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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Psychologist; Parent
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Hello, My 22 year old son, who is in college and a great kid,

Resolved Question:

My 22 year old son, who is in college and a great kid, has decided to begin to get tottoos all over his body.
I havent said anything to him about my like or dislike.
For the record, I am unhappy about his decision to spend his money putting permamant marks all over his body.
He tells me that he wants to get his entire body tattooed.

Why do kids/people get their enitre bodies tattooed?
One or two or three is OK, however, I just dont understand what I did wrong in order to make him feel like he has to cover up his body.
Does he suffer from lo self esteem.

What is the psychology behind this?
Can you recommned a good read that will help me on my journey to acceptance?
I just cant stand to look at him just now.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Hi Gina. You did nothing wrong at all. You raised a good kid who wants to express himself and that is perfectly ok and normal. It has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to cover his body for lack of self esteem. Tattoos are an ancient art form and many cultures and individuals find them beautiful, the same way as you would appreciate the things that you surround yourself with on a daily basis. You said he is a great kid. That is amazing. Would you rather have a great kid covered in tattoos, or a lazy, unmotivated, drop out with not one? you need to focus on the positives and who he is as a person.
A lot of people have a passion for tattoos and want to cover themselves with individual self expression, others can get one or two and leave it at that.
As far as books go, there are several hundred books out there about tattoos specifically and their role in society, their cultural history, etc. but if you are looking for books more about acceptance in general, there is a series of books about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which covers a broad spectrum of issues, some which may or may not apply to you, but is worth some looking into. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that change lies within yourself. You need to look at all of the positives. It's just a body, it's just ink. Your son is a good natured soul beyond all of that. If he is a good person, you have done an excellent job as a parent. You can express your dislike about it, but never stop being supportive of him as a person.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX make me feel better. I shall look for books an acceptance.I know I need to work on this myself. Hes not mine he belongs to the worls, to God and to himself.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
You will be fine. Like I said, just know you raised a wonderful person and he will probably grow up to also raise wonderful kids who feel the freedom to express theme selves however they want to.
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