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Old 09-25-2010, 10:29 AM
 
208 posts, read 231,783 times
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Where do you stand on teenagers and alcohol?

Do you flat out (attempt to) forbid it? Do you think that teenagers and alcohol should absolutely never happen under any circumstances?

Do you try to make some sort of 'compromise'? Or avoid the issue?

My 16 year old daughter had two alcohol related issues (the consequences of which could have potentially been more serious than they were) as a 15 year old - my attitude to that was 15 years old plus alcohol plus unsupervised - no way.

But I didn't want to make alcohol taboo, I didn't want her to be secretive (that just feels like something that can result in dangerous situations too easily). So I've always tried to stay open on the alcohol issue, she brought it to my attention that alcohol had begun to be in her life, I remember being a teenager. I kept to my attitude over her being 15, let her know that was unacceptable, she was too young - I explained myself to her, I didn't just tell her no. Did she 100% stay away?...Maybe...I can only say it was never brought to my attention again...

Over summer, she was 16 by then, at family gatherings etc, I've allowed her to have a drink - I want her to know about responsible drinking, no-one overindulges at these times.

Outside of family gatherings, I've altered my policy...I expect trust and openness, I have allowed her to go to small parties of her friends who's parents I know, and have talked to about the party (my daughter has a main group of friends that been around for a long time, their parents are my friends, we're all comfortable with our kids being in each other's care). I have also not allowed her to go to other parties (the big ones that go on..) she's wanted to go to - I have also, after those incidents at 15, told her, if you were to go to one of those parties anyway, my cellphone is available at any hour of the night, my number one concern is your safety, if you're not comfortable in a situation, if you're not comfortable in a car, call me (and she has called me once when a driver got drunk at a friend's when there had been no plan for alcohol..., the friends didn't let the kid drive either).

I'm not sure yet how long I continue this approach or whether I will become more open still in the future (based on HER attitude).

I have this theory that the kid who is allowed openness and choices regarding alcohol while at high school (we can't deny it's there...) is not going to be the kid who spends freshman year drunk and in dangerous situations at college (I remember those kids really well...).

Where do you stand? Do you expect your child to hopefully develop responsibility under your care or do you expect them to avoid it completely? Or something else...?
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:21 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,287,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb03 View Post
I expect trust and openness, I have allowed her to go to small parties of her friends who's parents I know, and have talked to about the party (my daughter has a main group of friends that been around for a long time, their parents are my friends, we're all comfortable with our kids being in each other's care). I have also not allowed her to go to other parties (the big ones that go on..) she's wanted to go to - I have also, after those incidents at 15, told her, if you were to go to one of those parties anyway, my cellphone is available at any hour of the night, my number one concern is your safety, if you're not comfortable in a situation, if you're not comfortable in a car, call me
Your approach was similar to ours, and it worked very well with our older kids, who are now halfway through college. We would allow them a glass of wine at special family gatherings, but that would be it. And I think it's SO important to be aware of where your kids are, and WHO they are with. Our kids had the same set of friends from as early as preschool, and we knew the parents well. We never let our kids go hang out at parties with new friends, hang out at the mall, etc. Just last weekend I overheard a parent complaining how her dd would go to places like the mall or a carnival for hours at a time, and get drunk---she complained about kids these days, apparently ignorant to the possibility that she was giving her dd too much freedom. It's hard, because you want them to make new friends, but you need to be very cautious about who they become friends with, and where they are going. Once they hit about 18, we told them we'd prefer they didn't drink, but if they did, they MUST spend the night wherever they are, or call us to come get them.

Last edited by andthentherewere3; 09-25-2010 at 11:40 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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My oldest has been driving for about 6 months. Just last week he got an invitation to a party where he says he KNOWS there will be drinking. He asked about attending the party with a friend who is 17 (and thus can drive until 1AM as opposed to 11PM for my son).

We discussed drinking and driving. We discussed the fact that a party with all underaged kids would eventually get out of hand and require the presence of the police. My son says these boys will be drinking but they are not thugs and he doesn't think it will be anything other than some kids getting drunk.

The compromise we came up with is that he could go to Dave & Busters. He could go back to the house, but I wanted HIM to drive which would require that he be home by 11. That will give him a chance to go to the party but leave before it gets out of hand, if it is inclined to get out of hand.

We value trust. We trust until we have a reason not to trust. My son knows that I will come get him if he makes a bad decision and drink anyway. I prefer him to drive than to be driven by others I do not know as well.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: NYC/Orlando
1,914 posts, read 3,416,821 times
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My mom and I have always had a really open relationship- I pretty much tell her everything. This always included any parties I went to when I was in high school. Although she didn't approve of the drinking so much, she knew that if we were smart about it, either stayed the night or had a designated driver we would be fine. She told me if I ever needed her she'd be there to pick me (and anyone else) up.

Because drinking wasn't some exciting, secret event I never found it to be really appealing (plus, I get very sick). I only went to a handful of parties in HS and rarely enjoyed them. I'm 19 and a sophomore in college, and haven't had more than a drink or two since I started my freshman year. However, there are so many that come to college, suddenly away from their restrictive parents, that end up going to parties every week (or every night!).
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
10,634 posts, read 16,222,793 times
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We were allowed to drink at family gatherings once we were teenagers. Not get DRUNK but a few beers or a glass of wine. Neither myself nor any of my siblings have had ANY issues with alcohol.

Now, my inlaws FORBADE alcohol, constantly told their children it was evil, forbidden, not to be touched, etc etc etc. ALL those kids wanted to do was drink! and not only drink, drink to get TOTALLY drunk. 2 of the 3 children have bad issues now with binge drinking.

I think an approach similar to how the Europeans handle it is the best way.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:39 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,364 posts, read 50,627,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb03 View Post
Where do you stand on teenagers and alcohol?

Do you flat out (attempt to) forbid it? Do you think that teenagers and alcohol should absolutely never happen under any circumstances?

Do you try to make some sort of 'compromise'? Or avoid the issue?

My 16 year old daughter had two alcohol related issues (the consequences of which could have potentially been more serious than they were) as a 15 year old - my attitude to that was 15 years old plus alcohol plus unsupervised - no way.

But I didn't want to make alcohol taboo, I didn't want her to be secretive (that just feels like something that can result in dangerous situations too easily). So I've always tried to stay open on the alcohol issue, she brought it to my attention that alcohol had begun to be in her life, I remember being a teenager. I kept to my attitude over her being 15, let her know that was unacceptable, she was too young - I explained myself to her, I didn't just tell her no. Did she 100% stay away?...Maybe...I can only say it was never brought to my attention again...

Over summer, she was 16 by then, at family gatherings etc, I've allowed her to have a drink - I want her to know about responsible drinking, no-one overindulges at these times.

Outside of family gatherings, I've altered my policy...I expect trust and openness, I have allowed her to go to small parties of her friends who's parents I know, and have talked to about the party (my daughter has a main group of friends that been around for a long time, their parents are my friends, we're all comfortable with our kids being in each other's care). I have also not allowed her to go to other parties (the big ones that go on..) she's wanted to go to - I have also, after those incidents at 15, told her, if you were to go to one of those parties anyway, my cellphone is available at any hour of the night, my number one concern is your safety, if you're not comfortable in a situation, if you're not comfortable in a car, call me (and she has called me once when a driver got drunk at a friend's when there had been no plan for alcohol..., the friends didn't let the kid drive either).

I'm not sure yet how long I continue this approach or whether I will become more open still in the future (based on HER attitude).

I have this theory that the kid who is allowed openness and choices regarding alcohol while at high school (we can't deny it's there...) is not going to be the kid who spends freshman year drunk and in dangerous situations at college (I remember those kids really well...).

Where do you stand? Do you expect your child to hopefully develop responsibility under your care or do you expect them to avoid it completely? Or something else...?
I'm not sure your theory works. My daughter is in her second year of college and the group of kids whose parents allowed them to drink in their basements during high school are all hard partiers now. They are also good students, so they may just be doing what their peers are doing.

My daughter does not drink, but it's because her father is an alcoholic and my brother died of cirrhosis when she was 15. She knows firsthand what an ugly and painful death that is. I intended to do what her boyfriend's family does. They are from Europe, and they allowed their children to have a glass of beer or wine at the table on occasion. Her boyfriend does not drink now, either. She didn't want any alcohol at all. She knows that alcoholism exists on both sides of her family and she is afraid that if she does drink, she is danger of becoming an alcoholic. She also hates being around drunk people because let's face it, drunks are annoying as hell if you are sober.

When I still thought she might drink during high school or college, I made sure she knew the truth about the dangers of driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who is drunk and what her alternatives were if that situation arose. There was also a local incident where a wealthy but sheltered college student went to some wild club in a bad area and ended up leaving intoxicated with a questionable couple who raped and murdered her. I made sure she knew about that, too.

I drank when I was her age, so it's not as though I'm some perfect parent or goody two-shoes. I met her alkie dad in a bar, after all. I just didn't know about alcoholism vs. normal partying at the time because my own parents rarely drank anything.

I think you probably won't prevent her from drinking completely, but tell her to be smart. Let her know those stories of what can happen to people who are not just drunk, but who are stupid and drunk and that sometimes drunk can equal stupid. Don't sugarcoat or protect her from reality.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:48 PM
 
Location: maryland
3,967 posts, read 5,681,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I'm not sure your theory works. My daughter is in her second year of college and the group of kids whose parents allowed them to drink in their basements during high school are all hard partiers now. They are also good students, so they may just be doing what their peers are doing.

My daughter does not drink, but it's because her father is an alcoholic and my brother died of cirrhosis when she was 15. She knows firsthand what an ugly and painful death that is. I intended to do what her boyfriend's family does. They are from Europe, and they allowed their children to have a glass of beer or wine at the table on occasion. Her boyfriend does not drink now, either. She didn't want any alcohol at all. She knows that alcoholism exists on both sides of her family and she is afraid that if she does drink, she is danger of becoming an alcoholic. She also hates being around drunk people because let's face it, drunks are annoying as hell if you are sober.

When I still thought she might drink during high school or college, I made sure she knew the truth about the dangers of driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who is drunk and what her alternatives were if that situation arose. There was also a local incident where a wealthy but sheltered college student went to some wild club in a bad area and ended up leaving intoxicated with a questionable couple who raped and murdered her. I made sure she knew about that, too.

I drank when I was her age, so it's not as though I'm some perfect parent or goody two-shoes. I met her alkie dad in a bar, after all. I just didn't know about alcoholism vs. normal partying at the time because my own parents rarely drank anything.

I think you probably won't prevent her from drinking completely, but tell her to be smart. Let her know those stories of what can happen to people who are not just drunk, but who are stupid and drunk and that sometimes drunk can equal stupid. Don't sugarcoat or protect her from reality.

It depends on how much drinking went on too...being overly permissive can do the same damage.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,882,510 times
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My kids will highly discouraged from drinking when and where there is no responsible adult supervision. It will not be outright "forbidden" because I want them to be able to call me if they're in a bad situation without fear of retribution, but I will make it as difficult as possible for them to hang out with that group in the future. At some point they will be allowed to drink if they wish when and where there are responsible adults to model responsible consumption in a responsible atmosphere.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:05 PM
 
12,932 posts, read 19,824,518 times
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We have had some struggles with this. Our boys are currently 24, 19 and 18. The oldest rarely drinks. I was, however, concerned enough about his 21st birthday to fly to his college and take him to dinner. He hates beer, and can't afford the Johnny Walker Blue label he does like.

Middle boy does drink. I've found several pictures of him on Facebook with evidence in the background. But, he has also called in three drunk drivers who he was either tailed by or almost run off the road by. At this point I'm confident he will not get into his car after drinking. He lets me know he won't be coming home after a party.

Youngest had one incident at 16. He was recovering from surgery, and invited some friends to spend the night. We later found three cases of beer (mostly empty) and a bottle of spiced rum hidden in the basement. Lordy, were those boys sick! I think he's been cured of the urge to drink since. He's also in an honors college with an academic scholarship, and has told me he won't do anything to jeopardize that. He is however, on the rugby team with seniors, and I know beer is available to him.

We only keep wine in the house, but we drink it daily. If any of the boys wanted a glass, I would allow it. I would NEVER allow another family's child to drink at my house. It pisses me off that other parents permit alcohol at parties my sons are attending.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:42 PM
 
208 posts, read 231,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
And I think it's SO important to be aware of where your kids are, and WHO they are with.
I agree completely. I had to rein my daughter in on that one at 15, when the details weren't true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I'm not sure your theory works.
Yes, I never claim to be foolproof. Although, I do agree with paganmama that it's more about the overall attitude to alcohol rather than kids simply having permission to drink in the basement.

I agree it is necessary to discuss everything that can go wrong. My daughter knows firsthand of various consequences that can be 'applied' to her. But yes, issues of personal safety are also extremely important.

This group of kids my daughter spends most of her time with seem to have a much clearer, smarter attitude to drink-driving than my generation as teenagers (although I know not all the kids around here are the same). It seems fairly socially unacceptable, not even a possibility. I do have to say I am impressed by their attitude to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I would NEVER allow another family's child to drink at my house. It pisses me off that other parents permit alcohol at parties my sons are attending.
I'm not quite at the never level, there a small number of kids who I would permit to drink at my house, with their parents' knowledge. I'm not keen either, and I would not want to be the parent in the position, on the practise of allowing unknown kids, kids whose parents are unaware to drink alcohol while they're essentially under your responsibility/in your home...
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