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Please don't host

Posted on: May 20, 2015
Tags: Graduation, Alcohol, Drinks, Parents, Teens

This is the time of year that parents proudly say "I did it.  I successfully raised my child and helped them make it through high school."  Many host parties to celebrate and show off to their family and friends.  What should these parties entail?  Food? Check. Gifts? Check. Games? Sometimes. Soda? Always. Beer and alcohol? Let's get to that...

For some parents, the thought is, "I would rather ave my child drink alcohol at home than have them on the road."  Yes, drinking and driving is one of the deadliest consequences of high risk drinking.  Are there others?  Are there consequences to allowing your child drink at home in a controlled environment?  Are you "teaching them to drink responsibly"?  Let's look at the evidence.

First, there are the legal ramifications to hosting a graduation party where alcohol is served to minors.  Do you know the laws in your state?  Check out this web site by The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the Treatment Research Institute to find out.  While most states allow parents to provide some alcohol to their own child, giving alcohol to someone else's child is usually against the law, even with the parents' permission.  

Second, many parents feel that if they allow their children to drink at home, they will demystify alcohol and their teen will no longer want to rebel and drink it outside the home.  Research has debunked this myth.  Teens will view their parents permission as an opening and therefore often drink more.

Last, teens who begin to drink before age 15 are five times more likely to have problems later in life.  No parent wants to set their child up for problems.  The longer they can delay the onset of alcohol use, the less likely they will have a problem.  Let them wait until the are 21.  Their brains will be more fully formed and they will be more able to make appropriate decisions.  

Until then, have fun.  Celebrate.  Laugh, cry, remember.  Take lots of pictures because this moment will be gone.  Enjoy and remember that you have raised a fine adult!