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Underage drinking on Oprah

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm watching Oprah's show and they're discussing how parents allow parties in their houses where drinking is allowed even though all of these kids are underage. This one lady says her son who is 18 is going to serve in the Marines but isn't allowed by law to drink, she says it's hypocritical? What the 'f'?!!! I'm not aware of any marines or military that serve in war while under the influence of alcohol. What are your thoughts on under-age drinking? Should parents let there be parties in their houses where drinking is allowed or let their under-age teens go to parties where alcohol will be served? About 11 million teens are drinking and majority start at the age of 12. Yet the statistics of deaths amongst teens are on the uprise due to alcohol consumption.
post #2 of 21
The argument for the military is that they are old enough to die for their country, but yet cannot drink. Seems like they can take the responsibility, but yet cannot be a "full" citizen with all the priviledges of adults.

My parents let me drink, but not excessively or party-type drinking. I mean like a glass of wine at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, an amaretto and irish cream while Mom and I baked Christmas cookies, a beer while I kept Dad company while he barbequed. Never enough to get drunk, and not when I was a little child.

So, my parents did allow me to drink when I was a teen. That was their decision as parents, and within the law. As a family, we didn't drink when my friends would come over, and having a party for my friends with alcohol wasn't even thought of. We didn't drink to excess when we did, I never saw my parents drunk at home and I certainly wasn't allowed to drink to that point!

I think where it crosses the line is when the parents throw drinking parties for their kids and their friends. Many of the friends' parents have no idea what's really going on, and certainly didn't concent to allow their children to drink. And if anyone is driving after, that's criminal neglect.
post #3 of 21
In Germany you are adult with 18 years and able to drink alcohol , with 16 you can have sex and smoke . How ever . My son is 15 now , I do let him have a drink on christmas and new years . I am talking of a class of wine or champain or a class of punch . I don't think there is something wrong with that , but that is me IMO . I would never let my son go to a party where he can drink alcohol and there is no need for that . We know of a girl she is 14 and her mother let her have a boyfriend come in , he is 15 and they drink alcohol .Sometimes more boys in that age join them . Her mother let them drink all the time , I talk about strong alcohol . My son is there not alowed at all from us . I know in fact that the police has an eye on that house and I am in hope they bust her soon .
post #4 of 21
I agree that the military should have full adult priveleges. Other than that, if a parent chooses to allow a drink on a holiday, or like some of you have mentioned, that is fine. I don't think it is up to a parent to allow someone else's child to drink. I know if someone other than me had given my daughter alcohol when she was under age, I would have had their head. I allowed her the occasional wine cooler, and now it is no big deal to her, and even though she can drink legally, she seldom does.
post #5 of 21
I admit, I had one friend over this New Year's Eve and we got into the alcohol. We were drinking Smirnoff's with 7Up in them. 4 Smirnoff Ices lasted the two of us the whole night, and she had permission and so did I (we were both 16 at the time). We didn't drink massive amounts, and there was only the two of us. My parents say that they would rather have us drinking at home then out with some people they've never met. It wasn't really a drinking party at all...

I'm 17 now, and I do drink occasionally... with my family. A beer or a glass of Sangria here or there. I've never had enough to be "drunk". I was never allowed to even go near a bottle of beer until I was 15, and at that point my parents trusted me enough, in their company, to allow me to make my own decisions. I don't drink to "be cool" or "to fit in", and I believe that there isn't anything wrong with it if I act responsibly. As soon as I take a sip, I hand over my car keys. I don't drink in huge groups of people, or when a family member isn't present (mum, dad, or grandpa). And on average, I drink... maybe... 4 times a year.
post #6 of 21
My family used to let me drink, well everyone except for my mom. And it's not that she didn't let me, I just felt awkward doing it in front of my mom since she doesn't drink at all. Even now that i am 22 I still won't have a drink in front of my mom. But when I was with my aunts and uncles and my father I would have a wine cooler, or a rum and coke with them. My dad also said that if I'm going to drink he would rather I be safe and with them. I never had enough to get drunk, and my family never let me drink if I had a friend over. But I'm glad that they would let me have an occasional drink because when I turned 21 it wasn't a big deal to me to be able to drink. I still drink about as much as I did when I was 16, one or two drinks every couple of weeks.
post #7 of 21
From the time that they were 8 or 9, my kids were allowed a sip of whatever we were drinking. This was only allowed at home and we would never give alcohol to someone else's child.

The fact that they could have a sip at home, took all of the fun out of it, for my kids - they didn't have to sneak around to drink. The rule was: if you get sick, YOU clean it up!

We never locked up the liquor and the kids were not allowed to have company unsupervised.
post #8 of 21
I don't see anything wrong with a glass of wine or the occasional drink at a holiday dinner, or at home with the family. But I don't think parents should throw drinking parties for their kids. It's an invitation to disaster. It's too easy for one of the kids at the party to get in their car and have an accident. It's irresponsible, IMO, to provide that kind of atmosphere for teens.
post #9 of 21
Two weeks ago, a minivan carrying 7 kids, ages 15-20 flipped over, scattering bodies over about 50 feet of road. Four of them died at the scene. The 16-year-old driver was doing about 60, in a 35 mph zone and lost control, going downhill.

The accident happened at 4:30 a.m. Prior to that, they had been at several kids' homes, drinking. There were adults present at these parties. These kids went to the same high school that my 16-year-old nephew goes to.

In addition to drinking, the ones under 18 were violating curfew and were out partying, with their parents' permission. The adults should be held partially responsible for this tragedy.

Allowing my own a children a sip and keeping them out of cars is one thing. Providing alcohol to someone else's child and then allowing them to drive is criminal!
post #10 of 21
WOW what a face
post #11 of 21
In my opinion there is a time and place for everything...its called college. There is no need for parents to endorse underage drinking. I partied in college and did my share of drinking. When I turned 21, the thrill quickly diminished and "partying" was no longer exciting.

In my opinion, the issue with underage drinking is such big a problem because our society forbids it. Take a look at the stats on college campus drinking. Most of it happens with students under 21, not over. Why ? Throwing a party, getting your RA to look the other way, and drinking underage is a form of rebellion.

The real advertising for underage drinking, is not celebrities or TV, its all the anti-drinking campaigns. Every time a teacher lectures a class on the dangers of alcohol during Health Week, he/she is advertising underage drinking. Every time a High School adopts a "Zero Tolerance" for Prom night, they are in fact prompting drinking. When a college tries to enforce a "dry campus" it might as wells put directions to the nearest liquor store in the student handbook.

I'm a double (BS,MS) graduate of Clemson University. Each year the school would sponsor "Alcohol Awareness Week" to try to cut down on underage campus drinking. Instead, most of the fraternies would plan their biggest parties for that week. The programs were largely ignored and the visual aids, like the "Wall of How Alcohol Affected Your Life" was filled with stories bragging about drinking adventures.

We don't need more alcohol education and we don't need parents encouragaing it. Underage drinking will always be problem as long as we brand it as being forbidden.
post #12 of 21
Originally posted by Tybalt
I had had enough opportunity seeing adult relatives and friends of my parents who were alcoholics to realize how loathsome and obnoxious drunks come across socially. There was never any temptation to look or smell like them.
clap! clap! clap!

wow, tybalt, you're pretty cool... unfortunately not everyone is like you, or me, i hardly drink either... although i've never been against alcohol...

this whole age thing is just a general standard... i'm sure there are responsible teenagers who have a beer every now and then and don't get drunk, or at least know when to stop, and more importantly , HOW to stop... but unfortunately the majority of them are not so well informed or capable, and thus we have broad sweeping laws regarding harmful substances...

as for parents allowing parties with alcohol in their homes... well, if you ask me it's quite irresponsible, not to mention opening a huge can of worms... if something happens to any of those kids at their house, and it goes to court the parents are in BIG trouble.

logically as a parent you wouldn't want to take that risk.
post #13 of 21
This weekend, local authorities did a major crackdown on underage drinking. Since Friday, 125 underage drinkers have been arrested on various alcohol-related charges: minor in possession, DUI, possessing false ID, etc. A bar sweep netted 25 underage drinkers.

The cops raided a big college party at an apartment complex and arrested over 50 people. The ones who weren't busted were whining, "Don't the cops have anything better to do?"

IMO, the cops were doing their jobs: enforcing the law. In addition they may well have saved some of these kids' lives, by keeping them from driving drunk.

With the U of A back in session, the students have been given fair warning that a zero-tolerance program is in effect. If you want to get drunk and stupid, you're going to have to face the consequences of your actions.
post #14 of 21
I just finished an interesting book, titled "Saying Yes-In Defense of Drug Use" by Jacob Sullum. While it covers a lot of drugs (and I don't mean this to turn into a discussion of legalizing drugs, that's for another thread), he had some interesting things to say about alcohol. Here in the US, we have a zero tolerance when it comes to underaged people drinking. But many people here (including myself) were allowed to drink small amounts in the presence of our parents. The author argues that letting underage individuals consume alcohol in the presence of their parents allows the parents to teach their children about alcohol and its' effects. Instead of saying "It's bad and don't do it", parents can teach "It's OK not to drink at all, if you don't want to. If you decide to drink, it's OK to drink in certain situations, but know what drinking does to you personally, don't drive when you've been drinking and be responsible about your choices when it comes to drinking".

I think it's naive to assume that as soon as someone turns 21, they'll be able to responsibly use alcohol if they've had no prior experience with it. I think that parents should be allowed to expose their children to alcohol (I'm not talking about letting their kids get drunk) without the fear of legal persecution. Perhaps in this manner people will be more responsible when it comes to drinking.
post #15 of 21
Being that I'm still on the low end of the age spectrum, being as I'm only 23, I feel that drinking is, well, a choice.

My mother is an alcoholic, as well as my father, though his is nowhere near where my mother is. Watching her, growing up, has had an effect on me like you wouldn't believe. Sure, I enjoy the flavor of a "foo-foo" drink here and again, but its been about 2 years since my last drink. I hate the way it affects her, and I don't want that happening to me.

I have no problems with parents allowing their teen children (read 17+) to drink a few glasses with holidays. It teaches the kids the effects of drinking boose in moderation. There is no sneaking around, and then you can watch your kids when they get sick from it or whatnot.

I would never allow it in bulk, i.e. binging or parties because that teaches them that "Hey, its okay to get plastered off you a**." something I am highly against.

Oh well, I'm rambling!
post #16 of 21
Letting kids have a sip at home, in the parents' presence isn't the problem. Its the kids who go out and party, then get into cars and kill people.
post #17 of 21
Originally posted by katl8e
Letting kids have a sip at home, in the parents' presence isn't the problem. Its the kids who go out and party, then get into cars and kill people.
I agree entirely. But if kids aren't allowed to have some exposure to alcohol, how can we expect that they'll use it responsibly? And, it's important to point out that as far as the law is concerned, there is no difference between a bartender serving an underaged drinker and a parent letting their underaged child have some wine with Thanksgiving dinner. If the law were modified, to allow parents to serve their children limited amounts of alcohol (once again, not talking about letting their kids get drunk), then by the time they are of age they will have learned to respect alcohol, what it can do to them and what bad consequences it can have.
post #18 of 21
When I was in highschool there were beer parties constantly, sponsored mostly by parents. I only went to a few, but then I was one of those uptight christian girls so I never got into the party scene at that point. But seriously, these kids would totally booze out. I think that parents supply alcohol to their children so they can be more popular and fit in more. My parents didn't give a damn about me fitting in so I had to be home at 9 every night and wasn't allowed to go out with guys til I was like 18 or something.. I sort of appreciate it but am still young enough to remember how bad it sucked (you know, the getting made fun of, not the missing drinking lol)..

I think if parents were more strict there wouldn't be half as much underage drinking, but a lot of them don't care. A lot of them remember being in highschool and how much fun it was to drink with their friends, and i think a lot of them are still acting like teenagers because they never grew up themselves.. I dunno. I wouldn't even think of supplying kids with alcohol, even now when my under 21 friends hang out with me or whatever I'm all like "if u want beer ask someone else".. But I always thought they should raise the driving age and lower the drinking age, you know, so kids could be tired of binging before they got keys.. Plus driving is a really huge responsibility.. so is alcohol, but you just do it to yourself mostly..
post #19 of 21
Wow...good post Anna!

I am just a little on the fence on this one....on one hand, I have a friend who sponsered (so to speak) drinking parties for her high school daughter and her friends and bought all the alcohol and even made the drinks for them...her thought was....if she drinks here....she won't be out on the road or at some unsupervised party doing it. (and she did make sure all the friends were spending the night and not going anywhere else)... I can see her point...but yet.....we never condoned drinking in our house for my hubbies almost 19 year old daughter, and neither did her mother...she (his daughter) doesn't drink (I'm quite sure...and if she does it is very moderately)...and I wonder if it would have been different had we allowed her to drink all she wanted as long as it was at our home like people I know have done.

Then again.....I was raised by such strict parents that we didn't even own a TV because I might see some sinful act on it....and what did I do?????.......went out drinking with my friends as a teen, behind my parent's I guess not allowing me to do it at home didn't help any.

So I'm not sure what the best answer is....I don't approve of letting your teen drink all they want and even buying it for them as long as it is in your home.....but yet...teaching them how horrible it is instead of teaching them to do it responsibly doesn't seem like the answer either.

I'm just not sure yet what I will do when I am faced with this when Amber is a teenager....will I allow her to have a few sips here and there or even a whole drink once in a great while at home....or not at thing I know I won't do is let her invite all her friends over to get plowed at our house, because I want to be the "cool" mom.

One thing I would like to add though, is that my friend did ask her daughter to give her permission slips from the parents for their child to drink at her house as long as they didn't leave the house. So the parents were aware...of course the papers could have been forged, but since she knew the parents fairly well, I doubt they were. I still don't think it was a good thing to do...but at least she did inform the parents and the kids did not go anywhere. They were all 17 also...not 14 or 15...that does make a difference. I still wouldn't do it...but I don't think she was horrible for doing it....especially on homecoming nights, etc....when she knew good and well they would be out drinking anyway.
post #20 of 21
I'd just like to point out that not everybody that drinks underage is going to get into their car and drive away...

Sure, I drink occasionally and I've been a member of Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID) for four years. Some may consider that hypocritical, but I don't. I take a sip - I hand over my keys. Drinking by itself is different than drinking and driving. My friends and I hand around cards every school year with our home phone numbers and cell phone numbers on them, in case anyone ever needs a ride home. We have designated "DD" nights. For example, if New Year's Eve fell on a Friday night, I'd be "on-call" because Friday is my night to drive if anybody needs me, so I couldn't drink. A couple more people have Fridays and a couple have Saturdays, and a couple have Sundays (long weekends).

I have called the police on "friends" of mine that have big parties and don't prevent drunks from driving home. I've stayed anonymous but I've done it a few times. The police went once and ticketed them all for underage drinking in public (a park).

I've never quite understood how it's assumed that once you hit 19 (Canada) or 21, you are automatically considered responsible enough to drink... I mean, when my cousin turned 19 he nearly bought out the beerstore because he'd never been allowed to touch alcohol. I think that when I turn 19, it won't really be a big deal, at all.
post #21 of 21
Ya know Oprah was named the #1 pop icon of all time. I watched that special for like 5 hours and it was Oprah. crap. Thats just might be the stupidest thing ive ever heard. Its micheal Jackson!. Son Of A @#%$&!!!!
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