Saturday, 28 August 2010

Teenagers and Alcohol

This blog post could be a fairly controversial topic matter as I'm sure people and most importantly, parents have some strong views on this but I feel the subject matter is important in today's world.

My daughter is 14 years and that most important half a year. There appears to be a huge issue amongst her friends and acquaintances that alcohol is an important part of enjoying an evening.

This was a huge problem for us late last year when she was found to be drinking on the street and she was grounded. It happened again and she was grounded quite harshly. The third time, a few days in and back out again. Keeping her shut in the house, whilst it maybe stopping her drinking, is probably going to do her more harm than good.

I've had all the discussions around alcohol, sex, inhibitions, older boys and how bad it can all be, but I can see that she really is wrapped up in her friends, and family, parents thoughts and upset don't register on the radar. So this week I took a decision to allow her to have a party in our garden and one where she would be provided with some alcohol.

The trade off for this, was the reason for the party in the first place. She's 14 years and no matter how much I worry about her when she's out and the decisions she is making, she is doing well in school and has taken and passed, quite well, two GCSE's 2 years early. I am so proud of her and I hope this pride is also warranted in her private life when she's out with friends and away from guiding parents that she will make the right decisions.

I would rather my daughter drink sensibly, with food supplied and within reason, in my garden with me here, than out in the streets with no one looking out for her or monitoring her intake. It won't be a regular occurrence, but I think it was needed.

I may now be that little more approachable for future problems now I'm not the "uptight bitch that stops her having fun"

It's so difficult parenting a teenager. I've never worked so hard as a parent as I have since my eldest turned 13 a year and a half ago. Teenagers are so bloody minded, that no matter what you say, they will find a way to do it anyway.

What are other parents thoughts on this common issue of today?

1 comment:

  1. I think you're making the right decision allowing her to drink at home within sensible limits. When I was 15-16 I had rather a small group of friends, so we generally did our drinking at friends houses, as opposed to on the streets.

    I think this probably helped keep me out of some of the more dangerous activities I could have gotten into at that age (although by no means all!). Although despite that, alcohol is such an ingrained part of teenage culture that it would be impossible to prevent a teenager from having the occasional drinking binge, and as you have found, would only distance them from their parents. (and let's not forget, kids are always attracted to the forbidden things!)

    I'd say that during ages 17-19 I spent quite a lot of my free time drinking, especially once I could legally purchase alcohol myself. (Although being 18 and able to drink in clubs again removed me from the environment of street drinking).

    Of course we all make mistakes when we're young and that's probably a good thing on the whole. Back when I was 17 I held a house party while my parents were on holiday, this quickly got gatecrashed, and I was far too drunk at the time to prevent the damage which ensued. Although as in the rest of our lives, we learn from our mistakes, and I certainly learnt from that one!

    The only comfort is that *most* kids do eventually grow out of their fascination with alcohol. I'm now 24, and generally stick to real-ales, red wine and the occasional cognac, as opposed to the cheap vodka and alcopops which defined my teenage years.

    Suppose the only other thing I can do is wish you good luck! :-)