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“I Refuse to Pay for My 16-Year-Old to Get a Tattoo Removed”

What would you do if your 16-year-old sneaked off behind your back and got a tattoo. Not just any tattoo, but a really bad tattoo by a very inexperienced tattoo artist-wannabee? Would you pay for the painful, expensive, and time-consuming laser removal, or would you leave them to face the consequences of their own bad choices?

One dad has found himself in this exact position. Unlike his ex-partner, who thinks that he should foot the bill for the removal of the tattoo, he thinks his daughter should get a job and save up to pay for the removal on her own.

My 16 year old daughter made the not so bright decision to get her leg tattooed by a friend of a friend. It looks fucking awful and that’s not just me saying that she also hates it and is embarrassed by it. The guy who did the tattoo very much exaggerated his skill and experience. Basically looks like what you would expect to see doodled in the margins of a high schooler notebook.


Now that it’s fully healed my daughter and her mother (my ex gf) want to get it removed. Her mother does not have the money to pay for the sessions and thinks I should have to pay for the total process because of two reasons:

1: It was my day when our daughter went to the her friend’s house and got the tattoo.

2: I had previously agreed to pay for all of our daughter’s medical expenses since my ex had to go on disability.

My counterpoint to those arguments are:

1: My ex lets our daughter goes to this same friends house all the time when it’s her time.

2: A tattoo removal is far from a necessary medical expense unlike getting it checked to make sure it wasn’t infected and blood tests to check for diseases which I did take care of.

Personally I’m of the opinion that our daughter should get a job and save up to pay for the removal sessions on her own. I feel like this is natural and fair consequence of her choices. Her mom thinks I’m being too harsh. She thinks it’s enough that our daughter is regrets it a lot and is embarrassed by it.

Many commenters agreed that this was an opportunity for his daughter to learn an important life-lesson.

100% agreed! I once got a speeding ticket as a teen. My mom made me pay for all the expenses that went with getting that ticket addressed. I think I remember paying like $350 for the court costs and then there was the ticket fee itself. I had to work at taco bell to pay it off. My mom was very affluent so it would have been no problem at all for her to bail me out. But that is what it would be – a bail out. I am glad that she made me literally pay for my mistakes. I also had to pay for the difference in when the car insurance increased when I got a second ticket as a teen. I don’t think it is harsh at all. It also makes the kid accountable for their own decisions and stop and contemplate the consequences of future decisions. You are helping her improve her decision making skills. (Ubi_amor_ibi_dolor)


This!! Daughter made a stupid decision and should have to deal with the consequences of her actions. If she wants it removed, SHE should pay for it. She should get a job and save all her money to pay for it herself. She can request all gifts from family be money gifts to go towards her tattoo removal or cover. You can give her jobs around the house to earn money.

The important thing is that SHE pay for her mistake. Not you. This way, she will make sure she is going to a reputable artist if she ever gets another tattoo. (LibraryMouse4321)


NTA. There’s no reason that I’m aware of that a tattoo needs to be removed right away. She has plenty of time to save up and get it removed. And in the meantime it can be a good reminder to think things through before making decisions like letting a tattoo from some random friend of a friend. (Thistime232)

If his daughter really is that embarrassed by it, as some commenters suggested, there are other ways to conceal it in the meantime, including clothing and makeup.

Get the waterproof makeup that covers tattoos. It works great. She can do that until she can pay for it herself. (Libra_11274)

Some people thought that the best way forward, if she took responsibility and started saving for the removal herself, would be to contribute half the cost.

NTA Tattoo removal is NOT a medical expense. This is her dealing with harmless consequences of her own stupidity. Tattoo removal takes years – if she felt responsible enough to get the tattoo, she’s responsible enough to get it removed herself. (JuliaX1984)


NTA. It’s not a medical expense. If you wanted to throw a bone, you could tell your daughter you would match what she had saved for removal sessions, but that would be up to you. (InformalNobody5409)


NTA, she is old enough to live with the consequences of her decision. Now if she busts her ass to pay for the session, maybe help her out a little? That is still a ton of money for a teen. (Young_warthogg)

However, many people suggested that if she was likely to get tattoos in the future, covering the tattoo rather than having it removed would be the better option, as it would be cheaper, and laser removal often leaves scars.


Your daughter just learned the valuable lesson of choices have consequences. There’s a reason any reputable tattoo artist won’t touch anyone under 18

Removal is FAR more expensive than the actual tattoo.

It would be cheaper to do a cover up.

Tell her when she turns 18, you’ll take her to a few well reviewed shops and get their opinions on what they can do for a cover up. In the meantime she can start saving up for it. If she shows the effort, I would suggest throwing in a few bucks to help. Not that I never did this fuck up, but any time I wanted an expensive item, as long as I showed the effort and hustle,my mom would cover half if not more. (teamPunkHarley)


NTA. She’s old enough to get a job and save up to have it removed herself. My understanding is that tattoo removal is not only expensive but also quite painful. Is she aware of that? She might be better off saving up to have it covered with something by a real tattoo artist. (stephf13)

What do you think? Should he cough up the money, should his daughter be responsible for fixing her own mistake, or should he compromise and meet her halfway?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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