Can you PLS help re: this party/underage drinking situation??!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012
Can you PLS help re: this party/underage drinking situation??!
27
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 3:52pm

HI- I am not a parent. I'm only 24 but have been a close mentor to a 16 year-old boy in the recent past. It's a complicated situation, but his parents don't talk to me and so I haven't actually spoken to the kid in a while either.

By happenstance, I saw a Facebook event that I clicked on, and it's a drinking party happening very soon. I noticed it's being held by a 19 year-old "friend" of the boy that I'm close to. The people attending it are all older teens, like 19+ AND then I noticed that my 16 year-old also checked off he's attending the party.

Here's the thing: the party description indicates they'll all be drinking and says anyone attending has to pay money towards the alcohol. The 16 year-old said he's attending based on this info, which leads me to believe that he's chipping in and planning to drink. The 19 year-old should know better than to have the 16 year-old at a party, but he simply does not. I know this bc of things that the 16 year-old told me in confidence back when we had contact with each other. It bothered me back then, but I had many talks with the 16 year-old and I thought he had learned his lesson.

But now, he clearly hasn't, and I'm really concerned of what could happen if he goes to this party with all older ppl and ends up drinking. I don't know if his parents know about the previous parties- I hope they would not allow him to go to this one if they knew what was really going to happen. I know it's not my place but I'm really worried. I just don't know how to tell them and actually make them listen to me. Like I said, if I tried to call or something, I fear they would just hang up without listening to me and seeing that I have a real legitimate concern due to an unrelated situation in the past.

Please help me with what to do. I also know that the 19 year-old has been in lots of trouble with the police for underage drinking before he was 19 and for lots of other things. I worry that if the police show up at this party, the 16 year-old will get into trouble, and obviously, his health and safety is my primary concern. Please help!!!! Thank you

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Understood. I am going to respect it by not communicating directly with any of them. I'm sending it to a third parent who lives in another town, who can then decide to speak with the parents who have custody.

Remember, I respected their wishes for several months and had no plans to contact any of them again. I stumbled upon this and became immediately worried. If I did not know about the party, I would be doing nothing to contact anyone in the family. I would be going on with my life, and they would be going on with theirs. TY.

 

Edit: Even if someone was your worst enemy, if they told u that your child is getting him/herself into a potentially dangerous situation, wouldn't you be able to be big enough to separate your prior issues, and thank that person for doing a decent thing and giving you a heads-up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Absolutely. But the point is that I don't have any contact with her child. Haven't for several months. I've done nothing but respect their wishes. This was the last thing on my mind until yesterday afternoon.

I didn't go looking for this information. It was the last thing I expected to see. But seeing as there was a time when he confided in me, whether his parents liked it or not, I know things that happened at parties he's been at in the past. And he seems to be the only underage person going to this party. So I am simply concerned for his wellbeing. There is no ulterior motive. I am not trying to see him. I am not trying to talk to him. I am simply trying to find a way to pass along a msg that going to this drinking party is not something he should be doing.

Yes, the safe thing for me to do would be to ignore it. Believe me, I know that. But would it be the right thing to do? That's what I keep getting stuck on. What if something actually happened to him and I knew he would be there and said nothing? If it was your kid, wouldn't you want to know, no matter the source?

Yes, I know I'm stubborn AND Yes, I fully admit that I let myself get too involved in the situation. I'm not trying to discount any of your thoughts... I appreciate you commenting bc like I said, I'm not a parent, and I'm trying to get all the opinions of what parents think. I don't disagree with any of you. You have all raised valid points, and I know it's a risk to try to reach out to anyone remotely involved with this kid. But I keep coming back to what the worse-case scenario would be if I said nothing. And I'm sure if their kid got injured (God forbid), they would wish that they had some kind of warning or could have done something to stop it. And yes, I know odds are that nothing will really happen to him, but on the off chance...

But I am wanting to do it to protect him and for no other reason, and I wish that ppl didn't question that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

removed this info

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

This whole story about "I just tripped across the info" smells like a lost barrel of herring, and YOU smell like a stalker, with an unhealthy interest in an underage boy.  This kid has PARENTS, who are responsible for raising him, supervising him, and talking to him about the facts of life.  Whether they have or haven't, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  Whether he has bad companions or not, whether he has bad judgment or not, whether he goes drinking or not, whether he get laid or not is the business of the kid and his PARENTS.  IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  If you are REALLY concerned, call the police.  Getting busted is the BEST thing that can happen to kids who are doing illegal and dangerous things.  But I suspect the WHOLE problem you have with this, is that you are obsessed and jealous.  And if you don't LEAVE HIM ALONE, the next door the police may be knocking on, will be yours.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

I'm not going to defend myself repeatedly. I have NOT seen, talked to, had any online contact, etc. with this kid for 4 months at the request of his parents. I have done nothing but respect their wishes!! Therefore it is in no way stalking him, although given the year I've had, probably my genuine desire to help would get used against me in exactly that way.

I explained how I indeed stumbled upon the event. It came up on my feed when someone else was invited, and being a non-drinker, I clicked on it out of curiosity to see how these teens were spending their weekend. I saw that it was a group of 19+ going and the 16 y.o. happened to be one of the last few people to click that he was attending, so I immediately saw his name. I became concerned. This is the last situation I expectd to be put it... obviously it's very complicated, and I would ever choose for this to happen. But I'm sticking around and enduring ppl's suspicions and accusations bc I care about his welfare.

And for trying to find a way to alert his parents to a potentially threatening situation for their son, you are all acting like I am the threat to him. Which is pretty sad. I am no trying to talk to him or se him or initiate any contact with him. I am trying to protect him.

When I knew him, I did nothing but help him. His marks were the highest they've ever been, I made sure he studied, got all his overdue work in, etc. etc. He relied on ME, he asked ME for help- not the other way around.

And all the 19 y.o. has done is gotten him drunk and in inappropriate, illegal, and unhealthy situations... THAT is the destructive relationship, and somehow no one is concerned about that.If I give this up and something happens to the kid, it's on everyone's heads here, not mine.

I am not contacting his father right now. Instead, I am contacting his best friend's mother, someone who is apprised to the full situation AND trusts me around her son, who I've helped in a similar manner to the 16 y.o. in question AND still get to talk to AND see.

I will provide updates for those who legitimately care to see that a good 16 y.o. kid is not being led down the wrong path by a 19 y.o. drinker/partier/smoker who has been in trouble with the law more times than I count.

Edit: And for one of the previous posters, I WAS concerned enough to go to the police. I went down to the police station yesterday and asked for advice on what to do, and they said they would not get involved, it was my judgement whether or not to contact the parents. They would only intervene if there was a complaint once the party started.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

I may have a slightly different perspective than some others, since besides being a parent, my DH used to work with emotionally disturbed teens and juvenile sex offenders.  I have seen second-hand (thankfully it didn't happen to DH) that good, concerned adults, especially younger adults, can have their actions misinterpreted.

One of the things that, I believe, led to DH never having been accused of anything improper was his sense of detachment from the kids he worked with.  This is paradoxically one of the things that allows adults who work with troubled youth to go on day to day in depressing circumstances.  They know that the situations these kids come from are complex, difficult, and downright crummy.  They also know they CANNOT change those circumstances themselves, so they work on helping the kids develop behaviors that are appropriate and helpful to their lives.

You don't strike me as being creepy, as you have some other parents here, but I do think you are overly emotionally involved with one kid whose situation is beyond your control, and you might also have a bit of a youthful, idealistic rescue mentality - "I can prevent bad things from happening."  Alas, only the boy and his parents can prevent that.  If the parents are letting him go out to parties where these things happen, you might be able to prevent it once but you can't keep preventing it.  Yes, the parents are failing this boy, but you can't rescue him with this one action.  If his parents won't prevent it, he's got to make that choice himself.

If you're going to continue to work with kids, you need to accept that they are going to live their lives in ways you think are risky and harmful, but it's not your job to rescue them.  You can be there for them at a particular time and place - obviously the parents thought that time and place are in the past, and you've respected that - but their lives will go on without your influence.  The best thing you can do is be there when you are with them, and then move on.  You did that when you listened to this kid talk about what happened previously, but now it is time to move on.

I hope you will put this behind you quickly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Thank you mahopac. I think your perspective is essential in understanding this case.

I've been talking to his best friend's mother all morning, (and as a result of being absent from his life from the past several months), I've learned that his mom is very busy with work & he's been basically coming and going as he pleases, and getting into mischief as a result.

NOne of you know the countless hours that I spent investing in this kid, from getting him caught up on all his schoolwork to giving him advice about life and the mistakes that he made at previous parties, or how he would ask me if I was gonna be at every one of his sports games. Remember, that he came to me looking for help and guidance; I didn't "choose" him, and if he came to me, that means he's not getting something at home that he needs.

So b4 you start calling me a creep, you have to realize why I'm looking out for him, because someone has to. And the reason his parents cut me off is bc he was relying on me for everything not them. Not bc I did anything inappropriate ever. I would still take a bullet for this kid any day of the week.

So you're absolutely right- I have become totally too attached and emotionally involved, like I said earlier, to a point where I think of him as a little brother that it's my duty to look out for. I do want to rescue him even tho I no it's not my place

But in talking to his best friend's mother, who also echoes my concerns based on his behaviours and choice of friends lately, who also hopes that the 16 y.o. and his parents will get a wakeup call soon, we're not going to say anything bc as has been said in these replies, it's their responsibility to check in with their son and know where he's going, who he's spending time with, what he's doing there, etc.

The party is tonight. I truly hope the wake-up call happens soon and without anyone getting seriously hurt. I will no longer reply to any messages about what should be done as a deciosin has been made. Thank you to those who offfered diverse perspectives that helped me reach it.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Kel there is just a lot here that wiffs. He says he is not on good terms with the school, and is no longer there. He is not allowed to go near the boy and has even said it's a big risk contacting anyone remotely connected with the boy. He said the kid came to him looking for help and guidance, which does not sound like a school tutor. And when he said the 16 yo wanted to take him out to dinner and an "attraction"... Come on

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012
sabrtooth wrote:
Kel there is just a lot here that wiffs. He says he is not on good terms with the school, and is no longer there. He is not allowed to go near the boy and has even said it's a big risk contacting anyone remotely connected with the boy. He said the kid came to him looking for help and guidance, which does not sound like a school tutor. And when he said the 16 yo wanted to take him out to dinner and an "attraction"... Come on

Again, the focus of this thread is not about ME, but the welfare of this child. I have already explained that the school incident is something I reported that was done to me by another staff member, so you may have misread. I was repeatedly harrased by a staff member. I did nothing wrong but bc I was a volunteer and this person was a dept head, I have no protection bc no staff would support a volunteer over a colleague even though they all dislike this person and said that this person treats everyone like crap.

When I was at his school, I helped him with his school work at his request, and then he offered to help me take photos of after-school teams, which was part of my role there. I've explained that already too. Over time, yes, he asked me for lots of advice, as well. But I was always profesiional in dealing with him.

I also explained that, yes, when I left the school, he and his best friend, who I also helped (and am still allowed to see, talk to, and tutor) said that they wanted to take me out to lunch/dinner to thank me for everything, and there was a local attraction across the street from the restaurant they suggested and they asked me to take them there. I made every attempt to provide a rationale for the parents as to why I agreed to this, and I sent a note asking them to sign for permission. I never just took him anywhere without their permission.

And the parents did not want him to have someone outside of school, even though I did a LOT for him and looked out for him when they did not. There is no point in discussing it any further.

A decision has been made as to how to handle the situation which is in question, which is him going to a drinking party held by a 19 y.o. who is irresponsible, has been in lots of trouble with the law, and has influenced him to make very poor decisions in the past.

I said I'm no longer repsonding to comments. You can believe what you want, but I have the full support of his best friend's mother who knows me and knows what I've done for both boys and why I've done it, so that is all that matters to me right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Well I'd say that since the best friend's mother knows what is going on, that she's in a much better position--as a mother herself--to watch out for the kid and either talk to his parents or give him advice.