I consider the fact that my children don’t have access to a car to be a real perk of living in New York City.
I mean, sure, the museums and all this culture that everyone keeps harping about is nice too, but woohoo, suckers, if you think your parents can afford to pay $600 a month garage bill for your car, I want to know where you keep the stash of that stuff that you’re smoking.
The real bonus, of course, is that I don’t have to worry about my soon-to-be-of-driving-age kids driving drunk. But the good news is that I still get to worry about teenage drinking.
Because of what happened to me when I was sixteen. (YES, THAT WAS IN THE LAST CENTURY. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO RUIN EVERYTHING WITH YOUR SNIDE COMMENTS?)
When I was fifteen years old, I attended a Sweet Sixteen birthday celebration in a Russian Restaurant in Brooklyn. The teenage guests were seated across from each other at a long banquet table, a bottle of vodka between every two people. It looked festive. And adult. I did shots all night long.
My papa picked me up hours later, I was beaming. “I won the drinking game!” I boasted and told him about the multiple shots that I’d washed down with wine, for flavor. Papa didn’t seem all that proud. He and Mama wanted to call the police or at the very least break the host’s legs, both of which I’d pleaded with him not to do.
I sweated alcohol for days after that. And I still don’t drink vodka.
But I worry about my kids drinking.
My personal philosophy is that children should not drink alcohol. At all.
I know that it’s unpopular. Some people let their toddlers dunk a pinky in their wine glass and taste it. Others have a glass of wine or champagne on a special occasion, I know of one family that feels comfortable having their teens drink at home.
Last month I attended an adult party with my children and the host offered my 17 year old stepson a beer. “Is that okay?” the host asked me. “No,” I said. “Oh,” he seemed genuinely shocked. “I just wasn’t sure what your family rules are.” “They’re pretty much in line with the state law,” I told him.
But let me tell you, I felt uncomfortable. And pressured. I felt like I had a huge “buzzkill” sign on my back and I didn’t like it. I can’t imagine what it’s like for teenagers to turn down a drink that’s offered by their peer group.
I hope that my children follow my wisdom on abstaining from alcohol. But I heard rumors that children don’t always listen to their parents.
So, would I test my kids? In a heartbeat. SoberLink photographs your child breathing into the alcohol monitoring device and sends it to your phone, together with the blood alcohol reading.
I know that some people would consider it intrusive. As a parent, I’ll take intrusive. And I’ll do anything that I can to help my kids say “no”.
What do you think? How will you discuss alcohol use with your kids?
This is a sponsored post. But the views are entirely my own.
One year ago ...
- Reality Bites - 2010