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Thinking of Inking? How I Discouraged My Teens from Getting Tattooed

Thinking of Inking? How I Discouraged My Teens from Getting Tattooed

Tats for teens are hot, even if many moms think not at least not for their own kids. Just ask Circle of Moms member Diana, who says she finds tattoos "physically repulsive" and is very concerned that her teen daughter will take it upon herself to get one. Diana, like many Circle of Moms members, is wondering if moms can maintain any control over their kids and their bodies as they hit the age of tattoo temptation.*

Michella S. says she's allowed her teen daughter to get tattooed as long as she takes certain precautions. "I have told her that she needs to keep the tats where she can hide them, she never knows when she will be judged for a job."

At the other end of the spectrum, Sharon G. says tats are strictly forbidden to her kids. For her it's very simple: "I have a friend who just posted pictures of her 16-year-old getting a huge tat in her home. She is one of those who is all about 'it's their body, their choice.' But this is easy for me: until they move out of MY house, their body is mine. I dictate what they eat, drink, wear, etc. They have their choice and I have the veto vote. There will be NO tattoos. Not while they live under my roof."

As a mom of three, two of whom begged for tats when they were teens, my advice is to do everything possible to discourage your teen as soon as you see signs that he or she is thinking of inking.


Why? Because teens sometimes do impulsive, careless things that can have a lifetime of repercussions. It's the same thinking I apply to my "advice" about their Facebook pages. (Here's what I tell my kids: A photo of you drinking at a frat party is not a god idea. When you sit down at your first post-college job interview and discover that the HR person has already seen you chugging a beer, you'll understand why. Same goes with a profile picture of you as a large leprechaun, or so I advised my son, when he excitedly announced his plans for such.)

So what coolly persuasive tactics did I use to discourage my kids from getting tattoos?

I "rationally" explained the risks. When my son announced his idea of portraying his "Irishness" on his entire lower leg, as if the map of freckles across his face wasn't enough, I shrieked, "You'll poison yourself, get hepatitis, HIV and need a tetanus shot!"

When my daughter wanted a shamrock or some such thing on her wrist, I said (while shaking my head and cringing), "Blood. The needle will cut your wrist open."

I even trotted out some statistics I Googled about the extremely large percentage of people who decide to get their tattoo removed within 10 short years of getting it.

And finally, I played the money card: "You'll have to pay for it yourself."

Did these tactics work? Yes...and no. My daughter has a clean wrist. My son has a leprechaun tattoo on his leg.

He paid for it himself.

How would you prevent your teen from inking?

* Laws about whether a minor can get a tattoo without parental consent vary from state to state.

Image Source: El Paso Public Library Teen Hangout via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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