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Telling My Parents

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People whose parents / loved ones didn't have strong negative reactions to their tattoos are lucky. It can be really hard.

My parents were anti-Tattoo to the Max. My folks would have flipped out and ruined my Teen life more than they already did if they knew I had tattoos. I started getting tattoos at 15 years old and wore a t-shirt from the shower to my room, while I was at my parents home (even after I had moved out and just visiting lol), until I was 19 or so. Just made life easier for everybody.

Being in your parents face about your tattoos is not always the best approach, especially when they are hostile to the idea. Everyone's situation is different I guess and we each have to make that call commensurate to the situation we are in.

Supportive parents get to know what is going in their children's lives, draconian parents are left in the dark and their own illusions, lol.

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You can tell them that tattoos have a very low cost-per-use. And then be a smartass on top of everything else.

More seriously, I feel for everyone on here who has difficult parents. My grandpa (loudly) thinks tattoos are for disreputable sailors and prostitutes, but it's not like there's anything he can do about it. My folks are wary but are now basically accepting. I always grew up with the message that tattoos were for idiots. Part of getting tattooed had to do with pushing past a tendency to pick at my skin (it's an impulsive-control disorder in the vicinity of OCD), so I think they accept that this represents my partial victory over self-harming.

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I thought of this thread yesterday. My mum saw my 3rd tattoo for the first time as I leaned over. I am in my thirties, I have a baby, a phd, a career, a mortgage... yet 5 little words uttered my my mother "Oh, you have another tattoo" and my stomach dropped and I was 17 once more. My husband thinks it's hilarious, I'm annoyed at myself that, instead of saying something terribly intelligent that changed her views completely, I regressed to being a monosyllabic defiant teenager. Gah! ;-p

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Since Saturday, my parents haven't really sat me down and had this big conversation about it. I showed them my snake tatto and that is the only one they know about, for now. I don't wanna throw the other 2 back ones at them. There is nothing to say or that I can do to change anything. They are stuck in their ways and I have repeatedly told them that I understand where they are coming from. I did say I wouldn't get one back a few years ago when I got my industrial piercing. I guess I have changed since then, a lot. Maybe they have not come to terms with that yet.

Once I am more on my feet and completely free of any of their gift money and I have a full time job with benefits, etc (as opposed to the contract position I am in now) I think I will reveal more to them or whatever is new :p

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My parents are not okay with it, but the funny thing is, they both have been with me to get four/five of them done (and I only needed my dad once for permission when I was 17). My mom makes me promised to her after each one I get that I won't get anymore, but obviously I adamantly refuse to do that. My mom doesn't understand it at all (and I'm a very hypersensitive/passionate person so I find it extremely difficult to explain how I feel about my passions). My dad kind of understands it (or at least doesn't show his 'disappoint' with me like my mother does). I do what makes me happy, though. They aren't living my life, they aren't providing me with the money for them, and I've never had a bad relationship with them since the beginning. I totally feel the guilt monster every time I bring it up with them that I am getting another one, though!

I actually think it's pretty funny. My parents/grandparents/aunts have NO tattoos what-so-ever, and then all of a sudden my cousins and I all have more than three a piece.

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Since Saturday, my parents haven't really sat me down and had this big conversation about it. I showed them my snake tatto and that is the only one they know about, for now. I don't wanna throw the other 2 back ones at them. There is nothing to say or that I can do to change anything. They are stuck in their ways and I have repeatedly told them that I understand where they are coming from. I did say I wouldn't get one back a few years ago when I got my industrial piercing. I guess I have changed since then, a lot. Maybe they have not come to terms with that yet.

Once I am more on my feet and completely free of any of their gift money and I have a full time job with benefits, etc (as opposed to the contract position I am in now) I think I will reveal more to them or whatever is new :p

I'm sure they aren't going to sit you down and talk about it. Maybe it's less of a big deal to them than you think. It's not like they're going to have an intervention. I showed my parents the tattoo on my side and my mother asked why I got it so big and my dad asked how much. I answered their questions, they had 1 or 2 comments and that was the end of it. Trust me, after the initial telling them phase, it really isn't a big deal. I told my mom "at least I didn't get fuck tattooed on my knuckles or something" and she replied, "that's true, it could be a lot worse." Just let them digest it and pretty soon it won't even be an issue.

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Ya gonna tell my dad real soon i know he is not gonna take it well , but at my age he really can't complain so my angle is i don't wanna upset him cause he is a great guy. I am struck with a certain sense of irony that in the past i competed in sports where i could have ended up seriously injured and that was fine with him, but some ink into the dermis .....ohh no....don't do that. But he is old school and his generation often see's tattoo's under any circumstances as something bad.

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So the visit went well

They only know about the one arm tattoo, thought it was too much to show the other 2 and mention another on the way. I think I got my dad into the "it could be worse" mentality which is good. They are dead set against it and the whole culture in general so I guess we both will just move forward and move on

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My mom never cared about any of my tattoos. She didn't always agree with me spending money on them, because she felt there were other priorities I should have been focusing on. Looking back, I think she was right. My dad never said a word about them either. My mom actually has 3 tattoos herself, my dad has none.

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Before I got tattoos I got nipples pierced. Months went by and one day my mom was doing some housekeeping and was flipping all the mattresses in the house. And she found this bag of epsom salts and shooters I was using to soak/heal. Mom was very concerned, thinking I had a cocaine stash and was on the drugs. It was an awkward conversation...lol

Tattoos...so much disappointment when my parents found out. They always said if I had money to waste on tattoos then I could afford to pay rent, bills and their share of my tuition. So I waited until the week after I got my engineering degree and got tattoo. In retrospect, I probably would have stopped with one tattoo if I had just got one in defiance. But instead I waited patiently, just as they wished, and then got in way deeper than they could have expected. "Oh Lord help us, it is so big"...which eventually became "Oh Lord help us, well at least they are well done and colourful". I wore long sleeves for 2 years whenever hanging with the family. They thought it was bizarre how everyone was in shorts and hawaiian shirts in the hot summer weather and here I was, Clark Kent, all covered up. They've finally come around after 10 years and expressed how I should be able to feel comfortable, be myself around the family. So that's great. The pink elephant is in the room still. I think it makes them uncomfortable how I volunteer myself to undergo the pain. But I love it, it's cathartic and I think they understand my dedication. Nowadays I think they are more curious but still don't know the extent of how I've covered myself. I'd actually love to talk about my adventures in tattooing but very rarely does the curiousity last long enough to have a meaningful conversation about it. They weren't as disappointed when I chopped my neck as I had hoped, hardly shocking! What a rip!

My Mom just got her first tattoo...3 dots across her torso for radiation therapy (yknow that pesky thing called advanced stage pancreatic cancer). I told her don't worry, we can coverup the black dots with a party panther! And we all had a good laugh :)

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I can definitely commiserate. My parents don't know about my first tattoo yet. I'm hoping they'll at least act like they did for my nose piercing and just look awkward and uncomfortable but not say anything.

It's been a long road to stop worry so much about other people's judgment of me-- especially my parents. Especially because they are Mormon and in Mormonism it's a sin to get tattoos and piercings (although it's ok for women to get one set of ear piercings...go figure).

It might suck to not have their support, but it's well worth it to take the plunge, except the consequences of possible disapproval, and live your own life.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I've actually put some thought into this. I'm 36 so it's really no one's business. But sometimes I like kind of shocking people. I plan on getting three tattoos before I reveal any of them. So the smallest will be on my shoulder and can be revealed by pulling my sleeve up. The other two will be across my back and rather large.

So I'm going to wait until the family gets together for a holiday and is sitting down for dinner. My brothers, wives, kids, my mom, all that. I'll announce that I got a tattoo and ask if anyone would like to see it. So I'll kind of pull my sleeve up to reveal just a little of the small one and then kind of act like it's easier if I just take my shirt off at which point I'll turn around with no shirt revealing the glory and wonder. It should elicit some choice reactions.

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Family gatherings can be weird. On my wife's side, NOBODY is inked. Most of them are real stick-up-the-ass people except for my wife and her nephew. Her brothers & sister... they don't know anyone with a tattoo practically. On my side, almost everyone has a tattoo or more. My one son has about 7, nephews and neices have a bunch, some of the adults as well. My sister's husband is fairly covered with shit work from years back. He's too cheap to get any of them freshened up. So I look good next to him.

Rob

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I've actually put some thought into this. I'm 36 so it's really no one's business. But sometimes I like kind of shocking people. I plan on getting three tattoos before I reveal any of them. So the smallest will be on my shoulder and can be revealed by pulling my sleeve up. The other two will be across my back and rather large.

So I'm going to wait until the family gets together for a holiday and is sitting down for dinner. My brothers, wives, kids, my mom, all that. I'll announce that I got a tattoo and ask if anyone would like to see it. So I'll kind of pull my sleeve up to reveal just a little of the small one and then kind of act like it's easier if I just take my shirt off at which point I'll turn around with no shirt revealing the glory and wonder. It should elicit some choice reactions.

Dude, you've thought about this way too much. Just go get some cool tattoos.

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I also just got my second tattoo at 35 years old, and my mother definitely was not pleased. My mother actually referred to the fact that she didn't think any of her children should get tattoos because she brought us into the world with this beautiful skin that we are defiling. I completely respect her opinion, because everyone is entitled to believe what they want. But once she said that I referred her back to my open heart surgery scars, my 2 C-sections and the first tattoo I got a decade ago. I said that all of the markings on my bossy are beautiful and have meaning. She had nothing else to say!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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my family doesn't know about my sleeve tattoo and I will probably see them in may as I am going to Boston to visit a friend and they wanna get together :P I was thinking of buying one of those shirts that go to your elbows to hide it LOL I don't know, they really were against and hated the first one I showed em. I guess though, they never really knew the time frame of the tattoos so as far as they know, I could have gotten them all last month

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The closer it gets to "I should tell them now" the more worried I get. I'm worried mostly about my nan because I love her very much, and it will make her upset. I don't want to upset my nan! I have a full sleeve, it's a pretty shocking thing to show people for the first time :/

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I worried a lot about this same thing @Bexter , this Christmas the grandparents saw my sleeve and other tattoos, having had none the last time I saw them. Packed a lot of long sleeved shirts and flannels to hide them, out of respect; on the first day I was ratted out, and after they asked to see them, I was told "don't be ridiculous, go put a regular t-shirt on!" By both. Both are very proper British folks.

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my family doesn't know about my sleeve tattoo and I will probably see them in may as I am going to Boston to visit a friend and they wanna get together :P I was thinking of buying one of those shirts that go to your elbows to hide it LOL I don't know, they really were against and hated the first one I showed em. I guess though, they never really knew the time frame of the tattoos so as far as they know, I could have gotten them all last month

... like a long sleeve shirt? Wait. You don't own a long sleeve shirt?

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I've come full-circle with it. I had tattoos that I wasn't crazy about showing my parents, but I did and never hid them. My mom was one of my biggest fans and loved them.. dad.. not so much. But he had a very strict upbringing.

So now I am the parent. My oldest son doesn't have any since he's almost always broke. My youngest is inked, he works and makes a decent wage. But he has some of those $25 gems on him that he doesn't show us. I only found out by chance. He knows that I'd have something to say about him getting cut-rate tattoos by apprentices. I only hope they weren't done in someone's kitchen or bedroom...

Rob

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