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#13652 - 01/09/03 01:47 AM Teen drinking!
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I am curious to know what women on this board do, have done, or will do when the subject of under-age drinking comes up on the home-front.

Do you allow it?
Do you have kids turn their keys over and spend the night?
Do you have the kids assign a designated driver?
Do you forbid it?

#13653 - 01/09/03 04:44 PM Re: Teen drinking!
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 317
Loc: Towson
Teen drinking....the great monkey on the back of mothers! While fathers don't exactly condone it, they seem to take the boys will be boys attitude. Now let their daughters start drinking and that's a whole new ballgame. Do we condone it? No! Do we forbid it? We try! But at times that I know that drinking may be happening, I do take keys and I do insist that they sleep over.
By the time these kids are seniors and nearly or already 18, they seem to take on this frantic activity like....cram it all in before we graduate! Drinking seems to be epidemic in seniors. Fortunately, drugs don't seem to be as big an issue....I hope that's not naive!

#13654 - 01/13/03 03:00 AM Re: Teen drinking!
Candice Johnson Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 416
Loc: Alexandria, VA
The idea of prevention makes us question why children do things in the first place. And this is where I think the approach has always been wrong. My friends and I, all in our twenties, have looked back and discussed the stupid things we did and why we did them. While every parent wants to believe the main issue is peer pressure, I can assure that was not the case with my friends.

While peer pressure may have been one factor, the main one was coping. We all used alcohol and drugs as a way to cope. As teeens we were experiencing many adult things without the adult mechanisms to cope. A teen finding out she was the result of a rape, a friend who lost a 21-year-old brother to cancer, one who had issues with self-esteem because of her changing body, another who was having troubles with romantic relationships. Just so you know, we were not the kids that would be labeled now and days as "at-risk" in the school system. We were all considered the "brainy" kids or the "good" kids. We were all lost and looking for ways to deal with what was happening to us and we did what children do, escape. And we did it the way teens, and many adults do it, through substances.

I think the best prevention you you can give your kids is to teach them to cope with the world. Do not trivialize a break-up, an "I'm so fat," comment, or that what you are going through in your own life (divorce, strained marriage, depression) is something that your children have to deal with as well. I know this is way off the mark of the original question, but I do think it is important to understand why many kids turn to such harmful and dangerous activities, especially when there are a million programs and messages telling them not to. Dealing with the real reasons kids turn to alcohol and drugs, is the only way prevention can work.

[ January 12, 2003, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: Candice Johnson ]

#13655 - 01/13/03 06:44 AM Re: Teen drinking!
DJ Offline

Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 1149
Loc: Ohio
What you're suggesting, then, is that the reason kids turn to mind-altering substances is the same reason that adults do in the culture at large -- as coping mechanisms. So the problem isn't that teens are drinking, because essentially they're practicing being like the adults they see around them -- the problem is with the adults not modelling better coping skills.
When I was a teen, I indulged in this same behavior. There was less information about teen drinking and using drugs back then, and the world was at least as scary as it is now -- the Vietnam War, and knowing people who were getting drafted and killed was no picnic. Meanwhile, the adult world looked like a big cocktail party full of overstressed, frustrated, unhappy people. The president was lying, members of my church were mad because the minister preached against the war and tried to integrate the church. It seemed that no one had a clue.
Looking back, I think it would have been nice to have strong role models who had a sense of direction and purpose and vision. My parents tried hard, but I think they were often as confused as everyone else.
I think that American culture needs to find more spiritual depth.

#13656 - 01/14/03 10:31 PM Re: Teen drinking!
nillawafer Offline

Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 158
Loc: new orleans
i think going overboard in either direction is not a good choice. middle ground seems to be good ground as long as it is consistent. if i was completely for or against anything it seemed to make my kids go whole hog for it. if i remained neutral, consistent, involved, willing to listen, learn, keep them away from danger, report anything outrageous when i felt it necessary, not compromise my morals, beliefs, or theirs, explain moderation, abuse, addiction and the horrors of all of it including my own experiences, help their fiends when need be, or my own when need be, never knowingly allow illegal drugs in my home, always let them and their friends know they can call you for a ride home from anywhere NO QUESTIONS ASKED if some is unable to drive because of being under the influence of something, go with your motherly instinct on things and you will be fine... most of all,,, if you think they have been drinking the night before ..WAKE THEM UP TO A BREAKFAST OF HALF COOKED BACON AND SAUSAGE AND RUNNY SCRAMBLED EGGS AND MAKE THEM EAT IT!!

#13657 - 01/15/03 10:52 PM Re: Teen drinking!
lionspaaw Offline

Registered: 11/28/02
Posts: 887
Loc: SW Florida
Originally posted by nillawafer:

I had to laugh when I read this -- you must have been talking to my son ;- )

I have to agree wholeheartedly with what you said in your post. There are kids that do things for peer pressure and some that do it to cope and some that do it because the adults in their world do it and some kids that just do it to see what it's all about. Keeping your mind open to them and your home open to them and letting them know that you're there no matter how many mistakes they make will help them make the right decision for THEM.

The surest thing you can do to drive your child - mate - sister, brother, friend, enemy - ANYBODY - away from you and straight to what you don't want - is to forbid them. That's just human nature ;-)But, allowing your child to make mistakes, do stupid things, experiment with life -- that's the only way they will learn about life -- and in a responsible way. Remember - your kids are just inexperienced young people. They have to know for themselves before they can make experienced decisions, and if they know you're in their corner they will have so much more ammunition to be able to stand up against the peer pressure, the crisis's in life, and if experimenting is with your "suggestions" and knowledge - it won't be that big a deal -- it won't be something they will make a habit of.

#13658 - 01/16/03 04:22 PM Re: Teen drinking!
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 317
Loc: Towson
The greasy breakfast thing was a winner for me too. First time my son came home impaired and I sat up all night with him so that he wouldn't die of his stupidity, I fixed a big greasy breakfast for him that had him heaving all day! A year later I told him what and why....he thought that was just horrible of me! I laugh everytime I look at an egg! But you're all right....forbidding is like daring them. We just have to watch carefully and when it seems that they are beginning to push the envelope you have to haul them in, sit them down and give them the old, "I'm not an idiot" speech! At least at my house it seems to cause a modification of behavior if only temporary.

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