My son took his first drink at 19 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 11-28-2005, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found this out : . He told me that a few months ago he just wanted to try it. We have alcoholics on both sides of the family. He did more than try it. He got drunk and threw up. My husband and I don't drink and we've always tried to be a good example. He is in college and is a good kid, so I don't think I'll have to worry about it too much. How did you guys handle this when you found out they drank?
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#2 of 35 Old 11-28-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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My family is full of drunks. my dad says alcholics go to meetings, drunks just drink.

I've been a little drunk twice in my life. I've been really drunk and thrown up once in my life.

I'm now 30, we, my dh and I, don't drink. It just isn't necessary. I would guess your son tried it, because he is in college and that's what everyone does. But now, he's tried it, and puked his guts up, why would you want to do it again?
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#3 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 12:02 AM
 
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19 is the legal drinking age in Canada, so it wouldn't bother me. Even a 19yo in the US it wouldn't bother me. I'd be grateful he waited that long.
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#4 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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What exactly are your concerns? Is he aware of them?
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#5 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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Honestly, when I saw the title to the thread I thought it was a *good* thing that he had waited until he was 19.

I will be thrilled if DD waits that long to have her first drink. Of course, even later would be even better. But I started drinking at 14/15, so I will be happy if she doesn't drink at all in high school!

Only time will tell...

I'm sure your DS has a good head on his shoulders (hey, he told you!!) and he'll make smart decisions. trust him
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#6 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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I'd be more worried about him binge drinking. I'd discuss the responsible use of alcohol. Otherwise, he's an adult and you should trust him to make good decisions. Obviously, he was honest and told you about it, so perhaps he realized the errors of his ways.

Hth
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#7 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 12:31 AM
 
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I agree- I'd be glad he waited until he was 19. I had already been drunk many many times by the time I was 19. I'd share my concerns with him and made sure he understood them- at this point-that's the best thing you can do for him. Young adults at this age are still very sensitive to judgment- so make sure you are as non-judgmental as possible- and share with him the facts.

Unfortunately drinking is something we can't protect our kids from- and it's something they really have to experience to make good decisions about. Hopefully everything goes ok for him, and most of the time it does. I'd make sure he was aware of the family history as well, and that he knows that if he ever needs help he knows where he can go.

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#8 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 01:48 AM
 
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at least he TOLD you. and there is not a HUGE difference between 19 and 21. I had been living on my own for two years at age 19 and was married at age 21. didn't bother with alcohol until age 19 and never drank much or often since then. two or three parties and about six months of occasional drinking and there are more alcoholics than not in my family. it's good to keep the communication open with him and NOT really express that disappointment. It sounds like you are a really involved and thoughtful parent
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#9 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 02:01 AM
 
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i would not worrie However the way i was raised i had wine with dinner and one special events at the age 10 yrs old and now i have never been what most would call drunk or had more then may be 3 glass a wine in one day. It just how people teach there children about it if its something bad or frobiden then ya there going to try it but with my family it was no big deal
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#10 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 02:37 AM
 
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My children had their first drinks when I handed them a cup (1oz) of wine at Synagogue!

I hope my children never "get drunk" but I wouldn't be surprised if they got drunk once or twice before deciding it wasn't a pleasant experience. As long as they do so responsibly (no drunk driving, no going home with strangers, etc) I'm OK with that.

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#11 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 01:45 PM
 
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I pray my kids wait till they are 19 to get drunk for the first time.
THey all have (or will have) tried alcohol before then. We serve wine at special holiday dinners a few times a year, and children are welcome to their own glass. ( usually they take one sip and decide they'd rather have the martinellis though) I got "tipsy" for the first time at about 12 at home on Christmas eve. (finishing off everybodys wine glasses when clearing the table). Alcohol was never a taboo in my family and I never felt any strong pull towards it as a teenager, perhaps because I had already tried it and didnt like it. There was nothing to "sneak".
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#12 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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The age of 19 doesn't seem to be that big of a deal to me really. I would be more concerned with the binge aspect of it (getting drunk). Did you discuss that with him to let him know your concerns? Did he say what the thought about it afterwards?

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#13 of 35 Old 11-29-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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What does he say about it? How does he feel?

I totally understand the desire to try it and am very impressed by the fact he waited untill 19!

Do talk to him about it, but I would remember that it was his *first* time so there was no way he knew how it would feel, what effect it would have on his body, basically what his comfortable "dose" was. So I would not call it "binging" at this point. Those of us who do occasionally drink know that it can be hard to estimate the effects on the body - sometimes one does not feel drunk right away.

Oh, and just to put your minds at ease about what I am saying - it took me a few times to find *my* limit. You know what it is? 1/2 wine gets me "tipsy". Full glass of wine gets me drunk

PS. My son had his first "experience" at 17, and he also told me about it. We talked, I did not make a super big deal out of it, but did not take it lightly. He is 18 now and did not have a second "experience" yet.
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#14 of 35 Old 11-30-2005, 09:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy
19 is the legal drinking age in Canada, so it wouldn't bother me. Even a 19yo in the US it wouldn't bother me. I'd be grateful he waited that long.
It has only been the past 20+years that the legal drinking age was 21, not 18. When I turned 18 I could drink in most states in the South.
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#15 of 35 Old 11-30-2005, 10:23 AM
 
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i think you should be proud he waited so long. Of course he threw up- I threw up the first time I drank alcohol too. You don't know your limits, or what to expect

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#16 of 35 Old 11-30-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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I agree with pp who said you should be proud he went that long. My dd tried alcohol the first time when she was 11 or 12 years old. She and a friend were at an adult party with her mom and rum and vodka were out on the kitchen table. They snuck in there and poured some and drank it. My dd hated it and never wanted to try it again (she's 18 now and she rarely drinks alcohol); but her friend got a little too much and felt sick for the rest of the day.

My dd told me about it right after it happened and I just thought it was funny.
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#17 of 35 Old 12-01-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it... in fact, like PP, I'd be glad he waited that long. My family has a long history of alcoholism (and drugs too) on both sides. I started drinking when I was 17... I knew I couldn't talk to my mom about it because she'd flip... I was raised to think that drinking was bad, period. So I hid it. I drank pretty heavily until I was 19, then tapered off a bit. By the time I was 21 I rarely drank at all. In fact, since I turned 21 ten years ago, I've only been drunk maybe 3 times. So obviously I didn't fall into the pattern my mom was scared of.

I do wish I'd been able to talk to her about it though. Probably wouldn't have drank anywhere near as much as I did when I was a teen. But it was so taboo that it appealed to me.
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#18 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 02:56 AM
 
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I would be worried about how constantly he drinks and then if he's binge drinking. Some people are able to be satisfied and stop after a couple of drinks and this is fine. But others, depending on their maturity and their mind set, will try and get so drunk that they throw up. Talk about it to him. Let him know your concerns. Make sure he never thinks it's o.k. to drive after any drink. And remind him that it's still illegal at his age. I can understand that you would be worried about him. We have addicts on both sides of the family too, and I had a problem in high school, so if our children got drunk when they're teens, we would be worried.

It would be silly to think that just because he threw up, this would be enough to deter him from ever drinking again. There are some people who actually enjoy doing that and will seek out opportunities to binge drink. It just depends on the person.

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#19 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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It would be silly to think that just because he threw up, this would be enough to deter him from ever drinking again.
I agree, especially before he knows his limit and it can take a while to figure that out. Limits change too. When I was 16 I mixed myself drinks that were 90% alcohol and 10% mix and never got drunk, now 1-2glasses of wine and I'm tipsy or drunk depending on the day and how long it's been since I last drank.

I wouldn't necessarily be proud that he waited until he was 19 to get drunk, it's not something you'd write home about or put in the Xmas letter you know.lol I'd be happy he waited.

Getting drunk does not mean a person is binging either.

I'd talk to him about the reason he drank. Was is because his friends were drinking or is it the stresses of college. The answer would make a huge difference between whether I took it further or left it alone. At 19 you can't do anything, but if the stress of college is what caused him to drink then with a history of alcoholism he's on a slippery slope and you could help him find ways to deal with it other thank drinking.
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#20 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 01:25 PM
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I may be a little different than some in my thinking. Dh and I both have alcholics in our families but maybe the real issue is addictive leanings in gereneral. We both agree on the philosophy of learning how to drink responsibly. Our dd, age 12, has had wine with her meal a couple of times. She knows the taste of beer and wine coolers. She watches us and sees how we drink. The point is to her it is nothing to go crazy over. There is no curiousity over what it taste like. She has never seen anyone drunk nor does she think it a good idea. Your son should be told, IMO, to be very careful of binge drinking but maybe it's ok to have a, as in ONE or TWO, beers with his friends. Once you get to the point of puking, you're edging towards alcohol poisining. Your body is saying HELP! Here in Minnesota there are cases every year of some college kid wandering off and either freezing to death of drowning because they had such impaired judgement due to drinking. I just think he needs to understand that some stupid stuff can happen from binge drinking...
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#21 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 02:22 PM
 
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there is alcoholism in my family and I have been in recovery from this for years-- when my children have drank I have worried just like you.
I have expressed my concerns with my children and bottom line once they are adults, it is their life-- I have no control and at times have had little influence. after a few stories that they had freely told me including riding in a car with drunk drivers and having a wreck, even after all the bargains I made with them to call and I would come and get them no matter where, when, what they were doing-and they didn't call me that was my emotional limit. I told my older kids I still wanted them to call if they needed a ride and to never drive drunk themselves but if they chose not to do this sane thing then- they were not free to tell me stupid crazy details about their lives any more that they would have to be responsible
for knowing just how much I would disapprove and that I have no forgiveness for this type of action-- within the time period that they were riding with drunk drivers we had 2 family friends affected by drunk driving one was killed by a drunk driver- not only did this driver in a truck run over him on his motorcycle but didn't know what had happened so backed up and ran over him a second time, the other was a 19 yo- legal age but not legal to drink, any how he was at his girl friend's house and her mother and father served them drinks and then the guy and his girl(their daughter) left the house in his car to get food and he had a car wreck that ended up with her dead-- he went to jail- not juvy but big time jail- her family didn't even get into trouble for serving them, it has been really heart breaking all the way around.the kid who went to jail has had his life ruined and he is truly a changed person-he hangs out with criminals all the time- and all the horrible things you could imagine did happen to him in prison.
in any case that you and your DH do not drink and if you are doing some type of personal work - like recovery there is a good chance that if your child is an alcoholic he will also be more likely to get into recovery(there have been some studies that show this). It could be it is just normal rare drinking and you can let your fears be known but I don't think that there is a way to stop an alcoholic from being one from the outside- I think it has to be an internal choice and recognition.
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#22 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Nothing I could do, he's an adult and ready to make his own choices. I would like to say that I have had plenty of binge drinking days in my youth (teenage years) and come from a alcoholic family and am not an alcoholic.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#23 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momofteens05
I just found this out : . He told me that a few months ago he just wanted to try it. We have alcoholics on both sides of the family. He did more than try it. He got drunk and threw up. My husband and I don't drink and we've always tried to be a good example. He is in college and is a good kid, so I don't think I'll have to worry about it too much. How did you guys handle this when you found out they drank?
First I wanted to say that you must have a good relationship with your son if he shared with you that he got drunk, especially since you and your husband don't drink because of alcoholism in your families. Congratulations.
Second, I agree with the PP who said that 19 is much older than when most teens try drinking alcohol, so I think that says a lot about your son too.
Third, I wouldn't assume that because he threw up, he will not get drunk again. I too would talk to him about drinking responsibly if he is going to drink.
And I would also remind him about not drinking and driving(or taking a ride from some one who has been).

We are another family here who let our children try wine with dinner and on special occasions, share a toast with us. So the first time they tried/had alcohol was with the family in our home.
As far as drinking in college, none of my 3 older kids drank to the point of throwing up, and I know that they drink beer, cocktails and wine with their friends when they have parties. And I also must say that all of my kids are very aware(and have been since they were pre-teens) that we have several close relatives who are alcoholics and what that information might mean for them. And we still talk about drinking responsibly with our 3 oldest, even though they are all adults now.

Take Care,
Erika :
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"Knowledge without compassion is useless"-SCW
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#24 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 05:49 PM
 
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I agree with most of the posters here in that I think 19 and in college, drinking is normal.

Please don't worry about the "binge drinking." That is, in fact, college drinking. Just make sure to impart to him the importance of NOT DRIVING.

www.helpjacqui.com

That website hits home with most everyone and shows the devastation drunk driving can cause.

As for alcoholism, we used to say in school that we could tell which of our friends truly had a problem with alcohol only AFTER we graduated. Getting drunk at 12 noon is funny in college, and alcoholic as an adult.

I'd just be careful not to project too much on alcoholism etc. connected to binge drinking. I know VERY FEW college students who didnt binge drink on occasion. Driving and safety would be my only concern.

Sounds like you raised a great son who is honest with you! Bravo!
XOXO
Beth

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#25 of 35 Old 12-02-2005, 09:50 PM
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19 is legal where I live.

18 is legal in Quebec

to be honest, at least he waited till 19 and told you. Let him learn his limits, he's an adult now, If you see that he needs help down the road, help him. to be honest, flipping out on a 19yr old is pretty pointless since they are adults already...
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#26 of 35 Old 03-19-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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He is 19 and you are worried that he is drinking?!?!?! That just seems odd to me. I think you would be happy that he waited that long! Most kids start MUCH younger than that! I don't think it is logical for you to be so concerned.
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#27 of 35 Old 03-20-2006, 03:16 AM
 
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I may be a little different than some in my thinking. Dh and I both have alcholics in our families but maybe the real issue is addictive leanings in gereneral. We both agree on the philosophy of learning how to drink responsibly. Our dd, age 12, has had wine with her meal a couple of times. She knows the taste of beer and wine coolers. She watches us and sees how we drink. The point is to her it is nothing to go crazy over. There is no curiousity over what it taste like. She has never seen anyone drunk nor does she think it a good idea. Your son should be told, IMO, to be very careful of binge drinking but maybe it's ok to have a, as in ONE or TWO, beers with his friends. Once you get to the point of puking, you're edging towards alcohol poisining. Your body is saying HELP! Here in Minnesota there are cases every year of some college kid wandering off and either freezing to death of drowning because they had such impaired judgement due to drinking. I just think he needs to understand that some stupid stuff can happen from binge drinking...
AMEN!!!

Problem drinking is a big problem in my family.
Hence why we were at a young age educated, shown it was no big deal, told if we wanted to drink we were to do it at home period. When I turned legal I don't think I even ordered a beer.... okay so I took up smoking instead... But alchohol was shown to be not a big deal, something to be 'respected' as a damaging force. We were told not to drink unless we wanted that glass of wine but if we drank for the effect of booze then we had a problem.

I had many friends who the moment they could drank and drank. They didn't know what the difference between a drink, tipsy, drunk and please pump my stomach was. To a child not educated in alchohol 1oz -10oz of booze doesn't seem that different... and depending on the type of alchohol.... It was something rebelious their parents disapproved of, it had power. For me that's probably why I smoked....

8 might be enough
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#28 of 35 Old 03-21-2006, 01:26 AM
 
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#29 of 35 Old 03-26-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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This is my first post, which I am making because I am a little surprised and confused by the attitude that kind of says "they are all going to do it". My kids (14 & 16) know that if they drink, there will be no consequences from me. They can absolutely call me when needed. All during spring break there have been many many conversations re: drinking (and sex, and bustin' loose which I didn't know means ejaculation, and girls boobs, and smoking pot). I have been thrilled to be allowed to be part of these conversations among my boys and their friends. For the most part I just keep quiet, unless there is clear misinformation (i.e. crystal meth and crack are less dangerous than coke, or if one pulls out then pg is not possible). I want the kids to all know I am available and will do my best to not judge their teenage decisions. So, that is who I am.

What surprises me is the attitude that drinking is ok. There is so much information re: brain studies and the changes in the brain (miniature brain damage) and in the formation of the neuro-pathways when alcohol is introduced before about 15. Obviously the brain isn't done growing until about a decade later, but there is still something about early (safe, at home, with mom and dad, or unsafe out with older teens) introduction of alcohol into the brain. And binge drinking, or drinking huge amounts every now and then, is an even bigger deal for the developing brain.

Sorry for the lengthy post, I just wanted to make sure the brain info was out there.

What we have done since the kids were about 6 or 7 is discuss the science behind alcohol use, the legality of drinking under age or providing alcohol for underage drinkers, lots of DUI info, the reasons for using alcohol, other coping techniques, and no moral judgements. Now that they are older we also give them ideas for dealing with peer pressure (like carrying around a partially full glass or bottle so that people assume they are drinking.) We hope that they will stand up for what they believe, but just in case, it is nice to have alternatives. They just choose to skip keg parties where a minimum amount of drinking is required in order to stay.

More power to your 19 year old. Just because it is typical doesn't mean it is normal, and just because most people drink doesn't mean that you can't find other ways to cope, to relax, to have fun.

Wow, what a tirade. Apparently this is a subject close to home that we are just starting to deal with! So, nice meeting you all.
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#30 of 35 Old 04-13-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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i'm with a lot of the PPs. i was drinking by 14 and drunk at school more times than i like to admit from 15 on. in hind sight, i just sort of shake my head and think how dumb can you get. at the time i used to pat myself on the back because i didn't drink and drive. and the fact that he told you is also great. just remember to breathe when he tells you these things.
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