Dad doesn’t like son’s drink­ing

The Commercial Appeal - - Sunday Break -

Dear Har­ri­ette: My young adult chil­dren have been slyly drink­ing at fam­ily events re­cently. They are 20-year-old twins, so they have not reached the le­gal drink­ing age. I caught my son hold­ing a beer in the kitchen and im­me­di­ately made him pour it down the drain. He does not even know his own lim­its!

Is my son be­ing dis­re­spect­ful by drink­ing in my home? I think so; how­ever, my wife thinks it is safer that he drinks with us to fig­ure out how he han­dles his liquor. — Fam­ily Not Booze, Dal­las

Dear Fam­ily Not Booze: While I do not con­done un­der­age drink­ing, I will say that it is likely that if they were drink­ing in your home, there’s a good chance they have been drink­ing in other places, too.

Do your best to have a non­judg­men­tal con­ver­sa­tion with your kids about their choices. Re­mind them of the rea­sons you do not rec­om­mend that they drink. At the same time, ac­knowl­edge how com­mon it is for peo­ple their age. Ask them how often they drink. Go slowly with this con­ver­sa­tion, as it is usu­ally dif­fi­cult for young peo­ple to ad­mit their il­licit be­hav­ior.

I can­not rec­om­mend that you let your chil­dren drink at home. I can tell you that many fam­i­lies do make that choice so that they can watch their chil­dren, know that they are not driv­ing and help them to learn to make smart de­ci­sions. If you do al­low them to drink at home, do not let them have par­ties with their friends with al­co­hol. You will be li­able if any­thing hap­pens.

Send ques­tions to askhar­ri­ette@har­ri­et­ or c/o Uni­ver­sal Uclick, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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