Have you noticed that there are tweens with piercings in places other than their ears? Or tattoos? Or dyed hair? How far does a parent’s control reach to allow or prevent preteens from making those decisions?
According to “Young Hollywood Gone Wild! Hair Dye, Tattoos and Piercings on Young Celebs,” (www.ryanseacrest.com), young celebs like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato all had tattoos or piercings at about sixteen. Willow Smith, eleven years old, posted a fake tongue stud on instagram. They all stand out from the crowd, and they have a strong influence on their tween audience.
In England, www.dailymail.co.uk article – Where did my little girl go?, a mother laments her child’s attempts to be different.
www.parenting.com has a recent article entitled “Will You Let Your Kids Get Pierced/Dyed/Tattooed/Etc.?” The opinion expressed in this article states that piercings must be done by a hygiene-law-abiding professional.
Legally, a person must be at least eighteen to get permanent tattoos or body piercings (www.answers.yahoo.com). There are alternative to tween or teen piercings, tattoos and hair dyes, and they are endorsed by parents. (www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles) When your tween starts talking about getting these things done when she or he is sixteen, remind them of the legal age and try some of the following:
1, Tattoos – temporary solutions include fake tattoos, sun tattoos, henna tattoos, or even tattoo sleeves/clothing. The newest trend is Jagua tattoo, made from an Amazon fruit that stains the skin but wears off in two weeks.
2. Body piercing – alternatives include magnetic body jewelry or clip-on rings.
3. Bright hair dyes – temporary spray-in hair color washes out, or there are hair extensions, hair clips and wigs.
Compromise with your kids. With the influence of the rock culture and all the celebrities, tweens grow up with rock star role models, and some of them may even harbor fantasies of being a rock star. They need their freedom and creativity, so it is the job of the parents to encourage that creativity within reason and not stifling it.
Choose your battles. Decide if banning hair highlights is worth the fight. Visit tattoo or piercing salons, and show your son or daughter that it is permanent, and if you want to remove them, they can cause scars. They are not legally allowed to get the tattoos or body piercings until they are eighteen, so this is just an educational visit. Local salons you might want to visit are Atomic Tattoo and Body Piercing at 5903 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Body Electric Tattoos and Piercing at 7274 ½ Melrose Ave., L.A.; Studio City Tattoo at 11032 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.
Tweens are looking for ways to define themselves, and the most dramatic way is through their appearance. Help them find other ways to work on their outer selves while reminding them that their inner selves define their identities as well.