Parents Serving alcohol to teens/home

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Parents Serving alcohol to teens/home
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 10:10am
Recently we have met a number of parents who subscribe to the practice of serving alcohol to their teens and friends in order to provide a safe enviornment for partying. I am aghast and alarmed. The older I get the more I become aware of the varying standards and parenting styles that exist.

The philosophy seems to be "teens are going to drink - why not serve them alcohol in the safety of our won home and moderately monitor them?"

I want to keep my teens safe, sober and within the law....yes, we talk all the time, yes, they know right from wrong and yes, there are parents around here who have morals that do not match mine...

What do you do?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 12:46pm
Thankfully so far the parents of the boys that my boys (ages 13 and 16) run around with have values similar to ours.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 1:08pm
My DD has an abhorrence of alcohol because of religious prohibitions in our home, but I'm not so clueless as to think that she may not be tempted some time in the future.

I, also, have heard of these types of parents. Its such a lazy parenting style, I can't believe it. I would question people prior to a party, too, since this style does exist. Its right up there with the ones that let their sons and daughters have their bfs/gfs sleep over in their own home because, "Well, they're going to do it anyway. Why not just accept it.?"

I guess that's pretty judgemental sounding, but this kind of thing really shocks me, especially the total disregard for the kids' safety if, like jjillsmom said, if they were to get in an accident afterward.

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 3:16pm
I'd consider myself lucky that you know who these parents are and you can keep your kids out of those homes.

I know as they get older it gets harder. I trust my daughter not to drink, but like the other poster said, I don't even want her in the same room. If I 'knew' which parents served alcohol at parties who had this same mindset, then at least I'd know where she wasn't allowed to go.

There are so many parenting differences on other fronts to fight regarding cellphones, curfews, clothes, etc. Ugh!! This one hasn't come up yet for me, but I'm sure it will when she is Junior and Senior in HS.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-1998
Wed, 10-29-2003 - 6:16pm
personally, I wouldnt allow my children to attend events at these people's homes. I think that as a society...people are to quick to say..."well they are going to do it anyway. There is something wrong to think that way IMO. Hopefully, with guidance and punishment....they wont "do it anyway"

Dee Dee

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 10-30-2003 - 9:27pm
I didn't let her attend the party.

This came up a few years ago when dd was 15. It was a 15th bday party, I was aquainted with the parents from PTA and the dad is an attorney. The parents would be home the whole time. Then dd let it slip that anyone that was too drunk to drive home could spend the night. Nice idea I guess but too free-thinking for me! Also way too much legal liability. In my area it is legal to serve alcohol to your own kid in your own home but not to anyone else's kid.

Avatar for radmom413
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 10-31-2003 - 7:05am
Parents like that appall me! Oprah had a show regarding this same topic on one of her shows right before school started. There were multiple sets of parents there who had organized parties for their high school kids where they served alcohol and they chaperoned and their thinking was from the school "They are going to do it anyway, so let's provide a safe environment". I do not buy that at all. As some of you said, what if something happened to one of those kids on their way home; who would be responsible for one, and two WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?? It is against the law. Some of these parents said they take all keys away when the kids enter the house, but some people asked what about kids sneaking out. Oh, of course, that never happens. Yeah right!

Thank goodness, oldest dd (16) is against drinking and drugs. For one, she has to abide by an athletic code, and I know for some athletes, that still doesn't stop them, but for her and her close friends on the dance team, honoring that is important to them. She has also told me that she can't believe how stupid people are when they are under the influence of anything. She has even let me listen to her cell phone vmail to a couple messages that were left by some boys (who she is acquainted with) who had either been drinking or getting high and you obviously could tell they were not "normal". She also has asked to have groups over to our house when they have found out that where they were going had alcohol involved.

I think if I ever found out around here that there were parents serving alcohol to teens like that, I would call our police liaison officer.

Don't you just wonder where these parents are coming from? Are they trying to be cool in their kids eyes or the friends eyes? Sorry, you are just looking really, really dumb in my eyes.


~ * Cindy * ~

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Fri, 10-31-2003 - 7:46am
I agree with you folks, parents who serve alcohol to kids need their heads examined! Here it is legal to serve your own child in your own home, and after they're 18 they can be served in public under the supervision of their parent/legal guardian. Our younger kids aren't even interested in alcohol that we have around the house (16 & 12), but we do let the two older DSs have some if they are staying home (both 19 now, but we've had this policy all along). Since they turned 18, DH has taken them out to shoot pool or darts and bought for them, but there is an absolute "you stay with us until it's completely out of your system, and NO driving" policy enforced which they seem to respect. I know that in the past year or so, both have been to parties where alcohol is served, and they'll call around midnight or 1 to say they aren't coming home...which usually means that even though I can't tell by talking to them that they've had anything, they probably have and they're honoring their oath never to drive with ANYTHING in their system. It's really hard, and I'd love to tell them they may NOT drink and punish them when they do outside our supervision, but unfortunately they're adults and have to make their own choices. BUT as minors the story was different and there were one or two incidences when the roof came down on them when we found out they'd been drinking at a party where we were assured there would be no alcohol.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Fri, 11-21-2003 - 7:21pm
I kind of go in the other direction. Which doesn't mean I server alcohol when my daughter has friends over but I'm not appalled at the parents of her friends who do. My daughter knows that she has the choice and hasn't had alcohol even though it had been served or offered. My daughter enjoys socializing with her friends and their parents and just because they SERVE alcohol doesn't mean they are drunks. It does however mean that they are putting themselves up for major trouble in the way of law suits should a kid(s) get into an accident but that is their choice. I find that I don't have to ask if alcohol is being served as my daughter will volunteer that information because she knows I won't go ballistic over it. Afterall they can go to a highschool dance and be able to get alcohol, maybe not from school officials and chaparones but punches have been known to be spiked and flasks are passed around all the time and then there are the "raves" they go to as well. I have pretty much always trusted my daughter, will until she gives me a reason not to. I learned to ask questions and to listen a long time ago which made her teen years a bit easier on I have never forgotten what it was like being a teen. We as parents all have choices and some parents choices are different than our own but that doesn't make them simply makes their style different than our own.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 11-22-2003 - 8:35am
I guess a good share of my "their heads ought to be examined" attitude is from the liability side of it...they could be in for major legal trouble if there's ever a problem. I don't loose my mind over my older two boys drinking at someone's house if it's not a frequent thing and THEY DON'T DRIVE, but I also think they're mature enough now to make decent choices where alcohol is concerned. At 15 or 16 they weren't, and my 16 y/o now isn't either...but he also is a homebody who doesn't party much, and who has no interest in alcohol that he could easily sneek into at home. We never really had to address the alcohol issues in our house until S moved in, just because he had so many issues with drugs, alcohol and partying. He and J have been very good friends since they were tiny, but J usually stayed out of S's substance habits with the exception of occasionally drinking with him...J has always told us that and S confirms it and I believe them both. S chose to live with us BECAUSE he knew that his party lifestyle wouldn't be tolerated and he really wanted to turn things around before he ended up in prison...and in order to give him the guidance he needed to do that, I suppose we felt the need to come down on him harder and deal with issues that we've never had to deal with with our bio kids. S has been clean and sober for 18 months now, and has come around to the point that I honestly feel I can trust him to stay that way. Just a week or two ago he called at 2 a.m. to say he'd had a couple of beers with his work buddies and wouldn't be coming home. I couldn't tell from talking to him that he'd had anything, but I told him I was very glad he was honest and called rather than try to drive the 30 miles home. I suppose I worry more about them when they're younger just because I don't see 15, 16, even some 17 y/os as being mature enough to deal with alcohol responsibly. Our J is currently in army training, and DH and I both have the attitude that if the US government is going to put an M-16 in his hands and possibly tell him to go out and kill someone or be shot at himself (I can't think of the add'l possiblity here), then he should be able to have a few drinks if he wants to...and do it legally, but that's just our opinion.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sat, 11-22-2003 - 1:22pm
"DH and I both have the attitude that if the US government is going to put an M-16 in his hands and possibly tell him to go out and kill someone or be shot at himself (I can't think of the add'l possiblity here), then he should be able to have a few drinks if he wants to...and do it legally, but that's just our opinion."

I agree with this totally. As someone who watched her friends (including her boyfriend) go off to Viet Nam knwoing they might not come home I figure if they're adult enough to do that then they're adult enough to have a drink now and then.