If You Really Want the Tattoo, Wait for It

Yahoo Contributor Network

President Obama said on Wednesday that if his daughters dared to get tattoos, he and Michelle would get the same tattoos, in the same place - and "family tattoo," if you will - and show it off on Youtube. On the heels of that creative warning, Yahoo asked readers what strategies they've employed to keep their kids from getting inked. Here's one.

FIRST PERSON | As a 52-year-old parent of two teenage daughters in Kettering, Ohio, tattoos and piercings have been a conversation point for years. My older daughter is now almost 20; my younger daughter just turned 17. While my younger daughter is more interested in piercings, my older daughter has always wanted both.

I do not have anything against body art, but do not feel tattoos are appropriate for young teenagers. I also know that the more a parent says no to anything, the more likely the child will be determined. That was my first rule of thumb for dealing with tattoos. I did not lecture or tell my girls that it was absolutely not going to happen. Threats just never really work that well.

I did approach the subject from an informational standpoint. Tattoos are relatively permanent. While there are techniques that can partially remove or cover a tattoo, the process is expensive and painful. I also explained the original tattoo would be expensive and most likely painful. Finally, we also discussed the fact that they would need to find a really good tattoo artist or end up with potentially poor results.

With all this in mind, I told my daughters that any body art would need to be something they were positive they wanted. In addition, it would be something that they would have to pay for. What seemed to have worked the best was telling them that they would need to wait six months for any tattoo or piercing they wanted.

By asking them to wait, their wants changed. To this date, there have been several piercings but no tattoos. If my older daughter still wants one, she is old enough to decide for herself. Fortunately, they are both enough informed to make intelligent choices.

-- Barbara, age 52, Kettering, Ohio

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