Would you be up for a family tattoo too?
Family tattoo strategy
President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama have a parenting “strategy” when it comes to teen rebellion in the form of tattoos.
The president casually said in an interview on NBC’s Today show: “Michelle and I have used this strategy when it comes to tattoos. ‘If you guys decide you ever want to get a tattoo, then mummy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place and we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo!’”
President Obama added: “My thinking is that it’ll dissuade them from thinking that, that’s a good way to rebel.”
Your take on your tween/teen getting a tattoo
Seems like President Obama is using reverse psychology on his daughters, thinking that perhaps they would feel embarrassed if they all had the same tattoo, it would be “uncool”.
Why are you against tattoos?
If you ever arrive at the juncture where your child wants a tattoo and you’re against it—here are some questions to ask yourself. Remember that it is important to keep communication lines open with your child.
Why do you think getting a tattoo is a no-go?
- Is it due to the permanence of the ink?
- Perhaps it is the bad reputation of tattoos- and you’re afraid that when they venture out in the working world, they would not get full respect they deserve due to the negative impression?
- Is it against your religion?
- Could it be due to the potential deadly dangers of tattooing?
- Is it the health risk it could pose if your child is allergic to the ink?
- It could be all of the above and more.
Convey this to your child in a non-forceful manner.
Tattoo as a form of body art and self expression
RELATED: It is OK to give your kids tattoos
Why does your teen want a tattoo?
The next step is to ask your tween or teen why the want a tattoo in the first place. Try to understand their stance.
- Is it a form of self-expression?
- Is it the latest trend?
- Is it to feel alive due to the pain?
- Is it to remember a special person or occasion or verse?
- What tattoo does he/she want and what does it symbolise or mean?
- Is it to be part of a group?
Listen intently and understand the desire.
RELATED: Mother gives baby a tattoo
Give them credit for asking
Be grateful that you are even able to have the conversation; many kids would have gone ahead with getting a tattoo without ever consulting a parent. Why would they—knowing your answer? If you act out and reject them without valid explanation, they might just retaliate. Out of rage and rebellion, they may rush out to a cheap and unhygienic tattoo parlour and risk getting infections of sorts.
RELATED: Maia Lee’s tattoo removal journey of agony
Patience: Wait it out
Explain that getting a tattoo is a huge decision and that they may change their minds later on. A tattoo removal process is expensive and painful. Tell them why you are against it but also assure them that you understand their desire for a tattoo as well.
Just realise that you can’t hold them back for too long—soon they will have wings and will fly away from the nest. The most important thing then is not if they will get a tattoo, but will they survive in the world with the values that you have instilled. Tattoos at that point may actually be a non-issue.
Would you ever consider a family tattoo and do you think President Obama’s “family tattoo” strategy will work on your kids?