Punishment and Grounding For My Drunk 17 Year Old
(Quincy Illinois, USA)
My 17 year old came home drunk and I don't know how to punish him for this kind of behaviour. He does know that it certainly isn't acceptable. I also have 5 other children and don't want them to know that it's ok that when they get to the same age that they can do the same.
I don't drink and I never had to deal with this kind of problem ever in my life. The only thing that comes into my mind is to ground him from the phone and TV and his music. OR is that too much??? He does have a girlfriend that is very sweet, so should I allow him to call her to tell her that I grounded him and that she wont be hearing from him for a while???
I really need some good advice on how to handle this problem I'm having. Please can some one help me?????
It's not that uncommon for 17 year olds to get drunk on occasion. It doesn't make it right, but its part of the growing up process for many kids of that age. So what you don't want to be is overly strict because all you'll do is alienate your son or even cause him to rebel entirely.
When children of that age are starting to discover and experiment with alcohol - they typically have no concept of responsibility and what drinking responsibility entails. So now is the perfect time to install in your son the values of responsible alcohol consumption - because expecting him to not drink at all is unrealistic.
And then at the same time you can set boundaries and agree on what you both feel is an acceptable and responsible level of alcohol consumption - and if those boundaries are ever exceeded, what the consequences (punishment) will be.
That's not to say you shouldn't punish your son now, but what has he then really learned? All he'll start doing is going behind your back, lying to you and say he's staying over with friends - if he then wants to get drunk in future.
So you really want your son to start having a more mature attitude towards alcohol, and that process needs to be driven by you by giving him sufficient freedom to have a good time, while laying down the parameters of what acceptable drinking behavior entails.
It won't be easy but if you can get your son to buy into that, he'll learn so much more than if he's simply punished - because kids are pretty creative and find ways of doing what they want anyway to avoid getting caught.