It never happened to me—thank goodness. My teenager did strange things to her hair (no problem), got several ear piercings (I guess) got her navel pierced (okay, reluctantly) and stopped at that point with the so-called “expressions of her individuality.” I never had to talk my daughter out of a tattoo.
Even though my girl is the best daughter in the world, I was frankly surprised she didn’t ask for a tattoo. Many of her friends did, reasoning that they would either love their tat forever or just have it removed later.
I was prepared with this list of ways to reason with her just in case.
1) Tattoos cost real money. Even a modest-sized tattoo can cost a few hundred dollars if it is a somewhat elaborate design and/or custom design, involves several colors and is performed by a good artist. And a parent would never dream of helping a kid pay for a tattoo, right?
2) Tattoo removal, specifically laser tattoo removal, costs even more. Creams don’t work and skin abrasion techniques are not used any longer. Most tats require several laser tattoo removal sessions and the eventual bottom line may be several hundred or even a thousand dollars. Insurance virtually never covers treatment.
3) Tattoos can be painful. If your loved one is somewhat wimpy when it comes to pain, you might look for an online video of a tattoo in progress and watch it together.
4) Laser tattoo removal may be painful as well—the exact degree depends on many factors. Again, a video might come in handy as a visual aid.
5) Side effects and risks of laser tattoo removal include burning, swelling and infection.
6) If dark skin is the norm in your family, removing a tat will be extra tricky for your son or daughter. There is a greater risk of unfavorable scarring and uneven pigmentation.
7) Laser tattoo removal is not necessarily 100 percent effective. Most honest practitioners will tell you they can fade the design or even make it barely visible. Few will guarantee complete removal.
8) The colors that may interest your child—the very latest in vibrant, exotic colors, including the hottest new fluorescent inks—can be the most difficult of all to remove.