Tattling on your siblings is generally not a good practice. But what if you’re only trying to be responsible?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk to tell my mom that my 13-year-old sister got a stick and poke tattoo on her finger?”. Here’s the whole story for your context!


A female tattoo artist applying her craft onto the back and arm of a female in her 30's. (Property release for tattoo artwork attached)
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The Original Poster (OP) (21F) is conflicted about telling her mom that her little sister (13F) got a tattoo. 


Mother and daughter unhappy arguing sitting on sofa at home
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OP’s little sister showed OP the tattoo yesterday and thought it was super cool; however, OP’s mom is extremely against tattoos. Her mom has told OP she would kick her out of the house for a tattoo. 


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She (OP) is not trying to be a tattletale, but she’s genuinely worried about how much trouble her sister could get in. 

“My generation is not the same as hers, and my mom lets her have a lot more freedom than I did as a kid, so I didn’t get into the kinds of things she does,” says OP. 


Image Credits: Antonio Guillem, Shutterstock

OP’s sister has also told OP about how she’s been hanging out with her friend (13F), and they got in a car with other teen boys (16M) (15M) and were running around the woods. 

“For context, this is the same day she also got the tattoo, so she just went wild on that day, I guess,” says OP. 


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She (OP) is honestly terrified if her mom does not wrangle her little sister now, it will get way worse. 

“I love my little sister to death, and I’m so conflicted because she confided this in me, but I want to do some type of prevention because I know it will only get worse if she is only 13 and already getting into this stuff,” says OP. 


feeling stressed, worried, anxious or scared, with hands on head, panicking at mistake
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She (OP) couldn’t care less about the tattoo itself, and her concern is her sister is getting some disease from it or getting into worse trouble outside of this tattoo. 


Smiling woman in gesture of asking over gray background.
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“I think it’s a small thing but an indication for more trouble. I did try to talk to my sister about it and let her understand the risks, but she had absolutely zero care and thought it was funny. Am I a jerk?” asks OP. 


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“Not the jerk and my biggest concern wouldn’t be the tattoo itself, but what else a 13-year-old getting into that isn’t allowed, and who she’s hanging out with.” 


Young brunette woman wearing turtleneck sweater clueless and confused with open arms, no idea and doubtful face.
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“You’re the jerk if you snitch on your sister. She’s 13, and she’s acting out. You are not her mother. Your mother is her mother, and ultimately it’s her responsibility to ‘wrangle’ your sister, not yours. 

Reading between the lines, it seems like your sister is being deliberately difficult, and from what you’ve said, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with her relationship with your mother. 

My advice is to keep your sister’s confidence, don’t snitch on her to your mom, and do your best to be a supportive presence in her life. In other words, if you snitch on her on this, you might guarantee that the next time she’s doing something crazy, she will hide it from you, just as she’s hiding things from your mom already. Let your mom be her mom, and you be her sister.”


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“Look out for your little sister. Your mom has gotten a little inattentive in her older age; she needs a wake-up call. This entire story would wake her up pretty quickly, and it is the start of a slippery slope. My daughter is 12, and I’d be freaking out if that was her getting a tattoo and hanging out with 16-year-old boys. Nope, not in my house!”


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“Not the jerk. As someone who works in healthcare, your sister needs to go to the doctor. She’ll need to be tested for blood-borne infections at least twice over the next few months to make sure she doesn’t develop anything. The tattoo itself should be checked out as well.” 


Young beautiful brunette woman wearing casual dress standing over yellow background clueless and confused expression with arms and hands raised. Doubt concept.
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“Not the jerk. Your sister is putting herself at risk, and as an adult who loves her, you’re right in that you have a responsibility to do what you can to protect her. Just be careful with how you approach your mom on this; make it clear you’re letting her know not for punishment but to help your sister avoid risky behavior in the future.” 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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