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Growing up with Accepting Parents

Growing up with Accepting Parents
April 08
10:59 2017

Me and my loving parents at my graduation from the University of Portsmouth, back in 2013.

Now this I realize is not the case for a lot of people with tattoos, so I think this article, should also be a lesson for any non-tattooed parents out there, who might read it.

Now I have always loved tattoos ever since I was very young, according to my mother, since I was 3 years old. Starting out with temporary transfer tattoos from bubblegum, working up to me and my friends drawing with markers on each other, as we got older.

But I started wanting my first actual tattoo from when I was 14 years old, both me and my twin brother did. Now we decided, as we had been able to do the same with anything else, that we would be open and honest with our parents about this.

Now my parents have no tattoos, no desires to get any, nor had they ever given them
much thought until me and my brother started wanting and getting them.
Also, before some people reading this article assume too much, my parents are
not low-class, nor are they socially unstable or anti-social individuals.
They are quite ordinary, I guess most people would say,
my dad is a “retired” plumber and my mom is a therapist.

Me and my dad Peter, old plumber and soldier.

So some people might now think, when their two 14 year old boys came up to them and told them they wanted tattoos, that my parents would freak out and get all angry with us.
But this is where my parents surprised their young boys and showed us, just how accepting and open minded they were.

I remember my dad most clearly, his booming laughter as he put his hand on me and my brothers shoulders, then with a stern yet kind look, he glanced into my eyes and said to me, man to man;
“If you two wait till you are 18, you can get as many tattoos as you want, as long as you pay for them yourself and as long as you still focus on your careers”.

I remember very clearly how me and my brother were almost in shock,
we never plannedfor our tattoo plans to be some sort of teen rebellion,
but we had been fully prepared for the fact that they might have to be,
if we ever really wanted to get them. But just with their acceptance
of our wishes, our parents dispelled all those fears and concerns from us,
by them showing us trust, they removed the need to rebel through tattoos.

Instead, me and my brother waited patiently, till we turned 18,
planning out our tattoos while we waited. Then when we were of age,
I got my first tattoo and my brother was soon to follow suit.
All along the way, our parents never complained or condemned
our new hobby and art-form. Instead they chose to have an open mind,
to learn through us what tattoos are and to learn why we want them
so badly, as well as what they mean to us and how important
they are to us.

Me and my mother Helle, family, couples and youth therapist.

Because of this acceptance, I have never felt the need to hide my tattoos around my family, nor have I ever felt the need to go and get them secretly or felt the need to elaborately hide my true (tattooed) self.

My parents had simple conditions for their acceptance and because of that, they were easy to follow.
I have later in my life learned, why my parents took it so easily and why it was so important for them, to accept me and my brother tattoos, and all. Because they trusted us and they wanted us to be
sure of that trust, to be sure of the fact, that they knew we would never betray their trust, if they kept accepting us and trusting us.

My parents have even grown to be quite outspoken towards colleagues
and friends, about accepting their children, instead of condemning
them if they get tattoos. Because as they say, if you stop loving
your child just because they want to look different from you
and get tattooed etc., then you don’t really love your child.

On a funny lighthearted note to end this rather personal article with,
my parents (especially mom), have even started enjoying the artwork
and artistry in me and my brothers tattoos, especially the colorful ones.

Parents, listen to the words of Neil Patrick Harris

So to end this article I just want to say, I love my parents, and I am always grateful they accepted me for who I am and I hope any parent who reads this, will follow in my parents’s example.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts, ideas for future posts and articles and with your own experiences, if you feel like it.

For more, remember to check out Tattoo-logia and the rest of Mediazink.com

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@MadsLeoWK
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Now stay awesome people!

About Author

Mads

Mads

Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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