Tattooed Children! (Just kidding)
Yes, children with Photoshopped tattoos look badass and cute. But what do tattoo artists and laws say about children and tattoos?
Can I bring my children to the tattoo shop? Yes, children are allowed in most tattoo shops and tattoo conventions, and there is nothing criminal to show your kids how tattoos are made. But the potential disturbance of children is a source of irritation for tattoo artists, willing to work in calm. So call them before coming, to check if it is okay to bring your offsprings. If the working session is not very long and your child peaceful, his presence is acceptable, but don't take an impatient kid to a 6 hours tattoo session! Children are easily tired and inconstant, so you'd better plan to hire a babysitter to let them do their nap while you're at the parlor or at a convention.
Is it okay to tattoo children? Respectable tattoo artists all agree: letting your kids getting a tattoo before 16 is wrong, and it's even more wrong if you are deciding for them! After being release from jail on bail, a mother from Georgia, USA, who tattooed herself her children aged from 6 to 12, declared: "I am their mother. Shouldn't I be able to decide if they get one?". Law doesn't agree. Tattooing a child is forbidden in most countries. Tattoo is an individual choice no one else can take but the person concerned, and this person has to be responsible.
When a British woman made a prank with a fake tattoo shop for children, she received many calls from parents wanting to book for their kids! No, that is not cute. Tattoos are not intended for bodies which have not finished their growth yet and children are not reasonable enough to think before they ink. You could tell us that some adults are taking bad decisions too, but a Pikachu or Frozen tattoo is even worse when you got it at an age when you were not even able to spell "consequences" So okay for teaching children to be open-minded with tattoos, okay for letting them having temporary tattoos and dreams of real tattoos, and it is so cool to allow them to color your tattoos! But let them get their own choices when they will be able to do so, without regrets.
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By the way, what's the legal age for tattoos? In most countries, you need to wait to reach your legal age (between 16 to 21) but some allows minors to be tattooed with parental consent since 15. However, professional and reputable tattoo artists are insisting you should not get a tattoo before 18 and affirm they will refuse to tattoo someone under that age. Legal actions against tattooed minors can be pretty rough depending of the country or state you are living in (for both parents and tattooists), so don't joke with that.
However, in some cultures, tattooing children is admitted and even forced. Children can receive tattoos at their puberty or for tribal and religious meanings, for example young monks in Thailand and young girls in Ethiopia. But humanitarian organizations are working with populations to ban forced tattooing (as well as other abuses of course) and traditions are getting lost in some tribes.
Is it okay to have children tattooists? Yes, you've read it correctly. Inking the drawings of your children can be cute. But getting a tattoo from a kid? The world record for the youngest tattooist until now belongs to 3 years old Ruby Dickinson of Wales, GB, daughter of a tattooist eager to teach the trade to his offspring, with a special tattoo machine built for small hands. Other precocious tattooists have made the front news, including 5 years old Emilie Darrigade.
If it is a great connection to receive a tattoo from your child when you are tattoo artist, it is perhaps not a good idea to make him believe he's professional enough to ink other people. Actually, it is not illegal, as laws didn't see it coming. But 16 years old is also a good minimum age here too. Well, it is also the adult customer's choice! What do you think, would you let a child tattoo you?
There is two ways to love your children with tattoos: get their portrait on you or do adorable photos of them with fake tattoos! Love badass looking kids? Check those fun pictures.