Your Teen Wants a Piercing or Tattoo? Here is How to Handle It

As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to handle the topic of piercings and tattoos when your teenager brings it up. On one hand, you want to be open-minded and supportive of your child’s self-expression. On the other hand, you may have concerns about the potential risks and long-term effects. In this article, we will explore some tips for parents on how to navigate this conversation and make a decision that is best for both you and your teenager.

  1. Understand the Risks Involved

Before making any decisions, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved with piercings and tattoos. These can include infection, allergic reactions, and even scarring. It’s also important to consider the location of the piercing or tattoo, as some areas of the body are more prone to complications than others. By educating yourself about the risks, you can have a more informed conversation with your teenager and help them make a decision that is safe and healthy.

  1. Set Clear Guidelines and Boundaries

Setting clear guidelines and boundaries when it comes to piercings and tattoos is important for both parents and teenagers. This can include setting a minimum age for getting a piercing or tattoo, or requiring that any piercings or tattoos be done by a licensed professional. Additionally, parents can also set limits on the number of piercings or tattoos a teenager can have, or specify certain areas of the body that are off-limits. Having these guidelines in place can help establish expectations and create a sense of trust between parents and teenagers. It can also help prevent any potential conflicts or misunderstandings down the line. Clear guidelines and boundaries also give the teenager a sense of responsibility and show that the parents trust them to make a decision that is safe and responsible.

  1. Help them Understand that There are Some Negative Effects

Considering the long-term effects of piercings and tattoos is an important aspect of the decision-making process for parents. For piercings, it’s important to consider the potential for infection and the need for re-piercing or even removal if the piercing becomes infected. Additionally, some piercings may close up or become difficult to re-pierce if left without jewelry for an extended period of time.

For tattoos, it’s important to consider that tattoos may need to be covered up or removed later on in life, especially if they are located in a visible area of the body. Furthermore, tattoos may fade or change color over time, and may require tattoo redone, touch-ups or even removal to keep the design looking fresh. Additionally, it’s important to consider the social and professional implications of having visible tattoos or piercings as these can affect job opportunities or other life opportunities. By considering these long-term effects, parents can help their teenager make a decision that is safe, healthy, and responsible for the long term.

  1. Take Time to Talk and Listen

When your teenager brings up the topic of piercings or tattoos, it’s important to take the time to talk to them and listen to their reasons for wanting one. They may be seeking self-expression, fitting in with their peers, or trying to make a statement. By understanding their perspective, you can help them make a decision that is right for them.

  1. Suggest Alternatives

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of your teenager getting a piercing or tattoo, suggest alternatives that may be more suitable. For example, temporary tattoos or even henna tattoos can provide a similar experience without the long-term commitment. Or suggest a piercing that is more discreet and easy to hide, like small stud earrings.

  1. Be Prepared for the Possibility of Disappointment

As a parent, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of disappointment when it comes to piercings and tattoos. Even if you’ve set clear guidelines and boundaries, your teenager may still make a decision that you’re not comfortable with. It’s important to remember that ultimately, your teenager is their own person and they have the right to make their own choices.


Piercings and tattoos can be a tricky topic for parents to navigate, but by understanding the risks, setting clear guidelines and boundaries, considering the long-term effects, taking time to talk to your teenager, suggesting alternatives, and being prepared for disappointment, you can have a productive conversation and make a decision that is best for both you and your teenager.

Remember, the most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open and to support your teenager in a way that is safe, responsible, and respectful.


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