Question: Late on in the summer I realised my 15-year-old daughter had been taking drink from home to share with her friends. One time was on a sleepover at a friend’s house, when they snuck out and met three boys and drank with them until 5am. I was horrified to discover this and was an emotional and physical wreck for about a week. I feel all trust has been broken. She’s back at school now and I’m not sure how strict to be. I want to keep her safe but I also don’t want her to rebel against an overprotective mammy. Please help; I’ve lost confidence in my parenting. /b>
David replies: Having strong and clear views about alcohol use is not being overprotective. If anything, you have given your daughter appropriate levels of independence for her age, and she has simply shown that she wasn’t ready for those levels of independence, by the mistakes that she has made.
There are a number of issues that seem to me to be relevant to your current family circumstances. Firstly, you may need to review your approaches to alcohol and the messages that you have been giving either explicitly (through discussion) or implicitly (through your attitudes and own behaviour).
A message about abstinence from alcohol, which is backed up by very clear statements from parents about our…
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