Trying to teach your kids about responsable drinking is one of the hardest things for a parent of teens to do. Now for me I have a daughter who is 18 years old which here in Canada is the legal drinking age. I have been teaching her about alcohol and how to make proper decisions when it comes to drinking. I will list off a few of my dad teachings to you now.
- No your limits! You need to know when to say sure I would love a drink and when to say no more thank you. This will stop over drinking and the possible chance of alcohol poisoning.
- Don’t mix drinks! This one seems simple for us parents but why is that, well probably because we learned the hard way. When you mix alcohol types, you tend to get sick fast.
- Never leave your drink un-attended! Never leave a drink just sitting around as it is very easy for someone to slip something into it and for some stupid reason this is still a thing. To avoid this keep your drink with you and if you have to leave it, consider it finished and get a new one.
- Know who is making your drink! Now in a bar you can’t really control this but you can watch them do it. At a house party etc. make sure you at least watch it being made, again someone can slip something in your drink very easily.
- Know who you are drinking with! Better to drink with people you trust who will have your best interests at heart than to drink with others who don’t really give a shit about you. A true friend will stop you from making mistakes.
- Know where you are and let someone else know! This is very important as if you get really drunk or do get drugged and you can’t speak well or remember where you end up than even a messed up text can lead to you being picked up and brought home safe without any guessing games.
Now I know there is maybe more rules to follow but this is how I started my teachings to my daughter at 15 years old and still to this day. I once was young and made many, many mistakes while drinking and nothing scares me more than having my kids follow in my footsteps, but my choices then make for great teaching now. One day I will post about my youth but until then lets just say I did it all. I now have many sleepless nights where I find myself dreaming all the bad things I went through, played out by my kids.
I am writing this now as I went all through my daughters high school days with out her touching alcohol, in fact hearing her say I will never touch it at all. Now she is 18 and dropping hints to me about bars and wanting to drink. I don’t blame her, in fact I am shocked it took this long for her to be interested. There is nothing wrong with going out for drinks with friends.
2 nights ago she went out with a friend, told us the lounge she was going to and promising mom to only have a couple of drinks and will be out for 2 hours or so. I was quite impressed she was open with us and proud she was following dads wisdom on the matter. Then mom gets a text saying I’ll be later, ok well at least she is checking in. Midnight rolls around and my wife wakes up and texts her to find out where she is to which she was told in bed and got home 5 minutes ago. Hmmm the communication had stopped so it seems and she snuck into the house, not easy for her on a good day. Now the rest of the night she was up and down puking her face off, well that explains why she went right to her bed once getting home.
In the morning she wakes up and we find out where she said she was, she wasn’t. The 2 drink limit ended up being around 10 and with that night being her first time drinking explains the vomit. The 2 hours out ended up being 4 which she did let us know she would be later.
Now me and her mom aren’t mad at her, far from it in fact, just very disappointed. All the teachings dad has given over the years were thrown out the door her first night out. Everything she told us while leaving was a lie. Very very scary as a parent to find out this and for me visions of my past flash through my head. Mom did sit her down and reminded her of how things can go wrong and fast. How lying can lead to her being stuck somewhere with out help knowing where she is. How over drinking has led to her to being very ill and trying to hide that from us could lead to serious consequences. My daughter found out the hard way about certain things, I sure hope she learned a life lesson and doesn’t find out any more.
I as a father will always help my kids, even if they are drunk and even if I am not happy. I have told my oldest daughter that no matter what I will be there even at the expense of my own safety to make sure she is ok, but I need to know where she is for this to work. I know from experience trying to figure out where you are let alone relay that when you are shit faced is next to impossible.
It is very hard to have your kids go off drinking as a parent but you can’t stop it from happening, at least when they are 18 and at the legal drinking age. You can however teach them to do it right, even be there for them when they learn the hard way, and everyone learns the over drinking lesson, sometimes more than once. I guess the next lesson in dads school of drinking is what alcohol goes with what. I have said this one before but never in-depth, like Whiskey will fight with Tequila and the both hate Cocktails. Don’t get me started on what goes with Beer.
So I will leave you with a question. What has your teen learned the hard way when it comes to drinking? and if you aren’t at the teen years yet, what scares you about them drinking? Please comment and let me know. Also please share any tips I could pass on to my girl.