When we (I speak for the 40-somethings here) were younger, it was fairly rare that any adults around us had tattoos. Most of our parents would N E V E R let us get a tattoo. So naturally, I got one on the sly, modelled after Tiffani-Amber Thiessen’s bad-girl character “Valerie” from Beverly Hills, 90210. (I was a nerdy “bad-but-not-that-bad” girl.) It was a tiny daisy on my shoulder. “It’s a temporary tattoo from the PNE,” was what I told my parents. (sorry!)
Fast forward a few decades and tattoos, piercings and dyed hair have become far more mainstream. Teachers, police officers, and the Costco clerk are all somewhat likely to have a tattoo somewhere on their body. We are even seeing neck and facial tattoos in every day life and not just at Coachella (or whatever event is cool these days).
So my kids have absolutely zero interest in tattoos. My daughter asked if grown ups get to choose their own tattoos because she thought it was just a thing that grown ups do at some point.
Since many parents now have tattoos, I wondered how relaxed people would be about their own kids getting tattoos, maybe even in their teens.
The majority of the responses were in support of opening a dialogue, recommending that our teens wait until they are 18, and of course – coming up with the means to pay for it themselves. Most people said that their parents would never approve or even talk about it – so they just went out and did it. (I wasn’t even allowed to get my ears pierced sooooo…)
A few folks have tattoos they have “outgrown” to show their kids as a deterrent, like Chris L. and his “evil clown” that seemed so cool in the 90s. My kids would never believe me if I told them that barbed wire tattoos were the height of cool way back when. I can barely believe it! Of course, no offense to anyone with the barbed wire tattoo, I bear a tribal lower back tattoo so we are in the same boat.
There are definitely a lot of relaxed parents these days as many parents said they have or they will accompany their kids and even help pick the tattoo out!
Elaine offered some great, level headed tips that she has discussed with her kids, as her pre-teen has already started talking about his planned ink:
“Do your research, know your artist. Is the studio clean? Do you feel comfortable? Yes I believe you get what you pay for so start saving now.
If you have to ask your friend what you should get then you’re not ready for a tattoo.”
Tattoos have been around and will continue to be around, but will it just be more rebellious to not have any tattoos?!