Archive for the 'Parents' Category

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I recently had a conversation with the father of a college age female. Through the course of our conversation, which turned to college drinking, he noted that he had attempted to “teach” his daughter to drink before she matriculated as a college freshman. While we’re not condoning a behavior that’s illegal in many states (serving to minors), he raised a relevant point about sending young men and women to college.¬†Although he offered his daughter mild alcohol beverages, she seemed disinterested in consuming alcohol. However, he glibly noted that she probably “learned to drink” from her friends when she arrived at college.

College is, for me, a thing of the not too distant past, and I recall vividly the “peer” education that occurred during that first semester. With high school comfortably behind them, the playing field was, in a strange way, leveled for all students–high school drinkers and non-drinkers were suddenly socializing in the same space. But the social setting looked nothing like that which had been left at home. There was no risk of someone’s parents busting a party, a beer was never too far out of reach, and drinking practices like “tequila circles” (where a handle is passed around and everyone takes a pull) pervaded the campuses my friends and I inhabited.

Whether or not students drank in high school was really irrelevant as college really was a whole different animal. And problems began to present themselves when students inexperienced with most aspects of living away from home began “teaching” their friends how to drink. It was an initiation of sorts, but an initiation by an equally inexperienced initiator. It seems strange, when I consider it, that a parent might spend more time teaching their son or daughter how to do laundry than they do how to drink. Unfortunately, parents are disenfranchised from showing their children how to experience alcohol safely and responsibly.¬†It is not impossible to ruin a load of laundry, but it’s (obviously) incomparable to the dangers that can follow irresponsible alcohol consumption.

[CR]’s proposal supports a drinking license, and it supports parents. Take a moment to read the proposal (found here) and let us know what you think.