When did 16 become the new 18?
I have certainly noticed this recently as I have a son who turned 16 in April. A trend seems to have appeared where the parents throw their little 16yr old cherubs a party at home, complete with alcohol. So when did 16 become the new 18?
First of all I didn’t do this and my son was very happy to get a load of his mates together for a boys day out paint balling. However, he has recently been to one or two of these parties although one was for a 17yr old. Second of all I don’t really think it’s appropriate to be encouraging your 16 or 17yr old son or daughter to drink excessively in your house. You may be able to trust your own child but really is it a good idea to let all their mates loose in your house with alcohol at the ready.
This has made me think back to when I was 16, which is many, many moons ago now. I remember going out with my friends acquiring a bottle of cider that we would all share and then make my way home. I would scuttle up to my room before I had to face my parents hoping they didn’t realise I had been drinking. We used to sneak a drink is what I’m getting at. I was never allowed to have a drink at that age at home regardless until I was actually 18. I was certainly never brave enough to ever get blatantly drunk at that age either. When you turned 18 that was when you would maybe have had a party and obviously the big thing was that you could actually go up to the bar and order your own drink!
So for this era of teens everything seems to be getting earlier and earlier. Almost to the point of what on earth do they have to look forward to.
Now I used to be of the opinion that I would not supply my son with alcohol nor would he drink underage in my house. However, a year or two ago I did attend an event by Drinkaware which concentrated more on teaching your teen to be sensible with alcohol. I mean they may see you drink your glass or two of wine at night to unwind, or get drunk at family get together’s or parties. Therefore, it made more sense not to do one thing but tell them another, but to teach them responsibility around alcohol.
I know everyone will have their own opinion on this but it is less of a black and white issue these days. I have been lucky so far as my eldest hasn’t seem in a hurry to have a drink or get drunk. But I know my youngest who is 14 will certainly be a different story. So I am at least hoping to gain some experience via my eldest and have learned by any mistakes I may make with him along the way.
For now though I feel lucky as my eldest who has started going to more parties has openly said there will be alcohol there and that some of his mates will be drinking. We offer him a lift there and back and are on the end of the phone waiting for any problems. We have told him at any of these parties if anything occurs and gets out of hand he is to go outside and call us to come and get him.
He also made us proud a few weeks ago when he went to his friends party and ended up looking after another one of his friends. That friend had lied to his parents about where he was going, and then they had to call his mum to come and get him as he was starting to get aggressive due to drinking too much. I certainly would rather know where my teen is and what he is doing and at least be prepared. Than to not know and be the mortified and furious parent who is called to come and get my son due to him being ‘plastered’!
We did have a chat about what had happened and I did tell him they had done the right thing phoning the boy’s mum. It did lead on to a great conversation though. As we talked about how easy it is for that age group to quickly over drink and feel the affects afterwards, which they are unable to control.
What is worrying though is when will 14 become the new 16!
** NOT A SPONSORED POST** I just wanted to spread word about their website which has lots of great information. For more go to https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/