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Jan 30 2014

Do You Know If Your Teen is Drinking Alcohol At Their Friend’s Home?

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do You Know If Your Teen is Drinking Alcohol At Their Friend’s Home?  – Vol. 236, Jan. 30, 2014

Last summer I had a new client come in who was 15 years old. One of the issues that was brought up by her mother was how alone she felt in a world where other parents felt that it was quite fine to allow their kids to drink alcohol in their homes as long as a parent was there. The reasoning given is that it is safer to allow them to drink in the home then to be out drinking and driving. This behavior was not okay with this particular parent. Interestingly enough her daughter agreed with her, knowing that if she went to a party and felt unsafe or didn’t like the drinking that was happening there, she could always rely on her mother to come and get her. I found this amazing – that her teen was unwilling to stay at the party, preferring to go home, since most of the teens that I know can’t wait to have the parents out of the way so they can drink to their heart’s content.

Certainly when I was young, more than 30 years ago now, there were some parties where alcohol was included. One graduation party as I recall when the age for drinking was 18, a keg of beer was there on the lawn along with all the food for the celebration. The family involved was not one that I thought of as big drinkers as such. However, even then it was a bit surprising to me. Now, parents don’t seem to think much about the legal ramifications of having kids drinking on their property, where they become liable should anything happen to any of the kids while in their homes.

Be aware that even if you do get to know the parents, I have heard a few stories of parents out right lying about what was going on in their homes when directly asked whether drinking was allowed while they were home.

So, the questions that I am leaving you are: Are you being congruent with your behavior as that which you are expecting of your teens? Are you taking the time to get to know the parents of the kids your teen is hanging out with? And, what are you doing to let your kids know that you truly want the best for them even if that means that sometimes you will be seen as the “heavy” because you don’t sanction self-destructive behavior, especially in your own home? Remember that you are the parent and you set the boundaries of what occurs in your home, so long as you take control of the situation and do as you say.

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