People get tattoos for different reasons and this should be no different for your teenager. If your culture, religion and personal beliefs allow for tattoos then there’s nothing you can say to your kid because if they really want one, they’re going to get one eventually. Even if they’re too young at the moment, having a conversation about them might help them make a better decision when it comes to getting a tattoo. Now not everyone has a tattoo so if you don’t then get in contact with a family member, friend or someone you trust to get more informed — arming yourself with knowledge is the best thing you can do.
A tattoo is permanent. Well not really with advanced technologies, it is possible to remove a tattoo but it hurts like hell, even more than getting the tattoo itself. It’s not like getting your hair dramatically dyed or drastically cut, it’s on your skin so you have to be sure this is what you want to have etched onto your body. Have your kid tell you what the tattoo means to them and why they want it. Explain to them that people can change and their interests can change so right now that Nike symbol will look cool when you’re playing high school basketball but what about if they don’t make the team next year? Or they suffer an injury, preventing them from playing the sport? Yes, there are a million reasons NOT to get a tattoo, at any age, but talking these out with your teenager will make them feel like you’re not just disregarding their feelings — it may bring you closer together because you respecting them as a person, not just as a kid.
It all comes down to meaning. Here’s what a tattoo on your child does NOT necessarily mean: it doesn’t necessarily mean that your child has a serious psychiatric disorder, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is seriously disturbed and it doesn’t even necessarily mean that your child got the tattoo to make you angry. People are going to be people and they’re going to think however they are going to think — hopefully your kid has a sense of what that means in regards to a tattoo.
So maybe your teenager is responsible enough to get a tattoo but they better be responsible enough to care for one. Most tattoos take well over a week to heal and some can take as long as a year. Allowing the tattoo to heal can be the difference between a good result and a pretty ugly infections so pick the studio carefully. Make sure it’s clean, licensed and has a good reputation.
If your teen has thought about it, has the money, makes the appointment — what can you really do? Just talk to them in a non-judgmental way and make sure your teen understands what he or she is doing before the deed is done.