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August 20, 1993 - Image 129

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-08-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

School

The

Parent

Trap

Special programs and support groups
help prevent teen drinking.

BETH SMITH AND DEBORAH COHEN

SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH.NEWS

I

0

oys tossing chairs onto the
lawn, girls dancing on
kitchen counter tops, drunk-
en teens vomiting on rugs, a
house awash witn beer. It
may sound like a scene from
a Hollywood box-office hit,
but the scene was a "nice"
home where scores of kids
were invited to party. It
wasn't one of those "par-
ents-go-away, teen-ager-
throws-party" parties,
either. The mother was
home and very much a part
of the party scene, according
to several teens who attend-
ed.
If you have a teen-ager,
you have probably heard
about parents who allow
underage drinking in their
homes and even buy the six-
packs or kegs for the kids.
Maybe you are one of those
parents. Whether you're a
fatalist or a stickler for the
law, the issue of teen drink-
ing is a draining issue for
parents, one bound to cause
heated arguments and
sleepless nights.
Although some parents
sanction drinking at home
simply because they hope it
will make them "cool" with
the kids, others strongly
believe it is the prudent
thing to do. "Teens are
going to drink anyway,"
they reason. "At least if they
drink at home, I control the
drinking. I know they are

safe."
They
might employ
safety strategies
such as hosting
sleep-over par-
ties where every-
one spends the
night, or confis-
cating the keys
of all drivers to
ensure no one
drives home
drunk.
"Kids are go-
ing to push, but
you must place a
rock solid rule
before them, one
that you won't
budge. It's nat-
ural for kids to
experiment or
want to try new
things, but that
doesn't mean you
have to condone
the behavior,"
says Pam Wilson
a facilitator with
Parent-to-Par-
ent, a support
program within
the Birming-
ham/Bloomfield
Families in Ac-
tion. "Some par-
ents are afraid if
they set limits
their kids will run away,
when actually they are
screaming for guidelines."
Mary Kay Meier, adoles-
cent program supervisor at

c)

C.,
C

Henry Ford Hospital's
Maplegrove Center, agrees.
"There is absolutely no way
to teach responsible drink-
ing. Parents give confusing
messages when they offer

kids a 'safe' place to drink
because drinking is danger-
ous." Kids use this twisted
reasoning to rope their par-

PARENT TRAP page 130

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