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Kids and Moms about tattoos, piercings, and clothes

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I recently had a big fight with my daughter because I don't like her tattoos, piercings, and clothes. She told my "Mom, I'm an adult now..." and I told her "Jessica, this is my house..." and now she hates me.

I just asked her to wear normal clothes and cover up the chest piercings for Thanksgiving dinner. She walked out and hasn't called.

If you're a parent, what do you do? If you're an adult child, what do you do?
post #2 of 26
I'm an adult child! I was also the nerdy, goody two shoes kid, but I'll try to help.

I think there's a lack of mutual respect. My mom's rules for me are now that I'm on my own, I no longer have to follow the rules of her house, but I need to respect those rules when I return home. I think you need to accept and welcome her AS A PERSON the way she is. I mean, I'm sure you do, but she feels threatened by you, it seems. I think she wants to feel like you listen to her and that you are open to who she is and the choices she makes. On the other hand, when she is inside your house, she needs to follow your guidelines. It's just like going to any other place...if there are rules, they are to be followed. I think that her job is to have respect for your home and your personal guidelines.
post #3 of 26
when i moved back into my parents house i had several (8) tats and several piercings(6). I respect my mother and know that she dosent like these things so i covered (all my tats could be covered) my tats and took out all my piercings except my ears. i would never have thought about it twice. i know what the rules for living with her were and just did what i had to do.
post #4 of 26
I don't have any tattoos and only my ears are pierced but, I have some T-shirts that I don't wear to my mother's house. In addition, I don't smoke in her house, either.

The only thing that I have drawn the line about, with my son, is I won't let him come around my house, when he's been tweaking. Drugs are a major no-no, in this household. His pierced ears and leg tattoos don't bother me nor do his long hair and beard.

You and your daughter need to show some mutual respect.
post #5 of 26
I am 21, and monved out when I was 18 because she wanted me to go to church every sunday...and I just couldnt. So i had to leave...As for tatoos & such, my mom has tattoos, and she wanted me to get one when I was 16, but I was too afraid...

When I turned 18, I got my toungue pierced, she did NOT like it, and I was asked to take it out at family events, and I respected it. I respected her requests, and she let me have the piercing..

She might just be having a bad day, and maybe she's pissed off at something else, it's just easy to take it out on mom. She doesnt hate you, she never will...she just wants you to respect what she does and has, and she will respect your request...at least that's what I think...from my experiences..
post #6 of 26
Is your daughter living with you or on her own? If she is living with you, then your word should be the end of story.

If she lives on her own, and this was a request for the holiday functions at your home, you still have the right ask those attending to look or behave a certain way. But on the same note, she has every right to decline the invitation on those terms. Personally, if my mother asked this of me, I would be very hurt and a bit offended. I would have taken it as if she were saying, I love you but you embarrass me. People who look a little different get a lot of flack from strangers. I've actually been sneered at by someone I had just held a door open for. When it's someone you are close to, it hurts more.
For the record, I think you had every right to ask this of her but I understand why she'd be angry. I hope everything works out for you.

~Jamie
I'm 28 YO, with 1 tattoo, 1 eyebrow piercing, and I tend to dress strangely at best


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathylou
I recently had a big fight with my daughter because I don't like her tattoos, piercings, and clothes. She told my "Mom, I'm an adult now..." and I told her "Jessica, this is my house..." and now she hates me.

I just asked her to wear normal clothes and cover up the chest piercings for Thanksgiving dinner. She walked out and hasn't called.

If you're a parent, what do you do? If you're an adult child, what do you do?
post #7 of 26
Although I didn't get any tattoos or piercings until adulthood, I had hair every colour of the rainbow and dressed really freaky for the time and the small town in which I grew up. My dad hated it, and wouldn't even allow me to take a family vacation with them once because of my appearance. In retrospect, it was a huge and long-lasting blow to my self-esteem to know that my dad refused to accept me the way the way I was. Teenagers often express themselves through their own personal sense of style, and although you may not understand her, your "house rules" about her tattoos and piercings are likely damaging your already fragile relationship. Often teens are caught up in their own issues and are oblivious when it comes to their parents expectations. She's not being disrespectful, she's simply trying to find herself, although many long grown adults see that as rebellion. Let her be her own person! Don't forget that you were her age once.
post #8 of 26
I am also an adult child. Granted, my mother wouldn't have cared if I got a tatoo or a body piercing.

I have not lived at home since I was 17 or 18 years old. I come home about once a year to visit. Even though I CAN, I prefer not to drink, smoke (or other things) in my parents' house because I feel it's disrespectful.

I agree, I think there should be some mutual respect. You don't like your daughter's tatoos and piercings, that's perfectly okay, but I think that since she is an adult, it's her body to decorate. On the other hand, she needs to be aware of the fact that you don't like the tatoos an piercings and cover up--at least at the Thanksgiving table.
post #9 of 26
I'm sure she loves you, but telling a teenager not to do something is like a red rag to a bull. By forbidding her, you're giving her a reason to rebel.

I hope it works itself out for you
post #10 of 26


I'm an adult child and I'm pierced, tattoo'd and dress pretty strangely/scruffily!

My Mum doesn't mind about my piercings or anything (my Dad isn't keen, but admits that it's my own choice!) They love me for who I am - not how I dress, if I have percings etc!

Compromise would be the best option for you, I would think!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
Compromise would be the best option for you, I would think!
Because she'd probably go ahead and do it anyway

The joys of being a teenager
post #12 of 26
covering her CHEST piercings should be taken for granted at a family dinner....

maybe if you showed more respect for the way she dresses at other times she wouldnt feel the need to make a big song and dance out of it on occassions that matter to you.

i would leave her to find out on her own how people react to you if you dress innapropriatly for such occassions.

you can only ask her to dress the way you'd like her to, you cant force her.
post #13 of 26
I personally for myself am against piercings and tatoos...I dont even have my ears pierced...Just one of the quirks in my bizzare and complicated homemade belief system...However I am not against others doing it......

As for your issue...I am not sure how old your daughter is...But if she is still in her teen years...I must tell you that it has been discovered recently that the mind of an avereage teenager is mentally Ill...I kid you not...The brain between the years of 12-18 is completly different than any other time in a persons life...The mix of crazy horemones, and dysfunstional brain waves, cause what we all know as the "dreaded Teenager"....

When a teen says "You don't understand what I am going thru"...they are completly right...even though we have all been there...Our minds are no longer capable of understanding the teenage mind...Why they freak out...Why everything is life and death...ect.....

That being said....I have to say that in reference to you telling her to "Cover her Cheast up for thanxgiving" That I have to take your daughters side....If my parent had disregaurded my common sence and disrespected me by saying that today...(I'm almost 25) I would be severly ticked off....I think learning to talk to your child like an adult rather than a child might help this situation.....

However I understand....Its not your fault.....I cant begin to understand what its like to raise children...never mind a crazy teenager....I know you love her and are doing the best you can......But I think a little more respect on your end might help situations like this....

Good luck
post #14 of 26
After spending years raising a child...it is hard to get to the point where the parenting stops and just the relationship takes over....but when a child moves out and is taking care of themself...then they have the right to make those kind of decisions for themselves. (Tats, piercings, dress etc)....OF COURSE you have the right to ask certain things of them when they come to visit....but you need to weigh whether it is worth it if they then decide that they are insulted ,and pull a "no show", which they, as adults, have the right to do.
I would not tell a grown child, living on their own, what they could or could not wear to Thanksgiving Dinner, any more than I`d tell any other adult that was coming.....nor would I expect another adult to tell me what i should or should not wear someplace.
As parents i think there are times that we think what our adult kids do is a refection on what kind of a parent we`ve been....and granted , to some degree we are all partly the way we are because of the way we were raised...but once they are adults they get to make their own decisions, (just like we did!)
Most people who judge us by what our grown kids do or don`t do... either don`t have any of their own...or else they are just gossipers. (IMO)
Linda
post #15 of 26
There definitely needs to be a compromise on this one. I came back to mum's house with a tattoo when I was 18 - all of my tatoos and piercings are coverable, so when it's not appropriate, that's what I do. IN fact, they're covered pretty much all the time. (actually, my mother loves my tattoos and it - believe it or not - inspired her to go and have her own tattoos and piercings)

I would make sure she knows that she can dress the way she likes when it isn't a special occasion - but in this instance it isn't appropriate. Try to sit down and talk to her about it, and come to a compromise - she does need to feel like you listen to her and understand her.
post #16 of 26
i just moved back home again to my mums yesterday

My mum advisd me not to get a 4th piercing in my ears but she said it was up to me to have it or not.
I have a belly piercing but noone notices anyway because its always covered.

I dont have many family events but when i do go im always covered up!
Infact my family says i should even reveal more of my skin!!

this is my last year as a teen, i plan to enjoy it i only have 9 more months untill i turn 20
But anyway i didnt think adulthood would be as bad as puberty??
post #17 of 26
Try to have a sense of humor about it, next time she comes over, wear purple sweat pants pulled up too high, with black socks and a Halloween sweater and say you'd like to take her for lunch, some place high profile of course. Forget to comb your hair and pick at your teeth during the meal. Assure her your just 'expressing yourself' Seriously though, ask yourself, is it really that big a deal, better to have her as she is, then not at all right?
post #18 of 26
I agree that it is a matter of respect for your parents and not so enlightened family members not to show up for a family holiday function with one's chest piercings exposed. My parents knew I had a couple of small tattoos when I was 18, but they NEVER knew the extent that it went to. Mostly because I was an adult, and it was none of their business, and I did not want to hear any *itching about it. My daughter is tattooed and pierced, has weird colored hair, dresses in black, drives a hearse, and has a beautiful, well adjusted, happy baby daughter. I have always said if looking funny is the worst thing she ever does, I will be so happy. So far, so good!
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2
I agree that it is a matter of respect for your parents and not so enlightened family members not to show up for a family holiday function with one's chest piercings exposed. My parents knew I had a couple of small tattoos when I was 18, but they NEVER knew the extent that it went to. Mostly because I was an adult, and it was none of their business, and I did not want to hear any *itching about it. My daughter is tattooed and pierced, has weird colored hair, dresses in black, drives a hearse, and has a beautiful, well adjusted, happy baby daughter. I have always said if looking funny is the worst thing she ever does, I will be so happy. So far, so good!
Well said!

Take your child for who they are not how they dress/present themselves!
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-n-SamsMom
Try to have a sense of humor about it, next time she comes over, wear purple sweat pants pulled up too high, with black socks and a Halloween sweater and say you'd like to take her for lunch, some place high profile of course. Forget to comb your hair and pick at your teeth during the meal. Assure her your just 'expressing yourself' Seriously though, ask yourself, is it really that big a deal, better to have her as she is, then not at all right?
omg!! my mom did this to me once.. i was so humiliated i cried!!! so after that i toned it down a bit as far as the hair and makeup and dress went (i was a "tad" excessive) i took down my liberty spikes and tried not to wear "too much" eyeliner and bought a blood red dress to go with my black wardrobe hahaha. hey i tried lol. i stopped getting pierced and tatted now that shes gone i am so glad that i did that because it meant we could spend more quality time together. she met me halfway and said as long as i didn't make a"big deal" out of it she would try to keep quiet.
post #21 of 26
I've had many piercings in the past, and I also used to dye my hair a different colour every week.

My mom disliked my ways, but she accepted and loved me just the same. I'm 24 years old now, and I've had my natural hair colour and most of my piercings out for over a year. I think girls will eventually become women as long as they are nurtured and respected.
post #22 of 26
I'm about to be 50 years old, a fact which defies my comprehension... but I tend to think a lot younger in most ways. Body piercings, however, are not among those ways, and excessive tattooing also bewilders me.

Nonetheless... my mom has a favorite restaurant that I take her to all the time, and our favorite waiter there is a delightful 20-year-old boy who is engaged to the delightful 20-year-old hostess. They are two of the nicest people we know, and we've gotten to be friends with these two sweet kids -- despite the glint of gold tongue jewelry in Jack's mouth and the grand, long-term tattoo scheme Sissy has embarked upon.

We don't understand why such beautiful young people would want to mutilate their bodies... but it is clear to us that these are genuinely good, caring kids with their hearts absolutely in the right place, and that trumps all.

So my point is... your daughter's piercings and such seem tasteless and inexplicable to me, too -- but for some reason you and I can't grasp, these things are evidently very meaningful to kids now, a vital part of their identity (in their minds).

It's so much more important that your daughter be with you for Christmas than that she look any particular way...isn't it? And by being the bigger person, by calling her and saying "All right, sweetheart, come as you are, just come," you can set a GREAT example of what it means to love unconditionally.

That's what I'd do, if I were lucky enough to be a mom.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia
I'm about to be 50 years old, a fact which defies my comprehension... but I tend to think a lot younger in most ways. Body piercings, however, are not among those ways, and excessive tattooing also bewilders me.

Nonetheless... my mom has a favorite restaurant that I take her to all the time, and our favorite waiter there is a delightful 20-year-old boy who is engaged to the delightful 20-year-old hostess. They are two of the nicest people we know, and we've gotten to be friends with these two sweet kids -- despite the glint of gold tongue jewelry in Jack's mouth and the grand, long-term tattoo scheme Sissy has embarked upon.

We don't understand why such beautiful young people would want to mutilate their bodies... but it is clear to us that these are genuinely good, caring kids with their hearts absolutely in the right place, and that trumps all.

So my point is... your daughter's piercings and such seem tasteless and inexplicable to me, too -- but for some reason you and I can't grasp, these things are evidently very meaningful to kids now, a vital part of their identity (in their minds).

It's so much more important that your daughter be with you for Christmas than that she look any particular way...isn't it? And by being the bigger person, by calling her and saying "All right, sweetheart, come as you are, just come," you can set a GREAT example of what it means to love unconditionally.

That's what I'd do, if I were lucky enough to be a mom.
Very well said!! I would want my son, who is 17yrs old to be there no matter how he is dressed.
post #24 of 26
I think I would be very hurt if my mother didn't accept me for who I am and what I want to look like. Mothers are supposed to show their kids off, not make them hide their selves. I understand being uncomfortable with her look, but what does it matter what the family thinks? Why make her hide herself or present a watered-down version at family gatherings? I would think you were ashamed of me! I would leave too. Children always have a desire to please their parents, whether they know it or not. No matter how much they hate their parents or what they're parents have done to them--it always feels good when their parents say "I'm proud of you," or "I accept you the way you are." She shouldn't have to change so that she fits in with her own family.

On the other hand, I think it a good trait to want to make other people comfortable. She might have toned it down a little anyway, but asking her (or telling her) probably just makes her feel like you're ashamed of her or that the feelings of the people at dinner are more important than hers. Who cares what anyone thinks? She's your baby.

I know it's a two-way street when it comes to respect and making each other feel comfortable, but you can lead by example.
post #25 of 26
I will say this.

I have 3 tattoos, with 1 more to be gotten either in January or February, and another at a time to be determined. I don't have piercings only because my body rejects them and makes them move O.o. I have had my hair neon pink, dark blue, purple, and various shades of red, orange, black, yellow (I mean yellow as opposed to blonde.)

My mom and I butt heads about my hair and tattoos, but if I have been a part of a family or ethnic function, my tattoos have been covered and my hair has been a reasonable color. I didn't do this because she demanded it (she did), but because I knew that she would feel uncomfortable with friends and family being aware of my tattoos. I still keep my tattoos covered when going home, because she's unfond of them, and I respect that.

While I'm sure you don't like her tattoos, asking her to dress nicely because everyone else will be, shouldn't be too harsh a request, however, if she has nipple piercings (as you are implying) those are more difficult to deal with, because they can't easily be taken out and left off (they will grow back shut). Ask her if she has a more demure bar or hoop, if she doesn't, offer to buy her one, if she'll tone down her look for family functions. She'll probably be more accomodating.

However, having your defense be "it's my house" will only encourage her to act out against her. Telling her that it would make you happy if she would try not to stand out at family functions might be a better response. I hope that those words from a formerly rebellious youngster might help!
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathylou
I recently had a big fight with my daughter because I don't like her tattoos, piercings, and clothes. She told my "Mom, I'm an adult now..." and I told her "Jessica, this is my house..." and now she hates me.

I just asked her to wear normal clothes and cover up the chest piercings for Thanksgiving dinner. She walked out and hasn't called.

If you're a parent, what do you do? If you're an adult child, what do you do?
Well since I'm not a parent, I don't know what I'd do. I wouldn't have any problem with piercings, tattoos and clothes but by the time I have children and they are grown who knows what might be in fashion. I will say this though, I've never been one to judge someone by the fashion they wear. Who cares what someone looks like as long as they are a good person?

However as an adult child, I would be very hurt that my Mother or Father though that they needed to tell me how to dress when I came to a family function. That fact alone would tell me 1) that they were ashamed of the way I was 2) that they didn't respect me as an adult and still viewed me as a child. I accept them with all their quirks and trust me they have many (I'll even go as far as to say, you probably have many) and for them not to accept me would be more than I could bear. Just thinking about it makes me sad.

And I would do just what your daughter did, I would walk out and wait for them to call me. I seriously doubt your daughter hates you; more likeily she is very hurt by what you did.

And just as a side note: the it's my house thing. There's nothing quite like that phrase that makes me feel like I've been smacked in the face. I'll translate what it says to me at any rate: You don't belong here. Or even more horrifingly: I don't approve of you. (Not the way I look, but of me the person I am.)

That's just my as a single adult child though, and maybe once I become a parent I will view it differently.

I will say this, I don't know who was in the wrong here. It is a grey area. What is okay for some people is not ok with others. I identify more with your child than with you simply because I am not a parent. But someone needs to open the lines of communication soon here. If not, then the hurt feeling become deeper.
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