President Obama said on Wednesday that if his daughters dared to get tattoos, he and Michelle would get the same tattoos, in the same place – and “family tattoo,” if you will – and show it off on Youtube. On the heels of that creative warning, Yahoo asked readers what strategies they’ve employed to keep their kids from getting inked. Here’s one.
FIRST PERSON | When President Barack Obama announced he and Michelle would threaten to get matching tattoos and show them off on YouTube if their daughters ever got permanent ink, my wife and I laughed at the Washington Post article. Our 17-year-old daughter dated a guy with tattoos briefly last summer. Our 15-year-old son said he was “cool.”
Both of us parents in our mid-40s have no tattoos and don’t plan on getting such body art. When our baby girl decided she wanted a tattoo as well, my wife and I came up with some creative solutions to dissuade our kids from ever getting tattoos.
We quoted Missouri law about how minors cannot get a tattoo without parental permission. We won’t sign any waivers.
Then we tried a perception test. My wife and I got matching temporary tattoos and put them on our right wrists. All of our adult friends were surprised and shocked. A few of our daughter’s female friends cringed and asked if the body art hurt.
Finally, we used a medical tactic. Harvard University’s medical school warns of infections that can occur beneath the skin because of tattoos. Instead of just reading statistics, my wife and I turned our temporary tattoos into what that type of infection looks like. With the help of a registered nurse in the family, our body art became a poster child for a disgusting and runaway infection.
Suddenly, the cool body art became a gross reminder of having a painful needle inserting ink just beneath the skin. We also told our children it is much more expensive to remove the ink after once it’s on your body. There’s no buyer’s remorse with tattoos.
Even when our kids turn 18, they’ve both said they won’t be seeking permanent body art as a hobby.