Drugs and Alcohol:
“I don't want my daughter making the same mistakes as her friends.”
Dear Annie,I'm trying to raise my 16 year old to be "alcohol and drug free," at least until she goes off to college. Recently she wanted to see what it was like to get drunk with a group of her friends. Things got out of control and she called an adult to get her out of a bad situation. Now her "friends" aren't talking to her... saying she was trying to get them in trouble! She's known these girls for years and they've been drinking and smoking pot for quite some time now, but the other parents continue to turn a blind eye to it. I'm having trouble dealing with the other parents' lack of concern and their belief that "everybody is doing it!" I don't care if that's true. I don't want my kid involved in it!
Do I need to step back, or am I doing my job as a concerned parent?
Dear Needs Advice,
You are absolutely doing your job as a concerned parent (the only kind worth being and having).
It's unfortunate that your daughter's friends are giving her a hard time for doing the right thing. They're demonstrating their lack of maturity to blame her for the poor choices they've made.
As for the other parents, well, my only hope is that their denial or negligence doesn't come back to haunt them in the form of some preventable tragedy involving their kids and drugs and alcohol.
Of course you don't want your daughter anywhere near these girls when they are drinking or doing drugs. If, for some reason, she still wants them as friends and to hang out with them, you've got to let her know that until those girls start making better choices (i.e., no more drugs and alcohol), your daughter is NOT to hang out with them in an unsupervised capacity.
By the way, your email doesn't mention how you handled the choice your daughter made to "see what it was like to get drunk." I'm curious. Surely the level of trust you have in her judgment was damaged. How did you deal with that?