Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by lgp, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    I am very, very upset at one of my college age daughters. She is a junior in college and lives away from home. She had been talking about getting a tattoo on her arm for some time, but I asked her not to as her father and I would not approve of it. When she persisted, I half-heartedly told her we would cut her off financially if she did it.

    Well, she went this morning and got the tattoo--she did not tell me yet, but posted it to her Twitter. It's not a huge tattoo, about three inches, a word with a peace sign tattooed in the 'O' of the word. It's on the lower part of her arm.

    I cannot tell you how upset I am about this. She paid for it with money she earned over the summer--what a dumb way to blow $150! She will be 21 in July, she earns excellent grades and does not take drugs, smoke or drink excessively. She is a health conscious vegan. Still, I am very upset about this.

    How do I put this into perspective? She is coming home for Thanksgiving and I do not want to put a damper on the holiday and ensuing festivities, but I would like her to know that this is upsetting and disappointing to me. Any thoughts from any of you would be very much appreciated to help calm me, as I am truly stewing over this.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2009]
  2. sisland

    sisland New Member

    I know this is very upsetting to you and i can understand why!,,,I'll just fill you in on my 3 daughters who got tattoos at 18 years of age no matter what i said or did to prevent it,,,,

    They all have small to medium size tattoos, and they are very tasteful as far as tat's go,,,,Chinese symbols for happiness and longevitey ,,,,my oldest has one on her shoulder in the back,,,my middle gal has one on her upper arm and my youngest has one on her left calf,,,,,

    It truley seems the norm these days,,,,,They were going to do it even if i didn't approve ,,so i just kinda went along with it since the tat's were tasteful,,,,and of course they were 18 or older so i had no say in it anymore,,,,,,,I would like to assure you that it does not change the person that they are and that they all went on to graduate and become successful young adults,,,,,,,

    If she has none of the other bad habits ,,i would look at the big picture and just talk to her about it and tell her that she has to finance everyother thing that she does like this,,,,,,I'm hoping that this helps,,,,Our kids seem to always surprise us with new things all the time!
    Goodluck Dear!,,,,,Sis
    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2009]
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Sorry you're upset. I think Sis is right. It's very common these days.

    When I was young, many decades ago, no one got tattoos but sailors
    and criminals. Now all kinds of respectable people do. Even I do. Haha!
    Got one to mark my 50th birthday. I wanted to do something wild and
    crazy before my turn was over. Couldn't afford a trip around the world,
    so I got a tattoo.

    Think how much worse it could be. I had a wonderful relationship w/ my
    son, but once he grew up and got married, he wanted nothing to do
    with me.

    Just focus on the alternatives. Your daughter has not become an addict
    or a criminal or a drop out or.....She has not been an accident or come down
    w/ a serious illness.

    Don't say a negative word about it when she comes home. She already knows
    you don't approve. If the subject comes up, you can say, "I was reading the
    other day about the best place to get a tattoo so it doesn't hurt."

    "On somebody else." Everybody will think you are very cool.

  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    As our children get older,it is so hard as parents to accept that we can't always control everything they do.

    You have gotten some good advice.

    Your daughter already knows how you feel.

    If people say anything at Thanksgiving let them know that you guys have worked this out, it is in the past and instead of dwelling on this, think of the things we are thankful for.

    She has so many good qualities and sometimes we have to pick our battles.

    Sounds easy? No and sometimes can be excruciating for parents. I've been through the same thing and I look back at how much time, energy I wasted as well as the distress I cause myself.

    Somehow I missed that she just got this. As time goes by, it will be easier to put things in perspective.

    Take care.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2009]
  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I haven't been here for quite a while but I stumbled by accidentally today and saw your title.

    I wish my kids would get tattoos instead of moving to the middle east. The crazy thing about grown up kids is that they are grownups! I know it sounds crazy - of course they are - but it really doesn't make any sense to me on an emotional level.

    I think they "should" listen to me and do what I think is right and share all of my beliefs and values and opinions. But, instead, they have ideas of their own about everything! In a very reflexive, heartfelt way, that just feels crazy!

    I have to work hard - lots of breathing involved :eek:) - at finding a balanced way to tell them I don't agree with what they have chosen to do but I respect their right to be themselves and love them unconditionally. I feel a responsibility to tell them how I feel, and hope it makes a difference sometimes, but an even greater one to let them know they can always talk to me. My feelings are my problem. It's hard work, for sure.

    She sounds like a really lovely young woman!

    And I confess, like Rock, I have a tattoo, too!

    peace out,

  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I agree with the others... some things are not worth fighting over. Things have changed, tattoos do not signify to younger people what they signified to many of us. I will tell you my stories as others have done, since most of us seemed to have had to deal with this at some time.

    My son at 15 wanted dreadlocks - not a pretty sight. We let him, figured there were bigger battles even tho I hated being seen with him. After 8 months, he cut it all off, his hair has been short ever since.

    My daughter was a good student in HS, no trouble, etc. For her birthday before senior year, she wanted to get her nose pierced (like those in India). Not my idea of cool or pretty.... but she made her case and we let her, but with her own money. Well, it takes about 6 months +/- to heal - it fell out at 4 months while asleep and was closed by the time she awakened.

    She had it re-pierced (again with her own money), same thing happened. At that point she gave up as she'd decided to work for a while before going to college, and knew she couldn't easily get a job with it.

    Later, she did get a tattoo at her waist on her back (rather large, yin-yang sun moon shining).... and then just a simple 1.5" lotus flower outline on one upper arm.

    7 years later she doesn't regret it, she at least had the foresight to plan ahead --they're easily covered up - and since then she's graduated from college, is holding a full time job in her profession while attending grad school and buying a house. Can't get more responsible than that....

    As everyone has said, since it's already done, there's not much to say-- I'd ignore it unless you are able to say something she totally doesn't expect, like a compliment. She knows your opinion already, as others have pointed out, and things could be much worse... I don't think (well, I KNOW) that either my DH's parents or mine ever totally agreed with some things we've done, but they held their tongues...

    over the years, things have a way of losing significance.

    all the best,
  7. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    But, you did ask for perspectives.....

    I can not fathom a mother telling their grown child that they would cut them off financially or otherwise over a tattoo... Sorry, but I just spent 6 years being estranged from my daughter and grand children, because of an argument, so the tattoo issue sounds ridiculous to me..

    There would be many other things I could think of that would be a whole lot worse that she could do. IMO, you have a good kid, she gets good grades, and even holds a job.......Let it go mom, before things get out of hand here, and you are on the outside wishing that you were on the inside.......
  8. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    There are nylon sleeves with tatoos printed onto them. Look pretty real on arms and legs.
    Also, some tatoo methods may be made now to be easily eraseable. And, of course, temporary tape tatoos available. Some tatoos do look nice. Cheers, mr Bill
  9. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    You've gotten a lot of good advice already,not much more that I can add. However,I can relate.My youngest daughter has a few tats,none of them visible to the public,unless she's in a bikini. She is 26 yrs old,we were talking about this very subject last week. Hindsight is always20/20. She regrets having them now but will just live with them. As for me this is just another example of having to let go of the control with our adult kids. I'm working really hard on that and it has been very "freeing" emotionally for me to give up that control. I just pray for all my kids daily that they are given the grace to make the best choices in their lives,that's all any of us can do.~~~Jeanne p.s. I agree with others' that in the scheme of things having a tatoo is not such a big deal...
  10. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much to those of you who gave such supportive, sensitive and insightful answers. And some were downright funny!!

    I spoke to my daughter last evening and was very calm about the whole thing, while at the same time I (gently) conveyed to her that it would not have been my choice and to think carefully before she makes it the start of something big. We spoke about it, and then I made it a point to move on to something else, not making it the complete scope of our conversation. And I know she was glad for it, because she excitedly told me about the rest of her weekend.

    The tat itself is smaller than I had originally thought; she had magnified it when she posted it for clarity purposes. That was a relief; truth be told it was my biggest fear with this kid was that she would have like a whole circus carnival tattooed all over her shoulder or something. She assured me that she will never do anything that would encumber her face and neck area. She says she never would do that and that is a huge relief to me--she is really a beautiful girl and I just would feel terrible if she hindered her looks in that way.

    I thought about this for a long time last evening and I think this is just part of letting go for me--I can no longer exercise the control that I once could, and day by day, in small increments, it is brought home to me. I guess this tat incident was just another one of those times.

    I would never allow this to become a bigger issue, enough to alienate my daughter. To me, family is everything, and I would eat my words, swallow my pride, and just shut my mouth before I would spend even one day not speaking to my daughter over this. She is too good a kid for that type of foolishness.

    By the way, to the poster who took offense to me saying I would cut my daughter off financially, I did say that I said it half-heartedly, meaning that I didn't really mean it, said it jokingly. Sorry you misunderstood or I didn't make that clear.

    Thanks again everybody--


    [This Message was Edited on 11/16/2009]
  11. victoria

    victoria New Member

    All's well that ends well!

  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I wouldn't beat yourself up over your comment. It was said in the heat of the moment. As long as your daughter understands this, I would not make a big deal out of it.

    It is a good life lesson for your daughter to realize that sometimes people will say things they don't mean in the heat of the moment and that an apology is needed. That is unless it stirs things up again. Sometimes you just can't win, eh?

    Ah, Parenthood.

    Have you ever seen that movie with Steve Martin. I thought it was very good, though a bit long, and one of the messages was to let go.

    I just recommend this movie to my daughter who is expecting her first child in December.

    Remember the song, "What a difference a day makes." or is that what you meant in your title. I am trying to remember who sang this.

  13. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Glad to see you feel better about this issue. I enjoyed reading everyone's replies, because there was some really great advice there (that I'm sure I will need down the road! LOL)

    I really wouldn't have had much advice for you, but before I ever got to your second post, I was thinking that maybe it was more of an issue for you about letting go and watching her grow up than it was about the tattoo. And then a few posts later, I see that you said the same thing. I was going to say what most others' said...that she sounds like a really great kid with a good head on her shoulders, and you know you and your DH have done a wonderful job raising your daughters, so a tattoo isn't the end of the world (even if you can't stand it).

    I understand about beingso frustrated too, and sitting at the computer and just really is therapeutic sometimes. And the next day, things really do seem better, just like they did with you.

    Funny, when I was in my college-age years, all of my friends were getting tattoos and body piercings - for some reason, I just never wanted any of that stuff. But I did wear colored contacts for a long time, and even though my mother told me they looked ridiculous, I thought they were so cool and beautiful. I look back now at pictures of me back then, and you know? She was absolutely right....they looked terrible, and so obviously fake. Why didn't I just listen to her? I guess I had to figure it out on my own.....

    Anyway, you know you have great kids, and I completely understand why you were so upset in your first post. But I'm glad it all worked out!! Being a parent is just so tough sometimes (as I am learning everyday....)
  14. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input--I always value your thoughts.

    And I was referring to that song!! I remember Natalie Cole singing it when I was a teenager--it might have been a remake.

    Just a funny aside to Parenthood which I also thoroughly enjoyed-- it reminded me when you posted about the movie--is a stand-up comedian named Anita Renfroe who performs a hilarious bit called 'The Mom Song' to the tune of William Tell. Check it out on youtube and let me know what you think!

    Thanks again--

  15. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    It is amazing the difference a day makes. I apply that to alot of areas of my life....just not my post I guess!! Truly, when I am upset with someone or something, I usually wait 24 hours to gather my thoughts. And when the kids were little, and would come home crying over something the teacher said, I would ALWAYS wait 24 hours before calling, if I even called. I would do this to calmly, rationally gather my thoughts.

    Your story about your contact lenses made me laugh SOO much. My ridiculousness when I was young came in the form of my footwear. When I was 14 or 15, I got a pair of these black, flat suede boots that laced all the way up my leg; I believe they were called Lil Abners, and I would wear them with jeans--only problem, it was a blazing hot summer, but I insisted on wearing them. In retrospect, I looked like a total idiot. And my mother did not say a single word!! I guess she was just shell shocked from the stupid marshmallow shoes I wore, and these insanely high green wedgies I would wear--keep in mind that I was 5'10" and 115 lbs!! Again, not a word from my mom. And I guarantee you, she will be the first one to tell my daughter how awesome her tattoo is. When I was mildly, but silently irritated about my tattoo daughter's nose piercing when she was 16 (tiny diamond stud which I have actually come to like on her), my mother blurts out, "That looks so cool. I love it." At that moment, I really wanted to pop mom one--LOL!! My mother always firmly believed in allowing teenagers to express themselves....that's probably why, nut job that my mom is, all the granddkids and their friends absolutely adore her!

    You know what I wish I still had? The self-confidence, the mojo of youth, that I could wear all these hideous things, looked ridiculous, and thought I looked just great. I probably possess a much greater sense of style now, but am always second guessing myself. Ahh, the idiocy of youth!! To be idiotic again!!!


    [This Message was Edited on 11/16/2009]
  16. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I found this and am planning to send it to my daughters who are both young moms!!

    Now, don't go saying "High Ho, Silver" at the end!!

    Thanks. kjade!!


    [This Message was Edited on 11/16/2009]
  17. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    It sounds like you have it sorted...and I'm glad. I think you are, too!

    I don't have any 'girl mom' experience. I'm of the generation (like one of the above posters) that only sailors and prisoners had tattoos. My dad had a tattoo. Since he spent some time as both, I don't know where he got it!

    And all those here who said that self-expression is so different now, yes, I can remember when I FINALLY turned 13 and got to get pierced ears! (Just one each...)

    I saw this a while ago, but in the spirit of there being a whole growing generation out there of young women with tattoos, it fits the bill. Ane they won't always be young! I think it is from SNL. This copy is at

    As you can see, it's a (fake) ad for Dr. Turlington's Lower Back Tattoo Remover.

    Watch it and enjoy, knowing that your grandchildren will straighten your daughter out in their time...isn't that the way it works?!?
  18. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Laura~~~It's all worked out!,,Isn't this board wonderful!,,,it's like a support group for everyone that needs advice in just about any situation!,,,at least it has been for me,,,,,I'm so glad you are able to accept the big picture!,,,Our childern are always teaching us new things,,even though we are alot older than them and have lived through alot more,,,,,,,HUgs!,,,Sis,,,,,,,,,,,p.s.I have to confess of getting a butterfly tat on my ankle when i turned 40,,,,it hurt big time!,,,only an inch long,,,,,but i've never regretted getting it,,,,,running over to check out the mom song!
  19. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I can understand how upset you must be. Thankfully my daughter never got a tatoo, but my granddaughter did. It very much upset me. She hid it from me for years, but my grandson was determine to let me know.

    She had a cartoon type put on her lower back, and he wrestled her to the floor and pulled up her t-shirt so I could see it. He is three years younger than her, and you know how kids are :). He would not let her get away with it (you can smile, it truly was funny, I had no idea what he was up to:)...

    She is older now and is embarrassed about it. He calls it her "tramp stamp", and she gets fighting mad at him!

    I have two sons, one had a couple of tatoo's and the other none. My grandkids are cousins, one each are my son's children.

    YOu simply have to put up with it, and the less you mention it the better for everyone. They can be removed (so I am told). So possibly she will have it removed when she gets older. From what you say, she sounds like a lovely girl. I would not let it bother you too much, but I do understand how you feel. I do not like even my son having tatoo's much less my beautiful granddaughter.

    My Father had two, but like someone else said, he was in the service. These days it is the 'style', lousy style, but most of the kids do have them.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and do not mention it!

    Shalom, Shirl

  20. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Oh, that was so funny about the boots! In the summer! hahaha!
    I had horrible fashion sense back in "in my day". I was a child of the late 80's/early 90's, so you can just IMAGINE the things I wore! AWFUL!!!!
    I have really long hair now, but back then it was shorter (and it is naturally curly and very thick) - I gave myself a perm anyway, because I wanted my hair to be HUGE!!! looked TERRIBLE! My friend from HS just sent me pics she found of us back then....hideous!! My kids had a good laugh at those! Remember Vanilla Ice? Well he had these neat little lines shaved in the side of his head, and I just thought those were so cool. SO guess what I did? I shaved the side of my head above my ear (only one side) and shaved little lines on my scalp. Then I would poof the sides and top of my hair so high (using a can of Aqua Net every week), but I never bothered to touch the back of my hair. My mom used to tell me to fix the back because it looked so stupid. And I used to just tell her that no one looked at the back of my head anyway, so who cares? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I noticed when I saw those pics what she was talking about. I looked like a poodle that had been laying on it's head too long, and all the hair in the back got all smashed up. WHOA...was that bad!

    Your mom sounds funny....isn't is just like a mom to rub things like that in your face? LOL. My mom used to always tell me she couldn't WAIT until I had kids, because she was just going to laugh at me when they become teenagers. Gee....can't wait for that!

    Yes I wish I still had that self-confidence and that "who cares" attitude like I did back then. But then again, at least now I have some sense! (Oh and I just remembered the rubber bracelets that I would wear all the way up my arm - to my elbow. BLECH!!)
    I am just hoping that when my sons get older (not even THINKING about my daughters YET) that the style with the huge pants worn down to their knees is over. (is that over yet? I really don't know!) That will be hard to watch them wear things that I know look awful, but are in "style". And I know I won't be able to say much, because look at all the things I did! Wait, yes I will, because I will always be their mom!

    Gap, I have seen that vid before, and it is so hilarious! That is MY LIFE to a tee!!! Thanks for the laugh....SO true!

    BTW Laura....sorry to get so off-topic, but you got me thinking about those years. Boy am I glad those years are over! (especially the 80's!!!)
    [This Message was Edited on 11/17/2009]