Over the years tattoos have come out from their hiding place to become a part of the mainstream culture of today. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and David Beckham are seen flaunting their tattoos all the time. So should the parents be worried if their teens persist on having a tattoo before the age of 18? First of all, parents need to know the laws of their state and city about teenage tattoos. If their kids are not breaking any law, then parents need to calm down a bit and understand that teenagers often want to have tattoos so that they can express themselves through them.
Stay calm and discuss
The best way to handle any unexpected situation with teens is to stay calm, listen and discuss the issue with them. Overreacting with anger or displeasure will not get you any positive results. Therefore, the best approach would be to have an open discussion with your teen. Ask questions about your teen’s decision to get the tattoo – what is the purpose behind it? How would it make him/her feel? What does the permission mean to your teen?
By asking teenagers about the permanent mark that they want on their bodies, parents would be able to gain insight into the minds of their kids. Parents would be able to understand their teen’s motivation behind getting a tattoo. They would know if he/she wants to develop a deeper bond with their friends or are they getting it done in their effort to seek an identity of their own. Hence, this opens the door for parents to understand their kid better thereby strengthening the parent-child bond. Should parents put a ban on tattoos for teenagers? Perhaps, but not necessarily.
The communication should be two-way. While accepting the teens’ urge for tattoos, parents should also convey their own concerns. They should, however, voice their opinions gently so that teens realize that the permission given is purely out of respect and understanding.
- Getting a tattoo made is risky at any age. Parents particularly need to inform their teens about negative effects of tattoos.
- It’s permanent: Parents should reinforce this several times. This way they can ensure that their teen is fully aware of the fact that the tattoo will remain a part of them for as long as they live.
- Medical risks: Parents and teens should be extra cautious of the medical risks involved in getting a tattoo. Hence, before getting it done, they need to ensure that the needle being used is clean and fresh.
- Pain and swelling: Fulfilling one’s passion really hurts. So teens have to bear this in mind that the pain and swelling will remain for days after the tattoo has been made.
Tattoos are a part of mainstream culture for the younger generation. Teens need to understand that although tattoos can be removed, the process is difficult, expensive and doesn't always work. There is a high probability that, at a later point in time, they may come to regret their decision to alter their body at such a young age. Parents, on the other hand, need to avoid being too rigid about it. They should know that even if they prohibit their teen from getting the tattoo right now, he/she can get one once they turn 18, without the parent’s permission.