18 Yr Old Son With a DUI Conviction Coming Home From College To Friends Who Encourage Drinking and Such
How do I handle this situation? My son was arrested 2 days before going away to college. His friends here at home are HUGE partiers. My son has been at a Maritime College with very strict rules.
Having ground rules and boundaries in place is important because it holds your son accountable and makes sure he understands the consequences of drinking irresponsibly.
But whether going about it in quite such a harsh manner is the way to go, is debatable. Yes your son needs to understand he was wrong and acted irresponsibly. At the same time though, teenagers drink and like to have a good time with their friends.
And whether that's against the law or not, it's very much part of teenage culture - and so if your son really wants to drink with his friends, he's going to do it anyway, irrespective of what your rules or the law say. Doesn't make it right, but that's unfortunately the reality.
So it's about trying to teach your son to act more responsibily as far as alcohol goes. Drinking and driving are absolute No No's. Getting in the car with anyone who's had a drink likewise.
But to say your son should not have a drink under any circumstances may end up being counter-productive. Because he'll probably do it anyway - and behind your back. So make it clear that if he ever gets caught DUI or in trouble with the law for any reason due to his drinking - the consequences will be SEVERE.
However tell him you can't stop him drinking and that if he's going to do it - to be more responsible about it. He doesn't have to get drunk, if he's had too much not to get behind the wheel under ANY circumstances, and that he shouldn't feel the need to succumb to peer pressure.
So it's about finding the balance between being firm and strict, while trying to put yourself in your son's shoes and giving him some leeway to have fun with his friends and learn his lessons for himself.
It's not easy and one of the hardest things to do as a parent. Hopefully this DUI will give your son enough of a scare for him to re-evaluate his behavior and start behaving more responsibly.
So you're certainly on the right track. It's just a question of whether balancing your message with a bit more understanding of where your son is at in his life right now, may not reap greater benefits in the long run. But you're the parent so trust your instincts and do what you think is best.
Best of Luck
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