1. Parenting

Readers Respond: Caught Your Teen Drinking Alcohol? What Did You Do?

Responses: 12


Teens have been known to experiment with drinking alcohol. Some go a step further and need help to keep their drinking from becoming an addiction. Here are stories from parents of teen about finding out their teen was drinking alcohol. Did they remain calm or lose it? What discipline did they use? How did they determine if their teen was just experimenting and being social or if their teen had a real problem with alcohol? Read on to find out and please share your story.

Here is something to consider

In many parts of Europe where the drinking ages are very low, teens often drink casually. In the United States and Canada where the drinking ages are relatively higher, teens binge drink when opportunity strikes.
—Guest Steve

If you....

Just saying no, often is not enough. A better message I feel is; If you do not start, you do not have to stop. Thanks, a Mother of 2- - and Grandmother of 3. V. Osborn
—Guest V. Osborn

Consequences of Lying/Alcohol Abuse

My 16 yr old girl came home from a sleepover acting weirdly, her hair partially wet. Explanations were not believable, and when I asked for her laundry, she produced from a black garbage bag, clothing rolled up. I went into the bag and discovered her jacket covered in vomit. From then on, it was one lie after another, and I wasn't getting the truth. I hopped in my car and visited the friends, and the parents of said friends, she had been hanging out with and the the story that there were 4 of them drinking vodka. The parents were shocked and my daughter humiliated by my actions. She now knows that I will not stop at anything to protect her and that includes getting her friends in trouble as well. I think the problem is managed. We'll see. Her freedom to "text" us with plans is over and she will have to provide specific whereabouts of where she is going and what she is doing. I will closely monitor the presence of parental supervision from here on out.
—Guest JoycieB

Make them see it with sober eyes

My 15 year old came home drunk. I grabbed the video recorder and woke up younger siblings. My younger son was shocked to see his big brother in this state. I recorded my drunk son attempting to complete simple motor skills and speech patterns and asked him a series of questions on how he felt. He eventually broke down, sobbing at which point I ceased recording. After a good puke and several hours of sleep I showed him the video tape. He was beside himself. He didn't remember 90 percent of what was filmed and was very embarrassed seeing himself in this terrible situation, and the fact that his younger brother was there to see it. Now, 5 years later, my 15 year old is 20 and I sometimes suspect that he may be drinking here and there, however, very sparingly and his younger brother. . . has never touched a drop and swears he never will. A very similar event happened 30 years ago with me and my older brother and I have been sober my whole life.

Explain the Science

Alcohol can damage teen's bodies and memories so when I suspected a friend's daughter was drinking (which she was) I explained the science. The teenage brain which is not done developing yet can be more affected by alcohol than an adult's. As she dressed for her prom I asked her if she wanted to remember her special day. When she said yes, I explained that alcohol can hurt her ability to remember what happened. I don't know if she drank at the prom, but I do know that she drank less than she intended too.
—Guest Aimee Stern

Got Caught Drinking, What my Father Did

I got good and hiked once at 18, my father didn't overreact. I wasn't meaning to, but drank on an empty stomach with liquor that was masked by fruit punch. A couple of days later my father sat down with me and had a kind talk about the dangers of drinking too much and what can happen. That did more for me than any scolding or punishment. It reached my heart, and my attitude towards drinking was different after that talk. For many teens, it is probably the best approach. It kept the lines of communication open because he didn't overreact.
—Guest John Scott

Never know how you will handle....

Our teen was 12 when we caught her attempting to pour wine into a thermos to take to school. We talked and cried until 2 am. I took her into school and made her tell her drama teacher what she did and why she would not be able to perform in the school play that night. She spoke to the school dean as well, and handed in her peer counseling badge. That evening she had to call her vocal coach to let her know she would be unable to perform in her recital. Aside from missing out on her performances we had her confess to those she respected. We also found local AA meetings which we took her to, a few young recovering alcoholics/drug users talked to her. She is and always has been an exceptional young lady. Here we are 2 years later and she was accepted into a performing arts academy high school with honors.
—Guest -Tina

Addiction is a Possibility

Since its a period of exploring, experimenting and adventure, constant supervision is required. Limitation should be set.

Freaked out

Last year, before she started grade 9, our daughter decided to have a little get together at the park across the street. She got high and drunk. We took away her electronics. She lost a lot of trust that day and it took a long time to regain it. She went through a period of being suicidal too, I cured that by calling 911 and having her handcuffed and taken to the emergency department for 3 hours. Today she is in Europe on a 5 week tour headed to World's Canoe Polo competition on the Canadian National U21 womens team. Huge change a year has made. Tough love meant she knew exactly where we stood, and it was always on her side, but not allowing her to harm herself anymore.
—Guest Joanna

Talked with Son

He was drinking secretly after it was discovered that he is drinking alcohol. We were calm and talked with him, narrating the problems that he will face in the future if he continued with that habit, which we described as bad for a growing young boy. Thank God he abandoned alcohol drinking!
—Guest fred

Be the Parent

We had a long road in front of us when we caught our son drinking. He refused to think that it was 'any big deal' and wanted us to 'get off his back'. I really think that if my wife and I hadn’t come down strong, he’d be out of control today. So, don’t get caught up in the "everyone’s doing it" and "a beer is not that bad" crap. Be the parent and stick to your values. Your teen will be glad you did.
—Guest Dale

Thank God We Didn't Over Re-act

We caught our young teen very drunk one night. She actually came home that way and got sick. It was an awful experience and one, thankfully, she never repeated. We waited two days before we talked it out and realized she had gotten in over her head because she was hanging out with peers who didn’t have the same family values that we did. She faced some consequences for her bad choices, but we didn’t go overboard. We did keep a closer eye on her and talked to her more about the dangers of drinking on a regular basis. We also got her involved in activities where she could meet other friends. We didn’t ever have to face that problem again.
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