Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

How do you feel about temporary tattoos for kids?

Asked by SuperMouse (30728 points ) September 30th, 2011

My husband’s granddaughters (5 and 3) seem to always have temporary tattoos up and down their arms. Sometimes it is almost to the point where it looks like sleeves. I must admit, this makes me a little crazy – I’m not even really sure why. So what do you think of these temporary tattoos?

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54 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it’s fine. But again I don’t freak out about tattoos, since I have them.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, they’re probably a little nicer than the ballpoint pen tattoos with which we used to adorn ourselves, and probably easier to wash off.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I think they’re harmless. I remember I used to sport a few temporary tattoos when I was a kid. I don’t have any tattoos.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JilltheTooth LOL, yes, that’s what my kids do. Of course, their stuffed up grandmother always yells at them. I tell them to say to her face ‘if you don’t like them, don’t draw on yourself like when you got your eyebrows tattooed, for real.’

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Michael_Huntington What would be the implied ‘harm’ if they were harmful? Is it that they might grow up thinking there’s nothing wrong with tattoos? Oh, the horror!

28lorelei's avatar

They’re ok every now and then, but continual use can be unhealthy.
More here

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@28lorelei Kids don’t usually get henna tattoos, though…but they do sometimes, so sure I guess then that article would be worth reading. Yet, I think the fact that they eat cereal and sugary snacks will hurt them more potentially than what’s in henna.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I have tattoos as well, my problem isn’t with ink itself, for some reasons it just bugs me with kids, especially when there are so many of them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SuperMouse Does it conflate with adulthood, for you? For example, some tattoos moms put on their daughters that are identified by the rest of society (which is dumb) as ‘tramp stamp’ tattoos bother me since the meaning is known and when it’s placed on young girls, it’s just wrong. Not that there’s anything wrong with those tattoos or tramps, mind you.

28lorelei's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir that article also talks about the decal-type tattoos, which most kids get. I do agree, though, that what they eat is more important to consider than the tattoos.

Blueroses's avatar

Little kids love stickers. I have no problem with seeing Spongebob or Elmo on the arm of a tot. I do think this is inappropriate. Not that I agree with the term “tramp stamp” necessarily, but that sort of art is associated with female sexuality and I question the rightness of selling it to pre-teens. It feels like pedo-bait.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blueroses Yes, that is what I was just saying. Exactly that.

Blueroses's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I just saw we were saying the same thing simultaneously.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I wouldn’t have a problem if they grow up thinking tattoos are okay. In fact, I despise the conservative and puritanical mindset that tattoos “disfigure” the body or it is somehow “trendy”.
I guess I should’ve reworded my statement- I don’t have a problem with temporary tattoos.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Oh no, I know that, I know your thoughts. Just being sarcastic. :)

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Michael_Huntington OH, okay! Sorry for the misunderstanding

SuperMouse's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think that is what it is, I tend to associate tattoos with adulthood. Those goofy ball point pen tattoos @JilltheTooth refers to seem more age appropriate. I really don’t like it when my kids write on their skin, but somehow that just fits better with childhood to me.

Facade's avatar

I think it’s fine. I like tattoos.

tinyfaery's avatar

Funny. I never really liked those temporary tattoos that came in the Cracker Jacks or Bazooka gum, but now I love tattoos.

I think, for the most part, they are harmless fun. It seems like you might think they are a
gateway drug to real tattoos.

@SuperMouse Temporary tattoos have been around, at least, since I was a kid. Didn’t you ever put one on?

MissAusten's avatar

I think they’re fine, and kids get such a kick out of them. I don’t mind my kids having one or two. All up and down the arm would bother me though just because it would look messy, especially after a couple of days. Those temporary tattoos wear out fast, and when they crack and fade they look gross to me (like old chipped nail polish). So while I don’t mind if my kids have them, I end up scrubbing them off in the tub when they start to fade.

Those tattoos can be funny though. One year at a Halloween party, someone gave my son a bunch of spider tattoos including one that was a web several inches in diameter. My son (who was five at the time) took that spider web tattoo into the bathroom and applied it to his belly all by himself. He was so proud. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, that huge creepy web tattooed on my little kid’s tummy!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If they’re the temporary kid kind like those you get out of Cracker Jacks boxes and the kids apply them themselves in fun then I think it’s ok. What I’m not ok with is parents decorating their kids as little accessories such as fake adult looking tattoo and fake piercings the kids don’t even understand.

YoBob's avatar

I don’t have a problem with it at all. In fact, I think that more “adults” should consider temporary tattoos instead of applying permanent graffiti to their skin.

Temporary tattoos are just that…temporary. It’s the real tattoos I have a problem with.

SuperMouse's avatar

@tinyfaery my parents must have disliked them because I never remember having them as a kid.

@MissAusten you are totally right about how quickly they start to look messy! That is probably at least part of the problem for me too, it seems like these kids never have an entire tattoo, just like five that are all cracked and gross looking.

YoBob's avatar

On a related note, I think these are brilliant!

Blueroses's avatar

Thinking of the idea of kids and temporary tattoos suddenly reminded me of the Dylan Thomas story and his line about candy cigarettes.
...And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it.

Maybe it’s that same sort of kid rebellion. Waiting, in vain for an adult to scold you for having a tattoo, then with a smirk, you rub it off.

TexasDude's avatar

Doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve let my son have them. He especially likes them for Halloween.

I do have an issue with dyes on his skin, the same as I do with dyes in his food…so, I watch the area carefully.

DrBill's avatar

I would compare them to candy cigarettes.

Don’t endorse a habit you don’t want started.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I feel that temporary is the point… and that’s a good thing. Our children make decisions for themselves when they turn 18, we are stewards of their health and well being when they are little. Nothing anyone does or doesn’t do will change an adult mindset. If it’s not your influence, then believe me, the world will take care of what you do or do not regardless. Be a rudder, not a whip.

casheroo's avatar

I think they’re cute, and fun for kids…
Cash was over 2 when he got his first temporary tattoo, it was a thomas the tank engine tattoo
And Parker was 14 months old when he got dinosaur tattoos

Stinley's avatar

My kids love them. They have the decal ones and they also have stencils that they use with a felt tip pen. I help them. What’s the problem?

Facade's avatar

@DrBill Comparing tattoos to cigarettes is a bit much, don’t you think?

cookieman's avatar

Harmless and fun. I let my daughter put them on me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t mind an occasional tattoo. I’ve helped my grandkids affix them. But I think it would bother me if they had so many, and all the time as you said. I don’t know…where is the line and why? And who is providing them with so many tattoos?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blueroses I would seriously hope a three year old and a five year old weren’t deliberately baiting adults, looking for an opportunity to smirk. That’s behavior that’s more in line with 13, 14 year olds. It would be distressing to see it in such a young child.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t mind them, generally speaking. My kids certainly wore their fair share. Constantly seeing a whole sleeve of cracking, peeling tattoos would bug the crap out of me though, because it looks kind of tacky. Same reason I hate seeing kids running around with dried ketchup smeared on their faces after dinner. Clean that up! Which is weird, because I’m a total slob.

filmfann's avatar

When my daughter was 8 to 12, she loved drawing on her hands and arms. I used to tell her to stop, and made her wash it off.
Now, she works as a body piercer in a tattoo parlor. She has more tats than most guys I know.
Just sayin’.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@filmfann We’re talking 3 and 5, though.

DrBill's avatar

@Facade

No, I don’t. My point was you should not endorse a habit that you do not want them to imitate.

Facade's avatar

@DrBill My point is that there’s nothing wrong with tattoos, temporary or otherwise =)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Facade That depends, IMO, on the lengths the tattoos are taken to. Covering your arms…then your neck…then your face. Unfortunately, most kids get tattoos when they are KIDS. They don’t realize the adverse reaction that can happen when they hit their 20’s and start looking for serious work. Recently, a friend’s 24 year old son was denied entry into the armed forces because he had tattoos on his wrists. They said it was a sign of “gang” activity. Which is silly if you know my friend and her son! And where we live!

DrBill's avatar

@Facade

My point is if you want your kids to grow up and get tattooed, then let them play with tattoos as a child,
If you want them to grow up and smoke let them have their candy cigarettes.

I want my child to do neither, so I do not endorse either. A parent leads by example, weather they intend to or not.

augustlan's avatar

@DrBill I had plenty of temporary tattoos when I was a kid, and have no permanent tattoos. That’s just kind of silly.

Leanne1986's avatar

It doesn’t bother me. I used to wear them every so often as a kid. I don’t have any real tattoos now (although I do love tattoos and, if it weren’t for my partners strong dislike of them, I would probably have a few).

tinyfaery's avatar

And I never liked those temporary tattoos, but now I’m all inked-up. Wow. No causal connection. Who woulda thunk it.

DrBill's avatar

@augustlan

The question ask “how do you feel about….”

That is how I feel about it, you are welcome to your own opinion.

augustlan's avatar

@Dutchess_III Fair enough. I just don’t think a correlation is evident, that’s all.

YoBob's avatar

Can’t help but wonder how many get permanent ink when they become “adults” as a way of asserting the control over something that their parents wouldn’t allow. In other words, I wonder if not allowing kids to play with temporary body art might push them into permanently disfiguring themselves later on.

Ron_C's avatar

In the “old days”, they would put a small packet of water color tattoes in Cracker Jax boxes. I guess that is why I never got a permanent one. Hopefully the girls will get it out of their system now and refrain from permenantly defacing themselves in their later years.

augustlan's avatar

Crap. My last post was supposed to be directed to @DrBill. Sorry @Dutchess_III!

DrBill's avatar

@augustlan

No problem, everyone has a right to their opinion, we will just agree to disagree.

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