Teens, tattoos and piercings

Teenagers may want a tattoo to make a fashion statement.

Being a teenager is hard.

You’re not really a child, but you aren’t yet an adult.

But you are trying to find your place in the world. Set yourself apart from others and make your mark.

So what do you do when your teen wants piercings or a tattoo?

Raisingchildren.net.au suggests talking to your child first.

Find out the reasons why they want the piercing or tattoo. Do they want to make a fashion statement? Are they copying their friends?

Listen to their point of view, ask them why it’s important to them and try to respect their opinion.

But it’s also important to share your thoughts too, in a calm matter.

The parenting website says, for example you could say, ‘I don’t like the idea of you getting a tattoo at 16 because you might decide you don’t like it in five years time. And then it’ll be difficult and cost you a lot of money to get rid of it’.

Youth Law Australia says you need to be 18 to get a tattoo or body mark in Victoria.

It’s against the law for someone to tattoo you or make a body mark on you even if you have your parent’s permission.

But you can get a piercing under the age of 16 if you have permission from a parent or guardian.

And if all else fails – look for a compromise.

If your child wants a very visible or very large tattoo or body-piercing that you don’t want them to get, you might compromise on its size or location.

Another option might be delaying the tattoo or body-piercing until your child is older. For example, you might offer to pay for it for your child’s 18th birthday, if they still want one.

Government website Youth Central states when you do finally turn 18 and can be legally tattooed it’s important to do the following:

1. Do your research

2. Don’t follow the trends

3. Consider the long-term

4. Find a reputable tattoo shop

5. Respect your tattoo artist

6. Take care of your new tattoo