My son has reached another developmental stage in his life...alcohol.
For me this is the 3rd time as a parent, I've been through this and as a teen myself previously and 14 years as a Youth Worker...I know the excuses, the cover ups, the stories....
So I thought I'd share with you what my kids experiences of alcohol...I'll not publish any of the excuses I've used as the kids have access to my blog and I don't want to give them any ideas.
Eldest child, now 22, arrived home at 2am when he was 17, his Dad was away for the night, I was awake, I was angry as he'd said he'd be home by 10pm, I'd told him if he wanted to be later that was fine with me, just call and let me know so I can lock up, leave a key for you and go to sleep.
2am door bell rings, I open door, he is soaking wet, it's not been raining and he stinks of booze... 'I fell in the fountain in town, it's chlorine you can smell' I hadn't uttered a word.
He took himself to bed, making excuses, me still silent....and I went to bed also.
At 7am I woke him, loudly, informed him I'd emailled college to say he was coming in, wasn't ill, just a hangover and they weren't to let him go early, he got home at 5pm after a 2hr bus journey, due to an accident, as white as a ghost and he was marched upstairs to collect his wet clothes from the night before, strip his bedding as he had slept in his wet clothes, wash, dry and iron and clean his room.
Lesson learnt?....No he did the same 2 weeks later, but this time I didn't open the door for him, he slept in the shed till I woke him at 7am, called college etc.
Next son just never came home when he had been drinking, he stayed at a mates over night, I knew he was drinking under age as friends of his, his brothers and my friends told me, but never any trouble.
The latest is the 16 year old...he had a dodgy pizza a few weeks back...yeah right, it didn't smell like Pizza when I went downstairs to strip the beds after a sleep over. The boys had left early before I was awake, the youngest saw them go. Refused to answer mobile phones, so called one of the other parents, told her what had happened, boys arrived, sheepishly, 20 minutes later, expecting a bollocking to be told, beds need stripping, carpet and matresses need washing as do all the sheets, floor will need hoovering and I passed them the bucket and cleaning materials...I inspected the job, then I allowed them to go.
The youngest asked me the other day, why I didn't shout, tell them off, issue punishments?
I told him, kids drink, we all did and you probably will also. I need to know they are safe, I need to know they will come home, I need to know where they are and what they are doing. If I shout and issue punishments that aren't relevant, they'll take it under ground and I need to know they are safe.