it’s not like I’ll have the money for it any time soon, ha ha)

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  • Guest

    I don’t understand the lumping of piercings with tattoos as permanent. When my friends and I were teenagers, we all had a peiercing phase, and most of us got our piercings with our parents. After a couple of years, the novelty wore off and by graduation, and
    College orientation, and we had taken them out. I think this approach for piercings makes most sense – let them try it out when they are young and the stakes are low rather than when they are interviewing for their first internships.

  • Jude

    Kids can’t be trusted to pick out a picture they want on their body, but they’re expected to choose and invest tens of thousands of dollars in lifelong careers at that age. Honestly, I’d rather find myself at 30 regretting a butterfly on my shoulder than my career choice.