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How Can Parents Prevent Underage Drinking?

Parenting can be a challenge. What advice can you give parents who find their underage children drinking?

Last week, underage parties were at the forefront of both local and statewide news.

Last Wednesday, 18 year-old Caleb Chafee, the son of Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, w after he held a graduation party in Exeter on May 28.   with Middletown’s social host ordinance after police broke-up a party that involved underage drinking.  

A common reaction to both stories, both locally and statewide, was that parents should be held accountable for their children's behavior.

“I hate to point the finger but teaching these kids respect falls in the parents lap,” said a Patch reader with the alias of

Another Patch reader by the alias of agreed, “Most kids of today are unaware of how to act, what is right and wrong due to the parents not being able to teach.”

Eighteen can can be a confusing age in our country.  For many, it is a transition period into adulthood. An 18 year-old is old enough to vote, enlist in the military, go off to college or enter the workforce full time, but not drink.   

In this period where teenagers turn into adults, parenting can be a challenge. What advice can you give parents who find their underage child drinking?  What did your parents do?

Devin Geer August 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Answering this topic today in detail would probably get my parents arrested! In a nut shell, growing up my parents put the fear of god in me and my brothers, but we respected them. My friends felt the same way about them and we all felt the same way to each others parents. Not a day would go by and a situation would arrise where we didnt stop and think "I wonder how mad mom will be if I do this?!" 90% of the time that was enough NOT to do something. In regards to underage drinking? It falls right in the same catagory. Personally I think if parents could find the happy medium of being in your child's life positively but not overwhelming, it would solve more problems than just this one. Just my $.02
Nancy Moniz August 29, 2012 at 03:22 AM
How does it fall in the parents lap if the eighteen year old does not live at home. The public and the media did not get the whole story of what happened with the 18 year old girl. She was moving things into a house with a couple of friends when one of them texted that she was in an abandoned house. Before long the first wave of about 20 kids showed up n the back yard and walked into the house while the girl was screaming at them to leave they threatened to beat her up she did not even know who she was, Then kids kept showing up and it was out of control. She was happy when the police got there. This girl was a victim in this case not a criminal. She was brought to the hospital bleeding and did not have one ounce of alcohol. This was a case of bullying and twitter thats how this incident was out of control.
Devin Geer August 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Nancy? I'm sure you have some sort of personal relationship to Miss Maddox so I understand you trying to defend her. But if you take a deep breath and read this story I'm sure Cheese Ball and William would agree their comments are based towards the kids who tried to fight with police officers. The reports never mentioned Miss Maddox ever drinking just being "cited with Middletown's social host ordinance". Point, blank, period. If there are other stories going around making her sound like a criminal then it's all rumor from her peers, obviously not true enough to make the news. IMO a situation like this still falls into the parent's lap whether the kids live at home or not because the parents should have taught their children respect. Why would anyone feel it's ok to fight with a police officer when you are in the wrong?
Olga Enger (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Nancy, The original story did state Kaylin told police the party had escalated as a result of social media as well how she was injured. The reports did not include anything about bullying, which is something that should be covered. Please let Kaylin know she can email middletown@patch.com to set up a time discuss.

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