As you know there are always 2 sides to the question or story. It is either a yes or a no. So when your teen comes to you wanting to have a party, you say sure. Parents supervised, of course.
But what do you say when they ask for alcohol to be present. Well you say no, easy answer. That is underage drinking and there is a legal age for a reason. But then you stop and think a bit more. They are going to do it anyway, so it there a way of using this as a learning moment.
For the purpose of Mojo vs Moxie I am taking the “yes” side of this issue.
As a parent of 2 kids (17 year old and 16 year old) this is difficult moral decision. We all know that kids test their boundaries. Underage drinking is one way they do that. Now, I am not a parent with blinders on. I do know what I did on a Friday night in small town British Columbia (eek!) and I am pretty sure my parents knew as well but that doesn’t make it right. We know this is an illegal activity but do you prefer to turn a blind eye to the situation or do we use this as a learning moment on responsibility?
Our approach to parenting our teens is to always communicate and discuss these situations that arise in an adult fashion. With discussion comes answers and steps on how to proceed. We decide that yes, alcohol will be allowed at the party, but there are conditions. (insert eye roll from teen)…
- Parents will be home for the duration of the party. Greeting party go-ers as they come in and saying good bye to them as they leave ensuring a safe ride home. If no ride home, then we will drive them
- Guest list approved and only those on the list will be allowed in
- Prefered no spirits or ‘shots’ at the party. (As we all know that takes things sideways very quickly)
- Parents are to be told that there will be alcohol at the party and parents will be there and they can make that decision if their child is allowed to come or not.
- No vaping! ( but that is another topic of discussion)
- If anyone has over consumed and eliminating their dinner, if you get my drift, their parent will be notified.
I don’t thing anyone of these ‘conditions’ are crazy to abide by. Our purpose is to have a controlled environment where the kids can learn some responsibility and have some social engagement as well.
Make no mistake, parenting is hard. You base your decisions on what is best for your family and they may not be the opinion of others but they work for you and your family and that is what matters. We see a lot of disagreement on parenting nowadays, more then 20 years ago, thanks to technology, everyone has an opinion. Opinions are good and they create dialogue and that is what we are trying to accomplish here.