when cocktails aren’t a good thing

When time comes, I will buy Nathaniel a case of beer.

I know that regardless of our warnings and the statistics, the truth is our kids will want to learn the drinking truth for themselves.

I don’t believe that a “magic” age comes along when kids suddenly become ready for the responsibility that being able to drink entails.

They can just do it legally.

I know lots of people who are legal drinking age that are stupid drinkers.

*I* was a stupid drinker.

(I only drink GOOD vodka now!)

Partly because I grew up with that attitude of “we said don’t drink, so don’t drink”.

My parents will read this and it might be the first time they know that I drank beer in middle school.  And in high school.  And many times rode with drivers I shouldn’t have.

So, yeah.

I will buy my kids beer when it’s time.  I will teach them to respect the fun it can be but the DANGER it can be too.

The same way I taught them not to touch the stove when they were little.

Kitchen knives when they were older.

Why wouldn’t I be the one to teach them this precious lesson that could save their life, the life of a friend, a stranger?

Not every kids chooses to drink, but when statistics show that two of five teens drank last month…well, you do the math.

Soberlinke is a way to reinforce lessons you’ve tried to teach, the FIRST home breathalyzer for teens to check-in with parents.

To be very honest, if you are too controlling with your teen, you might find this ineffective.

But if you are using this TOGETHER, for the sake of safety, you may find it to be all the difference in the world.

I want my kids to know: I WILL COME GET YOU (OR PAY FOR A CAB)

No lecture. No punishment. No threats.

Maybe ugly pajamas, no promises.

This post was sponsored by Soberlinke, but the opinions are ALL my own!

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25 Responses to when cocktails aren’t a good thing

  1. Daddy by Default October 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM #

    This is an interesting article, and I wasn’t aware of the soberlink thing. I read about some guy developing a breathalizer attached to the dashboard and if your kid breathes over a certain limit the car shuts off. Kind of like an electric alarm cutoff. But no matter what we give them they’ll find a way around it I’m sure. My parents had a graduation party for me, and I think they were the same way about drinking. They would rather have it done at their house than have us going crazy out there. At least until we got to college.

    Daddy by Default´s last post…10 Ways to Know If You’re a Child of the 90′s

  2. kariellen October 6, 2011 at 2:05 PM #

    I believe there are studies that there is actual brain changes that occur when one gives birth/conceives. I think this affects our ability to think that it could be “our kid” that does something stupid. Even after my kid did something stupid, I was stupid enough to think that it was the first time. Maybe what we need to work on is the antidote to “Not MY child” brain.

    Anissa, can you work on that for me? Pretty Please! I still have 2 more kids to try not to screw up.

    kariellen´s last post…{{GIVEAWAY}} Woolite Washing Savior – Prize Pack

  3. Kristin September 29, 2011 at 12:01 AM #

    My parents thought this way too…and, it’s the exact approach I’m taking with my kids.

    Kristin´s last post…What The Fuck Wednesday: Dental Devices Edition

  4. Liz (@elizabethbarone) September 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

    When I have a teenager, I’ll buy them their first drink, too. Here’s why: http://t.co/LrTGJwlF (via @AnissaMayhew)

  5. Liz September 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

    My parents had the same philosophy. My first drink was either wine or champagne… and it was with my parents. They always told me that I could call them if I drank too much, no questions asked. I can’t say I never drank as a teen, but I never had to call them. I always did it safely, and still do.

    I think more parents need to adopt this attitude, because it is a scary world these days. I hear stories all the time about teen alcoholism and teen death by alcohol poisoning. I’m sure many people would think it makes a parent a bad parent for drinking with their children, but I think there would be much less abuse of alcohol by teens if their parents were the ones to “break them in.” I had friends whose parents threw parties and had their friends come over, drink, and sleep over after, not because they were alcoholics or purposely wanted to endanger anyone, but because they figured their kids and their friends would drink anyway, and they wanted to know where all of these kids were while drinking and that they were safe.

    Liz´s last post…Stop Thinking, Just Jump

  6. Dana K September 28, 2011 at 8:54 AM #

    Anything forbidden becomes desirable, IMO. I didn’t drink until college. My mom wouldlet us taste her wine (which I thought was sooooo nasty) & she didn’t shield us from alcohol. I also had the “benefit” of witnessing abusive alcoholics for much of my life. I saw the extremes of alcohol use and I didn’t want that in my life. I don’t think all kids will inevitably drink but I think the parental attitude towards alcohol has a lot to do with it. Just like sex, I want my kids to abstain until they are old enough to handle it maturely BUT I want them to be prepared, responsible, & SAFE should they not follow my timeline.

    Great post & interesting product

  7. All Fooked Up September 28, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

    I have a LOT to say on this subject and believe me, i agree with you. The drinking age here is stupid. It’s inevitable they will drink so TEACH THEM THE PROPER WAY.

    Love it, love it, love it

    All Fooked Up´s last post…In which i miss a good Top Hat

  8. JuliaRoberts1 (@Juliaroberts1) September 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM #

    From @AnissaMayhew http://t.co/ZHGBkgLC Learning about drinking.

  9. Dawn Tucker September 28, 2011 at 6:56 AM #

    Yep, quite right. Over here in England the legal age is 18 just when a lot of them are leaving home for Uni and the Students Union bars (along with all the ones in town) are open to them all the time. Makes sense huh! But lets not kid ourselves that’s the first time they’ll be drinking. As of this past w/end, two of mine are now in that situation and I know my son will enjoy himself just as much as his sister has the past two years. (In fact she rang me yesterday morning to apologise if she sounded too drunk on the phone the night before. It’s Freshers week and she’d been out enjoying herself. She actually sounded no different to normal so I’m not sure what that says about her or me!)

    Anyway, they’ve been able to drink a glass of wine or cider with us at a family meal at the w/ends since they were about 16. They see it as normal and not something to do to excess. My youngest son who is now 16 much prefers soft drinks and somehow I can’t see him ever drinking a beer – we’ll see.

    One thing I know they will never do is get in a car when they’ve been drinking any alcohol. All their friends have a good rota sorted out if they’re going out together and I know any of them would call me if they needed me to pick them up. Last October one of my son’s best friends was cycling home at 9pm and was knocked down and killed by a very drunk driver, who happened to be a 32 yr old woman with children, not a teenager. It’s been horrendous and a very hard way to learn a valuable lesson about alcohol. But they ALL learned that lesson. I hope no other mother has to have a knock on the door from the police or sit with their son as he sobs and mourns a dear friend. A week later was the only time I’ve been called to pick up 4 of them who’d got completely plastered to try and forget. I hope I never see my son like that again but all I could think the next morning was how lucky I was that he was alive. I thank God that he can now move on with the next phase of his life.

  10. The Animated Woman September 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

    The drinking age here in Quebec is 18. I wonder if that makes a difference?

    The Animated Woman´s last post…The AUTOGRAPH.

  11. Susie September 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

    When my youngest got her driver’s license I wrote up a contract. In that contract, I put different things in that she had to agree to as a driver. (Don’t drive if you’re drinking, don’t get in a car with any other driver who has drunk, for example, no more than 2 other people in the car). When I handed it to her, she wasn’t that happy and replied, “Who signs contracts?” I told her she was soon becoming an adult, and contracts were a part of life (leases, mortgages, car payments, etc). I also pointed out that she would be driving my car, and I was the registered driver on the registration–which meant I was responsible legally.

    At the end of the contract, I put: “You can call me at anytime for any reason, and I will pick you up. There will be no questions, no lectures, no grounding, etc.”.

    She saw that and signed it. I told her it was a contract between both of us, and I then signed it. It was her first contract and an important life lesson. Communication was and is a 2-way street with kids.

    My sister is a chaplain w/ the CA Highway Patrol and is part of a team who does “door
    notifications”. (i.e. I’m sorry to inform you that your teenager has been killed in a car accident”). I don’t know how she does it, but she has shared some harrowing stories. Even tho’ my kids have heard these stories, I felt the contract was essential. And yes, my daughter never called me, but I still had ample car insurance including a $1 million umbrella on top of that (which is not that expensive). (I prepared for the worst, and prayed for the best.)

    I do have a couple memories of her coming home drunk and underage, where a non-drinking friend brought her home (Both my kids knew the importance of “designated drivers”). I completely agree w/ Julie– a drunk kid is so much better than a dead one. And the next mornings turned into REAL communication between the two of us.

    PS Now go get tomorrow, Anissa, (like you always do)…

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM #

      I LOVELOVELOVE that!

  12. Chloe September 27, 2011 at 6:34 PM #

    Setting the legal drinking age at 21 has just been foolish. It doesn’t keep kids from drinking, it teaches them to drink irresponsibly and to over-drink.

    Drinking becomes this forbidden thing that you have to sneak and to in excess when you get the chance instead of just a normal part of life for most people.

    Chloe´s last post…Save the Planet! One Shrimp at a Time

  13. ThePeachy1 September 27, 2011 at 6:04 PM #

    I showed my kids by example, instead of guarding them from alcohol I made them babysit me, that will teach ‘em. Actually I have one legal age who wont drink, one who is almost legal and goes at it like an olympic event and then the little one, who is still in the OMG why would anyone want to make themselves stupider phase ( obviously he’s pre pubescent and doesn’t realize this is how his father trapped me, apparently I run much slower when I am properly drunk). Regretfully my husband put inside security cameras in our house so he could ” make sure we were safe” which is code for, “woman? did you have a freaking glass of wine at 9am? WTH?” so it’s harder for my kids to learn life lessons, like lying, sneaking out, or even the most holy internet porn.. It’s like he took their childhood ( and my drinking ) then pounced on it with the verve of tigger.

    ThePeachy1´s last post…Hero worship, the line forms here…

    • The Animated Woman September 27, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

      “apparently I run much slower when I am properly drunk”
      So funny. Oh Peach I’ve missed you

      The Animated Woman´s last post…The AUTOGRAPH.

      • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM #

        that thing I said about being a stupor drinker usually begins with “this one time Sandi and I were drinking…..”

  14. Anissa Mayhew (@AnissaMayhew) (@AnissaMayhew) September 27, 2011 at 5:57 PM #

    I WROTE THIS (and think it’s very important) –> http://t.co/eVBstuNY

  15. Cass September 27, 2011 at 5:46 PM #

    100% agree with this post. I tend to keep this opinion to myself, but toally agree.

  16. Gil Gonzalez September 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM #

    Great post, Anissa. I think as parents of teens and pre-teens, we need to foster that environment you write about of understanding, patience, and yes, tolerance. You last line is excellent. “No lecture. No punishment. No threats.” All too often kids do the stupid thing (e.g. get in a car with someone who’s drunk) simply because they’re afraid of getting into trouble. If we as parents remove that fear, how many lives can we save?

  17. krista September 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM #

    My parents did this with me, and we had a great respectful relationship when I was a teen. As long as I was honest about where I was and that I had a ride home, they didn’t necesarrily care what I was up too (as long as I was home by 12). Which often we had to move the party to my backyard to make that happen. And I’m a normal, successful, non-alcoholic (do love the occasional bourbon though), non-smoker, and definitely not a drug-user. So, I think it’s a great idea!

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM #

      I wish more people talked about relationships like the one you grew up with and the end result.

  18. Julie September 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM #

    Yep. So many people will argue that it’s “permission”, but I feel like a parent can offer information and reality to prepare them for the things they aren’t really going to seek permission for. All the way–I will drive anywhere at any time as long as you don’t get in a damn car. A drunk kid at 2 am is always better than a dead kid.

    Julie´s last post…What Will It Take to Get You Into This Set of 120 Glittery Self Adhesive All Occasion Gift Tags?

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM #

      I would give my kid “permission” to be alive ANY day

  19. schmutzie September 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM #

    You’re a smart mama.

    schmutzie´s last post…It’s Done.

    • Anissa Mayhew September 28, 2011 at 9:20 AM #

      I think you could teach my kids a valuable lesson about lessons you fon’t want to learn for yourself

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