The Hamilton Spectator

Sister should tell parents about tattoo


Q My sister recently got a tattoo on her butt cheek. I’m not really into tattoos, but it’s cute. Our parents are going to kill her! I mean, not literally, but they are going to be mad. They don’t believe in tattoos, think they’re disgusting, find the permanence scary and have always told us we are not allowed to get one.

Now my sister has one, I know about it, but my parents don’t. We’re both teenagers so it’s not like we’re walking around the house naked, but they’ve just told us we’re going on a beach holiday for March Break.

Should I tell my mom in advance so she doesn’t make a scene while we’re away? Should I make my sister tell? I don’t want this to ruin our holiday and there’s nothing I can do to change it.


Tatted Sis

A I definitely agree your parents should be informed before your trip, for several reasons. One, to allow them time to react and process in the privacy of their own home. This will affect the second reason: the quality of your vacation together.

And three, for them to give your sister a consequenc­e in a timely fashion, if that’s what they choose to do.

I’m not suggesting getting a tattoo is a punishable offence, but you said your parents always told you that you weren’t allowed, which means your sister defied them.

However, I strongly believe your sister should be the one to tell your parents, and not you. So I suggest you give your sister a timeline. Tell her that she needs to tell your parents a few weeks before the trip or YOU will tell them for her.

Q My daughter has a friend who acts as though everything she does, from the clothes she wears to the vacations she goes on with her family, are the be-all-and end-all of everyone’s existence. She insists my daughter needs to buy matching sweatpants to hers and recently a $200 pair of shoes.

My daughter, who has a style all her own, isn’t interested in matching with her friend and doesn’t like the shoes at all. Now her friend is taunting her saying she can’t afford these items. It’s not about the money because my daughter hasn’t even asked for these items. She’s just not interested.

How can I help her navigate these situations? She still wants to be friends with the girl, but she wants it to be a real friendship and not based on what she’s wearing or where she’s going.

Teen mean

A Your daughter sounds strong and independen­t. She knows her own style, knows her likes and dislikes, and isn’t falling victim to this other girl’s ideas. Now she must learn to stand behind her own conviction­s, even if that means she’s testing the friendship.

The other girl sounds insecure and in desperate need of validation. She clearly feels the need for power in numbers. Hopefully she’ll grow out of it — and not lose too many friends along the way.

Feedback Regarding the woman who was mean 30 years ago (Dec. 6):

Reader “I have my own eye-opening story.

“After many years of not being in touch with former classmates, I arranged a 35th (!) class reunion with 70 students, who had spread out across the globe.

“There was one fellow who some of us had been particular­ly mean to on occasion. At the reunion, I decided to apologize to him even though it was so long ago, figuring he probably wouldn’t even remember the incident.

“He responded like it was yesterday. It was obviously still top of his mind, and I really felt as if he’d been harbouring the pain for all those years. He acknowledg­ed the apology and thanked me.

“This taught me compassion and to try to meet people where they’re at. My advice? If you’re ever in a similar situation, take the high road and apologize. It’s never too late.”

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