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View Full Version : What if you think you 18 year old son is drinking.


billyg121
05-28-2011, 11:41 AM
long story short..my son jokingly talks about drinking sometimes, maybe to just feel me out on it. ive expressed to him that the behavior is not acceptable to me and i would not tolerate it ...but im afraid he will want to leave and go live with his mom..which is not a good situation. im pretty sure ive caught him coming in buzzed. not driving though.his attitude has also changed for the worse.i can remember doing some crazy stuff as a teen..but of course like our mothers said..we will understand one day when we have kids...well that time for me is now. i just dont know exactly how to handle this.

In Absentia
05-28-2011, 11:49 AM
I used to enjoy a beer or three with my dad, and no harm came of it. In fact, before I started drinking with dad, I would get blitzed every weekend. When I drank with dad, I learned to enjoy beer and it became about tasting, and not how much I could imbibe.

thrashmetl
05-28-2011, 11:52 AM
Not quite sure how to handle it, but I myself was a good kid and I drank at that age. My parents were rather strict, but they knew how things are. Your kid is now college age and regardless of whether or not he's going to college, kids that age are going to party and there's not much you can do about it. I would probably ease up just a bit, gradually, and just make it clear that if he drinks and drives you'll murder him.

For the record, I didn't turn out bad.

acguitar84
05-28-2011, 11:53 AM
at the very least..make sure he knows, if he's drunk, and is going to drive, you'll come and get him, at any time, with no questions asked.

In Absentia
05-28-2011, 11:54 AM
at the very least..make sure he knows, if he's drunk, and is going to drive, you'll come and get him, at any time, with no questions asked.

^this.

erksin
05-28-2011, 11:56 AM
I'd think he started 3-4 years late.

I'd just be honest with yourself and him - if he's drinking, there is NOTHING you can do about it. You can explain the potential consequences and if he gets caught or god forbid does some damage or hurts somebody while drunk that he will be held fully accountable for his actions since he's 18. Let him know that if he's drinking, he automatically loses car priviledges, etc. If he's gonna act like an adult, he should bear an adult's share of the responsibility.

billyg121
05-28-2011, 11:56 AM
i guess my fear is that he will push it behind the wheel.

russiancrowe
05-28-2011, 12:20 PM
at the very least..make sure he knows, if he's drunk, and is going to drive, you'll come and get him, at any time, with no questions asked.

and don't lay a guilt trip on him or the next time he wont call. Wait until the next morning and have a rational discusion about it and let him know you're glad he trusted you enough to call for a ride. Make sure he understands though, that if he breaks the law and gets caught or injures himself or someone else he's going to have to pay the consequences, but that you'll still love him and be there for him.

tnt365
05-28-2011, 12:25 PM
It's too late. You should have been allowing him to drink since he was 13 with you, allowing him to smoke etc (in moderation of course, teach moderation). The reason is that the more parents push "no" on their kids the more it makes the kid want to rebel (no matter how much he respects you). Now he knows you've been strict so this is his way of trying to break you in, meanwhile he's been drinking heavily on the weekends for years probably.

It makes me sick when parents live in never-never-land and think their kids don't live in the same world they do, don't see and feel the same things they do, when they try to live vicariously through their kids, trying to make all the "right" decisions for them, forcing them in the "right" direction. Most of the time the kid takes advantage of it while they are young, enjoying whatever freedom they can get that spawns from their parents rigidity and stupidity. It's a similar yet worse outcome than parents being their kids' "friend". Both have their downfalls but at least a "friend" treats you like a human-being, instead of lying in vain, trying to be a "parent".

A good parent needs to ride the line between friend and parent. If a parents a friend to their child then the child can trust them but doesn't respect them like a parent. If a parent acts like the polar-extreme overprotecting parent they get respect but not trust (the kid thinks you are lying and goes off to drink behind your back). Parenting is difficult, but punishing a child/young adult for living in reality, making mistakes or making risky decisions is futile. The only thing to do is train them in the ways of drinking, sex, smoking etc. before they are 14 IMO so that they have the full scoop (and tell them the truth; its ok to do things in moderation and safely), then punish them if they don't follow the code (punishments have to be really tactical though, not too heavy just enough to make a point). In your case it is pretty late, because of your strictness your son had to teach himself about drinking (probably while binging with his friends behind your back).

Zero tolerance policies are like prohibition, they don't work but more importantly actually make the problem worse by driving people to rebellion. It's unfair, like asking someone "would you rather only eat your favorite food for the rest of your life and that's it, or never eat it again"

v-verb
05-28-2011, 12:25 PM
I grew up in Quebec - legal is 18 there. I guess go easy on him and make sure he trusts you to talk to him about it.

That way if he ever gets in trouble he'll call you first before things get worse - like driving drunk.

karmadave
05-28-2011, 12:32 PM
I would try and have an honest and open conversation about the effects and consequences of alcohol. People are going to drink period. The focus should be on safety and responsibility, not lecturing him on the 'evils' of alcohol. That's my $.02...

harpinon
05-28-2011, 12:32 PM
Make sure he knows the outcome of drinking and driving.
There are some websites that show real wrecks and faces of teens who died from it. It's very strong, but plants a mental picture he won't soon forget.

Then tell him about what happens if you get a dui.
I know a guy who got one. He lost his licence for a year and it cost him $20,000 in legal fees. Then he got "party plates" on his car. Yellow plates that let everyone know you're a drinking driver.

Bobby D
05-28-2011, 12:35 PM
they are gonna!


when i was 12, we used to bale hay for a dairy farmer in NC.....at the end of the week, he would buy a KEG of beer, put it on ice in the barn, take all our car keys away, and let us drink until we passed out.


you have to TALK to your kids about drinking.

my 20 year old is pretty smart. when she and her friends wanted to have a few beers, i let them do it at home. and they had to surrender their keys to ME.

because of my past history, along with my wife's - our daughters are much more educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

TALK to them. be a parent.

DGTCrazy
05-28-2011, 12:40 PM
It's too late. You should have been allowing him to drink since he was 13 with you, allowing him to smoke etc (in moderation of course, teach moderation). The reason is that the more parents push "no" on their kids the more it makes the kid want to rebel (no matter how much he respects you). Now he knows you've been strict so this is his way of trying to break you in, meanwhile he's been drinking heavily on the weekends for years probably.

It makes me sick when parents live in never-never-land and think their kids don't live in the same world they do, don't see and feel the same things they do, when they try to live vicariously through their kids, trying to make all the "right" decisions for them, forcing them in the "right" direction. Most of the time the kid takes advantage of it while they are young, enjoying whatever freedom they can get that spawns from their parents rigidity and stupidity. It's a similar yet worse outcome than parents being their kids' "friend". Both have their downfalls but at least a "friend" treats you like a human-being, instead of lying in vain, trying to be a "parent".

A good parent needs to ride the line between friend and parent. If a parents a friend to their child then the child can trust them but doesn't respect them like a parent. If a parent acts like the polar-extreme overprotecting parent they get respect but not trust (the kid thinks you are lying and goes off to drink behind your back). Parenting is difficult, but punishing a child/young adult for living in reality, making mistakes or making risky decisions is futile. The only thing to do is train them in the ways of drinking, sex, smoking etc. before they are 14 IMO so that they have the full scoop (and tell them the truth; its ok to do things in moderation and safely), then punish them if they don't follow the code (punishments have to be really tactical though, not too heavy just enough to make a point). In your case it is pretty late, because of your strictness your son had to teach himself about drinking (probably while binging with his friends behind your back).

Zero tolerance policies are like prohibition, they don't work but more importantly actually make the problem worse by driving people to rebellion. It's unfair, like asking someone "would you rather only eat your favorite food for the rest of your life and that's it, or never eat it again"



I'm curious; Do you have any kids?

tele_phil
05-28-2011, 12:47 PM
I would suggest taking the European approach and have a few beers with him. Teach him how to drink responsibly. Also let him know that you do not want him driving when he drinks and that he can call you any time for a ride. When I was a kid I saw too many teenagers die in drunk driving related accidents. It was always the kids who had strong anti-drinking parents.

tnt365
05-28-2011, 01:01 PM
I would suggest taking the European approach and have a few beers with him. Teach him how to drink responsibly. Also let him know that you do not want him driving when he drinks and that he can call you any time for a ride. When I was a kid I saw too many teenagers die in drunk driving related accidents. It was always the kids who had strong anti-drinking parents.

That was my point. And NO, you don't need to have kids to know what its like to be a kid, to see other kids with strict parents and how they end up. The European approach is anti-zero-tolerance. Education not groundation. I'm 21 and fresh on the scene watching how kids my age and turning out. The kids with strict parents usually backlash once they are "free". I'm not saying "oh I will be the best parent ever" because there are so many variables, but I KNOW what I am against, and super strict parents is one thing I am against. Also, my numbers aren't empirical data, they are just hypothesis of when I noticed kids at school being pressured into drinking and not knowing what to do (especially when it came to talking to their parents about it).

strumminsix
05-28-2011, 01:22 PM
I'm not a parent but I can tell you that I remember being spoke to as an adult by my mother at ages like before school taught sex ed, about drugs and alcohol before Junior high (say no time) then again in HS about no drugs and alcohol when I'm older and in moderation - more fun to be coherent and smart then regrets from out of it.

Sure I went a bit crazy in my 20s but, well, I made those decisions as an adult.

jwny72
05-28-2011, 01:26 PM
The forbidden fruit is alluring. Role model responsible consumption. Talk about responsible consumption. The people I grew up with who turned out well didn't have strict, forbidding parents. I did and floundered a lot in my 20's as a result of substance abuse problems. Every time I drove intoxicated (and thank GOODNESS I never hurt myself or anyone else, or got a DUI) it was to avoid being admonished for being drunk and unable to drive in the first place.

defcrew
05-28-2011, 01:29 PM
The laws are absurd. When I was 18 it was legal to drink. I buy beer for my son now and just encourage him to be smart about how he drinks. Thus far it works out Ok. He will be 21 in August. You can only preach for so long before it begins falling on deaf ears no matter how good your intentions are.

Baloney
05-28-2011, 01:43 PM
I think you should let him keep drinking. Maybe one day he will kill himself or someone else in a car wreck. He may even become an alcoholic and die at an early age. I mean after all everyone else is doing it too. He should be allowed to do whatever he wants to and you should pay for it. Who care if you provide a roof over his head and food in his belly. You have no say so because youre just his parent. Who cares if its illegal. WHo cares if he gets arrested for underage drinking. It doesnt matter if his record keeps him from getting that dream job when hes older. Hes only having fun right???

I also want to inform you that providing him with booze and drinking with him is illegal and could land you in trouble with DCFS. His mother will get custody then for sure. WTF is wrong with you people??? Advising a man to break the law and endanger his child??? You people are insane!!!!

Bobby D
05-28-2011, 01:45 PM
The forbidden fruit is alluring. Role model responsible consumption. Talk about responsible consumption. The people I grew up with who turned out well didn't have strict, forbidding parents. I did and floundered a lot in my 20's as a result of substance abuse problems. Every time I drove intoxicated (and thank GOODNESS I never hurt myself or anyone else, or got a DUI) it was to avoid being admonished for being drunk and unable to drive in the first place.

indeed......my parents DID NOT drink, and were very strict......so i was INTERESTED in it.

luckily, as a teenager in new orleans, my mom had relaxed quite a bit, and when my friends wanted to drink and party, she encouraged us to do it in our backyard, so she could keep an eye on us.

she said "i would rather have you and your friends HERE, so you aren't out driving or getting into trouble"

so, we would hang out at my parents house in the backyard, drink or six packs of cheap beer and smoke weed.

maybe that was bad parenting, but my mom DID keep us out of trouble :YinYang

tnt365
05-28-2011, 01:48 PM
I think you should let him keep drinking. Maybe one day he will kill himself or someone else in a car wreck. He may even become an alcoholic and die at an early age. I mean after all everyone else is doing it too. He should be allowed to do whatever he wants to and you should pay for it. Who care if you provide a roof over his head and food in his belly. You have no say so because youre just his parent. Who cares if its illegal. WHo cares if he gets arrested for underage drinking. It doesnt matter if his record keeps him from getting that dream job when hes older. Hes only having fun right???

I also want to inform you that providing him with booze and drinking with him is illegal and could land you in trouble with DCFS. His mother will get custody then for sure. WTF is wrong with you people??? Advising a man to break the law and endanger his child??? You people are insane!!!!

Bologna words, straight from Baloney. Having fun in your imagination?

1) Not illegal to drink with your kids
2) Most people do drink and want you to drink/ have fun with them; deal with it
3) Drinking and driving is what you prevent by teaching your kids moderation instead having a zero-tolerance policy that makes them want to rebel
4) Mom can't get "custody" of an 18 year old.

You're an idiot, straight up, if you think that your sarcastic/mocking reply is the reality of our suggestions.

Funky Chicken
05-28-2011, 01:49 PM
I wish my parents had paid attention to my teen drinking and drug use and intervened. Things would have been different for me.

Just sayin-

FC

Sanjuro
05-28-2011, 01:50 PM
Bologna words, straight from Baloney. Having fun in your imagination?

1) Not illegal to drink with your kids
2) Most people do drink and want you to drink/ have fun with them; deal with it
3) Drinking and driving is what you prevent by teaching your kids moderation instead having a zero-tolerance policy that makes them want to rebel
4) Mom can't get "custody" of an 18 year old you dumbass.

You're an idiot, straight up, if you think that your sarcastic/mocking reply is the reality of our suggestions.

The sagacious words of a 21 year-old.

jimshine
05-28-2011, 01:50 PM
I started drinking at 13. I think it is really dependent on the kid how to treat the situation. I was rebelling, alcohol was all it took with my parents. I experimented with drugs too, but the alcohol did the job and I didn't care for drugs. If my parents were cool with booze, who knows where I would have pushed it.

hilux
05-28-2011, 01:50 PM
The thing I would worry about most is the driving while buzzed or drunk, or riding along with friends who have been drinking. Maybe talk to some of his friend's parents and see if they know of anything going on..

tnt365
05-28-2011, 01:54 PM
indeed......my parents DID NOT drink, and were very strict......so i was INTERESTED in it.

luckily, as a teenager in new orleans, my mom had relaxed quite a bit, and when my friends wanted to drink and party, she encouraged us to do it in our backyard, so she could keep an eye on us.

she said "i would rather have you and your friends HERE, so you aren't out driving or getting into trouble"

so, we would hang out at my parents house in the backyard, drink or six packs of cheap beer and smoke weed.

maybe that was bad parenting, but my mom DID keep us out of trouble :YinYang

Exactly what my post-18 life has been like ,and my late pre-18 life. Sometimes parents do "break the law" keeping kids safe by enabling them to drink and smoke on their property. They take away the keys and give the kids a safe and worry-free place to do what they would have done anyway (but usually in a much less safe and secure place).

Supervision and moderation are key to teaching the young how to deal with the risky pleasures in life. But no, according to Baloney any parent that understands this and tries to cope with reality is an enabler and a bad parent.

Krayon
05-28-2011, 02:01 PM
you have NO control if he does it behind your back..

Better to have control and have him do it in your home, in a controlled enviroment.
during those years safety is the most important factor.. kids have no fear of dieing because they don't "believe" they can. they say they understand.. but they don't

at age 18 they are legally able to die for their country without your permission, this makes them think that they are adults and responcible enough to drink... authority figures that tell them ANYTHING that smacks of " your not yet old enough" is viewed as a contradiction to the law of the land... and they will rebel against that person.

its the old Smokeing at a young age trick.. Make'em smoke a whole pack till they puke... then they think twice about doing it again. with alcohal, its a bit dangerous to go that far.. so you have to think along those lines, but be a lot more careful with how you go about it.

Baloney
05-28-2011, 02:02 PM
Exactly what my post-18 life has been like ,and my late pre-18 life. Sometimes parents do "break the law" keeping kids safe by enabling them to drink and smoke on their property. They take away the keys and give the kids a safe and worry-free place to do what they would have done anyway (but usually in a much less safe and secure place).

Supervision and moderation are key to teaching the young how to deal with the risky pleasures in life. But no, according to Baloney any parent that understands this and tries to cope with reality is an enabler and a bad parent.


When your drunk kid kills an innocent person because drinking is cool then you will understand. You ever had a loved one killed by an alcoholic?? I have!! You ever seen the results of an abusive alcoholic? I have! You need to go to an AA meeting to get a grip on reality. The problem with the moderation argument is that most kids drink to get drunk not for the enjoyment of a beer every now and then.

TubeStack
05-28-2011, 02:04 PM
long story short..my son jokingly talks about drinking sometimes, maybe to just feel me out on it. ive expressed to him that the behavior is not acceptable to me and i would not tolerate it ...but im afraid he will want to leave and go live with his mom..which is not a good situation. im pretty sure ive caught him coming in buzzed. not driving though.his attitude has also changed for the worse.i can remember doing some crazy stuff as a teen..but of course like our mothers said..we will understand one day when we have kids...well that time for me is now. i just dont know exactly how to handle this.

I wouldn't worry about it. He's only one year from being legal here.

And as others have said, the bigger a deal you make out of it, the more fun it'll be for him to do it. Don't add to the thrill.

Twangzilla
05-28-2011, 02:06 PM
they are gonna!


when i was 12, we used to bale hay for a dairy farmer in NC.....at the end of the week, he would buy a KEG of beer, put it on ice in the barn, take all our car keys away, and let us drink until we passed out.




Is he hiring?

tnt365
05-28-2011, 02:27 PM
When your drunk kid kills an innocent person because drinking is cool then you will understand. You ever had a loved one killed by an alcoholic?? I have!! You ever seen the results of an abusive alcoholic? I have! You need to go to an AA meeting to get a grip on reality. The problem with the moderation argument is that most kids drink to get drunk not for the enjoyment of a beer every now and then.

How is that a problem with the argument? The point is to teach them that moderation can be fun too, that binge drinking often is a bad thing, and can lead to a bad lifestyle. To answer your question, alcoholism runs in my family, so I know plenty, have experienced it first hand. Alcoholism is a disease that ruins lives, but to say that every parent should ban their kid from drinking because of alcoholism is stupid, don't you think? I do.

Baloney, you are right, alcoholics shouldn't drink because they literally can't stop (physically control themselves). But the OP mentions nothing about alcoholism. See the bold, yes most KIDS drink to get drunk, that's why ADULTS need to supervise and limit without giving a zero-tolerance ultimatum that motivates rebellion.

tele_phil
05-28-2011, 02:29 PM
When your drunk kid kills an innocent person because drinking is cool then you will understand. You ever had a loved one killed by an alcoholic?? I have!! You ever seen the results of an abusive alcoholic? I have! You need to go to an AA meeting to get a grip on reality. The problem with the moderation argument is that most kids drink to get drunk not for the enjoyment of a beer every now and then.

This is exactly why a kid should learn how to drink responsibly. Most kids drink to get drunk because it is a taboo and therefore "cool". They have absolutely no experience with drinking responsibly.

It is not illegal to let an 18 year old kid drink in your own home when it is your own kid. I saw many kids do stupid things with drinking and driving when I was a kid, including kill themselves and others. Every one of those kids had parents who flat out said, "no drinking!". That approach is just asking most kids to drink behind your back. I would much rather have my kids learn how to drink responsibly and know that they can call me to pick them up if they have had to much to drink or the person they rode with had too much to drink.

BTW...I've seen loads of alcoholics. Most of them started drinking at cornfield keg parties because it was cool, their parents didn't want them drinking, and it was just as much fun to get away with something that they were not supposed to be doing as it was to get drunk.

Seabazz
05-28-2011, 02:41 PM
i was 16 on a class trip to austria where they let us in to bars. Great memories!

jwny72
05-28-2011, 02:42 PM
I wish my parents had paid attention to my teen drinking and drug use and intervened. Things would have been different for me.

Just sayin-

FC

Most people have advocated high levels of parental involvement. Not forbidding does not equal ignoring.

jwny72
05-28-2011, 02:55 PM
I think you should let him keep drinking. Maybe one day he will kill himself or someone else in a car wreck. He may even become an alcoholic and die at an early age. I mean after all everyone else is doing it too. He should be allowed to do whatever he wants to and you should pay for it. Who care if you provide a roof over his head and food in his belly. You have no say so because youre just his parent. Who cares if its illegal. WHo cares if he gets arrested for underage drinking. It doesnt matter if his record keeps him from getting that dream job when hes older. Hes only having fun right???

I also want to inform you that providing him with booze and drinking with him is illegal and could land you in trouble with DCFS. His mother will get custody then for sure. WTF is wrong with you people??? Advising a man to break the law and endanger his child??? You people are insane!!!!

When your drunk kid kills an innocent person because drinking is cool then you will understand. You ever had a loved one killed by an alcoholic?? I have!! You ever seen the results of an abusive alcoholic? I have! You need to go to an AA meeting to get a grip on reality. The problem with the moderation argument is that most kids drink to get drunk not for the enjoyment of a beer every now and then.

What part of "the forbidden fruit is alluring" do you not understand? Teaching young people to drink responsibly is meant to prevent them from having future problems with alcohol. If you disagree with the approach, explain why. Hostile sarcasm isn't useful to the discussion.

Bobby D
05-28-2011, 03:02 PM
Is he hiring?

lol......i think those experiences were some of the BEST of my young life. baling hay, working HARD all week, making $2.50 an hour and getting that BIG paycheck at the end of the week, and also being allowed to have a party (as well as every worker being able to bring home FRESH real milk from the dairy farm to their families) was an excellent experience for adult life.

i am sure than many would say that farmer Clippard should not have allowed us to drink beer, but we would have found a way to do it somehow.

our county was a DRY county. you had to drive all the way to Charlotte NC to buy any alcohol :eeks

i think my old town is still DRY today. it's kinda weird to think about that, living in south florida where there is beer and wine at every gas station and convenience store everywhere.

these days - i am much more into microbrew ROOT BEER :YinYang


my buddy Dan Zanes (Del Fuegos in the 80s, now a VERY successful kids music artist) turned me on to microbrew root beers and ginger ales in the 90s. he brews his own at home, and he stopped drinking in the late 90s, is one of the guys i looked up to when i did the same in 2000.

alcohol is the single MOST DAMAGING drug for your body of ALL of them. and yet, it's legal and socially acceptable to drink.

but every kid HAS to have their experience of alcohol and what it does. it's up to US as parents and elders to help shape that experience positively.

beerijuana
05-28-2011, 03:03 PM
My dad (just to note, he was a well respected behavioural scientist) used to split beers with me when I was 12, (legal in Manitoba where I grew up). he made sure to teach me moderation, he did this with a lot of things, I never had a "teenage rebellion" period, my parents just earned too much respect for that.

I could drink legally at 18 (in Ontario, I was 18 prior to the province upping the age of majority to 19), no problems, ...unlike some of my peers, it wasn't a novelty for me at that point.

Over the years, my alcohol consumption gets lower and lower, just like it did for my parents, ...maybe moderation is genetic, sure, I happen to think it's a learned thing.

I'm having a beer right now (Miller lite), it's 82║ here, ...it's refreshing, I may have another... But, it's probably the first I've had in over a week.

Oh, the user name?

It's just a user name, not some kind of confession or promotion.

i am much more into microbrew ROOT BEER

Used to be able to get great root-beer from the micro-brewery "Copperhead" in Ottawa, ON (the root beer was first just for the guys at the brewery, but proved to be so good, some of "us" found out about it). If I had the choice between a bottle of this and a bottle of beer to cool off right now, I'd take the former.

Marcfordsfuzz513
05-28-2011, 03:05 PM
Teach him to drink responsibly..Thats all you can do. He's 18 and can now go to war, a drink isn't gonna hurt him... This is coming from a 18 year old who's only been drunk once, I understand drinking isn't good, but once in awhile in the right environment its okay.

Bobby D
05-28-2011, 03:15 PM
i have talked several bars i play at into carring the Virgils Root Beer - comes in longneck brown bottle, tastes great, and i get to look cool and drink a "cold one" with the boys - i GLADLY pay $5 for a nice root beer at the bar!

bars need to WISE UP and realize they can MAKE MONEY off the guys and gals who do not drink too!

chronowarp
05-28-2011, 03:21 PM
18? Let him do what he wants, man. That's pretty much the drinking age anywhere else in the world. He's an "adult". Let him make adult decisions, just inform of the consequences of being an idiot while under the influence.

Zero G
05-28-2011, 03:30 PM
I started at 12. Look at me now! :messedup

tele_phil
05-28-2011, 03:37 PM
i have talked several bars i play at into carring the Virgils Root Beer - comes in longneck brown bottle, tastes great, and i get to look cool and drink a "cold one" with the boys - i GLADLY pay $5 for a nice root beer at the bar!

bars need to WISE UP and realize they can MAKE MONEY off the guys and gals who do not drink too!

A few of the bars I go to serve you root beer, sodas, and iced tea for free if you are the designated driver. They have really gotten on board with keeping their clients happy, safe, and returning in one piece.

Blue Light
05-28-2011, 04:12 PM
The question was, what if I thought my 18 year old son was drinking.

If I had a son, I'd worry. But I have girls. When my oldest turned 18 a year ago, we started giving her tiny bits of wine at the table and let her build up.
We felt educating her was important. And part of that was telling her about an awful incident I had when I was 18.

But you have a son. And you're worried? I wonder if there is a big gender difference re how much problem drinking there is. She's now at college and deeply disappointed in the boys, who, she says, are all drunks and pot-heads.

1) If I were really worried, I'd do something to scare them. Really. Sounds idiotic, maybe, but that's what I'd do. My kids were shown a movie in Drivers Ed that scared the bejeebers out of them. In it, there was the testimony of someone who got drunk as a teenager, crashed a car, and came out of it damaged for life. Here they were in their 30s, unable to speak properly. When I picked my kid up from driver's school that evening, she was in total shock.
Another scare-em-straight tactic: If my kid came home drunk, I would tape record them and show it to them later. This might sound outlandish and cruel, but I grew up the son of an alcoholic. My dad would come home sounding like an idiot (which he most assuredly wasn't). He actually told me about this tactic; he said when people see themselves drunk, they're astounded and never want to drink again. I never had the guts to record my father, though.

2) I would try to find a good, kind person who's been the whole route from alcoholism to sobriety and get them together with my kid in a nonthreatening environment. AA has worked wonders in the lives of a number of my friends. To hear them talk about the endless lure of alcohol, it's an education. Only a drunk really knows how to talk with another drunk.

cmatthes
05-28-2011, 05:03 PM
Parental involvement is the key - at 18, your window is slamming shut very quickly, but if the kid is still living at home, you still have to be a parent. That means trying to keep an open dialog and being understanding (not blindly permissive).

The "Forbidden Fruit" argument above totally holds water, but some of the other things I've read here are just, well, "Baloney". Simply not accepting that your kid is going to try/drink is quite frankly, stupid. The keep your head in the sand or put your foot down with a zero tolerance policies are pretty much sure bets that your kid is going to have problems with alcohol.

I agree with much of what Timandresen18 and Tele_phil have stated above - a realistic view and approach helps when dealing with your kids.

Also, at 18...the kid is an adult. What he/she does is really on them now for the most part.

CharlieS
05-28-2011, 05:24 PM
There are legal ramifications to allowing your kid to drink/smoke. Many of these same kids are smoking weed as well. Where do you draw the line? If they want to rebel, they can do it on their dime...when I'm not paying for them.

FFTT
05-28-2011, 05:58 PM
^this.

Yes Yes!


They will get into this stuff, so all you can do is concentrate on what
can hurt him at a party and what won't.

Knowing when to leave when things start getting too crazy or dangerous.

Knowing without any doubt to call you 24/7 no matter what.

It could save his life.

bobcunningham
05-28-2011, 07:04 PM
here in Canada the drinking age is 18 to 19 depending on the province. as long as he's doing it responsibly, he probably won't go crazy overboard when he hits 21.

senseofrelief
05-28-2011, 07:06 PM
He can join the military and bomb villages but he can't drink?....wake up.

It's not about drinking...it's about drinking responsibly.

Virtual Pariah
05-28-2011, 07:15 PM
at the very least..make sure he knows, if he's drunk, and is going to drive, you'll come and get him, at any time, with no questions asked.


This.
Look, if he's 18 there really isn't anything you can do. Legally he is responsible for his own actions.

Just remind him gently of that...

stratzrus
05-28-2011, 07:59 PM
I also want to inform you that providing him with booze and drinking with him is illegal and could land you in trouble with DCFS. From Legal Match:

"It is not illegal for a parent to serve alcohol to his or her own child or to an underage spouse if it occurs in the privacy of their own home. Some states also permit a child to drink alcohol at a private party as long as the child┐s parent is present. However, parents may not buy alcohol for their underage children at a commercial establishment like a bar or restaurant.

If the child is then involved in an accident that causes injuries to a third party, the parent may still potentially be civilly liable to the victim under the Social Host Liability laws."



With that said, I have no intention of drinking with my sons until they are 21. I don't think teenage drinking should be encouraged and has been proven to be statistically related to alcoholism. I haven't told them they are forbidden to drink per se, but I have told them that they are to obey the law and and should avoid drinking games under all circumstances due to the number of alcohol related deaths of kids in college who engage in binge drinking.

So far it's been with mixed results, but ultimately the choice is up to them. If you have done your homework as a parent, by age 18 they should be ready to take responsibility for their own actions. I let my sons know that I don't support underage drinking, but if they do drink, it's important to drink socially (one or two beers), and not engage in binge drinking.

Twangzilla
05-28-2011, 08:09 PM
I think it is every parents responsibility to teach their children that only a fine single malt will do. Letting your underage children consume inferior alcohol is terribly irresponsible. The thought of a child growing up in this world thinking that a blended scotch is an acceptable alcoholic drink makes me fear for the future of our country.

Zero G
05-28-2011, 08:30 PM
I think it is every parents responsibility to teach their children that only a fine single malt will do. Letting your underage children consume inferior alcohol is terribly irresponsible. The thought of a child growing up in this world thinking that a blended scotch is an acceptable alcoholic drink makes me fear for the future of our country.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

:rockin

cmatthes
05-28-2011, 08:32 PM
Sign me up as well!

tnt365
05-28-2011, 09:01 PM
There are legal ramifications to allowing your kid to drink/smoke. Many of these same kids are smoking weed as well. Where do you draw the line? If they want to rebel, they can do it on their dime...when I'm not paying for them.


Hey man, if you think you would rather let your kid and his/her friends go drink behind your back so that you don't get in trouble when they get caught (or worse), you have a right to do that. But some parents would rather not live in denial and would rather break the laws, which don't always present the best solution to society's problems, and allow their kid to drink and smoke under their vise because they know they are safer doing it under supervision than under no supervision.

CharlieS is the parent that grows up telling their kids "follow the law; don't break the law; if you break the law you are always wrong; I'm not saving you if you break the law". Kids are smart, they know things aren't always black and white like the law makes them out to be. They know you know this so it comes down to this; what's more important to you, teaching, protecting and compromising with your kid (also called parenting), or not breaking the law?

Mark C
05-28-2011, 11:05 PM
Lived in Spain where the drinking age is lower, and parents teach moderate drinking from a young age.

They seem to have far less problems with drunkenness than I've seen in the states.

thirsty one
05-28-2011, 11:12 PM
Don't anoy us further!
Ah! We have our work to do.
Just think about the average.
What use have they for you.

Another toy that helped destroy
the elder race of man.
Forget about your silly whim,
It doesn't fit the plan.
































































Just a little levity to lighten up a very serious subject.


As an alcoholic, I haven't got a clue about this issue. I am very honest with my children about how alcohol and drugs took me down the wrong road for way too many years. This disease tends to run in families, I'm told.

PosterBoy
05-29-2011, 12:05 AM
Don't forget there is a whole load of good parenting to be done in the child's life before you reach this part that is going to make a big difference too.

teleman55
05-29-2011, 03:05 AM
18 year olds are deemed old enough to sign a contract, fight a war, and get treated as an adult by the courts. Old enough to drink, I'd say.

mattball826
05-29-2011, 03:28 AM
There are legal ramifications to allowing your kid to drink/smoke. Many of these same kids are smoking weed as well. Where do you draw the line? If they want to rebel, they can do it on their dime...when I'm not paying for them.

exactly this too. kids and young men will do what they wish and test your level of commitment to those rules.

when my son was 16 he attended a funeral of two of his friends who were killed in a car accident from underage drinking. sadly we all have short memories and the law understands this more than we do. just a year later the neighbors of the one student had a grad party and bought a couple kegs for graduates. short term memory or wanting to be cool parents? (i call them irresponsible), and yes, they were arrested for distribution of alc bevg to minors. stupid is , stupid does. i dont care for the adage kids will do what they want anyway. yes they will, but at 18 you are not a kid imo and should understand the rules and laws around you. break them and you suffer the consequence.

i had the talk about drinking with my kids when they were younger than 18. an 18 year old is a little late to have brady bunch talks.

here's how my firm conversation went when my son and i talked about underage drinking after he turned 18:

me: son, you already know our rules here. we dont condone and i will not buy you any alc bevg. if i catch you here with any or if any of your brothers get into some you have brought or hidden..... you are out!

me: 2, you get busted by cops, you will spend the time in jail. i told you i dont condone the activity. if you do this when it is legal and you can be responsible for your own actions, then you can accept your own consequence. i will not account for your own stupidity or neglect. when you are of age (21) you can do as you please so long it is not at this house. i wont mind cracking one or two with you from time to time, but for now off limits here.

me: 3, if you ever use one of our vehicles and get caught with an open/unopen container, dui or other, there will be hell to pay and you will never touch another of my vehicles in your life..

me: i will stand by you if you make smarter choices. you already know the rules, you are old enough to know better even if your friends try to pressure you. what you do is what you do. i do not control that, nor do i want to. i manage what happens in my home. i can only hope you are wiser in your decisions. i can be fair, but i dont bend and you already know that.

i am your father, i'm not a cool parent like some of your friends have their daughter's boyfriend living with them, or who provide liquor and beer for 17 year old kids.. i also will not solve any dui problem you have or pay your insurance like some of these kids parents have done. my responsibility to my children i take as serious as anything. my kids should take their responsibilities as serious. my rules are simple.

you are also old enough and understand the legality of underage drinking/drugs and consequences of yours and others actions. now all i ask you be smarter than others that think these rules and legal issues are stupid. the laws are there because they needed to be.

my son: ok dad

i know some think this is harsh or overboard, but imo kids /men at 18 should know the differences. the law does not bend, why should any parent? btw, my terms on drinking are as suggested. kids dont drink to be social they drink to get hammered.

Dillow4092
05-29-2011, 04:39 AM
I would have to wonder how long this was going on, and if any other substance is being used. We all had our "moments" as young people. It may just be a phase, but if he likes it a lot it could turn into a real problem.

I would at least try and sit him down, have a open/honest discussion. Then take it from there. Let him know one stupid decision on his part could cost someone a lot of pain.

FFTT
05-29-2011, 06:27 AM
You have to make your son understand that your advice comes out of
love. That you never want to hear that phone ring from the hospital
or police station. Tell him that!

I got all three of my girls through those discovery years safely
by giving them information that helped them make smarter decisions
when confronted with drugs and alcohol.

I didn't hold back the source of my fear.

I told them about friends in school who died or ended
up in wheelchairs and a few who served hard time in prison
for being idiots.

They were the kids who had to get completely wasted for what ever reason
or they hung out with people doomed to get in trouble.

In the greater picture this is about not wanting anything to get in
the way of your son's dreams.

It's O.K. to celebrate accomplishment, but you have to get there first.

What ever his dreams, he needs to focus on that competitive edge.

It also helps to strengthen your argument with a bit of tough love.

If he gets a speeding ticket or a DWI, he's riding a bike or paying
$3000.00 to $6000.00 per year for his own car insurance policy.

You can get him through this with wisdom and care.

Endr_rpm
05-29-2011, 06:28 AM
My family has a long history of issues with alcohol, so I avoided it until I was 22, at which point I both learned to appreciate fine wine, beer, and liquor, and also how to to get soused responsibly :) With my own kids, I intend on letting them taste different beverages with meals, and as they get into their mid teens (15-16) give them beer or wine with dinner in a family environment to teach them responsible habits. They can always call me for a ride, but under no circumstances are they to get behind the wheel after imbibing, nor ride with someone who has.

Of course, they are toddlers right now, come back to me in 12 years and we'll see if this attitude has survived :)

FFTT
05-29-2011, 06:46 AM
As concerned parents, we allowed our kids to have loosely monitored
lock down parties.

Either your parent was picking you up OR your car keys went in the
basket of no return.

We all knew damn well they were going to sneak stuff in, so
the best chance we had of controlling the situation was to
make sure no one left till morning. No exceptions!

The kids were actually the best enforcers on this.

If any of these kids were to discover the humility of praying
to the porcelain deity for the first time, at least their parents
knew the situation was controlled.

The curiosity is natural, it's your job as a parent to guide that curiosity,
make them street smart and self reliant.