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Mom secretly helps daughter get tattoo but denies one for her twin brother. AITA?

Mom secretly helps daughter get tattoo but denies one for her twin brother. AITA?


"AITA for getting my daughter a Tattoo behind my husbands back?"


I (40f) have 4 kids. Three daughters (16, 14 and 11) and a son (16). Only the twins are relevant here, let’s call them John and Judie. Since a few months John and Judie are asking their dad and me for permission to get a tattoo.

Both hubby and I are inked so we were not against it. We just asked them to think about what exactly they want for a few months so they don’t regret it later and then they can get inked in 2024 with our permission. They presented us their motives on January 1. Judie had a lovely little flower/nature motive for her arm. I instantly fell in love with it.

The problems was with Johns motive. He chose the world serpent from norse mythology and this tree. The serpent forms a circle around the tree and there are Norse runes inside the circle. I saw it and had the thought immediately about bigoted peoples and their Nordic tattoos.

It was an instant no for him. We are white with blond hair and blue eyes and this tattoo would send the wrong signals. It would be on his arm so everyone could see it if he wears a shirt. John was furious. His dad asked him to compromise by removing the runes from his concept but John said no. So no tattoo for him.

I made an appointment for my daughter at my tattoo artist but when I told my husband he said he wants the twins to get their first tattoos together and that this means something for him.

Besides, it would be unfair to John and he has second thoughts now because maybe they are to young. I disagreed with him. Why should Judie suffer because of her brothers unwillingness to choose something more appropriate.

I tried to convince him but he was adamant. In the end I thought f it. She’s getting this tattoo. So I drove her to my studio without telling hubby and she got her tattoo. My husband was furious when he saw it and called me a massive AH.

He said I broke his trust and undermined his authority. John is giving me the silent treatment. AITA? His reasons were $#*T in my opinion but he is Judies dad and we vowed to always act as a team.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


YTA. I’m heavily tattooed and I cannot imagine ever letting a 16 year old get tattooed. Sure, I wanted tattoos at that age and they would have been so shit cause what you want at sixteen usually very much differs vs when you’re 18.

If I saw someone with a Nordic tattoo, my first thought would not be white supremacy but this is also why kids shouldn’t be getting tattoos. Your husband seemed to finally be thinking this through, you went behind their back to do it anyway.


YTA - this is a decision for both parents when talking about a minor. You really screwed up. What was the downside to waiting until everyone was in agreement? And your son is probably going to double-down on his design and just do it without permission once he turns 18. You have major damage control to do here (if it's even possible).


YTA. First of all, no 16 year old should have a tattoo. And I say this as someone who got a tattoo at 17. Most reputable tattoo artists will not tattoo a 16 year old. I got mine done in my friend’s bedroom and I’m lucky it didn’t get infected.

Secondly: just because something is Nordic doesn’t make it white supremacist. The world tree thing is a beautiful idea, and has absolutely no ties to white supremacy. If I saw a white person with that tattoo, I’d assume they were pagan.

Thirdly: getting your kid a tattoo without the other parent’s consent is just shitty. Come on, dude. None of this is ok. ETA: also, (and I could totally be wrong) I’m pretty sure the world tree and such is Norse, not Nordic.


YTA. My personal feeling is no tattoos before 18, but that’s just me. The a-hole parts here are:

  1. telling your kids they were old enough to pick their own designs then saying no to John’s (I understand the reasoning, but that was a talk to have beforehand and it also feels like you are the only one with a concern)

  2. making an appointment for one twin but not the other. Judie could have waited, and you could’ve talked/worked with John on his design instead if just “no tattoo for you.” (And why didn’t you gave a professional artist help with the designs and placement in the first place?)

  3. you disregarded your husband’s feelings (and John’s). Judie would not have “suffered” by waiting and the issue with John’s design sure does indicate that 16-year-olds might not be ready for permanent tattoos.

  4. you knew your husband disagreed yet you got your daughter inked behind his back. Please consider how you would’ve felt if he’d unilaterally okayed John’s tattoo and took him to get it without your knowledge.

I don’t like your husband taking about you “undermining his authority, but his reasons were sound, you sure did break his trust, you played favorites with your kids, and you probably undermined the twins’ relationship. YTA.


Oh yeah YTA. I mean his BS reasons aside you did break his trust and undermine his authority and if my husband did that I would definitely feel a type of way about it.

You're going to have to earn his trust back for one but the harder one is showing your children you guys are on the same page which you actually aren't at this point. You didn't act like a team, you didn't uphold the expectations you both laid out you didn't respect your husband, and worse in front of your children.

Although I may agree your daughter should be allowed to get the tattoo regardless of your son's choice in the tattoo, that's not the point here the point is you disrespected your husband.

So, do you think the OP made a mistake here? How would you have handled this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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