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Easing Parent Worries

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Easing Parent Worries

Image Moon Photography by Mel

Image courtesy Moon Photography by Mel @ Flickr
Question: Easing Parent Worries
Dear Tattoo Guide,

I am writing to you because I read your blog about breaking stereotypes. I am a blank as you called it. I am the most non-judgmental, giving person except when it comes to people with body covered tattoos and/or multiple piercings.

I just can't get past the perception I have no matter how hard I try. My 15 yr old daughter is hurt by this because she has friends that fall into this category.

I associate (even though I know it's wrong) people with multiple piercings as criminals and drug addicts. I am so not like that at all...I have no arrests or tattoos , only my ears pierced etc...but I'm trying really hard to allow my daughter to be her own person.

She has lied to me in the past and experimented with drugs and some (but not all) of the kids that helped her go down that negative road fit the body art category.

I truly am wanting to change my attitude but I need help and you sound like a person that can give me some things to think about regarding this issue.

If you aren't interested, I understand. Regardless of your decision your blog helped enough for me to reach out.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Answer: Welcome to the world of parenting. I'd love to offer my insight to your concerns, although I too am only winging this.

First off, expressing your concern already shows what a great job you're doing as a parent. Even though your daughter may not like the criticism and house rules, she's bound to find some secret comfort in knowing you're concerned; whether or not she expresses it.

It's also admirable, not just as a parent but as a person, that you're willing and wanting to change your viewpoints and perceptions of people. You're able to look at yourself and perhaps where you might be at fault for your judgments. Think about how impressive that is. Hopefully these are some of the traits that your daughter is picking up on, as having an open mind will be a valuable trait in life.

Talk to your daughter about tattoos. Does she like them? Does she want one? What type would she get and where would she place it? I know you didn't mention her wanting one, but you're probably secretly scared of that day coming, so you might as well help her figure out a design idea and quiz her mind a bit to help her find something meaningful before it happens.

You said she has experimented with drugs and alcohol. That's very common in that age group and yes you are right, many tattooed and modified kids also partake in these behaviors. Does she like to do things after school or have any special interests? Does she read or write and use any of her unique talents? She's bound to have some hobbies. Maybe you guys could invest some time into them?

I don't think there's much more of an answer to your question. I believe parenting is mostly stepping back and allowing your child to make the right decisions based on the guidance you have provided them and your commitment and unconditional love and support during the process.

Your care for your daughter has been expressed. You're willingness to understand your daughter has been revealed. Now you just need to be there and continue to watch her and guide her. Asking lots of questions, engaging conversations and continuing to have an open mind will allow you to form a bond based on mutual respect which will be very important. For the older she gets, there will be many times she has to choose between right or wrong, tattoo or no tattoo, car ride home or no car ride home, and she's hopefully going to think of you first. Your open mind. Your acceptance. Your guidance. And then she's going to do what she wants to do anyway. With a little luck and a prayer, that will always be the right thing.

I wish you the best. Keep loving and caring for your daughter.

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