My daughters want to get tattoos and piercings and I don't know what I should tell them. Any advice?
Piercings, Tattoos oh my!
So your kids want to get their bodies modded and you are naturally maybe freaking out a little bit or a lot. Take a deep breath and relax. I am thirty one years old and have been getting pierced for years and have several tattoos here's my advice.
I think the first thing to remind yourself of is that your children as precious as they are to are not possessions and once they are of age what they do or don't do to their bodies is not something you can or in my opinion should try to control. I think too many parents make things like body mod too much of a taboo and as your kids are growing up it becomes this big huge thing when it's not necessary.
Next think about what your real objections may be. Do you not want them to "ruin" themselves? Do you have prejudices about people who are tattooed or pierced that are coloring your judgment? I will tell you, getting pierced or tattooed will not turn your once wonderful fabulous kids into instant monsters nor generally speaking will it suddenly change their entire lives.
I think it would be wonderfully beneficial to do some research on your own. Learn about the laws in your state, maybe even talk to some people who are tattooed and pierced. Some basic facts.
Piercing are not generally a permanent change. They can be removed, some might leave a little scar some might not. They are painful to get and a lot of responsibility. Make sure that your kids are entirely aware of the after care process. If you don't think they are a simple Google search can give you tons of information you can go over with your kids. I wouldn't present this as reasons not to get pierced but, as important information for their health that they need to have.
Encourage your kids to check out the person they want to pierce them, heck go with them and ask questions. For more information about some of the things that make a good piercer check out the Association of Professional Piercers. As someone who has been pierced multiply I will ask that you don't let them go to some kiosk at the mall or the like. Make sure they get a reputable piercer.
Tattoos are permanent. Yes they can be removed at a high cost and lots of pain but they are going to be there for a long time. People have as many reasons for getting tattooed as there are people who have tattoos. Have a look at the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. Getting a tattoo can be very painful but an exciting thing.
Things you can talk to your kids about to help them make the decision for themselves is placement. If they are working, have them make sure that their employer doesn't have a policy against visible tattoos and piercings as many still do. Also they will need to think about future employment. There are a lot of people in the corporate world who are very tattooed but, most of them have to keep their tattoos covered. They will need to think about that. Also, they will need to think about if they are ready to take good care of a new tattoo.
The aftercare of a tattoo is very important. Good aftercare can make the difference between a beautiful piece of art and a blurry thing that they might regret on down the road. Speaking of regret let's touch on that for a minute. Parents you can't know or decide whether or not your child will regret getting a tattoo or piercing.
As well as you know your kids, human nature is a funny thing and something you might think is the worst thing ever could be a great and wonderful experience for your kids. Please keep that in mind.
Overall I would suggest that you as a parent get involved with the decision on a deeper level than just saying no. Do the research with your kids, if you can handle it go around to some local shops with them to get a feel for the local body mod culture. Ask lots of questions, take an interest.
The fact is that your child could get a single little tattoo, a single piercing and be done with it. Or they might become a serious collector and in a few years be adorned with full sleeves. You never know. Personally, I think it's a harder and more wonderful thing for a parent to be supportive of a decision that they might not tacitly agree with. I've known far too many people who's parents stopped speaking to them or treated them badly in general after they started getting tattoos and it would break my heart to see that happen to anyone else. Remember, the human body is a beautiful thing. And for some of us, nothing is better than adorning that beautiful body and that doesn't make them a bad or weird person, it doesn't make them a different person, it just makes them a decorated person.
One last thing, please remember that difference isn't always a bad thing.