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My daughter, the mother of a young child, got a tattoo

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a man in my 60s, and I run my own business. I have a problem with my eldest daughter: Although she is already in her mid-30s, married and has a child, she recently got a tattoo. More shockingly, it seems her tattoo covers a considerable part of her body.

I could tolerate it if she did this out of youthful indiscretion. However, she is the mother of a small child. The timing is totally unacceptable. Since I learned about this, I’ve almost stopped seeing her in person or talking to her. Her relationship with her husband is far from peaceful, too.

I’m so concerned about her and my grandchild’s future that I have trouble falling asleep at night. And I start thinking about this right after I wake up in the morning. I feel as if I have a splinter in my heart that is always stinging.

If my daughter repents and removes her tattoo, the splinter in my heart will also be removed, I think. However, I feel this is totally unrealistic. Furthermore, I never feel like discussing this matter with her.

I have no idea how I should deal with her in the future. I don’t have much time to live. Maybe I should focus on living actively and positively with the other members of my family without caring about my daughter. But I doubt that’s really good enough.

J

Dear Mr. J:

These days, some young people get tattoos as a form of fashion. Your daughter got a tattoo, although she is already in her mid-30s. I assume she was aware of the consequences when she did this. What is happening to her? You don’t want to know, do you?

You say you hope she will repent and remove the splinter in your heart. You also say you never feel like discussing the matter with your daughter. But wait a minute. Are you concerned about your life in old age or your daughter’s future?

If you are truly concerned about the futures of your daughter and grandchild, you should immediately see your daughter and listen to her. If you can’t remove the splinter in her heart, how can the splinter in your heart be removed? If you don’t act, this will become impossible.

People get tattoos for various reasons. However, I think the core of the problem lies not in the tattoo itself.

I feel the tattoo represents a kind of scream. I also feel it’s a symbol of her desperate resolve to live her own life. I can imagine her enduring solitude while fighting back tears, and even hurting her own body.

But I hope this turns out to be a groundless fear.

Hazuki Saisho, writer

(from Dec. 23, 2015, issue) Speech

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