Parents of teenagers -- God bless ‘em. They walk a mighty fine line, they do. Sometimes they can get so caught up in the nuances of discipline and so sidetracked trying to be cool enough to relate to these newly developed hipsters eating all of their snacks and sludging around their homes that they lose their ever lovin’ minds.
That can be the only feasible reason I can cough up as to why this segment of mamas and papas would tell their kids, “Clean your room! Take out the trash! And come have a drink with your old lady!”
In an effort to keep kids safe when they get the fever to experiment with alcohol — especially with prom season breathing down their necks — some parents are letting their kids drink in the house. After all, there’s nothing like a little rum and Coke in the comforts of home after a long day of calculus, gym, and Mr. Stanton’s killer biology test.
But seriously, could this idea be any more ridiculous? Why the heck would we stop there? Let’s offer kids a bed, a little mood music, and a bag full of condoms along with their wine and spirits to round out the experience of giving things a try. How else will they learn about the value of having protected sex if parents don’t make it easier for them to do so?
I am being sarcastic, of course.
When I was in high school, I argued my mom up, down, and around the bend because I swore no one would come to my Sweet 16 if we didn’t serve alcohol. And guess what? We didn’t. That’s because she canceled the party altogether. Mommy was not playin’ that Trendy Cool, Go-With-the-Flow Mom stuff because she didn’t want to tamper with the safety of my classmates who would ultimately try to weave and wobble their ways home after a hot night of partying at the Harris house.
She probably also didn’t want to spend the rest of her weekend sopping up barf from little teenie boppers who — surprise, surprise — couldn’t hold their liquor.
I get that these parents are trying to give their kids a safe, contained environment to do their drinking in, especially since statistics show that there’s an 86 percent chance that they’ll dabble in the challenging world of booze-slanging before they turn legal age anyway. But by giving them the green light to do it at home, they are in essence approving underage drinking. What would stop their kids from thinking that that same lighthearted attitude wouldn’t translate to other activities most of us lecture our kids not to do?
As a parent opening that floodgate, how could you stop your child from learning how to roll up a joint at home? Chances are they might do that somewhere during the course of their teen-dom. What about trying a line of coke in the downstairs den?
Blurring the line of permission and bending the rules equals having kids with a lesser respect for the laws — legislative and parental — that are put in place to keep their little inexperienced behinds safe.
Is letting your kids experiment with alcohol at home a good idea?
Image via RodrigoFavera/Flickr