News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 25, 2013

Parents who host alcohol parties for minors bear responsibility

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

MeriBeth Wolf, executive director of Our Place Drug and Alcohol Education Services, said Floyd County tends to go higher than the state average with underage and binge drinking. She also said the state tends to be higher in those rates than the rest of the country.

She said parents who want to set an example don’t have to cut alcohol out completely themselves, they just have to demonstrate responsible drinking.

“It’s not all-or-nothing; moderation at dinner is modeling proper use,” Wolf said. “Research tell us parents need to have that conversation with their kids, [and] not [just] one time.”

Wolf said conversations about drugs, alcohol and sex are important to have with minors.

Bridgwater said just because parents have lived through experiences with drugs and alcohol shouldn’t keep them from talking about those subjects. She said it can actually help teenagers see what parents learned from their mistakes.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to share the things you know because you experienced it,” Bridgwater said. “But if you’ve built an open, trusting relationship with [your] kids, then you’re able to say that. If we’re sharing with our children, ‘This is why I don’t want you to do it,’ ... that helps.”

Louis Jensen, director of high schools for New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp., said there are other ways to promote healthy activities for students after prom and other special events, but drinking doesn’t need to be a part of that picture.

“Parents need to understand that they are responsible for more than they realize by trying to be friends of their kids by hosting these kinds of parties and just taking the keys,” Jensen said. “If those kids want to leave, they will.”

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