Thursday, May 03, 2012

Your Turn

So, with the story about a woman being arrested and charged with child endangerment after taking her five year old daughter to get tanned, I'm wondering what is the right age to allow your child to tan or to get pierced or tattooed or anything else that is generally not done until the child is older.

53 comments:

cheesegrater15 said...

Whatever the legal age is for each. If I had a kid that wanted any of it, I'd just say, "When you can legally do it without my consent, have at it. But you're paying for it."

seaward said...

Right on, VC. I totally agree.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kathrynnova said...

no comment on the appropriate age for these things - but i've always been rather surprised that nobody freaks out when parents pierce the ears of their newborn children.

Beth said...

As crazy as that woman seems to be with her tanning, I don't think she took her kid to be tanned; she just took her to the salon.

I hate ear piercings on babies. I think children should be able to decide for themselves when they are 5 or 6. It's not permanent, and if the parents can care for the child or it can care for the piercings themselves, I don't see a problem. (This only refers to earrings.)

Beth said...

@kathrynnova, I'm pretty sure they pierce babies ears at Czech hospitals. I always saw newborns, including boys, with piercings.

cheesegrater15 said...

Yeah, the earrings on babies thing is tacky as shit.

ms snarky said...

The appropriate age is NEVER.

NaNa LaLa said...

When they are out of my house!

I'm a total hypocrite, though. I have a nose ring, and 3 tattoos if you count my whole back as one tat, lol. And my husband (their Dad, since you have to clarify that nowadays) has sleeves. But, I had the same rules growing up and got my first tattoo the day I moved out at 18.

My girls are only 10 and 5, so we'll see. They are just so pretty that I don't want to see them get any body modifications, dye their hair, or basically grow up in anyway.

If I had to choose for them to get a piercing (besides on ears) or a tattoo, I'd pick the tattoo. Nothing worse than holes in faces after you get tired of the jewelery.

SueRH said...

18

Anonymous said...

Ear piercings when they're old enough to ask for it and take care of it themselves (teens.) Tattoos when they're legal to go get and pay for them on their own. Tanning is never b/c I'll be teaching my kids to put on sunblock at the same time I start teaching them about brushing their teeth and washing their face. Use the fake stuff in the bottle if you need a tan.

ForSure said...

That child has probably taken a good long look at her mother and figured out that tanning beds are very bad places (and they are). But people know smoking is bad and do it anyway, so go ahead and lay down in your cancer bed because you think there is something wrong with your natural skin tone.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm not anti-tat (I have 7) but I just think once you're legal this sort of thing is on you.

Del Riser said...

For tat's whatever the legal age is in the state. I allowed my daughter to get her ears pierced when she was in Jr. High.

Tanning in a booth is really never a good idea.

I asked my daughter what my dad asked me, "Why would you want something permanently on your skin that you wouldn't hang on your wall?"

Sadie said...

18 period. No ands, ifs or buts.

Brenda L said...

I let my daughter get a belly button piercing at 14. I figured if she ended up hating it, it's not something that would be noticeable anyway. She still loves it and she's 22.

Ms Cool said...

Same as DianaofThemyscira but the piercing only applies to ears. I have a boy who doesn't seem the slightest bit interested so no worries here.

Maria said...

I had my ears pierced as an infant. It's definitely cultural and if I have a daughter I will do the same. Tattoos after 18 if they choose. I do like my hubby's line about tattoos - "Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?"

Maja With a J said...

I would let my kids get tattoos and piercings at 16 (ears probably a lot earlier than that) if they really wanted to, but I'd prefer that they'd wait. And I hope no kid of mine EVER goes tanning! *L*

Maja With a J said...

I speak English good.

Honeykatt said...

I pierced my daughter's ears when she was a baby. It never occurred to me that people DIDN'T do this with baby girls. But I do agree, as far as tats and body piercing, when you can legally do it and can pay and care for it yourself, I am fully supportive.

Susan said...

I am an out and proud Jersey girl, but the whole tanning/spray tan/fake tannery thing skeeves me the fuck out. I went tanning ONCE in my life. I was a maid of honor for the 9,000 time, and I totally had tan lines. So my sister is like, "Sue, you HAVE to go tanning." So, I buy like a 30-day plan at the Hollywood Tans or whatever it is. I'm in the booth down to my undies. Meatheads to the left of me; skanky girls to the right. Some kinda goggle or patch on my eyes. Standing there, thinking, "Seriously. Why the fuck am I here?!?" I started feeling itchy and nauseous. I went straight home and took a shower never to return.

I'll tan at the beach or by the pool, thank you very much.

Tattoos and body piercing - hell to the no. So glad I do not have a girl.

I guess if my kid wants these things, he can do so when he hits 18. I always felt like body piercings and tattoos are a way to say, "Fuck you," to your parents. Hee.

MISCH said...

I think tanning beds are dangerous, I have no idea if she allowed the child to use one. But did you see her ? The woman is a tanning junkie, her face is frightening and the knowing she did this to herself leads me to believe she has a big problem. This is no different than being a drug addict.

auntliddy said...

Perfect answer.

Gtzisshe said...

As a teenager who loved piercings, I was always able to find someone to pierce me without my parents consent. I started at 15. And I paid for it with my check from work. But then again, i'm from San Fran, there's piercing/tattoo shops everywhere.

Redheat said...

Tanning - never! or at least they would have to be on their own.

Piercings - ears- agree with some others, when they are old enough to care for them. Other piercings, well I have a nose piercing, but I would encourage them to either do it after 18 while in college then face reality that if they ever want a good paying job, they will need to be pierce free. Although I do manage to get by with just the nose.

Tattoo's: I have 5 and plan on getting more, BUT, I thought long and hard about each one. A friend of mine has a daughter who is around 20 that just had one removed OUCH. I love mine, but each one means something. It is a personal choice, once they are an adult not much you can say, but until 18 I own your body!

Bit dams said...

no tanning bed. ever. spray tan starting in high school is they want it and pay for it.

DueDiligence said...

No one should ever go near a tanning booth IMO. But for those who do, I'd say 16 is the minimum age.

Piercings - meh, depends on what is getting pierced. Some cultures pierce ears on infants.

Tattoos, 18 at a minimum. 30 is probably more reasonable as I know that a LOT of stuff I thought was reasonable at 18 became quite foolish at 30. I'm just glad I'm not wearing any of those decisions on my arms, neck, face, etc.

McSpanky said...

What Vicki Cupper said. Again. Vicki Cupper is my new parenting role model.

seaward said...

Holy shit, I finally just looked up the tanning lady. Holy shit holy shit.

Principessa said...

YES! Thank you!

I manage a jewelry store (when I'm not on maternity leave) and every single day I refused to pierce several newborns. If your kid wants their ears pierced, they will tell you so. I requested and got pierced for the first time on my seventh birthday and I was proud. I think babies with earrings are ghetto.

iheartjacksparrow said...

I used to live in San Diego, and now live in Los Angeles, and every Latino baby I've ever seen in both cities had their ears pierced.

ForSure said...

I've seen people with lopsided ear piercings, they all got them done as infants. I got mine done at 10, but they were not done well so I let them close and got them done again in High School. So piercings as late as possible to deal with the growing issue and personal choice of the child. Tattoos and tanning, never. Do that on your own with your own money.

Love that line, would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari. Perfect.

joymama said...

I'm ok with cultural piercings on babies. India, Mexico, Sri Lanka and some eastern European countries come to mind.

Our daughter woke us up one morning and said 'mom, dad, it's time to get my ears pierced today''.

We had talked about it and how it might hurt, responsibility to keep them clean, etc.

She was ready and she did not cry when it was done. She let us help clean them twice a day and she was six years old.

Heidi said...

There is never a right time for tanning beds. They are a Class 1 carcinogen. Thre are many girls in their 20's with Stage III Melanoma in my support group. I never used a tanning bed, and it took 30 years for me to be diagnosed with Stage III Melanoma from tanning in my teens and twenties. Melanoma sucks.

nataliesinger said...

65

AKM said...

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a parent, and it looks as though I never will be. Okay, that said, I tend to think that a lot of age limits on a lot of things are simply arbitrary. No drinking until 21, but you can die for your country at 18. Huh? And that's just one example.

For the people who are saying, "Oh, definitely at 16"...why? Why 16? Why not 15? Or 17? Why are some ages magical? I'm not trying to sound flippant, but I think you see my point.

For the record, I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was 9. My parents didn't care when I did it, earlier or later, so long as I understood the pain factor and that I needed to take care of my ears myself. And it was fine. And I got them pierced twice more as a teen. And now I rarely wear earrings in any of the six holes, if ever.

I got my first tat when I was 34 simply because I couldn't decide on a single first-time small design. (Small because, okay, I was afraid of the pain, too. Turns out that I worried needlessly, because I felt no pain whatsoever...just a not-unpleasant tingling.) I'd have lots more, but they're hella expensive, yo.

I used to tan a bit ten years ago, and I found that I liked the look and the warmth of the bed was relaxing. I gave it up for health and money reasons, and I actually never used it much anyway. I don't lie out in the sun, either. I'm the palest white girl you've ever seen, too. I like it; I pretend I'm from Ireland or something. ;-)

AKM said...

Oh, and a final thought that ties my last two together...tanning and tats don't mix! Tanning, whether from the sun or a bed, fades 'em, in case you didn't know. Sure, you could slap sunscreen on 'em, but do people who run to the tanning bed think to do this? Doubtful.

Rickatoo said...

@Maja - du talar engelska bättre än vi någonsin kommer att tala svenska

MrsPMFU said...

My daughter is 3, I've told her that she can have her ears pierced when she's ready to take care of it herself. She seemed satisfied with that answer, and tells me she wants it, but when she's ready :) My mom grew up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where all the baby girls had ears pierced as newborns, so I have had pierced ears since infancy. She has said that it never occurred to her to NOT pierce my ears. I have 2 small tats, so I am not opposed to them, but I will explain to my daughter if she's interested in them that she needs to wait until she knows for sure she wants one and can choose something meaningful to her, and be past the age of 20 at least! As far as tanning goes, I used to tan when I was 17-20, then one day realized that my skin smelled like it was cooking while I was in there, and have never done it since. I will never let my daughter do it while she is in my home. Besides, if you're vain enough to want to be tan, you should be vain enough to let your skin age at a normal rate and not try to speed it up!! Now that I'm in my 30s, I wish I wouldn't have tanned at all, and I'm thinking about having one of my tattoos removed. So yeah, what seems good when you're young starts to seem not so great when you get a little older. Also, I think parents of girls need to really teach them about self-esteem, so they think about their own needs and their own futures, and not just following the trends/what 'everybody else is doing'

Love that line about not putting a bumper sticker on a Ferrari!

Anonymous said...

I let my girls get their ears pierced at around 14. I think my son was the same age when he got one ear pierced. I would not allow tattoos, which is why my son has a really horrible one that he rushed out to get the second he turned 18.

Got no tattoos myself, but don't care if you do. And my ears developed severe allergies to any sort of earring, so I don't have that any more either.

Sorry to be so dull.

mooshki said...

When I was in Turkey, all the little girls had their ears pierced, and I thought it was adorable. Still, I agree with the people who say when the kid is old enough to ask for it and be able to take care of the piercings. Also agree on tanning never. Tattoo, I think that rather than setting an age limit, making them wait a year to be sure that they were sure about it would be better. Also would depend on their maturity level.

HalleGoLightly said...

Why the fack are American women so obsessed with being ultra-tan? It seemed to come in with kate has 8 a few years ago (although probably had nothing to do with her). It's like a competition...."My coworker is tan, so I'll be orange!"

Knowing what we know about sun damage/skin cancer, how in the hell can you go and repeatedly tan? Each tan is a reaction to sun damage. I should show everyone photos of my two aunts sometime. They used to lay out with iodine on their skin. They look awful now.

astrogirl said...

I think the best comment here is to wait a year for a tattoo.

Adults too should also heed this advice, am visually assaulted daily by bad choices in body art.

Not knocking them; a great tattoo is art.

surfer said...

Heidi - wishing you a full recovery.

I've never ever used a tanning bad, but I do enjoy taking the sun sometimes. That's about to change. Last week I was diagnosed with melanoma "in situ" (stage 0 - thank God!), so now I have an appointment with a surgeon (plastic, double thank God!, lol), to have more tissue removed, just to be sure.

I lost my father to melanoma, so it goes without saying, that I'm pretty scared right now. If you see someone covered up this summer, that'll probably be me.

spider3tattoo said...

I have 3 daughters and a son. My rule is, the can have one piercing in each ear as a teenager. Piercing anything else, tattoos, hair dying etc. I tell them it's on them when they're an adult and can make the decision about their own body. I didn't let them drive at 16 either, teens are too immature IMO. If they want a tan, they get handed the bottle of sunblock and I show them the age spots on my arms with a side-eye.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

Considering I've hit 50 w/out having any kids, this is kind of an academic exercise, but...tattoos when you're 18 & old enough to pay for them; ear piercings when you hit puberty (hey, we don't have any good puberty rituals anymore, so why not getting your ears done? they're old enough to take care of them then, too); tanning booths NEVER! If they really want to be brown, then they can get a spray tan when they're 16, but otherwise no way! (I went to a tanning booth a few times 20+ years ago w/the idea that I could even up some tan lines, but I didn't like the way my skin felt afterward--kind of hot and almost "cooked", as Mrs. PMFU put it--so I stopped and never did it again. Let's hear it for pale pride!)

Lelaina Pierce said...

My mom let me get my ears pierced at 13 and I think I first used a tanning bed at 16. I'm sure she would have said 18 to a tattoo, but I never wanted one. I guess those are ok ages? I, stupidly, used to tan when I was in HS/College. I will still get a spray tan once in awhile (if I'm in a wedding & feeling super pale), but I would never let my child use a tanning bed, knowing what I know now.

I used to work with a man who had a tanning bed at his house. He was in his 60's or 70's. His son was also an avid tanner. Always cracked me up smelling that stinky combo of sweat/tanning bed lotion wafting down the hall after lunch from such an older gentleman.

Wil said...

Like my dad said when I - at age 13 - decided I had to get pierced ears, Eighteen.

Of course, I self pierced my own ears at age 15 .. so .. ya know .. there is that aspect, too. ; )

feraltart said...

Got my ears pierced at 2, at my request. It is my earliest memory and I have had no problems. When I got mine done it was a numbing spray and a needle through your earlobes. I think it depends on each individual what ate us appropriate.

O said...

It's not "ghetto". I was pierced at two days old in Spain where earrings are a big part of our cultural costume for Feria. So you can use your discretion when piercing babiest at your place of business all you want, but you may what to rethink how insulting you sound. You are implying only poor people who live on government assistance pierce young babie. And you are painting many cultures with a broad, insulting brush.

Unknown said...

I only have one child, a boy. When he was 7 he decided he HAD to have his ears pierced, and I went around & around with him because he would not back down whatsoever. So finally I said, you know what? IF you do your homework and keep straight A's all school year, I will let you get them pierced (thinking to myself, it's just a phase & he'll grow out of it before the end of the year). He sure fooled me--kept his grades up all year & I ended up piercing them. When he was 16 he grew his hair out really long & got his nose pierced; we went together & got our tongues pierced. I have 4 tattoos & each one is special to me. Now that he's 23, he doesn't wear earrings or the nose ring.

I told my mother this when she kept complaining to me that I let him do anything he wanted--I said, "If he is not allowed to make smaller decisions about his life & appearance and then learn to deal with the
consequences of those decisions, HOW in the world will he ever be prepared to make the big decisions???"
It finally shut her up.

Anonymous said...

Ok when do we draw the line of a parents choice?? I mean I dont see anyone lockin up Jews or other people that have their baby boy circumcised at 8 days old n I do believe that is worse then gettin yer ears done or a tan!! What say U now???

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