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View Poll Results: What's your view on underage drinking?
It's just a normal teenage experience, nothing wrong with it. 29 34.52%
It's wrong and needs to be stopped. 16 19.05%
I did it as a teenager but I don't want MY kids to drink. 39 46.43%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2007, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Most of us have done it when we were younger but as an adult looking back, what is your view on the subject of underage drinking?
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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That is a tough one. I of course don't want my teen to drink but the only thing I can do is teach him the reasons not to drink and how to say no when you don't want to be bugged for not drinking. Unfortunately we have to let them go where we are not and they will have to make their own choices while we as parents sit at home crossing our fingers.

Last night my 15 year old said he was going to a friends house. He came home 5 minutes later and said "mom, I don't want to lie to you. A friend is having a party at her house." I went over the rules for him and told him to be smart and safe. He came home a few hours later with a beer. He hadn't opened it! He said some boys from school were drinking and he took the beer but hadn't planned on drinking it.....Proud mom!

A friend of his who is on his football team was there and very drunk. My son said he felt bad for him because he is doing his body harm so won't be top of his game. Sadly he said he knows quite a few guys and girls who are drinking almost every weekend. Where the hell are the parents? I make it my business to be a full part of my child's life.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:02 AM
 
2,833 posts, read 9,604,877 times
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I gre up in NY in the 70's when the legal age for drinking was 18. I don't think I was much into drinking then, but there were other things around in the 70's. Even though it is illegal for a child to drink in most states before 21, I think the majority of them are drinking way before that. I have heard of many underage drinking parties when the parents aren't home. I have also heard of parties where the parents supply the beer and collect keys.

My daughter was at a party like this, the cops came and the kids all ran into the woods. It was a very rural area. She was lost in the woods for about 4 hours in the dark. She had bruises, cuts and mud all over her. Also a big gash on her inner thigh from climbing an old fence and tore her skin on a jagged rusty piece of metal. It took a Dr's visit, antibiotics and a tetanus shot and a few weeks of healing to get over that. I know she drinks, is underage, but pray that she doesn't do it often and does it responsibly. Doesn't mean I'm all for it but I think if you are going to think it doesn't happen or isn't happening until they are 21, you're fooling yourself.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:34 AM
 
Location: FL
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I don't want my sons to drink, of course. But, I think about me. I drank from age 13. When I was 16/17 I went down the shore for the weekend with friends, and my mother bought me alohol to take with me!

So I know it's going to happen. I am not going to be like my parents. But I'm not going to ground for 10 years if it did happen, because for most kids (not all), it is a growing up experience.

I plan on showing him, before he starts highschool, pictures, videos, whatever I can find, of people who got into car accidents because they drove drunk-even of people who weren't driving but got in a car driving drunk. Hopefully he will really see the dangers.

Then I will tell him that if he calls me from a party to get picked up, instead of letting a friend drive drunk, I will come at no matter the time, and not get angry or vent at him over it. If I find out he ever got in the car....he will never go to another party again.

I will ground him for life if it affects his grades or how he treats people.

I don't really know what I will do until it happens, but these are some ideas.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Tejas
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I drank when I was 15. My parents spoke to me about it. Because of their trust i never got drunk and got in trouble at all. I think 21 is a rediculous age for legal drinking. Lets just say that people waited to that age to drink, when people start they tend to get a little wild and whatever, when they should be starting to settle down, finishing college and being more responsible. If it was 18 and they could get all of that out of their system earlier i think it would be a whole lot better. By the time I was of legal age I was bored of the whole party scene, been there, done that.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I think it's asinine and contradictory that we expect kids to understand drinking in moderation while forbidding it until they reach 21, at which point they're simply given free reign in the liquor store. It's also kind of stupid to say "no you can't do that" while they watch adults doing it all around them with no negative stigma attached to it whatsoever. Some states (mine included) have a sensible policy of allowing children to drink in their home under the supervision of their parents or an approved guardian. Some states will also allow kids of a certain age to drink in restaurants with their parents (beer or wine only, no hard spirits). (I remember going to a beer festival in Wisconsin where people were informed that if their children were under 16, the servers by law could not hand it directly to them -- they had to hand it to the parents who could then hand it to their kid.) I think this is a better way to teach kids to drink responsibly, rather than letting them grow up believing that drinking is primarly an activity for a "party" setting.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post

Then I will tell him that if he calls me from a party to get picked up, instead of letting a friend drive drunk, I will come at no matter the time, and not get angry or vent at him over it. If I find out he ever got in the car....he will never go to another party again.
My parents were like that with me..they knew my friends and I were going to drink (and I really didn't drink that much) and they always told me that if I was too drunk or not comfortable riding with someone else, to call no matter the time and one of them would pick me up. I only had to do that once...I never did get punished but the embarrassment of having them see me like that was enough!!
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:09 PM
 
Location: The Big D
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I was forbidden from doing pretty much anything growing up........ guess that explains me now . When I was a teen the drinking age had changed to 19 from 18 but I was in college at 17 so w/ a fake ID and two years of college ID's I could pretty much get into the clubs and buy beer. I don't think the TEA or the state (Texas) was as strict back then and did the stings like they do now. I was 17 when I did have my first drink and even then most of my friends knew I did not drink and no one forced me to. So when a friend and I both walked in w/ a beer in our hands and took a drink they were FREAKED! Alas we had put something else in the cans, lol. Okay, call me a chickenshiiiiit. The first time I got REALLY drunk I was in college and it was on trashcan punch (my bf which is now my husband was with me that night and bless his heart...... he was GREAT and took care of me). My husbands dad was of the mind of I know they are going to drink so might as well do it at home. I don't go for that now.

As for nowadays I do know that in Texas a parent or guardian can give their own underage child alcohol but they CAN NOT give it to anyone elses child. If I EVER find out some adult gives my child alcohol w/o MY permission........ . Let's just say I will be getting bailed out of jail by my attorney. The state and local police departments have been busting parents for this and they should and prosecuting. After reading about some of the things that happen when this occurs it is not a good situation (like I LOVE PA's daughter, NO WAY!). Nothing like it was when we were teens and the consequences are much worse now. If your child participates in extra curriculiar activities at school be it sports, cheerleader, drillteam, etc and they are ANYWHERE where alcohol is being partaked of by even adults they can be kicked off. This does happen. In one local school district a girl was kicked out of cheer because a pic of her and her parents from New Years Eve was on her myspace and it showed them HOLDING champagne glasses. Nothing at all about what was in them or that she even drank any alcohol or that her parents were there. From friends that I have asked that have kids in high school they have told me this is so true that even though they can have some adult friends over and we can all be drinking even if their child is not they can get kicked off the team just for being present. Which some of this is a little extreme. In MY home I have the right to partake if I want.

We have talked about drinking w/ our kids and tried to relate it to everything in life. A little will not hurt or kill you. Just like a little food will not hurt or kill you. BUT!!!! Going OVERBOARD can be bad for you. Basically the sin of glutony for EVERYTHING. Our kids have seen us drink and seen that we can have a good time even w/o drinking. My oldest just came back from church camp and she was telling us about one night and the discussion they had and it dealt w/ things that are peer pressure driven like drinking. She of course has been going on and on and on about what a GREAT time they all had and their director spoke to them about how camp is SUPPOSED to be fun and games and not all serious. So we have continued to emphasis that at home with the life can be fun and you CAN enjoy yourself and your friends WITHOUT having to drink or get drunk or do drugs. Then we go onto explain how doing drugs or drinking can actually cause you to have a horrible experience. She saw one neighbor a couple of years ago that was fine when we moved in and all for a few years then all hell broke loose and he got into drugs (meth) and she saw him then. She saw the house get trashed and how he looked like crap and all so she has seen firsthand what drugs can do to someone and can cause one to loose everything in life and end up in jail. We can only hope and pray that she makes wise decisions. It is the parents out there that scare me almost more than the teens themselves.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:55 PM
 
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In other parts of the world, the legal age to drink is as young as 15. I traveled to Brasil when I was 15 and would have black beer for lunch every day with my Mom and Aunt for 2 weeks. I went out a couple of times with my cousins and drank with them, responsibly of course. I went to Taiwan at 19 on an abroad program and drank with friends there, legally. I also drank in college before I was 21. After I turned 21, I stopped drinking. I probably have an alcoholic beverage 2 or 3 times a year nowadays, I'm 28 (29 in a couple of weeks but I'm still saying 28 for as long as I can!)

I totally don't condone drinking and driving but I think 21 as a legal drinking age is pretty ridiculous. If you're old enough to serve your country, you're old enough to have a drink! My parents was never against drinking but I never took advantage of that either. I think you need to teach your children responsibility.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:13 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,158,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foma View Post
My parents was never against drinking but I never took advantage of that either. I think you need to teach your children responsibility.
Quote:
I think it's asinine and contradictory that we expect kids to understand drinking in moderation while forbidding it until they reach 21, at which point they're simply given free reign in the liquor store. It's also kind of stupid to say "no you can't do that" while they watch adults doing it all around them with no negative stigma attached to it whatsoever.
This pretty much covers it for me.
Years ago when my older son was 14, his team visited Guatemala for a soccer tournament. All the Guatemalan kids there drank alchohol, right in front of their parents, and nobody got drunk. (They also spoke exquisite English and displayed such obvious maturity as well as deference to their parents; it was a very enlightening two weeks in that country.)
Drinking and driving can be a bad, bad deal, and here in America, our wide open spaces invite trouble when somebody drinks too much, then gets behind the steering wheel. One thing I have noticed with the younger generation is that they will tend to use a designated driver, something I and my friends never did.
Learning how to hold your liquor is not done in one night. I've seen plenty of drunken young Brits overseas; the difference is that most of these kids will walk or take public transit home.
Underage or not, there is no easy way for young Americans to navigate the use of alcohol. I and my husband don't drink much more than beer or wine, and we have let our sons have both at dinner time. At this point, the older kid, now 23, probably knows more about wine than I do.
But I well remember worrying about him out there in the world on a Friday night, and I still have the younger one following in his footsteps.
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