Underage Drinking

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So last night I get a call from difficult child at 1130pm. She says she has been drinking at a party and the cops were called so I have to come pick her up. I am pi$$ed.

    First of all she lied to me about where she was going to be. She was supposed to be spending the night with a close friend of her friend. That is something I normally wouldn't approve but since I trusted the friend I decided to let her go.

    Second she was driving to the party and she took two other girls with her. Both of which were underage as well.

    Third she proceeded to run her mouth after I picked her up and refused to shut up the whole way home. I barely spoke to her because (1) I know it is useless to talk to someone who is drunk (2) I was furious and would not have made good decisions myself. Plus she was blowing everything way out of porportion acting like I was going to ground her for 8 months.

    Fourth she proceeded to basically lie to me the entire way home. According to her version she drank 1 drink and took a single sip of beer. There is no way that is true considering she has been throwing up for the last 4 hours.

    Fifth she apparently thinks that because she was a responsible drunk who handed over her keys and helped the mom pick up the bottles that should count for something towards her good behavior.

    When we got home I messaged her dad on Facebook and made him call her ASAP. She proceeded to lose her cool with him and he lost his cool in return. I guess he called her back later after he had his temper under control and they had a good talk. He sent me a message saying he was taking her car for 30 days and grounding her to the house for 3 weeks. I suggested he remove her cell phone priveleges as well considering one of her reasons for needing to "go have some fun" is that her boyfriend dumped her on twitter and that his friends were harassing her again.

    Every time she gets in a fight with the boyfriend she winds up making stupid decisions like choking herself or driving while extremely upset. I think having a hiatus from the boyfriend and his friends constant bull $hit online and via text will be good for her. difficult child proceeded to go ballistic on her father because of the cell phone restriction so he hung up on her. So I just had her line suspended after her dad informed her of the punishment. She is already messaging me via Facebook threatening to run away.

    ARGH!!! What should I do? I called her therapist and got his voicemail. I can call the police if she runs. What else can do?
  2. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    I can not condone under age drinking but i don't think the drinking itself is the issue here. i mean, yeah it's wrong but most kids do it and it seems to be a normal right of passage for teens nowadays just as it was when i was a teen. where i live the legal drinking age is 18 and it is common for 17 yo's to drink and have it overlooked. i'd probably focus on the disfunctional way she is running her relationship with her boyfriend and trying to teach her that drinking should be in celebration not to mask negative feelings. negative feelings need to be worked through, not drowned out so she will need to learn to face them and figure out what she can do to keep from repeating the same issues again and again. she needs to also learn that her relationship is unhealthy and why. it might be a good idea to encourage her (when she is done being grounded) to have better friends come to the house to hang out so you can supervise. in order for that to work you will need to make it fun and comfortable for them to make your house 'the' place to be and try to come off as open minded, ect to her friends so they will feel comfortable opening up to you about things that maybe she wouldn't. this seems to work for me. mind you, my oldest is only 14 but her friends think i am 'totally awesome' so they would rather hang out here and i don't criticize them or chastise them when they tell me things which lets them feel comfortable coming to me about things they don't tell their own parents about. i do offer them advice from my own experiences though. my daughter doesn't like this too much but so far it works for me.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I think you already did the right thing...Good for you!

    Taking away the car and the phone seems like a good consequence to me. difficult child is not happy about it? Well, too bad. You didn't expect her to be, did you?

    And yes, call the police if she runs. Other than that - don't get drawn into any drama. When she starts ranting and making threats - walk away, hang up, ignore...whatever you have to do, but DON'T ENGAGE.

    Stay strong!
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I would love to be "that house." Unfortunately difficult child hates having anyone over to our house. She avoids it like the plague. Oddly enough all of her friends like me and think I am the cool mom but she thinks I am horrible.

    It isn't so much the drinking, which as you say is kindof a normal rebellion for a 17yo, it is the lying and putting other is jeopardy thing that pisses me off. The proceeding to do everything she could to **** me off.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    See...I disagree with this. You SHOULD have a problem with the drinking. Yes, lots of kids do it - but so what? That doesn't make it right. It's illegal and can be deadly. Kids die from alcohol all the time. Not only from drinking and driving but from overdosing on alcohol at house parties - and then not calling 911 for fear of getting into trouble.

    She LIED about where she was....then she went to a place she should not have been....to do something she should not have been doing...with people she should not have been with. It was dangerous and stupid.

    It does not surprise me that difficult child would prefer to hang out someplace where "dangerous and stupid" is allowed vs your house where you will enforce rules. It should not surpise you either.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    She started in with the Facebook messages and continued until I stopped responding. Here is what she said to me after her father hung up on her this morning
    difficult child: Tell dad to call me back. He hung up on me and my texts wont send
    Me: Your dad has left the office for the night and your cell phone has been suspended.
    difficult child: For only two weeks. Oh wait I wont be there.
    Me: OK where exactly are you planning to go
    difficult child: Well I am not really sure what it will be called
    Me: I would suggest you reconsider your actions
    difficult child: Why you wouldnt be sad if I was gone, none of you would
    Me: Im sorry you feel that way. Apparently the love of your parents is not enough
    difficult child: And how is my car getting home. Taylor said some of the girls were in it and left their beer. I dont want beer in my car. And love? The only time you two even talk to me is to get me to do something for you or punish me. There is no love.
    difficult child: Forget it, it wont matter anyways. Didn't lay out dinner, guess you'll have to pick something up.
    Me: I'm sorry you feel that way. Your father and I love you very much. Otherwise we wouldn't bother to try and teach you right from wrong.

    Then she proceeded to go off about the beer and stuff in her car and how was I going to handle it and when was I getting her car. I basically just said it is none of her concern and I would handle it. She then texted and complained because she thinks I am trying to hide her car from her.

    I was trying my best to not engage in an argument and remain a loving parent at the same time. Any suggestions as to how I could have done better?
  7. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    hmm... 17 is in the stage of detatchment, where kids normally do whatever they can to detach from mom and dad, so they can find who they are and for a difficult child that is going to be amplified. i'm sorry difficult child refuses to have friends over. my daughter thinks i am totally lame as well but her friends facebook me and ask to come over, and she isn't allowed internet access so they text me instead. you are right to be annoyed that she is trying to purposely **** you off like that. i wish i could be more of a help. i can say that i was much that way with my own other, i found her whole personality to be abrasive at that age, now as an adult i still disagree with a lot of how she is but she is still now the first person i call for advice or to vent. DaisyFace is right, don't engage her. walk away. engaging her in an argument is going to make her rebel worse. let her know(when she is not in the midst of spazzing out) that you are open to reasonable conversations with her. at this point she doesn't have to like you, that will come back as she matures into an adult, she just has to be descent to live with. they say 25 is the new 18 when it comes to maturity because of all the time spent on tv/games and extra school things that weren't there a generation or two. as for the putting others at risk... no car-no risk. maybe when she does get her car back it could be with limited access to daytime transportation? I don't know. is she getting any type of counselling or anger management programing? goodluck.
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Oh don't get me wrong I am pi$$ed about the drinking but the rest makes me irate.
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i think you handled the situation as well as anyone would--in fact, i couldnt promise that i wouldnt be a screaming, yelling lunatic on the ride home so i think you deserve a lot of credit for staying cool.

    i just wanted to comment on the fifth. this might not be as "magical thinking" as it seems. i dont know if its still a popular thing, but years ago there was an actual, written contract for drinking and driving (it might have been put out by MADD)....it was actually given out in health class.

    (i remember this VERY clearly as my parents refused to sign it, lol!)

    but it DID say something about a doing the right thing and being a responsible drunk and calling for a ride and not driving. it also said something along the lines of you'll never be in trouble for it in that moment....there will be consequences of course--but that the parents wouldnt yell, scream, ground and would recognize that you were being responsible *at that moment* and they would pick you up with no drama. (hence the reason my parents wouldnt sign it, LOL...they'd have probably driven me to jail themselves)

    i have no idea if they still do it in school, or if there are still PSA's about it but when you typed that it just sounded oddly familiar.

    and i'm certainly not excusing any of her behavior, which you've appropriately handled....i just wanted to shed light on possibly what her mindset was....

    and ps: has she ever been treated for anxiety issues? cause sometimes that babbling deer in the headlights is actually Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh, hon. Am there doing that. The red flag that got me was - helping the mom pick up bottles? The MOM was there?!

    Anyhoo... The entitlement of wanting the car back, etc. sounds oh so familiar. Like... I didn't drive drunk so I should be allowed to drive. Know what I mean??

    Now, all that said - we told Onyxx YEARS ago that we did NOT want her to drink/drug/etc., however if she found herself in a situation, rather than drive while under the influence or ride with someone who was, she should call us. We would pick her up. No questions asked. ONCE, she took advantage of it - and I went and got her, no discussion just "thank you for calling me". The other times? She's lucky to be alive. And the cops keep picking her up.

    However in your difficult child's case, the cops had already been called...

    Ugh. I am truly sorry you have to go through this.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think the consequences are very appropriate. Underage drinking is a HUGE problem for many reasons. Walking away and/or refusing to engage in discussion/fight/verbal abuse/emotional blackmail with/from difficult child is the best way to handle a lot of it.

    She DOES need some sort of reward or to see consequences lessen a LITTLE as a reward for calling you. it is worth giving the phone back a few days or a week early as a reward for that because it is such a huge thing to not drink and drive or get in the car with someone who was drunk. You want that behavior to continue, so you need to reward it. maybe an inexpensive piece of jewelry as a reward for this? Something separate from the consequences for underage drinking would likely be best.

    As for the mom at the party house being there? I would report to the police that she was contributing to the delinquency of minors and of serving alcohol to minors. It is a BIG DEAL in many states to allow minors to consume alcohol in your home, esp when the parent(s) are home. If the party happened while mom was out and mom didn't know? Then I would make difficult child go over early in the morning to help with cleanup and any other chore that the mother wants/needs to have done.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with several things here.

    Number one I think she was 100% right to have called you for a ride home after drinking instead of either driving or riding in a car with someone who had been drinking and you need to find a way to reward that behavior even if it is not something that costs anything. You have got to let her know you are so proud of her for that. That has always been something we taught my boys and even today I have told my kids I will go get them any time and anywhere should they need it. Now Im not driving 6 hours to VA to pick up my kid but he knows to take a cab. I will go get my kid who lives here. I have never punished for calling me even if it wakes me up. Now the drinking or other such stuff is another matter. I dont appreciate drunks of any age. I tend to get rather irritable and an smart mouthed. Depending on the age, they might have been grounded. Phone wasnt an issue in our case.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to toss in my advice because I don't "know" you or your husband or your daughter personally. After raising eight teens in two different generations I know alot about teen topics. The one thing I totally know is that each teen is different and the approach has to be customized to their personality and the environment of the family. As you read the responses you can obviousy tell that not all families react the same. There is no one right way..for sure!

    In my family I always picked up difficult children and PCs as soon as called. Not only that I had a family method that allowed them each to get out of uncomfortable situations by blaming me for insisting they call home to find out what their curfew was that day or night. Once I received "the" call I would say "I'm sorry but you need to come home now." They never had to whisper what was going on..the call meant "Mom, come." It worked for us.

    In my family I never raised my voice or lectured at the time of the problem. "We'll talk tomorrow when we both feel better." I did stress "I am so glad you are safe as we love you so much." The delayed punishment stage gave me time to think and more importantly it gave them time to think too. That doesn't mean there were no consequences or hard feelings etc. It's just better when you have time to sleep and think before acting.

    Personally I have never rewarded teens for making good choice with anything other than a hug or a "good job" etc. I honestly don't think in terms of tangible rewards so it would never occur to me. Not saying it's wrong..just not me.
    Although "your way" and "my way" are not the same they are both based on love. It would be great if there was a web site or an app that parents of teens could access pdq saying "what it the right thing to do when ???" LOL DDD
  14. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    She only called because the cops were there and forced her so she lost any reward she would have gotten from me for calling. I flat out told her things would have been different had she called me before things got out of hand. After the fact though you are not doing the right thing you are doing what law enforcement made you do.

    The mom and the dad were there. Both are facing 21 counts of distributing to minors.
  15. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    DDD - you are a genius! we do something similar but didn't have a secret code... so that kids around our kids wouldn't know what it meant. Will have to add that. They already knew that they could blame us ("my parents would kill me if I got caught...") We did that also with each exchange student we had... as they could be sent home if they were caught drinking or even at an underage party and not drinking. Not that we would do it - but it is what the rules of the organization were - and they knew the rules. KSM
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We don't see that done often enough... but at least the police got this one right.