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When teens want a tattoo

If you have a teen asking you about a piercing, more piercings, or maybe even a tattoo, you’ll be interested in the following from the New York Times. And if your kids are still tweeners and aren’t yet thinking this way, this is a good time to get ahead of the thinking on this one.

High ear piercings are now common, as are nose piercings and other body piercings. A Pew Research Center report cited in the new A.A.P. report said that in 2010, among 18- to 29-year-olds, 38 percent had at least one tattoo and 23 percent had a piercing somewhere other than the earlobe.  Source: When Adolescents Want Tattoos or Piercings – The New York Times

You can pretend this will go away or you can start to put some guidelines around the question immediately.  To start off with, most states have laws requiring parental c0nsent for piercings and tattoos. Some outlaw tattoos entirely for minors under the age of 18. You can find individual state laws at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ tattooing piercing laws page. Since this is both a legal and personal decision, you might consider the following:

The New York Times article also has a good summary of the considerations you need to discuss with kids even if you are inclined to be more liberal about piercings or tattoos. For example:

Finally, do not despair if you are adamantly against “body modifications” to your precious baby. Tattoos and piercings have become so mainstream that even the military liberalized its rules against them in 2015. That means what was edgy and hip may soon become old-fashioned. While my 17 year old daughter is anxious to turn 18 so she can decide on a third ear-piercing or a small tattoo, my 14 year old boy thinks the whole thing is silly. He may be an indication of where the tattoo and piercing market is going.