Brianna Popsickle’s Blog

Letters from a Suburban Prison

Brianna Popsickle

Brianna Popsickle
Ontario, Canada
March 03
Hi. I’m Brianna. I write because I don’t sleep. What else am I going to do at two in the morning while everyone else is snoozing? I feel like one of those people who’ve fallen and can’t get up. I’ve started to write and can’t stop. I write about my life and the lives of those around me: friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbours. Sometimes I change names and places to protect the innocent. Sometimes I don’t. I haven’t lost any friends as a result of my writing (yet), and have actually made a few because of it. I don’t write about politics or the economy, and nothing I say will change the world. But it may change how you look at your own life and the people around you. One thing I’ve learned, through the response of my readers, is as different as we all appear to be we’re all pretty much the same. We cry over the same heartaches and disappointments. We laugh about (and try to hide from) life’s embarrassments. We feel guilty for our fantasies (but no one knows because we never talk about them). Until now . . . Brianna Popsickle – Mother, wife, daughter, friend - finding my voice after years of confinement in a suburban prison.

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MAY 4, 2012 7:44AM

How to Talk Your Teenager Out of Getting a Tattoo

Rate: 8 Flag

A study done in 2006 by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that’s almost one in four. The survey also showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo. 


If you’re a parent, chances are at some point your child will come to you and say, “I want to get a tattoo.”


It usually happens somewhere after the weird hairstyle, crazy piercings, and the words, “Can I take the car?”


If you don’t mind the idea of your child permanently marking their body, read no further. If you’re opposed to the idea however, you may want to consider the following steps on how to talk your teen out of getting a tattoo. 


1. Remain calm. Try to avoid screaming things like, ‘over my dead body’ and ‘have you lost your mind?’ or the ever-popular, ‘as long as you’re living under my roof you’ll do as I say.’ Those phrases are ineffective and over-used.


 2. Gross them out. Lie if you have to.

“A tattoo, why not? Your Grandmother, Uncle Richard, Aunt Mable, and my friend Rita all have them.” Describe their tattoos in detail and precisely where they are on their bodies.  Use your imagination. Just be sure to paint a pretty picture, one they’ll visualize and have nightmares about later.


 3.  Instill fear. “Yes, as long as I can go with you.  I want to make sure they properly sterilize the needles. You don’t want to contract any horrible disease.” No one wants to get sick, and even more, no teenager wants their mommy or daddy going with them to the tattoo parlour.  Google Tattoo Procedures with your child the bloodier the better. Read health risks related to tattoos and be sure to check out Tattoos Gone Bad.

 4.  Threaten to embarrass them.“Yes! I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo on my forearm for a while now. We can go together! Your friends will think you have the coolest Mom.” Teenagers don’t want their parents to be cool. They want them to be invisible.  

5. Mess with their minds.  Offer a solution for a tattoo they regret.  “Sure, get one.  If you don’t like it you can always have it removed.” As they smile and hug you, add,  “I read you can have it removed for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of the tattoo. The procedure almost always works and only takes three to six visits. They say it’s like having a baby, you’ll forget about the pain eventually.”

 6.  Use reverse psychology.

 “I think a tattoo’s a great idea!  You should go today.” This response will surely send your teenager into a tailspin. They’ll become confused and nervous and will stop to re-think their decision. Since when do you agree with them on anything?


 7.  Resort to bribery.

I’ll pay you three times the cost of the tattoo, if you don’t get one.Let’s face it, money talks.


I hope you’ve found these suggestions helpful. But should you fail to change your child’s mind and they walk in one day sporting a tattoo, recall step one:


Remain calm.  Then hug them and love them anyway. There are worse things in life than a tattoo.

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I'll have to remember these the next time my wife wants another one.
So I take it you're not a fan of them Mike? I'm not sure if these tactics would work on a spouse. But good luck with that!
I've always thought about getting one myself. Should probably do it while I'm still chubby- I've heard the fat layer makes it less painful. Now I just need to draw it...
I have a friend who got her girls through their teen years sans tattoos by letting them do ANYTHING they wanted to their hair. Anything. It's just hair. It will grow back.

One changed color every week. The other one had a collection of colored streaks--purple, blue, and orange. They had short cuts, long cuts, mohawks, dredlocks, you name it. She encouraged them to get their crazy out with their hair.

And both her girls made it to 18 without tattoos.

(I'm very happy that both my kids are still deathly afraid of needles).
I've considered one myself Phyllis but am still undecided as to what (and where) to get it. Good luck with yours!
My son had beautiful auburn hair and dyed it black so a girl would go to a dance with him. They went out for four years, so I guess it worked for him. I felt as your friend Froggy, it was only hair and would grow back. He also had a mohawk when he was ten or so. He looked ridiculous but he loved it.
My daughter wanted a bellybutton ring at 14 and a tattoo. Then she saw her grandmother (her step-dad's mom) had both a belly ring and rose tattoo on her breast, and she was like...naahhhh. Kind of takes the fun out of it when your grandma is doing it. Plus we have the rule in my house that she isn't allow any body markings or modification unit she is legally an adult because I do not want to hear when she is 30 yrs old and has the version of the slutty Disney princesses tramp stamped on her lower back, "MOM, how could you let me do this!"
Your daughter will probably thank you later Patience. :)
"There are worse things in life than a tattoo", but your points are extremely well made and will come in handy if ever needed!
I got two girls through their teen years without tattoos by mainly giving in on piercings. I'm not quite sure why I thought that was better, although most of their piercing holes have closed up by now.
Fun post. I think you've got it under control.
reverse psychology is always best ...
second best: embarrassment...

fear, gross out? works temporarily only.........

oh but huggin and lovin yer ink inscribed offspring
is best...that will definitely be good later,
when they are getting their youthful
indiscretions removed, at age 60,
when u are long gone.........

"mom knew best!"

my dead mother tells me this is the best thing about being dead,
when yer kids realize this basic truth of the universe.
Thanks Allan. I think the best option is loving them for who they are, but if any of these work ...
For some reason I was the opposite and the idea of unusual piercings seemed worse to me. Neither of my children have gone that route, however, my son (the artist) now has several tattoos and has actually completed a tattoo apprenticeship. Go figure. Obviously I chose the 'love him' anyway advice. He actually looks pretty cool.
I think huggin and lovin them is best too James, and that's exactly what I did when my son came home with one.
oh no. arg ...hope it was "MOM"
Actually James, there's now three and I'm told that's it (but I'm not so sure). He is an incredible artist and designed all three. One to represent his love of art, another music, and one he says represents me, his father and sister. Yup! Love that kid!
My son had removal done on his back so he could get into the Army. He DID march to the beat of a different drummer for awhile, then he did something normal, GREW UP. He is now 4 yrs in the Army and found his calling, lovely wife and 5 kids. He just got his deployment orders for this fall for Afganistan. He has always been made of the right stuff, he just needed a little time to figure that out. Love from Dad and me is felt by my sons.
Nice to hear from you Cindy. You must be very proud of your son. Five children, wow! May peace be with him as he leaves this fall, and with all of you who will be missing him. All the best.