Teens, Tattoos, and Piercings: More Than Meets the Eye

Once relegated to “outlaw” status, tattoos and body piercings have made inroads into mainstream society in recent years. For many adults, piercing and tattooing are means of depicting aspects of their personality or commemorating significant events in their life.

But what happens when teens, most of whom are not even of legal age, undergo the procedure to get a tattoo or a body piercing? Is this merely an imitation of an action undertaken by their adult role models, or should it be considered a form of self-mutilation? According to the experts, the answer to that question depends upon the unique circumstances of each case.

Tattoo'd Teenager

Self-Harm: A Cry for Help?
Many people consider tattoos and body piercings a form of self-mutilation or self-harm. This is because self-mutilation is classified as someone doing something to their body that purposely inflicts pain or injury – a description that can include anything from pulling their own hair to cutting their skin to giving themselves multiple tattoos. Self-harm is often an underlying symptom of a more serious issue, and many people who engage in self-mutilation do so as a way to relieve stress or avoid expressing their feelings.

Teens who engage in self-harming behaviors need professional help to address the real condition their actions represent. For many, the behavior is associated with chemical substance or alcohol use, while for others it can be a sign of depression.

Continue reading to learn more about the physical and emotional side effects of teen tattoos and piercings >>

Ford’s ‘MyKey’ System Gives Parents Greater Control Over Teen Drivers

Ford Motor Co. has announced a technological innovation that the company is promoting as a way to improve the safety of teen drivers and enhance the peace of mind of moms and dads across the country.

Ford’s new “MyKey” system will give parents the power to limit what their teens can and cannot do while driving vehicles that feature the new technology. Described by Detroit News writer Bryce D. Hoffman as a “fully configurable system [that] allows concerned parents to program their children’s keys from a menu of restrictions and enhanced alerts,” MyKey is set to make its debut as a standard feature in the 2010 Ford Focus compact car (and is expected to rapidly expand to other Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury models).

A Range of Options
When a person uses a “MyKey” to start a vehicle, a computer chip in the key will trigger a set of restrictions that have previously been established by whoever has control of the system’s master key. Parents whose vehicles are equipped with “MyKey” technology will be able to ensure that the certain restrictions will be in place every time their teen drives the car.

Learn more about the advantages of Ford’s "MyKey" system >>