How to Tell Your Parents You Got a Tattoo

Make sure you can explain why you got your tattoo.
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Parents and kids don't always see eye to eye, especially on the topic of tattoos. If you went and got a tattoo without telling your parents first, bringing it up after the fact may seem pointless or unnecessary. However, it's more likely than not that your parents will hear about it from someone else or catch a glimpse of your tattoo on their own. Instead of waiting for the moment of doom to happen on its own, it's best to be honest with your parents and tell them about the tattoo yourself.

Wait until your tattoo has healed completely to show it to your parents. Wash it regularly with mild soap and water, and apply a healing ointment that will promote healthy skin repair. Taken care of properly, most tattoos will heal completely after 3 or 4 weeks. Tell your parents about your tattoo and show it to them once it has healed. Knowing that you took care of it properly and that there is no longer a risk of infection might decrease some of their fears about tattoos.

Notify your parents that you were aware of the risks associated with getting a tattoo. Explain the precautions that you took to ensure that you were getting a tattoo under the most safe conditions possible. Remind your parents that all of your immunizations are up to date and let them know that you double-checked this information before you got tattooed.

Describe the tattoo parlor that you went to. Emphasize the cleanliness of the facility. Explain the safety precautions your tattoo artist took, including washing his hands before getting started, wearing gloves, and using sterile needles and fresh bottles of ink. Point out that you got your tattoo from a licensed tattoo artist, and show them his qualifications if possible.

Discuss your choice with your parents. Avoid taking a defensive or argumentative tone. Your parents will be more receptive to listening to your point of view if they feel they are being engaged in conversation as opposed to being yelled at. Explain the thought process behind getting your tattoo. If the tattoo has special meaning to you, relate that to them. Express to your parents that you did not get the tattoo because of peer pressure, because you were depressed at the time, or as an attempt at getting attention.

Assure your parents that your getting a tattoo was well thought out. If they argue that the tattoo might hinder your attempts at getting a professional job someday, bring up the fact that tattoos are becoming more acceptable in today's society. Refer to family friends and professionals that have tattoos who are still able to have successful careers. Express to your parents that you are happy with your tattoo and don't feel that it will have negative repercussions on your life in the future.

  • If you're nervous about telling your parents you got a tattoo, practice the conversation on a friend first. You can also write down the important parts of what you want to say to help you remember them during your conversation with your parents.

Based in Gainesville, Carissa Lawrence is an experienced teacher who has been writing education related articles since 2013. Lawrence holds a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Florida.