"Perming can damage your hair", that seems to be a well-known adage. This might be because chemicals and curls are being applied to your hair. When curls are placed on any thread, it's bound to break a bit, but this doesn't mean your hair are becoming weak. And if you are young and you have thick hair, you will not even notice a few hair falling.
If in your childhood you had straight hair, you can still have natural curly hair as you grow up and your body hormones change.
Perming can require a lot of effort. If you have permed your hair, you have to maintain it and pay a regular visit to the barber shop. Because if you don't, the new straight hair from beneath the perm will lot very odd.
Most of the times our first experience with perm comes from our childhood when our parents/ grandparents somehow feel the urge to perm our hair. If you guys are aiming to do the same with your children, you should better rethink your decision. Perming, after all, involves chemicals and could harm the scalp of your child in long-run.