Your little girl is growing up and now she wants what? A back tattoo? Okay, don’t panic yet. My 3-step approach will help you open a dialog and diffuse the situation.
girl is growing up and now she wants what? A back tattoo?
Okay, don’t panic yet. My 3-step
approach will help you open a dialog and diffuse the situation.
I try to
look for the positive in everything. Be thankful that as a father of a
teenager, you are having a dialog on this subject. This is a sign of a good relationship. My simple 3-step approach will help you
diffuse this tough situation:
Step 1: Take
the Inquiry Approach
from the “Anger or Hostility” voice. Saying “No” or being negative immediately
is a sure way of shutting down the dialog and any future communication between
you and your daughter. Teenage years are an important transformation for fathers.
Show her that you care and you are interested in discovering her reasoning.
Allow her to feel like she is making the decision. You may find out together
that she really hasn’t thought out the plan all the way through and this allows
you to finesse the conversation.
your daughter to know that you will always love her and support her decision.
This may sound counter-productive, but try to understand that you are
communicating a different level of support and control right now. Show her your
support by asking her questions about the tattoo and the specific design she’s
is thinking about. This opens up the trust and offers you an opportunity to
show her the “big picture” and talk to her about the short-term fun of having
the tattoo experience versus the life-long consequences of the mark. Point out
cases where most of the time we get caught up and later have the feeling regret. Will that tattoo last the test of time, or
will she grow tired of it? She may potentially
end up not liking it or the reasoning for having it.
Step 3: Her
that she and her body are growing. As the body grows, the skin stretches, which
can often leave the tattoo looking smeared or deformed from the original
design. Share the information about tattoo removal. There are no guaranteed removal treatments
that completely bring the skin back to its original form. Sometimes laser
removal does not work and it leaves a raised scar in the shape of the old
tattoo. So instead of having clear skin,
you look like your old tattoo was branded on you. Tattoo removal is also often more painful than
having the tattoo inked. Finally, be candid with her and share the fact that
some places where the tattoos are placed are labeled as “Tramp Stamps”. Tell her that, while you know how secure she
is about herself, it is tough enough in high school with all the drama and
gossip that goes around at her age that she doesn’t need to receive the wrong
three steps don’t work, give her the law. Tell her it is illegal in most states
to get a tattoo if you are under the age of 18 and getting the mark would be
breaking the law. Let her know that it would be deeply hurtful if she would go
against your wishes and that you will reconsider when she turns 18.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”