Q- I really want to get a tattoo but my parents have made it clear that as long as I am under their roof they will not allow it. I just turned 18 and going into my first year of university. I want to get the tattoo secretly because I feel my parents are being unfair/ unreasonable/ childish, however, at the same time I do not want to dishonor/ disobey my parents.

Things can get messy between parents and their children especially when it comes to the issue of values and expectations. You are right in saying that you are now 18 and can now make various decisions by yourself, legally you are now an adult and can make ‘wise’ decisions. In a nutshell you have 3 options, being, 1- don’t get a tattoo, 2- wait until you move out of home to get a tattoo or 3- get one regardless of what your parents say. Before you pick a decision consider the following points below.

The issue here is you want your parents to respect you and the decisions you make as an adult. However being an adults brings with it different responsibilities just as it brings different powers. In this case your parents are saying, their house their rules. You cannot just embrace one aspect of growing up and being 18. If you want to exercise your legal right to get a tattoo as an adult well the responsibilities that come with that are getting a job, moving out of your parents’ house, paying rent, paying bills and doing the groceries and many other things your parents do for you. It is important to understand that your parents are not saying no to a tattoo they are saying not now wait till you move out. Which is different front don’t ever get one.

Admittedly parents can be overprotective and unintentionally/ intentionally try and force their values on their children regardless of how grown their children might be. The question you should ask your self is How strongly do  you feel about getting a tattoo? is it something you feel so strong about such that you cannot do without? If so then sit down and have an honest conversation with your parents around why they ought to allow you to have a tattoo. Also consider what it would mean to your parents if you got the tattoo without running it past them, consider how your relationship with your parents will be affected. In the end the choice and the decision is yours.

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