difficult child wants a tatoo

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I swear, lately every time difficult child talks to me my head is going to just pop right off. She's not being bad or argumentative, it's just the stuff that comes out.

    First it was rats. We have 6 cats and a dog that was bred to hunt small game. Yeah, let's have rats in the house. But, she presented a good argument and she's paying for everything and trying to get a job.

    Which translates into: she wore me down.

    Then it's keeping me up til 5am obsessing and catastrophizing (someone tell me if that's the right word so I don't feel like an idiot). And no solution is suitable. "difficult child sometimes there are no good choices; you just have to decide which is bad and which is worse. It's just the way life is sometimes."

    Now, she wants a tatoo. 3 X's in a vertical row. It stands for the Straight Edge lifestyle. I told her before that there would be no tatoos before she's 16.

    Did I mention she makes me tired? And that we're soon going to have 3 rats in the house?

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think the obsessive "I need it now" is part of her anxiety. My daughter M does this, too, but it honestly got better when we got her better medicated. I hope that happens with your difficult child, too.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    With difficult children anxiety I would think the last thing she would put herself through is the process of getting a tatoo. This makes no sense to me.

    Guess that's why you call her a difficult child, huh? :stopglass:

    Sorry, Heather, I couldn't resist. ;)
  4. mog

    mog Member

    Well I hate to say this out loud cause I am still fighting my own war with this issue with my easy child but it's better to have a professional do it than what difficult child did. He (about 15) and two friends in detention decided about a year ago that they were going to do their own while there so they took a pen into the rec room and when staff wasn't looking they drew three diamonds on their hand, cut it open and then repeatedly filled it with ink. They kept doing it until it worked. Needless to say he doesn't keep in contact with them and it doesn't mean anything anymore and he wishes he hadn't done it. I was so concerned about how they did it -it amazed me that three boys did this when they were supposed to be being watched by staff. I am thankful that it didn't cause blood disease or worse.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    OMG I so get the feeling of being worn down. I've been feeling very less than up for the task of parenting lately. I'm too old, too tired, too worn down! I totally get it. Hugs, ML
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The very first thing difficult child did when she went away to college was get a tatoo. Do you think she would get a small, tasteful, discrete tatoo? Of course not. She has written in script "Love Forever and Always" very large on the inside of her arm between her wrist and elbow. I guess this was suppose to be for her boyfriend.

    The second thing she did was get arrested for drinking and smoking pot in the dorm bathroom with two other girls and a boy (it was a girls bathroom).

    The third thing she did was get suspended from college after her first semester.

    I agree with no tatoos at this point, but when they turn 18 we no longer have a say :(.

  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I wonder where they get the money for tats. A good tattoo done by a good artist isn't cheap at all.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Heather - I'd stick to my guns on this one - she's too young to really know what she'd want on her for the rest of her life.

    Why not see if she can get it done with Henna? It lasts a few weeks and she can see how she likes the design.

    Get some sleep - she's making ME tired!!

  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Where does she want to put the tattoo?
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Well, she drew the 3 X's down her upper arm with permanent marker and I told her that probably wasn't the best place because she'd want to be able to cover it up. And since she hates long sleeve shirts....

    I'm not worried about her doing a homemade tatoo. She's too afraid of...well, everything.

    But, this kid is needle phobic and now she wants a tatoo??? Of course, she always says she has a negative pain tolerance and she has piercings. I dunno.

    I'm just practicing the smile and nod and using the, "I can't think right now, we'll talk about it later."

    I'm not caving in on this one, though. Just like I wasn't caving on the rats. Which started out as 2 rats, by the way. But, I'm really not caving on this one. Really.

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    "Catastrophizing" is the right word... in IOW, worrying about the absolute worst thing happening all the time. Yup. Anxiety.

    Tattoo? 16? I'd say 18 and remind her that 1) They are painful. 2) They are permanent. 3) They are painful to remove.

    husband says how's it gonna look when she's 50? How's it gonna look with a wedding gown? How's it gonna look in a job interview? How's it gonna look when she's meeting her kid's teacher for the first time? How's it gonna look when she's holding her grandkids?

    (These are mainly things to think about for placement purposes -- if she really wants one, she should get one when she's legally allowed to make that decision for herself).
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As for the rats, well, there is a fix for that. Open the cage door. You have enough hunters to handle the problem.

    Tattoos? I would hold out until 18. If she argues, just give her a list of all the diseases one can catch through tattoos. Include the problems with MRI's and other medical imaging heating the metals in the inks up - some people have gotten serious burns.

    When Wiz got to the whine and argue until they wear down point we often went into "no arguments no negotiations". If he started we left the room or sent him to his room. Period. I even made sure the lock on our door worked and kept many of the "fun" things in our room so if I had to go there then he missed out on gameboy, etc... and I had things to occupy me. When he stopped then I would again listen to him and speak to him.

    It wasn't fun, but done calmly it can be effective. The first week or two is not fun.

    You can also inform her that the cost of the tattoo will include the costs of testing for things like hepatitis, etc... on a regular basis. Wiz was told he would have to pay for these even if the doctor did not do the tests.

    It made tattoos so expensive as to be totally not something he felt was worthwhile. Esp because I told him it would NOT be filed iwth our insurance - he had to pay the FULL cost.

    Surely some of us hear can help with a list of ways tattoos can go wrong including diseases and disfigurement.

    Mean I may be, but I would play on her anxiety on this topic. At least while she is a minor. Tattoos just can have such long term regret, esp when done very young - before she knows what career she wants. It can really hold you back if you have tattoos, at least in some fields.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have an ad on Aussie TV for a brand of saucepans. The ad shows a very well-coiffed and expensively made up older woman cooking on this brand of pan. It's clearly set in the future because of the way the pots are apparently suspended invisibly over the cooktop, and her hand waving over the controls to switch the cooktop on. You see this woman who was clearly beautiful and elegant in her day and still wearing a linen dress with pearls, mentally congratulating herself on buying a set of the best pots in her youth, pots which are as good today as the day she bought them. "Unlike other lifetime choices made, so long ago..." as the camera pans down to a faded Celtic tattoo 'bracelet' around her upper arm, complete with saggy skin.

    A brilliant ad. by the way, we bought the same brand saucepans.

    I'd be doing two things:

    1) no tattoos until you no longer have to answer to me. That would be 18 years old here.

    2) Here's a henna kit, honey. Learn how to do what you want with that. For what you want to do, this should be a good substitute.

    This is an attempt at self-expression, and that is fair enough in my book. However, she is under-age (and still will be at 16) and therefore needs to be protected from the lifelong consequences of decisions she cannot legally make on her own behalf. Even piercings can grow over; but tattoos will never go away.

    The thing is - once she actually has the permanent markings in place, she has to look at them and live with them. If she really does want them, then she will merely henna them and keep them touched up as they fade. If she does this consistently until she turns 18, you can consider that she is definitely committed to it. If not - then isn't it good she has the freedom to change her mind?

    Mind you, I'm possibly going to get a tattoo once I'm over my radiotherapy. I have to have a dot tattooed onto my breast for radiotherapy, so husband suggested that I get it made into something after it's all done. I'm thinking about it, I'm going to drop in on a tattoo parlour next chance and talk to them about it.

    But then, I'm well and truly over 18!

    However, I will be trying henna first. If I have to have chemo and lose my hair, I'll probably get easy child 2/difficult child 2 to decorate my scalp with henna. She's quite good with henna. I've seen her do her hands, Indian-style.

    Possibly for your daughter, you helping her with henna could be a surprising compromise. But far from helping her take another step towards getting a tattoo, it could be enough for her to do it and also help her realise that perhaps it's not a permanent look she wants after all.

  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Have her test the Henna on a hidden spot. It isn't all that uncommon to be allergic to the strong henna pastes used for "tattoos", and an itchy little spot well hidden beats winding up with dermatitis on the entire hands.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I had a friend who went through a similar thing with pets.

    Despite having a house full of cats, the child decided she needed to have HAMSTERS. Mom insisted that she got the priviledge of naming at least one of the critters.

    She named it "Cat Food".

    And unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to it.

    As for the tattoo--there are a bunch of reality shows that feature tattoo parlors, and they show folks coming in and getting bloody during the process. They also show folks who didn't take care of their fresh tattoo correctly and have to seek medical treatment. Not pretty...

    Maybe let difficult child watch a few episodes. See how she reacts...

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather stick to your guns on the tat. I wouldnt sign for it before 18. Make her wait until you no longer have a say in this matter.

    Now if she does it to herself, well thats on her. If she ends up in juvy and gets a "prison tat"...well...again on her. Cory has one of each but he was over 18. I would have never signed. I wouldnt have signed for Jamie either and he got a really small rooster's head on his upper shoulder. He was going to color it in but never did. Actually looks like the Kelloggs symbol...lol.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Argh! What IS it with our kids?

    Onyxx says the same thing - she won't change her mind, she will always want the (piercings, tattoos, whatever it is).

    She draws on herself with Sharpies. Fine, they DO come off. She wants a "sleeve" - in fact, wants both arms. BUT, she wants to be a lawyer. Or CSI. Or... Who knows. it changes by the week.

    She pierces odd places (her hips?!), though she's been told not to. Ends up having to take them out and so they never heal - because she has been told NO. She decided she wanted to gauge her ears, and since we would not allow her to get anything above a 6 (barely gauged in my opinion), she cut apart a Sharpie and used that. Looks REAL professional. And REAL attractive. I swear.

    BUT - she has seen my 3 tattoos, and the fact that on any given day none are visible (upper arm, left shoulder; abdomen; front of left thigh). I have to wear a tank top and short shorts for anyone to see two of them and a bikini for the third. (Bikini. Nope.)

    When husband and I married I found tattoo makeup to cover the one on my shoulder. It did an okay job of fading it, but not covering.

    Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling... (Jimmy Buffett... Yes I am a Parrothead!)
  18. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time

    Hi Heather,

    My difficult child got a tattoo last summer just after she turned 16. It is cat claws on the back of her right shoulder. The tattoo parlor wouldn't tattoo anyone under 16 even with my consent and they wouldn't tattoo anywhere that clothing couldn't cover. So they wouldn't go below where a short sleeved shirt would hit. I was hoping it would hurt because difficult child has a needle issue as well but guess what no pain!

    She is already planning her next one. This one she will earn by grades and it will still be small and in an area that is not really shown.
    She has two more quarters of decent grades and so far she is earning it.

    The cost for her first one was 75.00 that was a simple tattoo with no color.
    Good luck!
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Marg, my girlfriend (the breast cancer survivor I mentioned) had a little 'x' tattooed on her breast to mark the target for the radiation beam.

    Once she passed the five year mark, she had a tiny phoenix tattoed over the 'x'. It symbolized survival and rebirth to her.

    We joke about the looks she got when a seventy three year old lady walked into a tattoo shop looking for a breast tattoo, but it came out very nicely.

    I have a celtic knotwork with-mandala band on my upper arm. I got it done years and years ago, and yeah...let's just say that age and weight gain haven't done much for it.

    I still like the tat, but am considering having it done over with something a bit different.

    It's on my upper arm and easily covered by clothing.
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ugh. I think they live to shock you.