Social Hosting – a parent’s dilemma

With Prom Nights & Graduation, Parties & Celebration – should we be Social Hosting?

Social Hosting – but they promised they wouldn’t drink! photo by tiagotrs

Kids will be kids, remember you were one once too – they’re going to party somewhere, aren’t they? If teens are going to party anyway, should we keep them in a safe environment and be a Social Host in our own home?

And so the argument goes, parents should be parents – underage drinking is illegal therefore parents should not allow it, period! But the story here is about parents who hosted a teen party that was supposed to be alcohol free, they supervised it, heading into the fray a couple of times and found no alcohol, but an anonymous call brought the police to the party – they found alcohol and arrested the parents for hosting the evening.

Social Hosting Laws

Social Hosting liability is created by a statute or case law that imposes liability on social hosts as a result of their serving alcohol to adults or minors. TODAYMoms discusses ‘Social Hosting Laws’ – many states have different laws, and under some of them, a parent can face criminal charges and hefty fines if an accident occurs as the result of any underage drinking, even if you’re not at home, or say, you’re on vacation! DAD ARRESTED FOR KIDS UNDERAGE DRINKING
Bill Burnett and his wife Cynthia talk with TODAY’S Matt Lauer about the complicated issue.

Prohibition didn’t work with adults

History taught us that Prohibition, aimed at eliminating the consumption of alcohol in adult males, was not very successful, stories of rum runners, moonshine and hooch distilleries abound. Now, throw into the mix, hormone driven teenagers, a bonfire of emotions and a brain that’s not fully developed and they’re going to party on their own, in some deserted area and drive home, and we have all heard those endless sad stories.

Is there a way to teach responsible drinking?

One is certainly struck by the notion that if we teach our children how to drive, why don’t teach them how to drink – and never to combine the two.  Some experts say that American parents should take a page out of Southern Europe’s approach to alcohol and remove the taboo, while others claim despite anecdotal reports of adults teaching youth to drink in moderation, survey data provide no evidence that European youth are more responsible about alcohol consumption than American youth.  Perhaps the lesson is not about moderation, but rather perception and mystique – how do we break the youthful notion that alcohol is not some magical potion?

Considering Social Hosting?
Investigate Influencing your child’s behavior with a contract before hand

Parents all have different Parenting Styles and each brings a different approach to every situation in our efforts to protect and nurture. In essence, if parents can make a deep emotional connection with their child before they enter their crazy teens, that foundational bond will grow and adapt as the terms of engagement become more intricate and emotionally charged. If you’re considering social hosting for your teen and their friends, consider Behavioral Contracting first – it’s a real non-nonsense place to begin.

Have you heard about Behavioral Contracting? Family IQ has an amazing approach for parents to teach responsibility to their children that uses consequences as the coach.

Do you let your teen have a drink with you at home?

Would you host a party for your teenager with the understanding that there would be no alcohol?