You had been thinking about it, and you finally did it- You got a tattoo! You did your research, carefully chose the design, and you absolutely love it! There’s only one problem: You’re sure your parents won’t approve.
What do you do now? Should you tell them immediately? What’s the best way to go about telling them? Good news: There are steps you can take to make telling your parents a little less scary. Read on for a few tips and answers to your questions.
Why do parents get mad when you get a tattoo?
It’s a sign of your independence.
Often, parents get mad when their child gets a tattoo because it is a sign of independence and of “growing up.” You made an adult decision without them being there, and that can be overwhelming for many parents.
They are concerned about your health.
Also, some parents have health concerns when it comes to tattoos. Because a tattoo is an open wound, there is always risk of infection. There’s also a small chance of contracting a bloodborne disease if the tattoo parlor and artist do not have safe sanitary practices.
There’s even a chance of medical complications down the road. A few years ago, a study was released that shared that in rare instances, ink nanoparticles can travel to your lymph nodes and cause health problems. Parents that have done their research may know this, and they may be mad that you put your health “at risk.”
They’re afraid you’ll regret it.
Most parents know what regret feels like, and they don’t want you to go through that. They may get upset because they know your tattoo is permanent, and they’re afraid you’ll end up regretting it.
They’re worried about your future career.
Lastly, they may be mad because they feel like your tattoo could affect your career choices. They’re upset that you made such a permanent decision that they feel could keep you from getting hired for a job in the future. (Whether or not that’s true, this still may be how they feel.)
Can you hide a tattoo from your parents?
You can hide your tattoo from your parents temporarily, but it is not a good idea to try to conceal it forever.
Hiding your tattoo can be exhausting. Always trying to remember to wear long sleeves or a turtleneck will get old, quickly. Plus, what do you do if it’s summertime, and you are heading to the pool? It’s just not something that you can hide indefinitely.
Here’s something else to think about: You don’t want your parents to hear the news about your tattoo from someone else. They will probably be even more upset if that happens.
You want your parents to trust you, so you need to be open and honest with them about your decision. It may not be easy, but you do need to tell them. Keep reading for a few tips on how to break the news to your mom and dad.
Steps to take to make telling them easier:
Be respectful and try not to appear rebellious.
You’ve already made a decision that your parents probably won’t agree with. The last thing you want to do is act defiant or rebellious when telling them about it. It’ll come across as disrespectful, immature, and inconsiderate of their feelings.
Ultimately, your parents care about you and want what’s best for you. Show them you love them too by validating their feelings and being respectful. It really is the “adult” thing to do.
Don’t pick a time when your parents are already stressed out.
Choose a time when your parents seem to be in a pretty good mood. Don’t tell them when they’re worrying about work or after they’ve just had a disagreement with each other.
You don’t want to add to their stress, and you especially don’t want them to punish you more harshly because they’re already upset. Ideally, wait for a time when they seem relaxed, and approach them about the issue then.
Wait until your tattoo is healed.
You probably don’t want to show your parents your tattoo until it is fully healed. This could take 2 weeks or so. If you show them while it’s still in the healing process, your tattoo may appear red, swollen, or flaky. Seeing it still in the healing process may freak your parents out even more.
Wait until all scabs have fallen away and your skin is smooth and healthy again. Your tattoo will look much better, and your mom and dad shouldn’t be as worried about infection and other health concerns by this point.
Explain why the tattoo is important to you.
Perhaps you chose a symbol, phrase, or design that is special to you and represents something important in your life. If this is the case, make sure to point that out to your parents.
It should ease their mind knowing that you picked something that is symbolic to you. They’ll understand and hopefully appreciate that you didn’t make a rash decision and that your tattoo has real meaning.
Explain that you did your research, and everything was done safely.
Let your parents know that you researched all possible health risks before getting your tattoo. You made sure you chose a reputable, licensed tattoo shop and artist.
Tell them you also made sure the artist’s sanitation practices were up to par. Your artist used clean gloves and a new, unopened needle to do your tattoo. The artist’s workstation was sanitary, and the tattoo parlor was clean. Showing that you did your research and made sure everything was done properly will help show your maturity.
Accept your punishment gracefully.
Let’s face the facts: You may get punished for getting a tattoo without your parent’s permission. It’s part of life- You disobey your parents, oftentimes a punishment follows.
The best thing to do is accept your punishment gracefully, without arguing. Admit that you went against their wishes and that you’re ready to accept whatever punishment they decide. Once again, this shows maturity. And it may even help you get a lighter “sentence,” which is a plus!
In the future, mention how much you still love your tattoo.
Make sure to let your parents know that you love your tattoo and that you don’t regret your decision. This will help them understand that your tattoo does have real meaning to you and that you’re going to continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Ultimately, your parents want what’s best for you. If, over time, they hear that you’re still enjoying your tattoo, they’ll worry less about it. And, who knows- They may even start to love it, too!
How long will it take my parents to get over the shock?
There is no exact answer to this question, but most parents are over the initial shock within a week or two. Your parents may behave a little differently around you for a couple of days, as they deal with the news.
In rare situations, some parents will continue to make negative comments about your tattoo for months to come. But, for the most part, parents will come to accept your decision, and everything will be back to normal in no time!