Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Underage drinking in your own home.

The big news here is the Notre Dame Academy soccer coach.
I don't know all the details on this one but it did bring up the question of letting underage kids drink in your home.

When I was 16 years old I went out drinking with my friends.That was the one rule I didn't actually follow. I did drink before I was 21. I always told my parents where I was going as I walked out the door with a thermos filled with Kahlua sombreros. Mom would ask, "You're not driving, right?" I would say, "Nope. We are just hanging out down the fire road," which was one block away and in the back of the elementary school. A bunch of us would go and hang out for a while. My parents always trusted me and they knew I never lied.

My friend Ann was one year older than me.All our friends drank at her High School graduation party. Her parents took our car keys and we all slept over that night. It was so much fun. I called home and told mom that we had all been drinking and we were all sleeping over and that I was skipping school the next day, Monday, and going to the beach with everyone. She said that was fine. I was on Honor Society and never missed school so she didn't mind if I took one day off for fun. Were Ann's parents "cool" for allowing us to drink in their home or were they breaking the law?

When Kara was 17 and I was 29 she often had her friends over to drink before they went out for the night. She asked if I would buy alcohol for her and I always refused. I didn't believe in it even though our parents allowed me to do the things I wouldn't do for her. I didn't want to contribute to her underage drinking.

To make this even more confusing, I was Kara's cheerleading coach. In my first year I coached with a girl named Kim who was 20 years old. I was 29. Kim tried to arrange a weekend away in New Hampshire with the girls to go drinking and hang out.
I tried to explain that she was also underage and it was not appropriate for the girls' coach to drink alcohol with them. I threatened to report her to the athletic director. As coaches we had an obligation to set some type of good example for the girls and taking them across state lines and drinking with them was definitely not a good example. She eventually changed her plans but she was mad that I was such a "goody goody."

Rich and I already know that if Lillianna wants a glass of wine before she is 21 and she is in our house we will allow her to have it. As for her friends, absolutely not! We will not be the "cool parents" and allow underage drinking in our home. Parents are sued in situations like this.

What is your stand on uderage drinking?

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