Unlocked Alcohol Cabinet @ Friend's Home

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2005
Unlocked Alcohol Cabinet @ Friend's Home
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 9:58am

Hello! I'm uncomfortable with a situation and am wondering what you all think.

My DS15 hangs out a LOT at his friend's house, very good kid, nice family, we trust them and encourage this relationship. The only thing the family does differently from we is that they allow their son an occasional drink at the dinner table... lots of families do this, OK, but we don't.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 1:45pm

If you think there is too much temptation then don't let him go there. It's as simple as that. If I did not trust how a family supervised their teens and visitors, I did not allow my kids to go to that house. They could see their friends at OUR house, where I knew they would have sufficient supervision. And most of their friends actually PREFERRED coming here. Not because we were the "cool parents" who let the kids do what they wanted, but because we interacted with the kids, talked to them, helped with their projects. They were NOT free to pick up a beer in our house, but WERE free to pick up a spatula, a needle and thread, a paint brush, or put their head under a car hood.

And FWIW, I never locked up my liquor either. The kids knew we would kill them, or the friends would be banned from the house.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 1:52pm

It's hard for me to feel that I can give advice, as I was completely blindsided by my son smoking pot (that is even hard to write).

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 4:57pm
No you can't do anything except forbid your DS to go over there--I think it's kind of drastic even though I am definitely not naive. I have a 21 yr old DD & she used to joke w/ me in high school that I was really useless as a place to get liquor from since I really don't drink at home so I don't have much in the house. so it is very frequent that kids will take stuff from their parents' liquor cabinets if they have them. They will also get older kids to buy them liquor or beer, they will drink when parents aren't home and even in front of them if they can get away w/ it. My idiot 15 yr old (who was still 14) decided this summer that he & his then GF would try a hard lemonade that my DD had bought & was in the fridge. They drank it when I was in the house--I just never thought he would be that stupid but then again, he actually told me he did it or I never would have known. So I don't know what the answer is unless you are w/ him 24/7. There will always be a way to try drinking.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 6:55pm
No, you can't ask the other mom to lock the liquor cabinet... whether you allow your DS to go there based on that one item is up to you. But I'll tell you this much... if he REALLY wants to experiment with alcohol, he WILL find a way to do it, no matter what you do. And if he's not really interested in it, another kid could hand him a beer and he won't take it. What YOU do and say at home has a lot more influence than whether a liquor cabinet is locked or not. Now, I probably wouldn't be allowing any over-nighters there... that's when the trouble starts with teens. But if he KNOWS you'll have consequences if he drinks, and he KNOWS you'll be waiting up for him... that will have a lot more power than banning him from that one friend's house.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 8:27am

I think if you are not sure whether you DS will or will not partake I'd set a few rules for DS.

#1. He does not sleepover. Honestly I found with two boys that teenager sleepovers where often at the house with the easiest rules and they would flock to that house. At a certain age my DH just said no more sleepovers.
#2. If there are no sleepovers and you see your son every time he comes home from this house then you can see for yourself if there's been any funny business. And if he's been drinking then you can have a different conversation with the mom or your son about whether you want him over there.
#3. Do let you DS know that teenage drinking is not okay with you and that he will have to answer to you and DH if he does.
#4. Also be sure to let him know that not all families are black and white about teen drinking and that you understand how that might be confusing.

Our state produces a great pamphlet that spells out the hosting laws regarding underage drinking. The laws, the penalties should they allow drinking in their home and what not. It spells out the possible consequences and man would it scare the pants off you if you read it. I showed it to my teen once and said that it was precisely why no teen would ever have a drink in my house with my knowledge. I also told them that the younger you drink the more at risk you become, blah blah blah, but their eyes would glaze over at that point so again, just be firm and oh yes, let them know if they screw up they can call you and you'll pick them up no problems...

But I also did not lock up anything. What my DH and I did was get rid of hard liquor and buy only what we might consume in small quantities so there wasn't much around for anyone to lift. With that said there are families that are really social and you have to again teach your son that being responsible is his job and when he comes home, it's his responsibility to be sober regardless of where he's been.

I remember one of my DS's friends house became the party house. He distanced himself on his own. The parents were our friends and always wondered why my son was suddenly not around. We decided that it was not our business to police their home so said that sometimes friendships change and dropped the subject. But for what it's worth, this particular family does like to drink so there you go...