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"I’d Rather Have Them Drinking Here Than Out Doing Whatever"

*Sigh* This could be the riskiest post I’ve ever done, and it will undoubtedly yield lots of trouble for me (and possibly my husband). I’m going to put a “hypothetical” out there to you with the hope that you will respond to it with comments containing words of wisdom that my husband and I have yet to find.

And, just for the sake of this post, I’ll be assuming the role of another person.

[Fashion Paramedic is now putting on someone elses’ shoes. Reluctantly.]

Let’s say that I have a father with a long history of alcoholism, and have taken him from the hospital and to rehab as recently as a week ago.

Let’s also say that I have two teenage daughters: One is in high school (not yet 18), the other in middle school.

And, for the sake of background, let’s say that I’ve allowed my oldest daughter to have friends on our family’s houseboat (which is docked at the river year-round), during which time I’ve allowed her and said friends to drink alcohol around the rest of my family (including my mother, my younger son, and my four-year-old nephew).

Let’s add to that the fact that I thought it a good idea to give my oldest daugher a drinking game for Christmas, and have allowed–on at least one occasion–her friends (male and female) to come over for a party where there would be alcohol. I justify this by saying that I’d never let them leave the house once they’re in, and hide their keys until the morning, and can be glad that they’re partying in my own house where I can see them instead of doing “God knows what” somewhere else. (I can also justify it by saying that I’ve called the kids’ parents to let them know about the party.)

Finally, let’s say that I can get my own drink on and do a damn fine job of doing it. My husband is a drinker too, and sometimes we get so drunk that we begin to fight with each other and sometimes come to blows.

How am I doing as a mom? What would you think of me? What would you think of my husband? What would you say to me if you were the parent of one of my daugher’s friends? Or the parent of my nephew?

What could happen to me legally? What would happen to my daughter of one of her friends decided to turn on her cell phone camera and record a crowd of 17-year-olds drinking at my house and posting it on MySpace or Facebook? Could she get into trouble at school? If something were to have happened at the houseboat, who is responsible?

[Fashion Paramedic now taking off other person’s shoes]

Please, help me figure out what to say to this person. The light upstairs is on but he/she is so obviously not home!

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6 Responses

  1. I would have to say that this is really sad and the whole family is out of control. I can see a sip or so of champagne on New Years Eve with the Family but to go all out parting with your kids and their friends is bad parenting. As a parent you are supposed to be setting a good example. This lady sounds crazy.

  2. I would have to say that this is really sad and the whole family is out of control. I can see a sip or so of champagne on New Years Eve with the Family but to go all out parting with your kids and their friends is bad parenting. As a parent you are supposed to be setting a good example. This lady sounds crazy.

  3. I think the whole “rather have them drinking at home rather than away from home” argument is a poor excuse.

    As parents we should teach our children to obey the laws…not figure out how to break them more safely or how to break them and not get caught.

    Under no circumstances supervised or unsupervisored should a parent give permission for something as serious as underage drinking.

    These CHILDREN could possibly get into a situation that could have life altering consequences while drinking. It’s our responsiblity to guide the next generation, not destroy them.

    If a parent of a friend of my child’s called and informed me of such a party…my child would not attend and the authorities would be notified, plain and simple.

  4. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.Sometimes so is the road to jail.I’m not knocking you at all.I just don’t want you to get in trouble you feel me.My friends mother was the same way,she let us drink and whoever was into weed could smoke(i don’t smoke).Needless to say he’s a coke fiend with no job now.I would say talk to your kids all the time and I wouldn’t let someone elses kid’s drink because there parents might not be happy with you baby girl.Anyway cheers!visit my site http://www.askabouncer.blogspot.com

  5. Wow! I do remember when I was a teenager that my parents would allow us the occasional drink(NOT plural) in their presence. This consisted of a couple of swallows of wine with Christmas dinner, and for my brothers maybe a beer(once again NOT plural) with my dad while camping(and if I remember correctly that would have been as they were very close to 18, which here is the drinking age). My parents were never big drinkers, any drinking that did occur consisted of A drink, not drinkS.
    I think that it is great to provide an environment where your children and their friends enjoy hanging out in your presence and I intend to do this for my boys as they get older, but a great hangout environment does not have to involve alcohol. I think this parent would be suprised at what they could offer these kids in means more appropriate to their ages and not raise them to think that getting drunk is a part of life when it does not have to be.
    It seems they think they are teaching responsibility by not allowing anyone to leave, when in fact they are teaching absolute irrisponsibility by letting them think it’s ok to get drunk regardless of your age.

  6. The parents will be liable for any accidents or injuries sustained from the drinking, and parents can sue for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, if they choose. I asked my husband, who is an attorney. But, even if there was no incident, you would be sending a bad signal to teens in a number of areas: 1) the law says there is a certain age drinking will be allowed – you are teaching them to ignore the law. 2) You are teaching them to do things behind their parents’ back – very few parents would allow this if they knew. 3) You are teaching them they need to drink to have fun. This behavior leads to alcoholism, drinking outside the confines of a “safe” house, and sometimes tragedy.
    I drink periodically, and am not against it, but I have a daughter who used to go to a friend’s house to smoke marijuana with her friend and her mother. This caused her to skip school (she never graduated), have a problem with drugs, and spent time in jail. When she first started going to this house she was an honor student, had plans for a career in law, and was easy to be around. Over a period of months she spent more and more time there. I thought it was a nice family, and I had no idea what was going on, until it was too late.
    Doing illegal and harmful things are not good, no matter what intentions you have. If you don’t allow it to happen in your home they know it is not right. You have to set an example, and still there is no guarantee they will do the right thing. I didn’t allow drugs in my home.

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