“Don’t worry, just come over and I will buy the alcohol for you, better in my house than on the street”
“My dad took me to my first strip club”
“My mom dresses promiscuously”
I have heard many of these from the kids and parents I work with. I remember and still have friends whose parents party harder than they do! Lets look at the varying levels of partying parents:
1. Sober and Strict:
These parents (mine) do not allow their kids to drink, constantly warn against drinking, smoking, alcohol, drugs, and are keenly aware of how their kids smell/look/act after any night out with friends.
2. Open and Allowing:
These parents do not allow any drugs or alcohol with friends, but let their kids have a glass of wine at the dinner table, have let them smoke a cigarette with them to try it and try to allow their kids to test their own limits in a guided way.
3. Oblivious and Ignorant:
These parents do not really take an active role in teaching their kids about drugs and alcohol, either they have blind faith that their kids will make the right choices, they think their kids will never even be offered drugs or alcohol or they do not care either way. A very ‘hands-off’ approach.
4. Encouraging and Crazy:
These parents smoke with their kids, buy their kids alcohol for parties, let other kids come over and hang out to do whatever they want. They might even go clubbing or bar hopping with their kids and sneaking them in.
There are benefits and consequences to each type of parenting approach. And different things have worked for different families, so I will just provide the evidence, you can state your point in the comments!
-Having your parents encourage smoking and drinking makes it less rebellious or off-limits and maybe therefore less appealing?
– A study was done that actually shows parents who smoke have kids who are half as likely to smoke as well. Another study shows a similar pattern with parents who drink with their kids. Parents who give their kids alcohol, those teens are less likely to abuse or consume alcohol later.
-At least parents can keep an eye on their kids when they party, the attitude of “at least I know it is good quality pot (not laced)” and “I would rather have them drink under my roof so they do not drink and drive and I can watch them.”
-Interesting bonding opportunities.
-Teaching them doing illegal drugs, drinking underage and partying is ok, if not normal.
-There is a fine balance between letting them experiment and endangering their health or safety.
-Putting your kid’s friends at risk when you might not know where their parents stand.
-Becoming your child’s peer not their parent, making it difficult to enforce rules in other areas.
I have talked to parents on both sides of the argument and in all parenting roles above, and I believe this is a very personal choice. I only encourage teaching about the following basic principles:
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking and have a designated driver.
- Don’t operate equipment, climb ladders, boat, or engage in similar activities, when drinking.
- Don’t become intoxicated, know your limits and recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning.
- Understand that drinking under the age of 21 is illegal and smoking marijuana is illegal.
I have many posts on drugs and alcohol in my drugs and alcohol series, many of the pot posts have ‘passionate’ responses and this is a very heated debate. Feel free to voice your (non violent, curse-word free, opinions in the comments)! Which level are you?
This week’s On Teens Today blog sponsor is Mia Redrick of Finding Definitions. Mia‘s book, “Time for mom-ME” is your essential guide for surviving motherhood. She spells out the five elemental cornerstones for creating a balanced, self-defined life. They are:
• Personal Growth
• Finding Time
• Finding Meaning
• Finding Connections
• Finding Solutions
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