Ear piercing, circumcision, tattoos etc

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 61 moms have responded )

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There are many who are of the general opinion of "wait until the child is old enough to make the decision for themselves.



Well, someone raised an interesting point about that in a thread on the Welcome Page and I was curious about opinions here.



"Whats the difference then when that child gets older and they want it done and their parents say no? It is still their body they should be able to make that decision, right???"



So, if you, as a parent, say no to a tattoo, a piercing, etc, when they ask to have one at 9,12, 15 or whatever, does the same argument, that it is their body and their decision, apply? Why or why not?

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La - posted on 06/25/2010

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"Laura , as a body piercer what do you think about using a gun to pierce noses ??"

Loureen- I don't believe in using a gun for ANY piercing for a few reasons:

1- a piercing gun has plastic pieces which cannot be sterilized in an autoclave. The autoclave is what "bakes" our tools clean and is what medical and dental professionals use to sterilize equipment as well. Plastic melts at those temperatures. Therefore, unless the gun is a one time use tool it can carry bacteria and other pathogens from previous clients. Rubbing alcohol does not kill 100% of pathogens and stronger liquid sterilizing agents can be harmful to the skin in a fresh piercing.

2- piercing guns cause more pain and swelling to the customer. You are taking a relatively blunt object (the jewelry itself) and using force to ram it into the skin vs using a hollow, beveled, piercing needle which is sharp and cuts a hole into the skin. Think of it as cutting yourself by accident with a butter knife or a filet knife. Butter knife will cause much more damage and be way more painful than a sharpened filet knife. Same prinicple with guns and piercing needles.

3- (Related to #2) Piercing guns cause trauma to the area which is much more likely to result in keloids, irritation, and minor hypertrophic scar tissue. When you are using a piercing needle to create a small hole for the jewelry to sit in you are alleviating some of the pressure that will occur as a result of the piercing. When you use the gun, the tissue has no where to swell to and it creates a lot of unnecessary pressure in the immediate area. When guns are used on cartilage such as the nostril and upper ear, it is especially harmful because the skin in those areas cannot withstand as much stretching (from swelling) as the more fleshy areas (which is why you should not stretch nostril or ear cartilage piercings...they should be dermal punched). If the swelling is great enough, the inflammatory effect can damage the surrounding cells resulting in the "bubbles" that many people experience.

Caitlin - posted on 06/26/2010

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My girls ears will be pierced if and when they want them (within reason of course) but MY ears arent' even pierced, so I doubt it will be a issue for a while..

I USED to have 2 criss crossed industrial piercings in the left ear (both done with the dermal punch - I do my research). My nose (ring, not stud), my lip (a barbell through the actual lip, so when I closed my mouth there was one ball between my lips and one below - it looked so cool). My nipple (OUCH.. not the piercing, but I used to teach preschool swimming lesson and it got partly ripped out one day during a lesson when I got a kick to the chest and it got caught on my suit..

One of my tattoos I don't have a picture of anymore (dont' know what happened to it) and can't take a picture now because it's on my head... It's about 6 inches in diameter on the back of my skull.. I shaved my head to have it done, it's gorgeous.. A black and grey design of a lotus flower done in a symetrical design..

The other 2 are on my lower back... The symbol for chaos with a pheonix rising out of it (both were done at different times, the chaos symbol when I was going through group homes and juvie.. and the pheonix after meeting my now husband, symbolizing my re-birth from the chaos that was my life before (my husband has the pheonix on his arm as well.. we match..)

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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....never use a gun - it only separates the tissue and you get a scar - you have to use a needle (hollow) to remove the tissue.

Becky - posted on 06/25/2010

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Well, we didn't make the decision not to circumcise based on the "his body, his decision" principle, so I'm not a hypocrite. :) But, if you feel it's hypocritical to feel that way but still not allow your child to get a body piercing or tatoo, then I'm sure everyone of us is hypocritical to an extent. Because, I'm sure none of us allow our children to eat nothing but chocolate all day or to bake in the sun for hours on end until they're blistering. But if it's their body, their decision, then shouldn't we?? No, of course not, because it's our job to protect them and look out for their well-being. So, to an extent, like Sharon said, we do make the decisions about their bodies, at least until they are well into their teens and can be trusted to make responsible and wise decisions themselves.
While I would have no problem with getting my daughter's (should I ever have one) ears pierced once she is old enough to look after them, tatoos and other piercings are going to have to wait until they are of legal age to do it without parental consent and can pay for it themselves. For one, I'm not a huge fan of tatoos or a lot of body piercings. No offense intended to people who are, I just personally don't find them very attractive, with a few exceptions. (I had a friend who had a vine tatooed around her ankle and it was very pretty.) And my husband hates them, so even if I would consent, he never would! Secondly, tatoos in particular, are pretty permanent. I want my children to be at an age where they fully understand what they are doing before they do it.
As for circumcision, the reason we didn't do it is because it is not medically necessary and seemed quite painful for the poor baby. Our only reason for considering it was so the boys would be like daddy, and we decided that was not a good reason to strap them down to a table and with them conscious, cut a part of them off.

Krista - posted on 06/25/2010

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Heck, I'm their mother. I'll be a hypocrite if I darned well please.

That being said, as a parent, it is still our job to protect our children from harm. So if we feel that a certain type of body modification is harmful, then I really don't think I'm out of bounds in saying no, or at least "not yet".

Besides, there's a difference between making the decision for your child that they CAN'T modify their body, and making the decision for your child TO modify their body. The latter is irreversible -- you can't go back and un-pierce an ear. The former is not irreversible -- it's simply delaying the piercing until the child is older.

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61 Comments

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[deleted account]

It's funny to me that I just came across this topic as my husband and I got into that discussion yesterday. We met a teenager (Max 15 years old) with a lip piercing which made me ask myself if I would let my 15 year old get piercings...

I would not accept tattoos until they are 18. I might make an exception if it is a tattoo to commemorate the memory of someone dear. I keep the right to veto on anything and get to veto the shop they go into to get it done. As far as piercing goes, I prefer not to get the ears done while the kids are infants when they reach enough maturity and responsibility and want them done then that is fine. Nose piercings, eyebrow piercings are fine to me as well. I will veto the type of jewelry worn and which studio will do the piercing. When they are 18 they can wear whatever the hell they want in their piercings but until then, it's their body but our rules.

Cyn - posted on 06/28/2010

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Under the law (at least here in Ontario) the child is a minor until 18 years old. It my child wants to get his/her ears pierced they can do that as soon as they are old enough to ask. Body modifications or tattooing can't be done (without parental consent - and sometimes not even WITH parental consent) until a person is 18. Once my child turns 18 it is his/her choice by law, until then it is mine.

Charlie - posted on 06/27/2010

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LOL thats what the tattooist kept telling me before he linked my initial and my fiances initial , i dont buy it , people break up with people not jinxs from tattoos and i can always get it covered if something did ever happen :D

La - posted on 06/27/2010

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Getting the name of anyone but your children or parents tattooed on your body is the kiss of death....

LaCi - posted on 06/27/2010

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Piercings don't bother me, take the bar/ring out and it's good as new. I wouldn't allow the really HUGE plugs, I know a guy who actually ripped one of his earlobes open and now has two dangly bits instead of an earlobe-bleh. Also may never shrink completely. Thats something he can do as an adult.

Tat's don't bother me, school rules dictate that they have to be under clothing. I wouldn't sign off on any names, because I'm sure I'd be thanked for that within a couple months. I would probably make him beg for it for a while, that way I know it's not a week long impulse and it's something he really wants.

Circumcision can be done on his own terms as an adult, I will not sign off on that when he's a minor.

Amie - posted on 06/27/2010

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Our son is intact, if he chooses to as an adult (or has a medical need for it before then) he can/will be circumcised.

Our oldest has earrings. She asked for them when she was 8. We let her do it. Why? Because it's a pretty innocuous thing. If she ever decides later on she doesn't want them anymore. She takes out the earrings and never wears a set again. The holes grow back in.

Tattoo's on the other hand are not so easy to remove. They are life long in most cases. When my children are 18 and can sign off on it on their own they can do what they want, even if I don't agree with it. However if before 18, they show maturity and a good reason why they want a certain tat, then I will sign for it when they are 16.

Body piercings are a whole other deal. It depends on what kind it is. My sister has a munroe, my mom has a nose ring, my brother has two spikes through his lower lip. I feel no need to put anything in my face or any other part of my body but my ear lobes. I have no idea why any of them did it honestly. However same rules apply when they're 18, go nuts. Before that maturity and a reason.

Lea - posted on 06/26/2010

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I think that taking a girl to get her ears pierced is a great experience. Tats and other kinds of piercings are best left to when they make their own choices - after 18.

Amber-Dawn - posted on 06/26/2010

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I plan on letting my daughter get her ears pierced when she wants them. As far as other piercings, she can get those when she can A)Pay for them herself and B) Sign for herself.

As far as tattoos go, she'll be allowed to get one when she's sixteen, within reason. Same rules apply for tattoos as piercings if she wants more. The only thing with telling you children they're allowed to get whatever they want when they can sign for/pay for it, is they will probably come home with something you really hate.

Like when I came home with snake bites (piercing on either side of your lower lip), my mom wasn't happy, but I was just following what she said lol I could sign, and I had extra cash, and I love them :) I've wanted them since I was twelve.

Rosie - posted on 06/26/2010

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you know jodi, i have no clue how his mother know, and now that you say that i'm kindof afraid to find out, lol!!!

i'm with loureen on this, i feel tattoos and piercings (well some piercings, the whole nose one where u look like a bull i'm not to fond of, and i'm sorry but the stretched out lobes are icky for me too) are hella sexy. show me a sleeve as well and i get a good feeling, lol!!!

i agree jodi that it's hypocritical to say it, i circumcised all 3 of my boys and that's my explanation behind it (other than the health reasons) it's my kids body i get to decide what he does and doesn't do with it.

La - posted on 06/26/2010

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I don't think it's tacky to pierce baby girls ears. Most girls want their ears pierced anyways and I'd rather do them before she was old enough to play with them while they were healing. Plus since she has such little hair growth I am glad that they make her look more girly. She handled getting her ears pierced better than she handles her doctor appointments.

[deleted account]

Haha! Jocelyn, I had MY nose done some 20 years ago now but when I did it was with a gun....YIKES! When I had my daughter's ears pierced it was done by a professional friend of ours and with surgical steel and teeny tiny lil' diamonds.....I absolutely adore them and they look wonderful, IMO....apparently there's tons of you that think it's tacky but I don't care ;)

La - posted on 06/26/2010

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Gold is a porous metal and can trap bacteria. Sterling silver is not the same as surgical steel and will usually cause a poor reaction in many people. Surgical steel has different grades. 316L is most common surgical steel used. 316LVM is medical grade surgical steel and is better than 316L. Titanium and niobium are two of the best metals to pierce with because they have a high polished finish (not porous), they have low amounts of nickel (which is what many people have problems with), and they are usually well made pieces (but harder and more expensive to find).

[deleted account]

Oh great, I got my daughters ears done just before she was 3 and now i feel bad. But i don't think i know anyone or anywhere that doesn't use a gun :( They also told me that any where you go they will only ever use gold earings. After much searching i still couldn't find someone who doesnt use gold. Only reason for my research is that my daughters ears would not heal and had constant puss until i changed to sterling silver.
If only i lived in a bigger area with more options.

La - posted on 06/25/2010

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I've had to remove many embedded piercings that were done with guns...the jewelry they use in them is usually one length and doesn't accomodate for a person's anatomy differences very well so if someone swells a lot or they pierce an area thicker than an average ear lobe the skin grows through the back of the earring or over the front of it. I've cut jewelry out of ear lobes, inside of nostrils, traguses (plural of tragus?...tragi?), lips, even a cheek! I had to use numbing cream and scalpel open the inside of this poor guys mouth to get the cheek one out. There was about 1/4" of skin grown over the front AND back of the jewelry. It was completely engulfed.



Edit to add: This is why I will be doing all of my childrens piercings myself...because there are too many hacks out there who don't know what they are doing and will pierce/tattoo anyone with anything just to make a quick buck off of it. Places in the mall like Claire's and Piercing Pagoda are the worst because they have had NO training in piercing, anatomy, bloodborne pathogens, or sterile technique AT ALL. Totally unsafe!

Jocelyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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Loureen they really pierced your nose with a GUN??? I have NEVER heard of that... o_0

La - posted on 06/25/2010

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Even though I got most of my major mods when I was 21-24 my mom was still HORRIFIED at some of them. When I had my tongue split she didn't talk to me for a week. I guess as a parent you are always going to have strong feelings about your kids and their choices even once they are over 18 and not living at home.

[deleted account]

My son can do anything he likes to his body once he's 18 including piercings, tattoos, circumcision (even though he finds the concept horrifying and barbaric).

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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yeah i wondered about the cleaning of those guns , all my other piercings ive had were with needles and no problems at all so i was surprised when they used a gun and it was so painful and took ages to heal .

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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haha i can stick Q tips through mine , they were stretched unintentionally by kids ripping my earrings out at school .

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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Laura , as a body piercer what do you think about using a gun to pierce noses ??

Its just every time i get it done with a gun i get this bubble under it , when i take it out i have no visible scars or bubble and we have no body piercer around that does it any other way , is this a common problem with the gun ?

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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I have to take more pics, since (apparently) I'm using the wrong external HD - according to Toa - not that he knows where the 'right' one is....{men})

I'll get on that tomorrow.

'till then, I posted the pic of me & my friend Christina on the whore bus.



;)

La - posted on 06/25/2010

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Oh and as far as stretching...my ears are 5/8" and hubby's were 7/8" but he shrunk them back down to 1/2". I can store baby carrots in my lobes.

La - posted on 06/25/2010

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I was a fulltime body piercer until my daughter was born. At one point I had 30 piercings, a few body modifications, and numerous tattoos in highly visible places (knuckles, collar/chest area, back of neck). I don't regret any of the modifications I have or have had, but there are a few things I would do differently...for example the first few tattoos I got (one with a fake ID when I was 17) were not done that well. I like the designs, but I wish I had waited and saved up more money to get them done by better artists. As far as how this will apply to my children: I pierce their ears myself when they are between 6-12months old (I have a LOT of discrepencies with piercing guns, gold jewelry, and aftercare used by most places that pierce kids). There are a few other piercings that my partner and I will allow them to get before they are 18. No ear cartilage piercings before 13/14, MAYBE a nostril stud before 18. No tattoos before 18. And if they DO decide to get piercings and tattoos we are taking them to highly reputable shops.

Joanna - posted on 06/25/2010

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I was only ever able to put Q-tips through mine. I was aiming to get pens and pencils in there, but then I got sick of the stretching and took them out. I kind of miss them.

And my pics are posted.

Jocelyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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Jenn I'm on it!!! Although I don't know where my candy canes are :( *tear* I'll look for them later (after dh's rugby game!) I might have to make due with some of my other equally-as-awesome earrings ^_^

[deleted account]

It is VERY interesting, Jodi....especially because I'm one of THOSE moms who pierced her daughter's ears. lmao. I feel somewhat vindicated! ;)

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2010

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"i say i have control over their body until they are 18, so i get to decide all of these for them. problem solved, lol!"

Kati, I am not just singling you out, your quote was just the closest, LOL. But it does show exactly what I am saying about the hypocrisy. This is the same argument used by the mothers who are piercing their baby's ears at 3 months:)

I'm ok with hypocrisy BTW, I just found it an interesting perspective.

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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Oh Dana , i think everyone looks better with tatts LOL i see a hot guy and then i picture him with sleeves Hahaha .

Ears pierced when they ask is when they get it .

Anywhere else that has an age requirement by law i would wait till then , piercings is 16 here in Aust i think , although i had several facial piercings i had done myself when i was 13 , my mum had no idea haha im so sneaky .

Tattoos i LOVE tatts , i seriously would love to be the first person to buy my sons first tattoo IF he wanted one and only after long hard consideration and since im paying he has to get it by an established artist there is a difference between your everyday tattooist and a tattoo artist IMO.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2010

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@ Kati
Ok, now I'm curious.....How does mum "find out" about a tattoo near her 14 year old boy's balls?

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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ok, everyone post pics of your tattoos on the photo section.



(and your big ugly stretched out ears too)



;)

[deleted account]

I personally LOVE tattoos and piercings.....I find men that have them MORE attractive! To each their own, I guess!?

Jocelyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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You mean you don't find my ears attractive Hannah?
*runs away sobbing*
....
I wear candy canes in them at christmas time ^_^

Rosie - posted on 06/25/2010

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when my husband was 14 he tattoo'd an eye, yes an eye, on his inner thigh, close to his balls, lol! his mom found out and gives him shit constantly about it. she buys him monster inc. toys (the eyeball guy, i think mike), and if she sees a candle that is an eyeball chad gets it, or one year there were eyeball smoke bombs for 4th of july. oh funny times, he he.

i say i have control over their body until they are 18, so i get to decide all of these for them. problem solved, lol!

Hannah - posted on 06/25/2010

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I got my daughters ears pierced at 4 months and she did great with them. Our pediatrician advised to either do it before 6 months or after the age of 5 because anywhere in between, they mess with them and get infected. We actually got them pierced at the pediatrician's office.

As far as tattoos. I have my first when I was 16 with my mothers consent and I probably would let my son or daughter too. Obviously the tattoo would have to be approved by me. I hate the ear stretching thing though. I personally think it looks yucky and would advise against it if they wanted to.

Caitlin - posted on 06/25/2010

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My mom was 100% against tattoos or piercings and my sister - ever the rebel went out and got a huge tattoo on her back that is really quite ugly, I remember I was in on the whole secrecy thing, and I put on the tattoo goo for her for the week or so afterwards. My mother never found out about it, disowned her for a completely different reason.

I have 3 tattoos, my first at 16 (against the law technically, but I looked older than I was). I had a bunch of piercings and they are all out now, but I think tattoos should be thought about for a while before getting them. 2 of mine were impulses, and all I can say is i'm glad I had the sense to not get a name or a tattoo in a very conspicuous place. I have 2 on my lower back and one on my head.. I love them to pieces, they all have their special meanings to me in my life and when i'm done with having kids, I will have a tattoo designed for them, but yet again, small and discreet. I woudn't let my kid do it before they are legally allowed and if I found out my kid had found a way to have it done at a tattoo shop without my permission, they'd have a seriously pissed off mom on their hands. Piercings, I don't mind as much within reason, but certainly when they are old enough to understand what they are portraying image wise...

Jocelyn - posted on 06/25/2010

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Lol exactly Jenn; I was piercing myself by 15 years old and I was also the go-to girl for my friends wanting to get pierced. If a teen wants something, they are going to figure out a way to do it regardless of if they have their parent's permission! 7 years later and I'm still the go-to girl for piercings! lol.

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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Oh, and my mom also 'put her foot down' about tattoos.

I got my first one when I was 13 - she didn't see it 'till I was 17 - and by then I had 4 or 5 more.

....where there's a will, there's a way.

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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Sharon - tell your co-worker to look up a makeup called Dermablend - it's a 'corrective' makeup. It completely covers tattoos, it's water-proof, and it won't come off on clothing.

I've used it to cover mine, and we all know how many *I* have.

=)

[deleted account]

Their body, my choice... until they're 18.

My son is circumsized. My girls (at 8.5) don't have their ears pierced yet... even though they want them. No tattoos under 18 and being paid for by THEM... except under possible extenuating circumstances (but highly unlikely). The girls will be getting their ears pierced. I'm using it for 'responsibility leverage' though. ;)

[deleted account]

I pierced my daughter's ears at 10 months.....IF and when she wants to modify her body more at a later date, we'll " cross that bridge when we get to it! "

Sharon - posted on 06/25/2010

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I am soooo!!!!! loving the hypocrisy!! This is awesome, lol. I'm just glad I'm not alone, lol.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/25/2010

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I agree ewwwwww!
I would wait until my kids are older to make an informed decision about these things. There's a difference between them growing up and wanting their ears pierced but not understanding that it will actually hurt, and wanting their ears pierced and fully understanding that it's going to hurt a bit and they'll have to take care of them. Like Sarah said, a 6 year old will just see how pretty the earrings are. But a 12 year old will understand that they have to make holes in your ears so its going to sting. They need to understand how to care for them. I got my ears pierced at 7 and they got mega infected and I had to let them close up. Then I got them re-done at 16 and it was all good. Just because a younger kid is saying they want it done, the parent needs to make a decision about whether the kid actually understands it.
I also agree with Sharon. While they are under my roof, they follow my rules which means no tats! I also have a friend who has a massive tattoo of his ex g/f name. He's really regretting it. I don't mind tats, just when they are old enough to actually realize the repercussions of 'forever'.
As for circumcision.... ouchies! I think it's best done as a baby! Can't imagine a fully grown man going through it.

Joanna - posted on 06/25/2010

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In regards to the topic, yes it is my child's body, but like someone else said at 9, 12, 15 even, they are not done growing, physically or emotionally, so I would have to say no until I was 100% sure that THEY were 100% sure in the decision. Plus, there's the legal ages for things (some places legal ages for tattoos/piercings is 16 with legal guardian's consent). My daughter can get her ears pierced when she asks and can take care of them (maybe around 9 or 10), and I'd possibly allow other piercings around 16 if she shows responsibility. Tattoos, not until she's 18 and has had time to decide on it herself.

In regards to the piercing thing though, I have SO man scars on my face from all my facial piercings, most I had less than 2 years. Just little dot marks, but they are very noticeable. But with my lobes, I had them stretched to a 2g (not as big as I wanted them but I got sick of the stretching), and took them out after having them for 5 years and they shrank right up to a normal earring size, within a month or two.

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