Sounds extreme, doesn't it? But the fact is, when you let kids drink at home, you face the very real threat of arrest. Fifty-three-year-old baseball coach Glynn Boitnott and 47-year-old mom Marcella Edwards allegedly allowed Edwards' son to throw a homecoming party at Boitnott's home. When police broke up the party, the adults were held responsible.
When I was an older teen, I had plenty of parties at my parents' house before I turned 21. I think back and cringe. While it was awesome to stay somewhere safe where we didn't have to drive and we could get a little wild, it wasn't a smart move. Had the parties been broken up or had one of my friends gotten hurt or sick from drinking, my parents could have been in deep trouble.
Now, as a parent, I feel a lot more conservative about underage drinking. College students are one thing — where there's booze, they'll find a way — but high school kids aren't adults and suck at making good choices. A lot can go wrong when you let teens get wasted. A neighbor of mine recently let his 16-year-old son host a full-on party at home, and it really shocked me. It's irresponsible — and it's playing with fire if you're not into the idea of getting arrested for corrupting kids.
Will I allow my own kids to try alcohol at home before they're 21? Absolutely. The lines are pretty blurry unless you're talking about a big homecoming or keg party, and I know every parent will be faced with individual judgment calls. But big parties? No way. With binge drinking posing a very real threat to teens and many state laws prohibiting providing minors with alcohol, it seems like a no-brainer. Don't be that "cool" parent. The stakes are too high.
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