Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Teenager dilemma

Ok, parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents of teenagers...help!

 A few days ago my husband let my (just turned) 17 year old stepson get a lip ring.
I was not happy. At all.
He's had his ears pierced for several years (which I didn't want either), and since then has been begging to get the guages in his ears bigger, or a tattoo, or lip piercing. My opinion is nothing else until he's 18. But that was just my opinion.

Honestly, I want to send out an email to my family, or make an announcement at church (ok, not really), that I said no!!
I can already hear the comments that will be made. So yes, I worry about what people will think of me. I know I shouldn't. But I do.

I have nothing against tattoo's or piercings. I have 3 tattoo's, and had my nose pierced years ago. When I was in my 20's.

 I'm just worried about the image it portrays. When you see a teenage boy with a lip ring, your first thought isn't "oh, there's a smart young man."  In fact, it's quite the opposite.

 This is extremely hard for me. Like, I'm losing sleep over it.
What's done is done, there's no changing it now.
Now I just have to figure out how to deal with it. How to deal with the comments that will be coming. I'll need to come to his defense. How do I do that, when I don't feel like it?

On the outside I am calm, cool and collected, but on the inside I am freaking out.

I should just let it go. At least he's not drinking or doing drugs or anything else. He's a good, loving kid. I just want him to look that way on the outside.

I guess I'm a little scared he'll look like this guy eventually. Haha.

Help! I am asking for your opinions... tell me to chill out, if that's what you think...

katie

28 comments:

  1. I am not a parent, so I can't help.. Though I'll be honest, yeah when I see a teenager with piercings, I judge. Like you, I've got nothing against tattoos or piercings, just on younger kids it makes me judge a book by its cover. perception is nine tenths of reality and such. i'm sorry i'm no help, i hope you're able to sort it out / come to terms with it soon.

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  2. I don't know, parenting teens sounds so hard! I am only 8 1/2 year away from it! Eek! Hopefully it is a phase that will pass. I have to think it has got to get pretty annoying having a lip piercing. It seems like the type of thing that may get infected easily! It sounds like he has great values and is a good kid so it will work out. However, I think that being his step mum it should have been discussed and your opinion should be completely validated. And the decision made together. So even if he still was allowed to get it you felt more involved. The main thing is that he has you loving him unconditionally which you clearly do, so he will be okay! It is nice you are so concerned, truly shows your loving nature.

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    1. I don't know if parenting step-teens is harder, I'm sure it's all hard! I'm hoping it's just a phase. Thank you Jess. :)

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  3. My youngest step daughter went through the piercing phase - her ears are ALL sorts of holed-up... these things are usually just phases. I don't really think in todays time, its as big of a deal as it used to be. I wouldn't worry about it so much now.. just keep an eye out & if a conversation needs to be held down the road if more piercings or weird things are wanted - then do it. I think the less attention give, the quicker the phase wears out :)

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  4. I also have tattoos (just one big one that covers an arm, full back and rib cages) and had piercings at 18 (tongue and belly button of course). I took both my piercings out when I grew out of them. My husband also had piercings and he took them out at 19 when he grew out of them. I could go into a whole speech about why I think people choose to having piercings/tattoos but its not the point of this. Honestly I would as a parent defend my child because they are smart and amazing, who cares if they have a piercing or I agree with it. Yes, it stinks that society will judge that person but no matter what they are who they are and no piercing will change that. I try really hard as a parent to say yes to things that don't matter in the long run (yes my daughter had purple hair by age 9) because the things that really matter are hard and deep and take conversations and relationships.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am trying to learn to choose my battles, and maybe this doesn't need to be one. He is a great kid, so that definitely helps.

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  5. I am not a parent, but I have had a few jobs where I have been the hiring manager at as well as my own company. I'll be honest, crazy tatoo's on the neck or hands, and facial piercings are something if I met with someone I would immediately judge. I know they can take out the piercings, but some of them are so bad that you know you can't hire them if they were the greatest worker in the world, because they would turn away customers and clients...
    It's hard because kids go through phases, but as long as those phases are things that are removable and don't alter their appearance for life, it's probably okay.
    In a normal world, I rarely look at a person and judge, I actually think some of those things are cool. But as an employer who hires people, ya it's the first thing I think of, how that person's appearance could affect new clients.

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  6. I'll be honest. I don't get the piercing thing. But at least with a piercing he can remove it and let it close over if he outgrows it. I wish the tattoo I just HAD to have at 21 was as easy to get rid of.
    I do kind of agree with the advice above about just to ignore it. It does seem like a thing intended to get a certain reaction from people. If you give that reaction, you're just prolonging it. When he has to start applying for jobs he may have second thoughts about it.

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  7. I think it is tough when a child chooses things you would not. It feels like it is somewhat against you. The reality is that none of us should judge someone based on tattoos or piercings or hair length or color or etc. I think you can voice your opinion but make it clear that it does not affect your love for him. I think we need to support a person's choices even when we don't agree with them because we love them if those choices are not ethical in some way. I think we all tend to like people who are like us and rebel against those who are not. We need to get over that and value the uniqueness of others. A lot of things will fall into this area and to work through those items with the overall goal of loving and supporting while voicing concerns is best. It is part of growing up for him... him making a decision and then living with it. It is part of growing up for us as well.... learning to support and influence when we no longer are in position to direct.

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