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15 Year Old Son - I'm Worried about alcohol consumption


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My oldest lad is 15 years old.

 

About a year ago, his Mum and I had a chat about how we should handle it when he started to take an interest in alcohol (as we knew he would).

 

We explained to him that he could have a beer with us when we went to the pub, as a family, and when we went to a music festival and a wedding this year (after he was 15) we promised we'd turn "half a blind eye" as long as he didn't go crazy. We made it crystal clear though, that he wasn't to drink when he was out with his mates and we explained why.

 

On the whole, during the summer he was ok. He did have one over the top at the festival and we had a quiet word. He did again the following night. And at the wedding, he was going that way, and we had a stronger word - he stopped, and understood why.

 

The problem is that he has since quite obviously been having more than a few drinks. The 'hard stuff' in the house has been watered down, and twice over the past few weeks he's been 'unwell' when either I or his Mum has gotten home. Every time we've raised it, he has strongly denied having a drink, and sneered-smiled when we mentioned the watered down bottles of Vodka, Gin etc...

 

Earlier today, my wife found a two litre lemonade bottle of Peach Schnapps (or similar) on the top of his wardrobe while putting some clothes away. Not much of the two litres was left.

 

We have 'grounded' him for stuff in the past, and occasionally this has worked, at least in the short term. he says he's 'sorry', but I now interpret this as 'I'm sorry you've found me out'.

 

Now, apart from questioning whether we were too soft (or strict), or didn't set clear boundaries, or whatever, I'm now really concerned that he's developing a problem beyond mere 'experimentation'.

 

To finish, I have two further points of interest - I'm my lad's stepdad, and while I liked (quite) a few when I was younger, apart from that night in the Istanbul (!!!!) I reigned this right back when I met my wife (my lad's mum). he was four when I met her - he had a sister who was five (and is now 16). His real Dad, whom they both see every couple of weeks (and which we are on good terms with) was and almost certainly still is an alcoholic - not nasty with it, but guaranteed comatose most weekend nights. My son calls me by my first name, my daughter calls me 'Dad', and means it. Both are defensive of their real Dad, and this is fine - I'm mature enough I hope to understand why.

 

Secondly, my wife and I unexpedly, and delightedly had a son two years ago, which has inevitably meant we (mainly I) have less time with my older kids than we used to do. That said, what we really have is less time for each other, while trying to balance our two older kids of turning into young adults.

 

In short, I'm worried about my older son's easy attitude towards drink.

 

All thoughts and comments welcome - even if they tell me to Relax and let it go. Even typing this up has helped.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

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