Dear Dr. Smith,
Our daughter is going steady with a young man. They are both juniors in college, get good grades, and plan to spend the rest of their life together.
My husband and I have a few concerns about the relationship. Some of the concerns deal with their youth and lack of practical knowledge about the world. They both have part-time jobs but can't seem to save any money. They have big dreams but aren't building a foundation for those dreams.
But, the biggest concern we have is her boyfriend's "body décor." He has multiple visible tattoos and piercings. His body resembles a drunk artist's canvas.
We are not the kind of people who pass judgment on those who choose to decorate their bodies that way. Our motto is "live and let live."
However, our daughter's future will be linked to his. We are worried about his ability to find a good job after graduation. We can envision the reaction of prospective employers when they see his "décor."
His parents don't seem too concerned about this. They laugh when he gets a new tattoo. His mother actually likes his eyebrow piercing. When he got rings placed inside his earlobes, his father told him that he resembled an African warrior.
My husband and I are not sure what (if anything) we can do about this. I thought perhaps you might have an idea?
Thanks for listening.
A concerned Mom
Dear Concerned Mom,
My simple idea is this let it be. Showing your disapproval could harm your relationship with your daughter.
If this young man is smart enough to get good grades In college, he's probably smart enough to figure out how to dress and act for a job interview. And he will most likely choose to apply to firms that are not as concerned with how a candidate looks as much as his ability to do the job.
In 2014, the world is very different. Tattoos and piercings are accepted by most people as bona fide ways to express your personality.
In the long run, perhaps the young man will learn a powerful lesson about self-restraint. I just hope your daughter will get a really good job just in case.
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