Tat­tooed woman wants to show mom her ink

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - ••• Har­ri­ette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple access and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­[email protected]­ri­et­tecole.com or c/o An­drews Mcmeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 6

“Congress shall make no law ... abridg­ing the free­dom of speech, or of the press ... . ” — From the First Amendment to Con­sti­tu­tion

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I have been hiding my tat­toos from my par­ents for years. They dis­ap­prove of tat­toos in gen­eral and have some­what tra­di­tional be­liefs. I have two tat­toos -- a large one on my up­per arm that can be con­cealed un­der a T-shirt sleeve and a small one on my fin­gers. Re­cently my mother dis­cov­ered my small tat­too and be­rated me only a lit­tle bit. The re­veal went bet­ter than I thought it would, prob­a­bly be­cause the tat­too she saw is very small.

Do you think I should show my mom my big­ger tat­too? It seems like my re­la­tion­ship with my mother is im­prov­ing; it was some­what strained in the past, and she has re­cently been more ac­cept­ing of who I am. I am afraid that if I show her my big­ger tat­too, I will lose our new con­nec­tion. What do you think I should do? -- Tat­too Girl

DEAR TAT­TOO GIRL: I would con­tinue to go slowly. Build your re­la­tion­ship with your mother, let­ting her get to know you as the per­son you are evolv­ing into. Share ideas bit by bit with her so that she gets to know your val­ues, your be­liefs and your ideas. Tell her that you share some of the tra­di­tional be­liefs that you were taught by your par­ents, but not all. Re­in­force to her the val­ues that you share, and point out where you dif­fer. Let your mother know that you mean no dis­re­spect when you take a dif­fer­ent path than what she and your fa­ther have cho­sen.

When you feel that your mother is ac­cept­ing of the fact that the two of you have some dif­fer­ing views but are able to love each other anyway, let her know that you want to share some­thing with her. Do not spring it on her. Make her aware of the fact that you have a re­veal, and then show her. Thank your mother for her sup­port and love.

•••

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I am cur­rently in a short­term long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship, and my part­ner and I have no­ticed that it is harder to com­mu­ni­cate as a re­sult of this dis­tance. We had been to­gether long enough prior to our sep­a­ra­tion to un­der­stand that we both still love each other and be­lieve that we can com­mu­ni­cate well face to face, but we are hav­ing trou­ble with the long dis­tance. Do you think there is any­thing that can be done to help us com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter dur­ing the few months we will be away from each other? -- Tem­po­rary Dis­tance

DEAR TEM­PO­RARY DIS­TANCE: Talk about the big pic­ture. Yes, it is chal­leng­ing to­day, but you have a timetable. Cre­ate a cal­en­dar that you share that has as its North Star the date that you come back to­gether. In be­tween, as­sign dates for when you will talk to each other, see each other and oth­er­wise com­mu­ni­cate.

The good news is that tech­nol­ogy can sup­port your abil­ity to be in close touch, even if you are unable to be in each other’s com­pany. Talk about trust. Now is the time to fortify that trust and en­cour­age each other to live your lives as you stay com­mit­ted to your shared jour­ney.

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