Parenting Teens: Piercings and Tattoos?

7 years ago
Young Tattoed Woman

My son thought he'd shock me. "Mom, for my 18th birthday, I'm going to get a tattoo." He waited for my response, and I could tell that he hoped to get a rise out of me, and have me shout, "absolutely not, young man!" Or perhaps a while you live in this house ... type of response. But I didn't fall for it, and just calmly told him, "Okay. You are 18, you can do what you want, when you want. Just be certain it's something that you want to look at when you are 65."

I have tattoos, so nothing much in the neighborhood of tattoos will offend me. As long as the kid is over 18 and knows what they are putting will last forever, I don't object.

On the other hand, my 15-year-old daughter wants piercings. Multiple. Belly button, a rod in the ear, various other places -- although not breast or labial, thank God. But I'm not a big fan of piercings, and she trains Muay Thai. I've known girls who had piercings ripped out while sparring. So I told her no.

Part of his "yes" and her "no" comes from the fact that he's 18 and she's 15. And I view piercings differently than I do tattoos.

Where do you stand on both of these? Would you allow your teens to get either, neither, or both?

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