"I've taken my two older kids to the procedure so they see how painful it is and what I have to go through," he reveals.

By peoplestaff225
January 14, 2012 03:00 PM

Donna Ward/Getty

Love hurts — and Mark Wahlberg is making sure his kids know it.

After acquiring “six or seven” tattoos over the years, the actor is in the process of getting them removed in the presence of two important people: Ella Rae, 8, and Michael, 5½.

“[All the tattoos] have meaning to me, but it’s both personal and professional,” the Contraband star, 40, told Today on Monday of his decision.

“I don’t want my kids getting tattoos. And I wanted them to be [removed] by the time I did The Fighter because putting make-up on and covering them up has always been a pain in the butt.”

In an effort to deter his children from getting any ink of their own, Wahlberg makes the trips to the office a family affair.

“I’ve taken my two older kids to the procedure so they see how painful it is and what I have to go through,” he reveals.

From body art to life in the limelight, the doting dad is pulling out all the stops to prevent his kids from following in his footsteps. In addition to his onscreen roles, the father of four is also a producer and restaurant owner.

“I don’t want my kids to be in the entertainment business either, which is why I’m trying to build a lot of [separate] businesses,” Wahlberg says. “If they feel [passionate about acting], and that’s the decision they want to make, then I’ll support them. But I’ll do everything I can to point them in another direction.”

Also dad to Brendan Joseph, 3, and Grace Margaret, 2, Wahlberg admits it’s his youngest son that has him reminiscing about the younger years.

“When my son looks at me and says, ‘Daddy, go out of the room. I want to watch this by myself,’ I know he’s up to something,” he shares. “So I’ll walk out one door [and] come around the other when he’s on the counter trying to grab the scissors or the knife.”

Recently, however, Brendan was too quick even for Wahlberg’s watchful eyes. “He got a hold of his antibiotics and ate three. Of course I go into a panic attack and I called our pediatrician and he said, ‘Don’t worry. The worse he’ll get is diarrhea, he’ll be fine,'” he recalls.

“And I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ [Brendan’s] like, ‘They taste good, Daddy!’ My youngest son is the one I really have to watch.”

Despite the chaos, at the end of the day, Wahlberg’s focus is on one thing: family.

“I’ve always said, ‘If I succeed as a businessman and I fail as a father, then it’s all been for nothing,'” he explains. “That’s, by far, the most important role that I’ll ever play in my life … being a parent and a husband.”

— Anya Leon