My Son is a College Binge Drinker
My son is 23 yrs old and is about to graduate from college. He is great person until he decides to go on a drinking binge and then he does irresponsible things (wants to fight anyone or everyone, sends disgusting text messages, called the cops and wanted to be an informant) - but of course the next day he's sorry for all his actions.
About a year ago he got a DUI and was not accepted into a particular college because he failed the drug and alcohol test. He is still in denial that he has an issue but as a parent I am at a loss. I have read a lot of info on the internet and it says don't try and make them angry and don't back them in a corner. I don't know what or how to approach him.
Can someone please tell me what to say to him? Do I let him know that I know of his actions or do I just tell him I love him and support him and let go down the wrong path.
The way to approach this is to talk to your son with honesty and love, telling him you know what he's doing (binge drinking, behaving irresponsibly, wasting opportunities) and that you're worried about him, but that because he's an adult he is responsible for the choices he makes and so there is nothing you can do to stop him.
And that's the truth, if binge drinking and behaving out of control as a result is what your son wants to do, no one can stop him. But that doesn't mean you can't be honest with your son and have a real honest conversation with him about what he's doing and what your feelings are.
He has to start learning to live with the consequences of his choices ... and if his binge drinking is getting him into trouble (DUI's, missing out on college of choice etc.)... he has to take full responsibility for that. Because often it takes things getting bad enough, for someone to admit they have a drinking problem
and then be prepared to do something about it.
So as a parent, you need to be careful not to inadvertently enable your son's behavior by trying to protect him or cover up for him when he gets himself in a mess. Also don't be afraid to put clear boundaries in place, so that if he breaks those, there are clear consequences, e.g. if he gets caught DUI, you'll take away his car.
Hopefully his binge drinking and behaving like he is, is nothing more than a passing phase, which is unfortunately all too common during college life. But the main thing to understand here is that you can't control your son, and if he doesn't think there is a problem, nothing you say or do will have much of a difference right now.
However that doesn't mean you shouldn't say/do anything - make your feelings clear, ensure he experiences the full consequences of his destructive choices, and don't be scared to put boundaries in place. That way if the consequences of his drinking become bad enough, he might start to re-evaluate what he's doing, and learn to make healthier choices in time.
There is no quick fix, but hopefully as your son matures, things will start getting better. Best of Luck.