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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    Try not to catastrophise this. I smoked, and drank (started when I was 13) and went on to have very healthy relationships and have a very normal relationship with alcohol. And I have alcoholics in my family.

    I would try and not be angry. Tell him you're disappointed. Sadly he's not breaking any laws so unless he's buying the cigarettes he's not breaking any laws.
    Just wanted to say thanks for this Sonja, I know you're right. It feels very painful when it involves someone so precious and loved. He will always be my firstborn precious boy.

  2. #42
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    Default smoking teenager - WWYD?

    My intention is not to come across as rude but I do believe you may be overreacting a little bit.

    Experimentation in alcohol and smoking- whilst undesirable- is common amongst teens. I went to an academic selective school -ie the best and brightest- so we were without the usual undesirable element and I can assure you that the overwhelming majority drank underage and had the odd cigarette.
    It doesn't mean your boy is on the edge of throwing his future away or that his friends are bad influences or drop kids- just typical teenagers. Sane with the other parents they are simply trying to navigate through these difficult years.

    I'm not condoning the behaviour at all but just wanted to give you reassurance that your boy sounds wonderful but infuriatingly normal as well.

    Big hugs OP, everybody dreads being in your situation but it's something most of us will face in the future. Good luck xxx
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 24-02-2016 at 10:15.

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  4. #43
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    Last edited by Clarabelle; 25-02-2016 at 21:32.

  5. #44
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    hi clarabelle, please have more conversations with your son now that the emotions have passed. share with him that you know how important it is to feel part of a group. and to fit in. that all of that is normal behaviour for teenagers. tell him that you hope he has seen how distraught you and his dad feel to see that he is not following your preferred behaviours. It is normal for kids to try smoking and drinking, but it is so easy for these things to become a habit. Now that the air is clear, and you know he understands where you are at, tell him you expect more of him, and if he feels that hanging out with these friends will lead him to continue with the smoking /drinking, then perhaps he should not spend time with them. I think it is important for you to let him find his own way for a little bit. He could well find that if he stands up and says no, the rest of the group will stop or drift apart. I feel he will benefit if he is allowed to stand by himself. He knows clearly, how you feel, and he should also know to respect your wishes. I understand how you would feel angry towards the other parents, but that is only a waste of your energy. I hope I haven't stepped over the line, but I just felt I needed to put those thoughts to you. hugs, marie.

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  7. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Sunshine View Post
    My intention is not to come across as rude but I do believe you may be overreacting a little bit.

    Experimentation in alcohol and smoking- whilst undesirable- is common amongst teens. I went to an academic selective school -ie the best and brightest- so we were without the usual undesirable element and I can assure you that the overwhelming majority drank underage and had the odd cigarette.
    It doesn't mean your boy is on the edge of throwing his future away or that his friends are bad influences or drop kids- just typical teenagers. Sane with the other parents they are simply trying to navigate through these difficult years.

    I'm not condoning the behaviour at all but just wanted to give you reassurance that your boy sounds wonderful but infuriatingly normal as well.

    Big hugs OP, everybody dreads being in your situation but it's something most of us will face in the future. Good luck xxx
    This

  8. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Oh, I also told him that no sport is not an option. I have to work out something he can do now that football is out. Any ideas? He has to have a knee reconstruction but knee is stable enough for surfing etc. Surfing isn't a sport though, more a recreational activity - I think he needs something else.
    Maybe he could look at rowing, cycling or swimming? I'm guessing that anything where his knee moves in a straight line without twisting might be ok? Rowing especially would be great, it's a team sport and the early starts mean you can't be out late partying the night before a training session or regatta!

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  10. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by besha View Post
    Maybe he could look at rowing, cycling or swimming? I'm guessing that anything where his knee moves in a straight line without twisting might be ok? Rowing especially would be great, it's a team sport and the early starts mean you can't be out late partying the night before a training session or regatta!
    I was going to suggest those too. Or even water polo.

    Keep talking to him OP. Now it's all out in the open, just keep talking. I don't think you've over-reacted. While I agree that smoking and drinking is almost a right of passage for teenagers, that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to it. And personally, I'd be very upset that my -6yo was going down that path and lying to me about it.

    For every kid who has dabbled in it and stopped, I'm sure there's one who has dabbled, gotten in deeper and tarted experimenting with drugs etc. It's a slippery slope. I used to sneak smokes at 16 too. Was in my 20's when I quit for good. Luckily I found it easy, but most of the kids at school I hung out with still smoke now. Not something I want for my child. And I definitely don't want them to be part of the binge drinking culture we have going on here in Australia. So many young men can't handle their booze these days and it's leading to violence and death. We need to change that and encourage our kids to drink and behave responsibly.

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  12. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Little Miss Sunshine, you're right, yes. I do sound judgmental and I know most parents really are just trying to do the best they can. Mine is not the popular opinion and while some parents feel their decision to supply their kids with alcohol is the right one, I think, just sometimes, it is the easier one to make. I know that pushing the boundaries is all normal behaviour, just some kids don't get through it successfully and that is a frightening thought.
    I can only speak for my parents, but choosing to "supply" (not the right word) us with alcohol was NOT an easy decision for them to make- both have alcoholics on their side of the family, and some of them are violent people after only one drink.
    It took years of conversation when we were young for them to decide what they would do if faced with us drinking underage.
    I think they made the right decision- only 3 of us are old enough to drink (I'm 27, brother 25, sister 18) and we rarely do. The other two are 13 and 8- they have spoken to the 13 year old about their 'rules' but not the 8 year old yet.
    All of our friends were told about how awful smoking and drinking and drugs are- facts were given of course but it was very much "my way or punishment" which clearly did not work as they are all big drinkers and smokers...and quite a few have been in and out of rehab for drink and drug offences.

    Of course, there is always the chance that my parents were just lucky with us, but I really believe it was because they were open- they made sure we knew their preferences but didn't punish us for pushing boundaries, as that is what teens do. It was conversation, conversation, conversation. And it worked for us.

    Now, I'm not sure what the actual legalities are here, but where I am from you can drink and smoke at 16- but you cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes until 18. And it is completely up to parents if they choose to give their child a drink- it's not illegal at any age, but is frowned upon.
    Actually I just checked and what it says is it is illegal under the age of consent- which is currently 17.

    ETA: just looked up Australian law. Seems to vary by state. Some restrict possession and consumption to over 18, all states restrict purchasing to over 18. However, it seems minors can legally consume alcohol in a private residence with parental supervision.

    So while you might not like or agree to it, parents giving their kids alcohol is not illegal.
    Last edited by DT75; 24-02-2016 at 12:34.

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  14. #49
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    Last edited by Clarabelle; 25-02-2016 at 21:33.

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  16. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DT75 View Post
    I can only speak for my parents, but choosing to "supply" (not the right word) us with alcohol was NOT an easy decision for them to make- both have alcoholics on their side of the family, and some of them are violent people after only one drink.
    It took years of conversation when we were young for them to decide what they would do if faced with us drinking underage.
    I think they made the right decision- only 3 of us are old enough to drink (I'm 27, brother 25, sister 18) and we rarely do. The other two are 13 and 8- they have spoken to the 13 year old about their 'rules' but not the 8 year old yet.
    All of our friends were told about how awful smoking and drinking and drugs are- facts were given of course but it was very much "my way or punishment" which clearly did not work as they are all big drinkers and smokers...and quite a few have been in and out of rehab for drink and drug offences.

    Of course, there is always the chance that my parents were just lucky with us, but I really believe it was because they were open- they made sure we knew their preferences but didn't punish us for pushing boundaries, as that is what teens do. It was conversation, conversation, conversation. And it worked for us.

    Now, I'm not sure what the actual legalities are here, but where I am from you can drink and smoke at 16- but you cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes until 18. And it is completely up to parents if they choose to give their child a drink- it's not illegal at any age, but is frowned upon.
    Actually I just checked and what it says is it is illegal under the age of consent- which is currently 17.

    ETA: just looked up Australian law. Seems to vary by state. Some restrict possession and consumption to over 18, all states restrict purchasing to over 18. However, it seems minors can legally consume alcohol in a private residence with parental supervision.

    So while you might not like or agree to it, parents giving their kids alcohol is not illegal.
    DT, good points and I'm glad it worked for your family. At this point though, for me, it really just goes against my better judgment. I think, generally speaking, it's not the right way to go and there's plenty of research to back it up. I can't provide links, as I read this a while back, but there is a psychologist named Aric Sigman who says that letting kids sample alcohol in the home does not generally lead to good outcomes. The so called "french approach" where parents let their children drink in the home simply builds a tolerance to alcohol and all the health implications of that. Also, medical technology in recent years has shown that the brains of teenagers are significantly effected by alcohol - much more so than adults. A young man doesn't have full brain development until, I think, around 27. There is also a 5 year Australian study soon to be completed that seems to back all this up. I also read that one teenager dies every week in Australia from alcohol related accidents. So there are a lot of reasons why it shouldn't be encouraged.

    I also get that plenty of people have experienced exactly what you've described and it's all worked out ok.


 

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