"How Do You Like My Tattoo?"

Take a photo of your child on move-in day because it’s likely that the next time you see them, they won’t look the same way. Even the kids that seem the most even-keeled and predictable can have a wild side just waiting to get out... it’s just waiting for the right time and for many, college represents the perfect opportunity to let loose and show their true colors.

ADVERTISEMENT

College students – specifically freshmen – can tend to go overboard on the body modification and self expression because they are on their own for the first time and were probably forbidden to do such things while in high school. So when your child comes home for the holidays with a new hue on their head or more ink on their skin than a newspaper, what should you do?

First, don’t panic, as most things your child could do – with the exception of tattoos – are easily reversible. If they ask you what you think of their new look, tread carefully: Don’t launch into a lecture about how getting a tattoo removed is more painful than getting it done or how their grandmother would just die if she saw that piercing. Opt for a response like, “It’s not really my style but if you like it, I’m glad” instead. This way, you’re not overstepping any boundaries – or pushing your child to do the same just to make you angrier – and their visit can remain a peaceful one.

Next, remember that the likelihood of them growing bored with a nose stud or dreadlocks is pretty high; next time you see them, they could revert back to their old style or adopt an entirely new one. By remaining neutral, you’re showing their child that you understand they’re old enough to make their own choices and while you may not necessarily think it is the right one, you’re not about to drag them down to the salon to strip that fuchsia from their follicles. When they show up at a job interview with that hair, however, they won’t be afraid you’ll be ready with an “I told you so” when you see they’ve dyed it back.

Lastly, think back to what you looked like when you were your child’s age. Once that montage of bell bottoms, platform shoes, tie-dye, spandex and teased hair stops playing, consider what your own parents thought of your then-style. That’s right: It’s the same way you feel about your son’s “Survivor” beard or your daughter’s “G.I. Jane” coif. If you start criticizing your child’s new look, they’ll be on the phone with Grampy obtaining photographic evidence and calling the kettle black in no time.

ADVERTISEMENT

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Hanukkah 2021: Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Jewish

December 2, 2021

by Liz Montenegro

Adam Sandler undoubtedly paved the way in bringing the celebration of Hanukkah to the forefront of pop culture with his wildly famous “Hanukkah” song debut in 1994 on Saturday Night Live (did you know there is now a “Hanukkah” Part 4?). In the song, Sandler draws attention to famous Jews in mainstream culture. You may be wondering which celebrities are observing Hanukkah this year. Before we dive into Hollywood, let’s answer the question of why these “eight CRAZY nights” are celebrated by millions of Jewish people across the globe. [...]

College Dorms: Should You Give On-Campus Living a Try?

November 30, 2021

by Liz Montenegro

Starting college is a very exciting time. Dorm life is full of new experiences, and many scholarships are available that can help cover the cost of your room and board. Like everything else, there are pros and cons to living in a college dorm. [...]

This Week is American Education Week 2021

November 18, 2021

by Liz Montenegro

When asked the question, “Who was your favorite teacher or coach growing up?” For most anyone, an image of that educator’s face immediately pops up in their mind. What was it about that person that made them stand out? Maybe it was the way they encouraged or inspired you as no others had previously done. Perhaps they saw something in you that helped you to gain the confidence to achieve a goal that had once seemed unattainable. The truth is, there are as many answers to this question as there are people in this world. One common denominator unites them: it all started with the foundation of mutual respect and trust this individual established with you. [...]

Last Reviewed: December 2021