Parents Who Host
As the season for high school graduations draws near, young people will shed high school regulations and assume the mantle that accompanies adulthood. Most high school graduates have reached the legal age of adulthood. Thus they can vote, buy tobacco, and leave home for college as the authors of their own destiny.
High school graduation speakers tell the soon to be alumni that they are capable of everything, that the world is their oyster. And yet, in the process of making these adolescents feel like adults, we forget that they do not have the privilege to consume alcohol, or to even learn to consume alcohol responsibly. Diploma in hand, these graduates march across the stage feeling invigorated, and yes, capable, so it’s no wonder that, upon arriving at college, they feel comfortable experimenting with the privileges of “adult life”, alcohol included.
These college freshmen have never been allowed to be taught to handle themselves around alcohol, and perhaps only “learned to drink” from their peers in basements and dark backyards. When parents host parties, they too are breaking the law because they must turn a blind eye instead of supervising and teaching. Binging, vomiting, and violence don’t typically occur beneath the watch of a responsible eye.
Adulthood is offered to high school graduates with the confusing exception of alcohol. A group of people perfectly comfortable with making other mature decisions must revert to clandestine spaces when drinking.
We’re certainly not saying it’s suitable for parents to host anyways or for students to drink anyways. But statistics reveal that most students have their first drink long before high school graduation or college matriculation. They would be much safer if this beverage was under the aegis of a parent instead of a peer.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an article yesterday, found here, on this very subject. The author bemoans parents who host parties for underage drinkers. Yet he forgets to provide a common sense solution, which is to shift our laws so that parents may help, not harm, their children.
We’d love to hear what you think about this too. Readers?