I am furious that my daughter has so many tattoos and Piercings! She has completely flipped the script and I barely even know her anymore. Since she moved out on her own it’s like she is a completely new person. She has tattoos all over her arms and an earring in her eyebrow and her nose. Just the other day she stopped by and I discovered she has an earring in her tongue! My daughter went to the best Catholic schools and had plans of going to law school and becoming a lawyer. I am worried that she will never get a job looking like a freak!
I tried to get her to move back home and to get rid of those awful piercings, but she just calls me a control freak. I am scared if I push too hard she’ll get another tattoo or piercing just to infuriate me even more. I raised her better than this! What can I do to get through to her?
Dear Infuriated Mother:
While we love our children and ultimately want what is best for them, we CANNOT control them. We have to let our adult children live their own lives and make their own decisions and mistakes. Trying to control them could push them farther away or in your case, get yet another tattoo and piercing.
I am not a fan of tattoos or piercings but that did not stop my adult daughter from getting her navel pierced! So believe me when I say that I do feel your pain! As hard as it may be, back up and let go. This is the time for you to trust that everything you instilled in her will help guide her and ultimately make the best decisions for herself. If she still intends to go to law school and become a lawyer, she will find out very quickly what changed she will need to make in her life.
Moving back into your house may not be the best solution. If your daughter is determined to find her own way and live her own life, the tattoos and piercings my just be the tip of the iceberg. She may rebel against any rules and expectations you set for your household which could lead to more stress and frustration for you. This could just be a phase she is going through to stress her independence and express herself.
Yes, you will always be her mother. But your role has changed! Your job of raising her is over. Your new job is to be there to support her and to give advice and guidance when solicited. So in the meantime, you just keep waiting in the wings with a “tattoo removal fund” for when she comes to her senses!
Tamara Hartley is Your Advice Guru and author of REAL Advice from REAL Experience: Advice, Tips and Strategies for Your Life, Relationships, and Career. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to give others a different perspective and help them make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. She is also a personal success coach and works with individuals to find balance, make moves, and live their dreams. Email questions to advice@YourAdviceGuru.com. Follow Tamara on Twitter @DrTamaraHartley. Learn more about her coaching programs at www.YourPersonalSuccessCoach.com.