by Amy Nance
Kid with tattoo

Oh boy. So a mom in North Carolina was recently arrested for tattooing the outline of a small heart on her 11-year-old daughter's shoulder.

"She asked me to do it," said 30-year-old Odessa Clay, a part-time tattoo artist.

Oh, well in that case ...

Seriously, though. I am not anti-tattoo. I think tattooing is an art and a form of creative expression. But shouldn't it go without saying that, as a parent, we have a responsibility to keep our children from doing things they might regret 5, 10, 30 years down the road? Much less encouraging or even actively participating in the behavior?

To play devil's advocate, though, one user comment on this story struck me as very interesting.

While I don't like tattoos, I think arresting a parent for letting a child get a small tattoo is ridiculous. I've worked in social services and seen parents neglecting, abusing, harassing, starving, imprisoning their children. These parents don't always get arrested. They get "guidance" from social workers and if they persist, then get arrested. (I don't agree with the system, just stating it like it is). Why not give "guidance" to the parents who allow tattoos and arrest parents who are neglecting, abusing, etc. their children? This is one screwed up society.

Some good points in there. Was it really THAT big a deal, considering there are children being beaten, starved and neglected by their parents?

Is it possible to create a sliding scale of abuse under the law? "This is sort of kind of maybe detrimental, but THIS is REALLY abusive." At what point do we remove a parent's right to judge what is or is not appropriate for their child?

Photo by Flickr member GerryT, used under a Creative Commons License.