Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bench Talk: Teens, Tattoos and Piercings!

So, your teen comes up to you with a request for a tattoo. How do you respond? Is it better to get a piercing rather than a tattoo?

(Carolin) Interesting Cathy very interesting. Sometimes I think Cathy picks these topics cause she knows we are or have already gone through this!

First off I have to say I have a tattoo. So obviously I have no problems with them. And also yes I have had my ears pierced. So piercing is not a biggie for me either. But, as in everything, I do have an opinion!

I got my tattoo when I was 38 years old (yes, was also the the year I tried pot for the first/last time). The teenager has said on more then one occasion that she would like a tattoo. My response has been fine but wait till you are older. Because the interest she has now may not be what she has 20 years from now. Also, I strongly recommend that the tattoo be in a spot that can be easily hidden when you don't want others to see it. (mine is on my back shoulder) There are times when the showing of a tattoo or piercing is not appropriate.

Now about a year ago we went through the belly button piercing with the teenager. She had different times mentioned she wanted to get one. I had told her to wait till she was 18 and also she had to be careful when she got one as I understood you could not get it wet and she is in a chlorinated pool 15 plus hours a week.

One day she went to the mall with a friend and unbeknown to us she got her belly button pierced. She did not tell us at first but like anything circumstance prevailed and we found out. I think I handled OK, I was more concerned about it being taken care of properly and how was she going to handle the pool issue. I was a little upset that she didn't discuss it with me first and felt she had to hide it. Now her father, that was a totally different issue. He was not happy and said some not very nice things. It did cause some friction between us for a while. I think sometimes he is just too hard on her and his expectation are way too high. And he thinks I am to soft with her and let her get away with all kinds of stuff.

But anyway I digress, after about a month the belly button was totally infected and she had to be very careful. Within two months the belly button ring fell off and she now has a scar. She hasn't mentioned belly button piercing or tattoos in a while. So who knows what she has planned for when she goes to university (fingers crossed) or when she turns 18 and she considers herself an adult!

My advice to teens who want to experiment, make sure it is in a place that you can cover up if you want. Though you think you know now what you want for the future, life can get in the way and you wouldn't want to regret the decision. With belly button piercing remember it doesn't hurt to get it done, but it requires a lot more after care and can take up to a year to completely heal. So, if you are in a pool a lot it might not be a good idea. Belly button piercing is very different then having your ear pierced and requires very different care.

(Sunshine) Well everyone this is a subject that has come up a few times in our home. I don't have a huge problem with tattoos or piercings. Well maybe I do because I have said that there will be not tattoos or unapproved piercing while our children are living in our home. Is that the right thing to do? I don't really know. I would prefer that they be much older when that decision is finally made. I just figure that when they finally do leave home then they will be much older and I will have no say in the matter anyway. For now I am playing hard ball but I know that they could come home with something if they are determined and really want to. What would my reaction be? Who knows? Mr. Sunshine pretty much never says no to anything. His theory is that if you say yes then they probably won't even discuss the matter much anymore. Eventually they will forget about it because they are not doing it to spite you. Its not as attractive to them anymore because you have not made it a forbidden thing. He says let them feel like they are in control even though you are the one who is really in control. In the end if they still want it and they are old enough then they can get it and pay for it. After all it is their body. How old is old enough? I don't really know, maybe 25 years old or so.

However, I do remember being that age and the "no you can't" statement only annoyed me. But the tattoos and piercings were never of any interest to me. All I wanted to do was to dye my hair blond. I came home blond at about age 19 or 20 and I got in really big trouble but it didn't matter much to me because I really liked it. Things were tense for a while but then they calmed down and I did whatever I wanted to my hair ever since then.

I think as parents we do need to impose some rules and regulations. Children will challenge them and sometimes break them. As a teenager I felt that we had too many rules but now today as an adult with children of my own I appreciate that my parents tried so hard to enforce the rules. I do think that it kept us on a straighter path and out of trouble.
Cathy here, it's funny, but this subject has not really come up in our home. I have two sons and thankfully, they still wear their pants around their waist! I asked them once what they thought about the latest fashion trend of wearing pants so low and they both replied that it was stupid! I, personally like a guy with a small diamond stud earring. I have even offered to take the boys to get one if they want. Hubby does not like it, however, I don't feel he would stop the boys from getting an earring. Fortunately for Hubby the boys are not interested at all in an earring or any other piercing.
Tattoos come up but only between Hubby and I. The boys have never talked about it. When Carolin got her tattoo, I thought about getting one myself. I have played with the idea of a small deep pink poppy on my ankle, or on the top of my backside. I asked Hubby once what he thought of the idea. He used to say he didn't like tattoos, but lately when I have raised the subject he has said he wouldn't mind, it's sexy all of a sudden!
I still only play with the idea. I do have pierced ears but hardly wear earrings. I am just not that much into jewelry. So, at this time piercings and tattoos are not an issue. I think if the boys were to ask about a tattoo I would try to steer them toward piercing. Tattoos are permanent and expensive to remove. I feel you could poke holes in yourself and if in the future you choose not to fill those holes it would not show.
Well, you have read our opinions, what are your opinions? Please feel free to leave your comments, anonymous or not we love them all!
Have a great day!


  1. This is a topic that spans the generations. My daughter knows how I fell about tatoos. I dislike them and think that we should not cover our beautiful bodies with permanent ink. And unbenounst to me she went ahead and had her body tatooed. And then proceeded to incourage her baby sister to do the same. She must have knowen it was wrong because she hide it from me for months.
    To this day she thinks it was OK to do such a thing behide her mothers back. Not only that she tells me she will do it again if she wants. What is a mother to do.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love You Carolin

  2. Well... I did not encourage my baby sister in getting a tattoo. Uh Mother Kerry got hers before I got mine. But I did try to get Chris to get his nipples pierced. Just cause I new it would drive you crazy! I did not do it behind your back I just didn't tell you. And by the way benchers I was 38 years old!!!!!!

    If you didn't see my name on this comment you would think it was the teenager commenting. LOL

  3. And to think I still LOVE my children!!!!!!!!