42 answers

Friend Allowed 14Yo to Get Piercings/tattoo

Hi all,

Just recently I learned a friend of mine allowed her 14yo daughter to get a tattoo along with a belly button ring and gauges for her ears. I myself was shocked, I think this girl is way too young, especially to be getting a tattoo. The last two times I've seen her daughter I've noticed her clothing choices are more "tiny" I guess you could say as to show off her new body accessories. Am I a prude (I'm in my 30's) or are there other parents/care givers out there that think 14 is too young too for body art? I feel like her mom turned her young daughter into a peep show for horny teenage boys and I think it's wrong. But then again, maybe I'm wrong in the way I'm thinking about this situation??

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My girlfriend was 20 when she had this daughter but she was married to the daughters father (since divorced though).

Featured Answers

Pretty much everyone I know that's gotten a tattoo before the age of 20 has regretted them. It sounds like the girl's mom is too busy being the "cool mom". I don't think you are being a prude at all. I am not a prude, but I think 14 is too young for all of that.

6 moms found this helpful

My father worked at a tattoo shop when I was growing up. I was 12 the first time I saw someone get tattooed and decided then and there I wanted one. My dad was all for it, my mother who had custody of my brother and I (and who was the one I was watching get the tattoo in the first place) said "When you're 18 you can do what you want". I ended up waiting until I was 20 before getting that first piece, because at 18, I finally realized why she made me wait. I had no idea what I wanted, or where for that matter. Making me wait forced me to really think about what and if I really wanted. Fast forward 30 years, my brother is now a very talented tattooist. and yup, my 14 year old has decided that she wants a tattoo. I told her "When you're 18 you can do what you want."

5 moms found this helpful

Crazy to let a 14 year old make body altering decisions.

And, I do have a tattoo and piercings - but I was in my late 20s when I acquired them - self supporting, mortgage holding adult.

4 moms found this helpful

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Pretty much everyone I know that's gotten a tattoo before the age of 20 has regretted them. It sounds like the girl's mom is too busy being the "cool mom". I don't think you are being a prude at all. I am not a prude, but I think 14 is too young for all of that.

6 moms found this helpful

My father worked at a tattoo shop when I was growing up. I was 12 the first time I saw someone get tattooed and decided then and there I wanted one. My dad was all for it, my mother who had custody of my brother and I (and who was the one I was watching get the tattoo in the first place) said "When you're 18 you can do what you want". I ended up waiting until I was 20 before getting that first piece, because at 18, I finally realized why she made me wait. I had no idea what I wanted, or where for that matter. Making me wait forced me to really think about what and if I really wanted. Fast forward 30 years, my brother is now a very talented tattooist. and yup, my 14 year old has decided that she wants a tattoo. I told her "When you're 18 you can do what you want."

5 moms found this helpful

I told my daughter that she could get any piercing she wanted at any age she wanted, because if she changed her mind and decided she didn't want it, all she had to do was take out the jewelry and let the holes close.
For a tattoo, she would have to wait until she was 18, because it's permanent, and I didn't want her getting stuck with something stupid that seemed like a good idea when she was a kid.
She took her time deciding what she wanted and got her first tattoo for her 21st birthday.

5 moms found this helpful

Crazy to let a 14 year old make body altering decisions.

And, I do have a tattoo and piercings - but I was in my late 20s when I acquired them - self supporting, mortgage holding adult.

4 moms found this helpful

I might allow a piercing, but never a tattoo. I had a piercing when I was 18, I wore it for a while, got tired of it and let the hole close up. You would never know it was ever there now. Tattoos are forever and I think that allowing a 14 year old to get one displays very poor judgment on mom's part.

4 moms found this helpful

I personally feel 14 is too young for tattoos in MOST cases, although many peoples across the world would disagree with me. Some who start tattooing at significant points in a child's life starting at about age 7 or puberty (13/14 ish). I can think of a few instances where I'd break my own rule on that one. Like if we were visiting some of those peoples, or the death of a parent. But in general, for permanent body art, I would want my son to wait.

The piercing doesn't bother me. Holes grow closed. Infants get pieced in our culture.

3 moms found this helpful

The only way my child(ren) will ever have a tattoo is if they are grown, out of my house, no longer reliant on me financially and pay for it themselves.

What good could possibly come from a 14 year old having something permanently inked on her body? Nothing. You are not off in your thinking. Mom is letting her head down a path that probably won't end in a healthy or wholesome way.

Yuck

3 moms found this helpful

If you are a prude, so am I, and so is my husband, and so are all of our friends. 14 is far too young. But, you can only control and worry about what your own children do.

I almost pity that young girl. Kids her age need boundaries and limitations in dress and behavior, and they need guidance from their parents. I hope all works out well for her. Hopefully this amounts to nothing and we are being too prudish!

=)

3 moms found this helpful

What self respecting tattoo artist will tattoo a 14 year old (no matter if with or without parental consent...)? I am all for piercings and tattoos, whatever floats your fashion boat I guess, but 14, really?
I think here (WA) giving a tattoo to a minor is illegal and would cost the "artist" his license...

3 moms found this helpful

I got my tongue pierced and a rose tattooed on my leg at 16.
My mom took me.
She got a tattoo on her ankle the same day.
It was her first tattoo and my first tattoo.

I loved it. It was a great bonding time with my mom. One of the few memories I have where I wasn't fighting with my mom and we weren't butting heads.

I still have my tongue pierced, have had for 16 years, half my life. Still have the rose (as well as 5 other tattoos). Both have a wonderful memories attached to them.

My daughter (who is turning 6 in a month) claims that she wants a tattoo. I have told her if she still wants one at 16, she can have one.
I started wanting mine at 14, I was made to sit on the thought for 2 years.

I don't think the age is as important as the waiting to think it over part.
But 16 seems to be my comfort range, I can see belly button ring at 14, maybe a tongue ring, but not a tattoo.
16 for a tattoo, piercings are removable, tattoos are permanent.

*** The ear gauging is ONLY permanent after it goes beyond a zero gauge, and not even then sometimes. I have a half inch in my ear right now and if I leave it out for a couple of days I have a hard time getting the ear plug back in. My best friend had zero gauges in her ear and let them go and is now back to normal earrings. 22 gauge is the normal size, the smaller the number the bigger the size, and after double zeros you go into 7/16th and half inch, which is me. Husband has double zero right now.***

3 moms found this helpful

I'd be against things that would be permanent at that age. I've changed my style radically about 8 times since I was 14, and am only 35! I did goofy things with my hair (mom understood hair grows back and colors go away), from the ages of 15 to 25 I experimented with piercings (nose, eyebrow, tongue, navel, barbells in the tops of my ears, nipples), but funnily, not all at once. I tried one thing, wore it awhile, tried a new thing. I pierced my nipples around 23 and was in a phase....a boy phase. Of course that was kind of what you called a peep show for boys....not entirely inaccurate though I probably would have argued that at the time. The belly button ring, I wouldn't be overly concerned about (but my clothes weren't inappropriate--actually quite modest in that they covered my body). My mom let me get the temporary stuff out of the way, out of my system, before old enough to start looking for a job. Safety pins in the eyebrow aren't impressive in interviews. But tiny clothing I would be a lot more strict about. As an adult, my impression of a 14 year old with a tatoo, piercing, and inappropriate (for her age) clothing would be that her mom was trying to live vicariously through her daughter, or trying to be "buddies" with her daughter. As a teenager (especially a teen boy), my impression of this 14 year old would be "Cool. Invite her to the party, she's easy". That is a problem, in my opinion. Not one you have any say over, but a problem nonetheless. A tattoo should be held off until she's old enough to ''know'' what she wants or at least has a maturity level high enough to take it seriously and understand the pros and cons about a permanent change. Or has had a real major life experience to commemorate, in my opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

Well I'm on the prude bandwagon and so is my husband.
My kids do not have any of that and will not while living in our house.

2 moms found this helpful

I think 14 is too young, that said- I knew SOME kids that got tattoos behind their parents backs if their mom and dad said no... at least if you give permission, you can make sure they go to a safe artist, ideally don't get something stupid tattooed on themselves, and care for it. I even tattooed my own ankle at 14(no, mom did NOT ok it)- but since I didn't know how to care for it, it got infected, scabbed and "came off" except for a few silly looking blue dots. I am lucky I didn't get worse.

Ugh... I think that is between the mom and her child. I don't think I would allow my kids to get a tattoo until the are 18 (when I don't get a say anyways LOL). BUT if it became a sticking point where I was CERTAIN that they were going to do it anyways, I might take them myself, rather than let them risk their lives (quite possibly) to get one themselves.

Every parent needs to deal with their kids in whatever way they feel is best. I think it is wrong if this mom is intentionally TRYING to get her daughter to get tattooed and body piercings, because these things leave a permanent mark... and there are so many other non-permanent ways to express yourself (clothes, hair, even henna). BUT- I think people shouldn't be too quick to judge mom- every child is different, and what works for one person's kid may not work for another. Maybe there is a lot more to the story.

-M.

PS: do you usually see her daughter WITH her mom? Or by herself? I was a notorious clothes changer, I would wear my titty-bittiest clothes when I was hanging out with friends in the summer, but keep the "appropriate" stuff in my purse, and change before I got home. I kept doing it until I was caught (oops) and my mom went through my room with a fine-tooth comb and tossed my secret stash of "tiny" clothes. OH MAN she was ticked!

2 moms found this helpful

I think she is simply allowing her daughter to express herself. I was not a young mom, I did not start having children until I was 25, so I don't think the age of the mom really plays into this. Do I think 14 is slightly to young for a tattoo? Yes, depending on what and where it is. My boys first got their ears pierced per their request at the ages of 3 for my youngest and 7 for my older boy. When at age 4 he asked to gauge, I let him go one size up to a 16, but said that anything bigger, as well as any other piercings, would have to wait until he was a teenager. I would be ok with him starting to gauge at 12 or 13, other piercings at 13 are ok. My rules for gauging are only up to a 6 or 4 since that will still close on its own, anything bigger and he must wait until he is 17. Tattoos at 16, if I approve the design and location, otherwise 18.
I myself decided I wanted and designed a tattoo at 12. My mom said no, I had to be 18. She was sure I would change my mind. I got that tattoo when I turned 18 and it is still one of my favorites.

2 moms found this helpful

I would not allow my daughter to have a tattoo at this age and she would not want the ear things.

I did allow my daughter to get a belly piercing which must stay covered at school and during cheer. She was 15 and I had to sign a release saying it was ok. A lot of the girls have belly piercings and that is something you can just stop wearing and it not be a big deal.

I don't have anything against tattoos, I have one and I do not regret it. It was a long thought out process and I don't believe a teen realizes that a tattoo is there for life unless you go to great lengths, expense and pain to get it removed later in life.

I don't think it makes you a prude if you feel this way. It is your friend and her daughter's business if they choose to decorate their bodies.

I am no prude, probably one of the most open minded out there... but I believe it is more important to be a parent vs a friend for teens. You should hear stories my daughter told me regarding some moms being friends vs parents at her last school.... My daughter dropped her so called BFF and I was confused about what went on. Come to find out, the friend started drinking and smoking pot and was bragging about it. My daughter is on the cheer squad, is held to higher standards and dropped the friend like a hot potato because she would not be associated with that activity. Guess where this girl gets her weed and alcohol?? Her BFF.. Mom. It sad to see what some parents do.

2 moms found this helpful

Awww... The good thing about this is it's not your daughter.. If that's what she does, oh well.

2 moms found this helpful

Well, I got my first tattoo at 17. It's a shame really. In our area (Washington State) a person must be 18 to get one. Even if their parent consents. My Mom was reluctantly on board. I had designed it myself, had thought on it on a year (a year seemed like a very long time when I was a teen), and had worked for the money.

Well, no dice. Couldn't get a talented artist to do it.

Patience is something I struggle with NOW. Then, it was an * impossibility*. Just not part of my personality. So I found a lad who was an apprentice in a reputable shop. He'd only tattooed a few people and not very well. He fudged the paperwork, I went behind my Mom's back, and got the darned think put into my skin.

The work is just awful. I still like the design, and I like what it represented to me then and now (it's about rebirth, and the relationship between light and dark), and think I could carry it throughout my life. I hate the way it looks.

So now I am (not successfully) saving up money to have it done over, by someone with skill.

14 may or may not be too young depending on many, many factors. For me, 17 was too young. Simply because I couldn't find a proper artist and lack true patience. 14 would have, for me, been way too young. I didn't know who I was at that point. That's not true for everyone. And, of course, our cultural norms vary as well.

Piercings? Oh heck. I've had my share. I pierced my own ears (high pain tolerance and an adolescent drive towards suffering - *sigh*). I pierced my belly button. I've had both sides on my nose pierced too. At this point, my tummy piercing scare + pregnancy looks pretty awful. And now I'm just not a fan (for myself). The only piercing I keep are one each in each ear. I don't have scars on my face or ears. So that's good. It was fun, and temporary. No big deal in *my* book.

2 moms found this helpful

The age for getting piercing and tattoos (without parental consent) is 18 for good reason. I have tattoos and piercings, but would NEVER ver allow my child to get either done (besides ears) before 18. You are not a prude, you sound like a responsible adult. I'll take a gamble and sat that your friend and her daughter are in for a long road...

2 moms found this helpful

I stretch my ears. Those are repairable. As long as she doesn't pass 10 millimeters (Speaking in gauge thats a double zero) they will heal up to about a 14, 2 sizes away from a standard piercing. I've stretched all the way to 00, gone back, and stretched again. I started at 14, and it took a year to get to 00.
I'm half your age and I think belly rings are just nasty trashy. Now, getting away from my rude opinion, I do not think a 14 year old has the mentality appropriate for a belly ring. I'm sure shes running around going "Look at my belly ring!" to all these little boys, and its very easy to push her shirt up, or pants down, and 14 year olds are more often than not followers (I am talking about my experience when I was 14 with girls that had belly rings, not calling your friend's daughter a hoochie or anything of the sort)
I don't know about Texas, but in Virginia anyone under 16 is not supposed to even be in a piercing or tattoo shop. I was 15 and only was allowed in because they were not piercing or tattooing, but my parents took me in jsut to have my plugs looked at. Just to make sure I was stretching correctly and that it was safe to go up again if I wanted (Which I don't)
Also, I am not sure what your friends daughter calls her plugs, but I do hope its not "gauges." Gauges is generally only accepted as a term for those who don't stretch their ears because people do talk in "My plugs are at 8 gauge" so it would be rude to correct a person who doesn't stretch. Since she is stretching, I do hope she has done her research because it is much more than just sticking a taper through and then a plug and going on about life. You can get mad nasty infections if you do not use the right materials (No silicone, no acrylic, no bone/horn/wood, ONLY 316L surgical steel is appropriate. You can have blow outs, which sometimes are not repairable. I had a minor one because I didn't use lube.
With lube you can only use a few different things. Jojoba, Emu and a few other oils are okay.
She should also clean her ears EVERY DAY.
Here is a photo of a blowout, and this one also has the "cat butt" effect (the wrinkles) http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_leoczd8jxx1qb8j4ko1_500...
As for the tattoo, thats just silly. I wasn't done growing when I was her age, and as much as I want tattoos I am not allowed till I'm 18 because that is a permanent adult decision. It has a chance of stretching and looking ick. I understand and respect that of my parents. They are more lenient with things with me, I dress how I like, its modest just dark. They don't mind me having piercings because I have taken such great care of my ears, and they allowed me to do this because I extensively researched everything, knew all the good and the bad, knew how nasty blow outs and all that were. I don't think her mom should allow her past a 6 gauge. Those will go back to standard piercing.

Sorry for this being so long, I hope this helps!

ETA:
She may also want to think of her future more. I want to be in a very artistic field and all of my tattoo ideas are very original and accepted in the workplace, visible. I know how my ears may look in the future (My brother is 9 years older than me and a tattooist/piercer and he doesn't believe in tattoos under 18, his ears are stretched to an inch and I'm prepared for the repercussions.)

2 moms found this helpful

In TX and many other states, tattooing minors is illegal. There are only about four states that a minor can legally get a tattoo with parental permission.

http://www.aaatattoodirectory.com/tattoo_regulations.htm

I'm afraid I would ask them where they had it done, turn the place in, and get it shut down.

And I have a tattoo and a belly button ring. I gave my stepdaughter a tattoo for her 18th birthday. If she'd gotten one at 14, I would have taken the actions above.

1 mom found this helpful

Well when my kids were little, I probably felt the same way.

Now they're older, not so much. My daughter (also 14) has many friends with piercings and/or tats. In a large upper middle class suburban school district.

However, my daughter will have to wait til she's 18, though she hasn't asked, I don't think it's her thing. Doesn't bother me other people's kids have them, but no, my house rules, you know?

I don't find it shocking or unacceptable anymore, no.

:)

1 mom found this helpful

I'm with you. I think it's too young.

But I guess it takes all kinds.

1 mom found this helpful

She is too young for all of that. I think she is setting herself up for some bigger issues as the girl develops/gets older. My children already know they can not get tattoos or any piercings other than 1 hole in each ear; until they are out of my house and self supporting.

1 mom found this helpful

In my opinion, 14 is WAY too young. Tattoos are forever. Ear gauges leave lovely big holes in your ears. Why a girl that age needs a belly button piercing is beyond me.
So many little girls these days want to grow up too fast as it is. I don't think parents should encourage it.
That's just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

I think 14 is too young. I am a weird one. I always knew I wanted to get tattoos, but I also knew that I wanted to wait until I had a design in mind that meant something to me. I was 21 and 33 when I had them done. I don't regret them. But think that anyone under 18 is too young.

Belly button piercing and tongue piercing are not my thing (only have holes in my ears)...and I still think under 18 is too young.

"tiny" clothes are a no no in our house. We are not by any means conservative thinkers, I just think kids should be kids.

1 mom found this helpful

14 is too young. I have tattoos and am all for them, but not at that age. I think part of the fun of turning 18 is doing things you couldn't do before!

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't get my first tattoo until I was 18. I did have my ears pierced I think with two holes in each ear by the time I was 14. I honestly think that getting a tattoo at the age of 14 is too young. As far as the piercings are concerned I don't see a problem with that.
I had my son at the age of 22 and now he's 5 and so far he hasn't asked to pierce his ears but he has asked about tattoos. Now I did tell him that I'll think about it when he gets older and when he turns 18 I'll pay for his first tattoo. I do let him wear the fake tattoos from time to time (when I remember where I put them) and if he wants his ears pierce I doubt I'll have a problem with that.
But it does sound like she letting her daughter express herself which is good.

1 mom found this helpful

Would NEVER happen in my household. I believe in letting your children make mistakes, but there is a point where the parent needs to step in and say no.

1 mom found this helpful

Why is she "too young" for a tattoo? I'm not condoning it. I'm really asking.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with you! I have told my oldest kids no tattoos or body piercing until they are 18 and don't need my consent. I don't actually know if they need consent for body piercing but definitely do for tattoos. They'll be able to do pretty much whatever they want to their hair as long as they pay for it themselves and it's something that can look decent for holiday photos and family parties.

I totally agree with you assessment that your friend has turned her into eye candy for teenage boys. I can't imagine why a mom would do that to her child. The tattoo might as well say "come have sex in my bedroom after school my mom won't mind." Sheesh!

1 mom found this helpful

Well.... I would never do that to my daughter, at that age.

Good, grief.

1 mom found this helpful

One of my sister's friends has a fairly large tattoo on the side of her body. It's very pretty, but I was shocked that she has it (I think she is 16 or 17) but my sister told me her mom took her to get it. I guess it depends on what each set of parents deems 'appropriate' for their child (say if they started getting tattoos young, then maybe they do not mind it). Overall, I do not mind tattoos (actually I really like them) but there is no way my 14 year old daughter would get something THAT permanent on her body. By 14.5 she may hate it and want it off!! I think there is a reason that the legal age to get tattoos is 17/18. That's the age of 'consenting' adults (in legal terms).

I even think a belly ring is a bit much (and hate gauges) but I tried (successfully albeit only for two weeks) pierced my own belly button when I was in 8th grade. I would never 'allow' my 14 or 15 year old to do that. At sixteen, I'd maybe consent to a belly button ring. not sure about the tongue or eyebrow...I'm not a huge fan but i think that would have to be something her father and I talked about. But no tattoos until it's not up to me anymore...LOL.

My mother let me get a tongue ring when I was only 14. Now that I'm 26, I realize she made a HUGE mistake! Parents are letting their kids grow up entirely too fast. I mean, gauges are one thing, but tattoos are permanent! And belly button rings are just another excuse for girls to wear tiny tops. I'd allow a facial piercing for my teen, probably not until 16 though. There are plenty of different kinds of fake jewelry that look real, that's what I'd give my 14 year old. She didn't necessarily turn her into a "peep show", as you put it, she did what her daughter wanted. Although, in my opinion, she should have said NO WAY! You are free to think whatever you want, but it is her daughter, so I really wouldn't ever mention it to her unless she asks for your opinion. I do agree about her being too young for a tattoo though...

I have three daughters and I will not allow any body piercings except ears. When I say ear piercing, I mean the regular not gauges. My oldest id 10 and says she wants her belly button pierced, but there is no way it will happen until she is 18! She thinks that the ear gauges are nasty so that is one battle I do not have to worry about now. She knows that once you do that to your ear it IS permanent. As for the tatoo part, 14 is too young in my opinion. My husband has one that he had before we were together, so of course my girls want to be like daddy. I have said that they will not be allowed to get one until they can pay for it and are at least 17yrs old. I'm sure I will have many battles in my house, but I do not believe in destroying your body!

I agree 14 is too young to get a tatoo. I think a person should be able to pay for their own. I also think it's too young for a belly button ring,she will be lifting her shirt for everyone to see it and what good will come of that? The ears I don't see a problem except this little girl might not like how her ears look when she is older. Those things all could have waited until she was a couple years older.
I don't understand why some parents make such immature choices? Parents should be parents not friends with their kids.

I think that's crazy, to allow your child to do such things at that age.It's inappropriate. It does not benefit her, so there was no need to have to do it at that age. What wouldve been the big deal if she waited until 18? Her body parts would've still been there- she could've done what she wanted later.
Just curious, was this friend a young mother ? Just curious as to why she would chose to be her daughters "friend" figure instead of a parent with rational judgement, and hindsight!

I agree with you, and will go one step farther. I think tattoos and piercings are low class! But that's the majority of people these days.

Wow! 14 is way too young! I remember the tattoos I thought I wanted at 14... Definitely not what I wanted at 18! Hopefully, tattoo removal is affordable for her later! I see young ladies with tattoos all over their beautiful faces, heads, and necks a lot lately! It's sad she doesn't have a good role model, but maybe that's what you can be! Without preaching to her, you can show her why she is beautiful without all of the aesthetics! Don't be judgie, that never works... If you are truly concerned, love her as if she were you daughter, and without forcing her, show her!!! A lot of young women are totally lost...

Oh, have you ever seen the ears after a couple of years of large gauges? Disgusting! Looks like an empty eye socket! Do not let your kids do those unless you show them pictures of the aftereffects first!

I think they should be at least 18.
Schools around here are supposed to require that all that be covered up.

yea I think 14 is too young to fully comprehend that tattoo is permanent!! I got one when I was 18 and knew everything about the world hehe. Now I wish that I didn't have it. At 18 it didn't sink it that it was a permanent thing.

Piercings, I can kinda see allowing, but even those don't totally go away. I pierced my belly button when I was 18 and then allowed it to close later. I have a stupid looking dot where the hole was and I hate it.

14 is too young. I told my kids that those decisions are made when you become legal (18). DD had her bellybutton pierced at 19. Waiting on the boy (18).

oh my! I am with you, there is no way I would have allowed my daughter to get any of those! My daughters now 19 and still doesn't have any:)

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