DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to get a tattoo. I have not talked about it with my parents, but I do not necessarily feel the need to ask them for permission. The tattoo will be small and not in a visible location. Multiple people in my family have tattoos, and everyone is relatively neutral about the topic. I am 18 and would use the money I earn working to pay for it. If my parents are not strict and I will not be using their money to pay for the tattoo, do I still have to ask them for permission? -- Itching for Ink, Richmond, Virginia
DEAR ITCHING FOR INK: Your trepidation suggests that you think that you should ask for permission or there is a chance your parents will say no. It could also be that you want to exert your independence and want to take that step right now. Whatever the case may be, now is not the time for you to sneak and get a tattoo.
Instead, go to your parents and let them know that this is what you want to do. Share the plan with them, including how you intend to pay for it. Ask for their blessing and also for their recommendation for a safe place to get the tattoo.