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

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Bless you for still trying to watch out for this young man. Not sure why his parents would cut you off if you've been a positive influence on their ds. If it was something you did perhaps you could start out by apologizing to them. If you are really concerned that they won't even listen to you at all is there any way you could send a message anonymously? Are they FB friends with their ds? If so perhaps you could send them a message to check his upcoming events. If not perhaps you could send them a link to the event. Not sure where you are but most local communities have either phone numbers or web sites where you can anonymously report upcoming underage drinking parties. That way they often get busted before things get out of hand. Sure, it might mean a call from the cops to the kid's parents but sometimes it takes a more extreme wake up call to get kids to pay attention. Good luck and keep us posted.
Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Thank you for your suggestions. I had independently considered a lot of your points before posting- for instance, his mother is not on FB; his step-father is, but I don't know if he uses it frequently and the party is early this weekend, so it's really critical and I can't rely on him not checking his messages. Also, like I said, if he saw it was from me, he could disregard it.

I can't send a link bc I'm pretty sure that the privacy settings make the event viewable only to those who have a friend invited, and I can't report it bc the location is listed as undisclosed; you have to msg to find out where it is, so i can't report the party if i don't no where it's happening. :smileysad: So really, I need to somehow prevent this 16 y.o. kid from going to this party...

To address your first point, without getting into too much, basically, I was a volunteer at his school and started helping him with his schoolwork (and got his marks up a lot, which his mother did a ctually thank me for earlier in the year); then he started helping me after school taking pictures of the sports teams, which is another thing I did at the school. i gave him a lot of advice at this time when he confided some things in me. when i left the school, he & his best friend called me their 'big brother' and said they still wanted to see me. they said they wanted to take me to dinner to thank me for everything and the 16 y.o. in question suggested us going to a local attraction together. I made a note and sent it to them to get their parents' permission and his parents didn't want me continuing to see him outside of school. So they basically cut me off from him, despite everything that I did for him, which I did expecting nothing in return. He really is the closest I have to a little brother and that's why I still need to look out for him.

But I fear that his parents will just think I'm doing this to get to see him again, when really, the only thing I'm thinking about is his safety right now! And I can't break his confidence, but based on the other ppl that are attending the party, there are reasons y I really don't think he should be there, and things that he told me that happened at the last party he went to with this 19 year-old make me really concerned if he is in a situation with lots of alcohol and ppl who would be encouraging him to drink (lots). It's not a good situation for him to be in at all... :smileysad:

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

I'm not understanding why you think that the parents will delete your messages without reading them, or refuse to take your phone call. The mother thanked you for helping her son and they allowed him to assist you with the photos on campus. I can understand that they didn't think it was appropriate for their son to then develop an unsupervised social relationship outside of school with you and so they declined to give him written permission for that...but that's a far cry from them refusing to talk to you or thinking that you are trying to get to see him again---unless there's another piece to this story that you haven't explained.

Anyway, I suggest that you send a private message via FB to the stepfather. Hopefully he gets email notification when he gets a message. Or you could try calling their home to talk to the mother. Another possibility is to ask the school to have her contact you.

Its very nice of you to want to help protect the kid from himself but ultimately that is the parents' responsibility. You cannot prevent him from going to the party. You do what you can to let them know, if you can't reach them or they won't listen or don't believe you etc then there's nothing more that you can do.

Just wondering, but how/why are you friends with the people who are invited to this party, if they are older kids who would be encouaging a 16yo to get drunk? As a parent reading this I have to question that, and why you are so anxious to protect this boy---I'm not trying to be rude but it comes off as a little sketchy.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Thank you for your comments. I'm not trying to be sketchy... he was someone that relied on me a lot in the past, and I feel like I'd be letting him down if I didn't do something about this. Plus, I have confidential info about what's happened at parties that he went to with this 19 y.o. in the past, and ways that the 16 y.o. has behaved there, that his parents probably don't know, so I feel like it's my responsibility to prevent him from getting into another potentially harmful situation. That's all it is, and yes, I understand what you mean that it's not my call to prevent him from going. But that's why I just need a surefire way to get in touch with his parents.

I only happen to be FB "friends" with one other person who was invited. It's not someone that I even really know or talk to. I saw the event on my feed and clicked on it out of curiosity to see how these teens are spending their wknd (at 24, I've never drank, smoked, done drugs or gone to a party in my life so this world is foreign to me). And it just happened to be the 19 y.o. (who also smokes weed) hosting it, and I just happened to notice the 16 y.o. had just recently clicked he's attending it.

Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
El had a good idea about contacting the school. I'm assuming you still work/volunteer there? I'd talk to a guidance counselor and explain what's going on and ask them to have the parents contact you or to pass your concerns along. And since it sounds like you still see this boy at school you can certainly express your concerns directly to him. Beyond that there's not much you can do. Heck, even as parents we can't always prevent our teens from making stupid choices. That's commendable that at 24 you've never drank, smoked, or gone to a party but unfortunately you're in the minority in many areas. My oldest ds is now 25 and did lots of stupid things his senior/rebel year of high school (drinking, smoking both cigs and pot, snuck out of the house a few times). But he still graduated 2nd in his class and is now in his 2nd year of med school. So not all kids that experiment with the party scene are headed to he** in a hand basket! Good luck and let us know how this all turns out!
Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Thank you again. No, I do not volunteer at the school anymore. I have not been there for months and have not seen the student for months as a result. I am not on good terms with the school bc of a "workplace bullying/harrassment" situation that I'm in the process of reporting something that I went through while I was there. That's a totally different story.

And as I said, I'm not on good terms with the parents bc they didn't like that their son wanted to continue to see me after I left his school, and that I agreed to it (but tried to get their permission and get them to sign something saying it was ok).

 

 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

Even though you are no longer on good terms with the school, you could still leave a phone message or email for a counselor giving them the basic facts of the story and asking them to pass on the info to his parents.

Since so many avenues for reaching the parents are closed to you I suspect that you're going to need to just let this go. Most parents come to realize that our kids will do things that are out of our control and that we cannot prevent every bad thing from happening to them, especially when its a kid who is looking for trouble. Even if you manage to alert his parents to this party and they prevent him from attending, there will be another party next weekend or next month...if he wants to get drunk then he's going to find a way. Another thing for you to consider is that these parents may be in denial and not heed your warning anyway. I had an experience where I spoke with the mother of my dd's bff, hoping that we could work together to keep them out of some trouble, and she became very defensive and refused to believe that her dd would ever do those things.

It may sound counterintuitive but maybe the best thing is for the boy to go to the party and get drunk...sometimes something big has to happen to get everyone's attention. Maybe having him come home stumbling drunk or having to retrieve the kid from the police station is the best way for that family to realize that the boy is headed down a slippery slope. Ultimately they need to work this out in their way, in their time. And since the parents have made it clear that they don't want you involved with their son you need to accept that this situation is neither any of your business nor within your control.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012
elc11 wrote: And since the parents have made it clear that they don't want you involved with their son you need to accept that this situation is neither any of your business nor within your control.

 

Thanks for your comments. This is what I struggle with, as well. I totally hear you; however, if, on the off-chance, something bad happened to him, I couldn't live with myself knowing that I could have done something to prevent it.

Yes, a lot of avenues are closed to me, but I think I may reach out to his real father on Facebook and alert him (I realized I can't message the step-father anyway bc we have no mutual friends). The father lives a couple hours away and doesn't see him much, but he could talk to the mother and step-father. That way, I've still passed it on to a parent, but haven't had to deal directly with the two that he lives with now who don't want me around their son. Party is tomorrow night, so I have to make a decision fast.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

Yes, I completely get all of that. I'm not judging the parents for keeping me away from him, and I'm not asking them to change their minds about that.

I didn't mean to stumble across this; I have had no contact with them or their son for several months. Under no other circumstance would I reach out to them again. The point is that, whether his parents liked it or not, for a long time, their son confided in me and asked me for advice, some of which has to do with mistakes that he made while under the influence bc he was at parties with this 19 y.o. So I KNOW that it's not a good situation for him to be going to this party that is being thrown by the 19 y.o. and when he appears to be the only underage person going to be there.

I simply want to pass on that sentiment to the parents bc yes, I really am concerned about their son. And I know that's hard for some ppl to believe.

Quote: "Or tell someone the mother still trusts and let that person handle it."

Yes, I said, I think I'm going to pass it along to his real father, and ask him to alert the parents he lives with. It's about the only thing I can do to show that I'm genuinely concerned, but am still respecting the wishes of his immediate family not to contact them.

And yes, I DID NOTHING WRONG. Ironically, his parents are very protective of him, which is why the idea that they would let him hang out with this 19 y.o. and go to this party makes NO SENSE.

 

EDIT: I know this is not what the previous poster meant, but it's somewhat sad how the only thing I've thought of this whole time is protecting this kid, and yet it's somehow being turned against me... :smileyfrustrated:

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2012

jlsjjsmom, I sent you a private message to ask you something additional, if you don't mind. Thank you.

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