So, I know the PC answer here is that our children must wait until they are 18 like everyone else, BUT... I know of 2 instances where someone let their kid get tattooed before 18 and I sort of don't have a problem with it (for them).
Seems hypocritical since I made my son wait until his 18th birthday and threatened him that if he got a tattoo from anyone but my husband he would NEVER get tattooed at our shop and also filled his head with all types of cleanliness, health and safety issue horrors, all in an effort to keep him from going elsewhere or letting some sketchy sketcher fuck him up before he turned 18. In our case it worked. He waited and got a really nice tattoo for his birthday. But... SEVERAL of his friends have gotten tattooed before age 18 in street shops, just walkin in. WTF?
Anyhow, the first person I heard of was a guest tattooer at our friends' shop in Denver. His daughter had been begging for a tattoo since she was about 8 years old. He kept putting her off and making her wait, thinking she would grow out of it and change her mind. She didn't and by 12 years old was talking about it non-stop. So then he set up a series of goals and expectations for school work and chores and behavior, and told her if she did it all she could get a (tiny) tattoo. He figured she would never be able to comply with the entire list. She did everything he asked her to do. So, then he was kind of stuck and had to honor his word so he gave her a tiny dime sized star on her shoulder. (Her name is Estrella.) That parlayed into 3 more stars, one for each family member so she now has 4 little stars. I still think 12 is too young, but after hearing the entire explanation from this guy it somehow started to sound ok in this instance.
The second is an acquaintance of mine who's let her son who is 15 get a few tattoos. (I think he has 4 or 5 now.) He's grown up in a tattoo shop and will most likely tattoo for a living. I think he is already learning. And there are other circumstances that I won't mention here, but if you knew this family, Im telling you it just wouldn't seem that weird for mom to allow this. In my mind 15 is different than 12, but both are not 18 at the end of the day.
I think my final stand is that it's not ok for my family but I can see how it might be ok for others. Mind you these are parents (or friends of the parents) tattooing their own kids in their own shops. Im not in any way suggesting that one should ever tattoo a minor that you didn't personally know, even if the parents were there. I know my husband would never do it, under any circumstance.
So the question of this thread is... is it ever ok?