What if you find empty booze bottles in your teenage daughter's room?

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  1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    What should you do?

    Just found them this morning after she left for school.

    Let's see. We have Jack Daniel's. Crown Royal. Dewar's White Label. And Tangueray London Dry Gin.

    She won't be home from school, so I have about 8 hours to plot a strategy.

    1. paradigmsearch profile image61
      paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not qualified to answer this question, but that has never stopped me before. big_smile

      Place the bottles on the otherwise empty kitchen table.

      When she sees them, say: "Talk to me."

      1. Pearldiver profile image67
        Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Teens are Deeper than that!  sad

        All that does is to provide a visual reason WHY NOT to talk! It shows that HER Space has been violated and done so behind her back! sad

        "Talk To Me!"  - Requires Trust and Respect!

        What Does.. "Look at what I Found While Your Back Was Turned!" Say? sad

        Put yourself in your Teen's Shoes and consider the issue from that perspective.. If you consider that you are worthy of Trust and Respect!

        Sorry if you don't appreciate my answers here... but clearly you feel that your teen should be dealt with as a subordinate rather than a younger version of yourself! Treat them with respect and trust and you may find that your relationship improves.. and the negative issues reduce!

        Teen suicide is a major problem in the world. Many don't believe that their parents understand them... many are quite right in that observation.. many parents approach their teens the wrong way completely, believing the trust and respect issues should come from the kid first... that's BS.. and an excuse for not knowing their kids as well as they could if they took the time to learn how to! sad

        1. paradigmsearch profile image61
          paradigmsearchposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Where I come from, the phrase, "Talk to me." is pretty much a universal euphemism for "I am really concerned and I really care and I want to understand and I then want to move on." The phrase is often even used adult-to-adult.

          As to doing the ambush thing with the bottles on the table, I agree. You are right. smile [edit: I was on my first cup of coffee when I wrote it. Now I'm on my second. big_smile]

    2. Jason Marovich profile image89
      Jason Marovichposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Were the bottles hidden?  Is she going to have issue with her room being searched while she was away?  Does she frequently have friends over that might be 'helping' her to drink the liquor?

      I don't know your daughter's personality, but your confrontation could be greeted with accusation.  I'd focus on telling her how devastated you are to find this out about her, and that you'll do anything to help her.  Make sure she knows your love for her is unconditional, that you'll stand by her to get this problem fixed.  Make every effort to avoid embarrassing her, but not at expense of getting her the help she needs.

    3. Greek One profile image64
      Greek Oneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Not bad choices...

      I would be upset that she didnt share the Crown Royal with me

  2. Pearldiver profile image67
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

    You've actually had a Lifetime to 'Plot' a strategy.

    Why does she feel the need to drink alone?

  3. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    You don't know if she drinks alone.  Many teens take home the empties as a kind of room decoration after parties.

  4. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    *If* she needs help.  I wouldn't assume that. IMHO an older teen being at parties where people drink is not necessarily a big deal even if you want her to not drink at all.

    1. Jason Marovich profile image89
      Jason Marovichposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed.  If it's a weekend social thing, it's probably not an epidemic.  If it's her sitting in her room every night, alone, drinking, then there's an issue that needs addressing.

  5. MelissaBarrett profile image59
    MelissaBarrettposted 12 years ago

    Wow, I am actually gonna be the "horrible authoritarian parent" here. 

    I'm all for open communication and understanding.  However, my home is my home.  Alcohol doesn't enter it. 

    Firstly, any hopes for a driver's licence would be GONE.  If my kid is irresponsible enough to drink underage I am surely not giving them permission to operate a motor vehicle.

    Secondly, every room in my house belongs to me.  My children don't pay rent.  The "you violated my privacy" argument doesn't fly.  I wouldn't let my HUSBAND get drunk in my house let alone my children.  (No, I wouldn't physically stop him, but I would divorce him... and he knows this)

    Third, my child's butt would be off for alcohol treatment.  By drinking underage she has committed a crime.  ALL underage drinking is by definition substance abuse because it violates the law.

    Next, whoever got the booze for her would be going to jail. Whether it was someone who bought it for her or the idiot who sold it to her.

    Finally, I would be calling the parents of all her friends to give them a heads up.

    Yes I realize I am extreme about this, but in fairness I have had the open honest conversation about alcohol and drugs.  I've done the education thing.  I also let it be known that I considered it a crime... because it is... and that I don't tolerate my children breaking laws.

  6. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    Actually, I found the bottles by accident. I wasn't searching her room, exactly. I don't go into her room unless I absolutely have to.

    I do all the laundry like once a week at the laundromat across the street. So she put a big load of laundry in a basket outside her room this morning. Now, what she does with the clean laundry is leave it in the basket for weeks, taking what she needs out. So she has about 5 laundry baskets partially filled with clean clothes in her room.

    Well, I needed an empty laundry basket for her older brother's clothes. He has been staying with us since he is working nearby. Last night he asks how late the laundromat is open because he wanted to wash some clothes. It was closed. So I thought I'd do his clothes too today, as long as I'm doing hers and mine.

    Anyway, I go into her room looking for what basket I can possibly use. I happened to notice a basket in her closet that doesn't have much in it, just a plastic bag. So I go to take the plastic bag out and . . .

    1. Shanna11 profile image76
      Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe she was going to recycle them? I've never had a sip of alcohol in my life, but at one point in time, I had a couple dozen empty cans of beer in my room because I'd collected them from neighbors to be recycled.

      That may be a long shot, but innocent until proven guilty?

      1. Pearldiver profile image67
        Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Nice point Shanna.

        Did You Pay Rent for the use of your room? sad

        I guess I did in many respects.. in that I did lots of household chores as a kid. smile

        1. Shanna11 profile image76
          Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I did not, but I had chores and it was always made clear to me that it was not really "my" room, but my parents and therefore I had to obey all their rules, or move out.

          1. Pearldiver profile image67
            Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Different Cultures - Different Methods...

            Kiwis don't tend to do things that way... we prefer to be more laid back with our kids where possible and depending on circumstances.

            There are many ways to gain positive objectives and results with kids though.. and I believe that's what helps make us all different..

            - how we were conditioned to think and do.. where we stand in a social pecking order etc! smile

    2. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Remove the bottles and put them somewhere she cannot find them like a box in your own bedroom closet. Don't throw them away yet.

      She'll notice them gone at some point but don't ever say anything to her. She will be forced to do one of two things. Either ask you if you've been in her room and you'll say no. You'll lie. She can't ask you if you took her empty bottles without disclosing her secret unless they really are some legitimate recycling thing or project. In that case, you'll know the difference because she'll come right out and say it without hostility. I doubt very much this will be the case.

      Since you haven't said a word about it, she'll be wary. She can't accuse you of being in her room and snooping unless she lies and says something else has been moved in which case you play dumb and lie right back.

      Lying is condoned at this point because at some point you will use this against her own lying and ask her how it feels to be lied to.

      You have the advantage of being older, wiser, and having the upper hand because she will never be sure what to do, what you know, or where the bottles went. She'll be baffled because you haven't punished her or called her out or even yelled at her.

      It'll be amusing to watch her react over the next few weeks. But be on guard now. Keep track of her actions, her breath, her movements.

      If she drives, there could be trouble. If she's over 13 and hanging around with boys, there could be trouble. You know the bottles are not yours so find out whose house they came from. If someone older is buying them, there's trouble. Play detective but don't ever let on to the fact that you know. For now at least. At some point she'll make herself sick and stop drinking. That's the most any parent can hope for.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image60
        couturepopcafeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Additionally, this can't go on forever. After a week or two, you'll leave a bunch of pictures you've obtained from your local police of cars and kids who have died or otherwise been mutilated by drunk driving. Harsh. You'll leave a newspaper out with an article about a brutal drunk driving accident. Just leave them on the counter where you know she'll see them. When she asks about what it is, you'll say you were doing some research. Make something up. Lie. Watch her eyes and her reaction.

        The fact that she's not putting her clothes away, leaves her dirty laundry outside the door like she's living in a hotel with maid service and hordes the laundry baskets is your own fault for not setting ground rules. These are telling signs of teen isolation. They don't want you in their room under any circumstances.

        The objective of these lessons and demonstrations is to make her realize on her own.

  7. IzzyM profile image85
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    I doubt very much if she has an alcohol problem, because the drinks you mentioned are all strong-smelling, and not the choice of an underage drinker.

    Every under-age drinker knows (and I know because I used to be one) your choice of booze would be vodka, not whisky or gin.

    I suspect these are left-overs from a party or a group meeting - perhaps they belonged to a boy she fancies, and she kept the bottles as a keepsake? Who knows?

    But you are going to have to talk to her about it, if only to put your own mind at rest.

  8. Lady_E profile image62
    Lady_Eposted 12 years ago

    Obviously a worrying situation. If it were my daughter, I would go easy on her and get to the bottom of it. Otherwise... you drive them away and they don't confide in you any more.

    Good luck.

  9. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions!

    I have 3 more hours until she comes home to mull this all over.

  10. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    Just talk to her about it.  It'll work out.

    1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
      BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Well, I see you are a psychologist, so I might be wise to follow some professional advice.

      I put the bottles on the kitchen table like paradigmsearch said. Although I didn't see any point in otherwise clearing off the table. When she walks in the side door the first thing she will see is the bottles. The picture seems a little fuzzy. Probably because my hands are shaking.   


  11. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 12 years ago

    Best of luck, just try to be calm and ask her about it and what her drinking habits are.

    But don't give my advice special weight--I am a research psychologist and not in practice.

  12. DavidPMcCracken profile image59
    DavidPMcCrackenposted 12 years ago

    I have my own 17 year old daughter and this scares the b'jeepers out of me.  The one thing you need to remember is that you love her no matter what, and that "if" she has a drinking problem she will resist any kind of help.  As a teen she is struggling through psychological reactance for the second time in her life.  We all do it, it's what the terrible two's and the teen years are all about.  Basically she is realizing her individuality again, and seeing that she can make her own rules (or break the rules she wants to as the case may be)and is asserting herself as an individual and as an adult.  Keep a better eye on her from now on though, just don't let her know you are.

  13. Rain Defence profile image79
    Rain Defenceposted 12 years ago

    I think you need to get her a good single malt as it seems she's missing one of those from her collection.

  14. TheMagician profile image87
    TheMagicianposted 12 years ago

    As an 18 year old daughter myself, I've certainly had empty gin or other alcohol bottles in my own room hidden (not so much HIDDEN, but not in the open definitely. I had nothing to hide.)

    If my mother had pulled them out and put them on the counter and wanted me to talk to her, I'd definitely be upset that she snooped through my bedroom, and that'd cause a LOT of tension.

    Then again, my mother always trusted me to do what I wanted as long as it was in moderation and I kept a good head. Most of my friends were guys and 3 and 4 years older, I could stay out late if I wanted (I really didn't do anything bad, would just hang out and play video games at friends' houses), I didn't/dont drink often, perhaps once every 4 or 5 months I'd have some drinks with friends and just hang out. I've always held down a job/my own business, 3.8GPA, cops love me, well mannered, etc. etc. Never had any issues. When I did drank, I told her and would call in often to let her know everything was alright. If she didn't want me to drink and I was going to a party, I wouldn't drink, simple as that. I've never had to lie to my mother, we've always had a very open communication thing going on. Love it.

    I'd suggest leaving the bottles alone, and just some day subtly bring up a subject about alcohol. Tell her about what you did when you were her age, ask if she drank, etc. etc. let her know how you feel about her drinking IF SHE DID (don't outright say that you know because that's a bad idea). Just my own input as a teen daughter myself... smile trust is everything, and by betraying her trust isn't a good idea, even if she did yours. Make her realize she doesn't need to. If you betray her trust though she betrayed yours first, she may become spiteful!

    1. IzzyM profile image85
      IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think you make good points, but the main point of what you said is that you didn't drink, or that when you did, you made your mother aware of it. (well done you, good head on your shoulders!)

      This lass is, I think, 16, which is quite a bit younger.

      At the same time, I would think if she had been secretly drinking those bottles, the evidence would have been obvious - she would have smelt of booze, and would have been drunk.

      So far, there seems to be evidence of neither, but her dad must have all sorts of thoughts going through his head!

      My big brother was an alcoholic. I was just an underage drinker, and there is a huge difference!

      I never had bottles in my room because I never drank at home, nor that much, either.

      My brother, at age 13, hid empty hard liquor bottles. Even I didn't know the extent of his problem, but it seems he couldn't face going to school without a drink.

      He lived until he was 51. I still don't know what killed him. The doctor said heart attack, but who knows?

      He still held down a high-powered and highly paid job right up until his death.

      The whole point of what I am trying to say is that not only is it highly improbable that this wee lass has this problem (although bottles hidden in her room point in that direction), but also that her parents have the right to know what is going on. If that means invading her privacy, so be it.

      My parents didn't, until it was too late.

      1. TheMagician profile image87
        TheMagicianposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I understand, good point. 16 was the age I began having drinks personally, and over here in the US it's pretty much the age most teens begin to experiment with alcohol and drugs such as weed (I knew kids when I was 13 years old who'd smoke weed, which surprised me a lot. Wow. Middle school!)

        If she's 16, I'd imagine she's just begining to experiment. Either way, it is always a good idea for parents to keep an eye on their children and communicate with them well, especially during these times. Like many have said already, I doubt she has a drinking problem, but definitely her dad should chat with her. I just am not one for parents invading the privacy of their childs bedroom (unless they absolutely feel it's best, in some cases this is the issue), however he did say that he wasn't snooping around, but just grabbing a basket and found it. Totally understandable. It happens.

        Either way, hopefully they've had the chance to chat it out and all is well! It's important she knows that you don't need to drink in order to have fun, and besides, alcohol is highly overrated. The side effects in most cases really aren't worth it. Being sober is the best way to enjoy life. And I am sorry to hear about your brother, too, Izzy. Sad sad

  15. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    Izzy, you just made me think about my sister. She got busted when she was 15 at a teenage nightclub drinking in the girl’s room with her buddies. My parents had to go get her. Of course, now she has a daughter who is giving her “problems.” What goes around, comes around. Lol. Oh yeah, TheMagician, and she now lives where you live. Zephyrhills, actually. Time for me to pay her a visit. Brrrrrrrr! Little nippy in western Pennsylvania. No wonder my daughter has a nip now and then.   

    Well, I got a reprieve of sorts. My daughter called me after basketball practice and said she was on her way to her mother’s and was staying there for the night. She’ll go directly to school in the morning. My daughter does this once or twice a week, and of course I don’t mind, she should spend time with her mother.

    My daughter has her own car. Well, not exactly her car since I paid for it and it’s still titled in my name. She just turned 18 last month, and it couldn’t be titled in her name when I bought it when she was 16. The car would be the first thing to go for awhile if disciplinary action is necessary. 

    So I put the bottles back where they were. For now.

    Thank you all again for your replies. A lot to chew on here.

  16. IzzyM profile image85
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    Just a thought - you do know that everything we write here is freely available on the internet? And ranks highly too! Does she know your HP username?

    1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
      BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No but yeah Izzy, it would be funny if she posted on this thread. Sort of.

      If she did discover this thread, this is what I would tell her:

      “I have a lot of free time during the day. You know, after doing your laundry, making meals to include your lunch for school every day, cleaning the house (except for your room), feeding and scooping the litter box for your cat (she brought the little homeless kitty home almost a year ago and has yet to do either), etc., and making money to pay for such incidentals as your prom dress, your speeding tickets, gas for your car, etc. So this is how I amuse myself during all my free time. Communicating with intelligent and caring persons on HubPages who can advise me on dealing with all your problems.”

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Mom, for the win.

  17. shea duane profile image59
    shea duaneposted 12 years ago

    This is what I would do... not wait until school was over. I would drive to the school and pull the kid's ass out of the building. I would get her in my car and start screaming. I would get her home and make her bring me her computer, phone, televison (if she had one) and any other electronic thing she owned into the kitchen. I would tell her to go into her room and bring out anything she even liked. I would let her know in no uncertain terms that alcoholism runs in our family and that she was never to have a drink of alcohol again. I'd call the school and tell the drug abuse counselor that she was going to be out of school for a week and would tell her why. Then I would tell my daughter that she would be doing everything in her room (except using the bathroom)for the next week.
    So many answers have been about being a friend... alcohol kills people. Kids drink and drive and die. Kids die of alcohol poisoning. Girls especially are vulnerable to rape when drunk. Everyone here can say, What an awful mother! But I would do anything and everything to protect my daughter from what alcohol does to kids.

    1. Rain Defence profile image79
      Rain Defenceposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know how this is going to stop her from drinking? She'll just drink more privately next time and the OP won't know anything about it. A family member of mine died from alcohol abuse. I still drink and get drunk and I started when I was 16. I'm not an alcoholic, I like a drink sometimes and sometimes I don't drink at all so it doesn't have to mean death or disaster as long as you're not crazy with it.
      OP Think back to when you were 18 and started experimenting with alcohol and all the other pleasures in life.. In your shoes I'd bring up the alchohol with your daughter, tell her you also used to drink when you were younger (if you did!) and just talk to her about it and the best way to handle it, as in making sure you have plenty of water and trying not to drink to the point of excess. She is unlikely to give up drinking just because you don't want her to, so it would be better to talk to her about how to handle it to try and make sure she isn't one of those girls you see passed out on the road with their skirt pulled up round their waist by a thoughtful passerby.

  18. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    Thank you for your response, shea duane.

    But I really do not want my daughter to go and live with her mother.

  19. MelissaBarrett profile image59
    MelissaBarrettposted 12 years ago

    I think that parents are too concerned with being "friends" or alienating their children now to effectively parent anymore.  I love my kids and I want to be supportive... but I could give a flying fig less if they get angry with me or feel disrespected by my authority... and it really is MY authority.

    I am very clear about my rules and I very clear about the consequences of violating those rules.  I explain the reasons for the rules in great detail and invite feedback during the conversation.  If they CHOOSE to break the rules, there is no room for me to back down or waiver. If they get mad for having to take responsibility for their actions then tough s***. 

    If my child is bringing drugs or alcohol into my house then he/she has already disrespected me.  He/She doe not get to be respected in return.  "She's just experimenting" is not acceptable.  She broke a rule, she needs consequences.  That's how grown-up land works and it is MY job to get my children ready to face that.  No judge is going to accept "just experimenting" as a valid defense to a crime, no employer is going to accept it as a valid excuse for poor job performance.  At 16 she is less than 2 years away from facing the real world...

    1. shea duane profile image59
      shea duaneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree Melissa. Your first post was the closest to my own opinion. I feel bad for blackandgoldjack because his daughter is using the living situation to play both parents against eachother. I fear that the real victim will be his daughter when she is hurt physically or emotionally while drinking or is arrested for DWI. I teach at a community college and I hear stories everyday from kids who have negatively affected their lives with alcohol. One of my students 2 years ago crashed his car after drinking and killed his best friend. Also, many of my students were in 4 years school and were 'forced out' for drinking or drug behavior. Two young women in two different classes were date raped after drinking . It is an epidemic... and many parents are doing nothing to stop it.

      1. Shanna11 profile image76
        Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The two of you remind me of my mom so much!  She never took prisoners, and she didn't take crap either. I never broke the law or did anything remotely awful, but I was headstrong and a pain in the butt. She came down hard on me and I hated her for it and was desperate to go to college, but after I went, I realized just how grateful I was for the way she raised me- I'd like to think I turned out fine. My mom's basic rule was "I am your mother first and your friend second- if I'm even your friend at all!" Her second rule was "I don't care how mad you are at me, or how much you hate me. You'll do what I say, or you'll move out."

        And I myself heard so many horror stories about the kids in my high school drinking-- I knew which girls had been date raped and didn't even know it, and which guys had done it. I couldn't imagine why they would even want to drink!

  20. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago

    Thank you for your latest responses, shea duane and MelissaBarnett.

    You two should be prison wardens.

    Of course, a prisoner can't leave whenever he/she wants to. An 18-year-old can.

    1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
      MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      LOL, my home is anything but a prison.  It just has rules.  My kids are actually encouraged to make their own decisions and find their own selves... If it is their decision to break rules/laws then they face the consequences.
      I can't stop them from doing anything nor would I try to... but I will make sure that the are responsible for their actions.

      From my POV, if one of my children breaks the law (Which drinking at 16 is breaking a law) I'll be damned if I'm going to be an accessory.  Sometimes you have to be a parent.  I'll be their friend when they are adults... right now I'm too busy actually raising them.

      And yes, an 18 year old can leave when they want... and if I've raised them right that prospect doesn't frighten me in the least.

    2. shea duane profile image59
      shea duaneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I might sound like a prison warden, but I hear 'your story' from the kids perspectives. Believe it or not, when they look back on their mistakes, they always wonder why no one cared enough to step in and help.
      But if you as the father encourage drinking by over-drinking yourself, then she is just following your shoes...

      1. greatparenting profile image59
        greatparentingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I just checked out your profile (blackandgoldjack) and saw beer listed as one of your primary interests. This is not to say that your daughter's bottle collection is your fault, because it isn't. This is not suggesting that if you love beer your daughter will drink underage as a result. I love me some red wine and my daughters know this. It's just that if beer is your primary interest, your daughter sees that and may form an opinion about drinking based somewhat in part on seeing how much you love drinking. So, what I am suggesting is that when you talk to her, you do acknowledge how you feel about beer and why it's okay for you and not okay for her. If you do overindulge, though, and she knows that, you may have to deal with being charged with hypocrisy so before that happens, check in with yourself and figure out what you want to say on that topic before your daughter points it out because she will.
        Also, based on other things you wrote about her and her lifestyle choices and how much you do for her vs. what she does for herself, it sounds like you all have a bit of talking to do. Maybe the finding of these bottles is just the catalyst you both need to sit down and talk about a life plan that will work better for each of you and peace in the family. Good luck!

  21. Moms-Secret profile image76
    Moms-Secretposted 12 years ago

    Screaming never really solves anything.  I really think a teenager can be treated in a mature manner.  Relocating a problem usually does not work well either.  You just get problems in new surroundings.  A lot of parents today are worried about the politically correct thing to do.  I would be honest and calm.  We are the adults after all.  We are supposed to be steady and guide them.   

    I like the 'displaying the bottles' idea.  It makes the need for discussion clear.  I am not partial about respecting privacy because it is your home and she is underaged.  I had rack inspections in the military.  You are her parent.  You will go in and out of the room.  Sometimes it will be to freshen it up and surprise her, sometimes it will be to look for something like the basket.  Either way, the adult gets rights to privacy, the child does not.   
    Talking about it together, without anger, is the best move.  This is not what you expect.  You are disappointed and you are waiting to hear her side of things before you decide what to do about it.  You will not overreact, you will give her the benefit of the doubt but no matter what the reason the trust has been shaken and must be rebuilt.  What type of consequence does she think this merits?  I do that now and my little girl is 9.

    My daughter already knows if she becomes a teenage drama queen and slams her door or has to re-establish trust, I will not be screaming like a crazy woman.  Her door will be in the garage until she repairs the damage done to my trust.

  22. brakel2 profile image73
    brakel2posted 12 years ago

    The mother of this teen deserves compassion. It is difficult to raise teens. Best of luck with her.

  23. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
    mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years ago

    I am so relieved to know she is 18, as at least in some countries (like the UK) she is already of legal drinking age. This will only be a big deal if you make it one. I would just play it down with her and say, 'why bother to hide a few bottles from me, loads of teenagers have a few underage drinks?'. If you make it a big deal at this age it will become one. I would be concerned if she was 16 or less, but otherwise no, most teens under 17 have already tried alcohol and for most of them it is not a problem. I would be far more worried if she was smoking because of the addictive nature of cigarettes.
    I remember sneaking home the first night I got quite drunk (I was about 17). I tried to call out goodnight to my parents and head straight to bed. Mum was not fooled and knew straight away I must be hiding something. It didn't mean I had a problem though, and it was just another 'teenager stretching their wings' scenario. It also didn't mean I would automatically go out drink driving!

  24. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 12 years ago

    So you've got an 18-year-old daughter who's experimenting with alcohol.
    That, in and of itself, is pretty normal for late teens. Hopefully you've had "the conversation(s)" with her about your family's values, your house rules, the real dangers associated with drinking. So she's aware of your viewpoint on the subject. And is doing it anyway. Typical teen.
    The couple of things that concern me here are:
    1. That you seem to be afraid to confront her for fear she will run off and live with her mother. I may be reading too much into this, but are you really willing to let that fear run your lives in your home? Because being the "good" parent does not mean being the lenient parent. Boundaries are necessary, even for late teens. Is the daughter testing you? To give herself an 'excuse' to go live with Mom because you yelled at her?
    2. The constellation of hard liquor bottles is a red flag for me. Where did she get them? Are they left from a party? And why keep them in a plastic bag under her clean laundry? They are either mementos of parties (but then why bring them home?) or could, in fact, signify that she's drinking a lot and drinking alone. Hiding alcohol is a sign of alcoholism.
    Kids definitely drink. But holding onto the evidence??? Hmmmm.
    3. You don't state whether or not there is alcoholism in your family. If there is, all the more reason to be on alert.

    When you do sit her down at the kitchen table with all those bottles, don't automatically expect straight answers. Expect lies.
    You also don't give any environmental clues. She's playing basketball, so that's a plus. Have her grades slipped? Has she started hanging out with different friends? Skipping school? Irritated/aggressive with you for no reason? Any other signs of possible substance abuse (rolling papers, pipes, etc.)?

    The criteria I personally go by is whether the person's life is unmanageable. If there are already consequences showing up from her drinking, it's a problem. Marked changes in behavior and/or attitude.
    I agree this discovery is an opportunity to REALLY open your eyes and see what kind of life your teen is living.
    And yes, talk to her and offer her your support while expressing your disappointment.
    If/when she develops a problem, you want her to come to you with it.

    Good luck. Please do keep us hubbers updated!

  25. profile image60
    logic,commonsenseposted 12 years ago

    I would confront her and scold her for not sharing!

    1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
      BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Good logic and commonsense in that answer.

      But I only drink beer.

      Reminds me, I discovered a case of beer in my daughter's car around Christmas, and it wasn't mine. I did, however, drink it.

  26. elle64 profile image83
    elle64posted 12 years ago

    Talk to her, remember if you can talk about the little things ,you can also talk about the big. Do not scold- you might drive her away, talk and talk and talk some more. Good luck- my oldest is only 10! So I do not have those problems yet.

  27. Reality Bytes profile image74
    Reality Bytesposted 12 years ago

    I did drink alcohol as a teenager, though I did not bring it in to my mothers home without her knowledge.  I did however like to collect bottles to burn candles in, when the wax covered the bottle I had a valuable commodity.

    I was never denied alcohol as a child.  So even if I wanted to drink, my mother would have purchased the booze for me.  She would rather have me drink under her supervision then to hide the fact that I was drinking.

    I would speak to my daughter about the bottles but not in a condescending way.  I would talk to her like she was an adult.  Maybe just maybe, you have been given an opportunity to get closer to your daughter through this experience.  Treat the situation correctly and you may gain your daughters respect for a lifetime.

    Do what you think is best, I am only offering suggestions.  You cannot stop her from drinking but you can enforce to her that you understand and are willing to respect her decisions.

  28. profile image61
    win-winresourcesposted 12 years ago

    Innocent until proven guilty.

    A simple honest, open discussion,  honoring you both.  No preconceived notions.  No anger, No accusations.  No threats.

    Everyone does better in a positive atmosphere.  Especially if there are tough admissions that may ultimately have to be made.


    1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
      BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      win-winresources, I like your answer. I like it a lot.

      In any event, whatever action is going to be taken is going to wait a few more days. My daughter is playing in a very important basketball playoff game tomorrow night. I don't want her thinking about anything but hoops.

      Tonight she came home from basketball practice, ate dinner, and then left to do some barbering. She and other girls on the team are going to administer Mohawk haircuts to a group of boys who have agreed to be super fans. I just hope they aren't planning on getting these boys drunk so that they actually will submit to this mutilation.

  29. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
    BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years ago


    I think my daughter was drunk when she got home from giving Mohawk haircuts to the super fans last night.

    She sat down near me and said, "Hey Dad, you should let me give you a Mohawk haircut."

    "In your dreams," I responded.

    She added hopefully, "It look good. It looks stylish."

    "I'll get a Mohawk if you get a Mohawk," I answered.

    So then she got up and walked away.

    I did sleep with one eye open.

    1. shea duane profile image59
      shea duaneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      did she drive home?

      1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
        BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No, she didn't drive home. Another girl on the team picked her up and dropped her off. The only reason I would lie about a thing like that is I don't want you to yell at me again.

        My daughter's basketball team won their playoff game tonight!

        We're having a champagne party, but I'm making sure they just pour it on themselves and don't drink any.

        1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
          mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          LOL, spoilsport!! wink

        2. shea duane profile image59
          shea duaneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          congrats on her team winning. and i didn't think i yelled at you. honestly, i worry about young women and drinking. as a father, you know how dangerous the world can be for young women.

          1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image73
            BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            A dangerous world, indeed.

            In light of the latest shooting this week in the cafeteria at a school not all that far from me, I’m thinking of packing a Glock 26 in my daughter’s pink lunch box along with the salad, apple, and cookies.

            Alcohol, drugs, violence. Driving and riding in cars. Personally, that scares me as much as anything. And what about . . . sex?

            I don’t want to get too far off the subject of this thread, but late last night as my daughter and I discussed the game, I said, “They would have beat you if they had Brandi.”

            No, not brandy. Brandi.

            A year ago Brandi, a junior at that time like my daughter, was the best player on the best team in the area. They beat my daughter’s team twice that season. So the playoffs arrive and Brandi’s team, highly favored, lost. In the paper it stated that Brandi did not play due to a “medical issue.” Brandi now has a little baby around 6 months old. My daughter’s best friend goes to the same high school Brandi attended. The story I got from my daughter is that Brandi had a relationship with some guy who had fathered children with two other girls, and Brandi did it because she was mad at her mother.

            So Brandi would have been playing last night against my daughter’s team. Next year Brandi would have been attending college on a basketball scholarship.

            I may or may not start a topic entitled, “What should you tell your teenage daughter about sex?”

            I can’t help but think this particular episode involving Brandi told my daughter far more than I ever could.

  30. CSRobertsonPKG profile image36
    CSRobertsonPKGposted 12 years ago

    From the type of bottles being kept are you sure she doesnt just like the style of the bottles and hasnt actually been drinking them?

    I'm sure we all had a drink when we were underage but that's not to say that's what's happening here.

    I'd be very careful when confronting her and try maybe saying "Whats with the bottles? are you getting in to recycling" keeps it light hearted and doesn't put your daughter on the defensive.

  31. brakel2 profile image73
    brakel2posted 12 years ago

    I am ashamed to say that when we were 19 and could drink, some of us would order five different drinks like vodka, scotch etc. We all turned out ok. It was a brief phase but nobody drank and drove. I hope everything turns out for your daughter. i always talked a lot to my teens. My daughter always listened to me and respected me. I love her for that. I never judged her and always loved her and believed in her.It is harder today with so much peer pressure.

  32. Tandabear profile image59
    Tandabearposted 12 years ago

    Ask her if she wants to talk. Act like you don't know about it, and see if she tells you. here, you're testing her truthfulness and how she lies. Kinda deviant, but ya. Or you could play the "i found this, and i still love you! wanna talk?" card.

  33. aguasilver profile image69
    aguasilverposted 12 years ago

    Ask (yourself) why she would not share them with you?

    I taught our son to drink like any Spanish or French family would do, at a young age.

    Started with watered wine and allowed him to taste any liquor I was drinking, told him from the start that alcohol was a dangerous thing, watched as my son got royally drunk on occasion (aged 17)and was mostly relieved when he decided that hash was better than booze (and cheaper).

    Kids do things like this, we can only try to prepare them for the enemy (world) which will attempt to destroy them IF it can.

    My son (now 22, soon 23) is now a celibate and teetotal, non smoker who works with deprived kids in NYC.

    We need to see the bigger picture, stay in communication with our children, teach them the ways of the world (and hopefully the ways of God, which is more relevant) and trust that God will protect them, which is a fair assumption as we are only custodians, the children belong to Him.

    Don't sweat the small stuff, and don't ignore the big stuff.

    1. CSRobertsonPKG profile image36
      CSRobertsonPKGposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with almost all of what you said, we need to let our kids make their own decisions in life and hopefully just guide them through life and bad things do happen. If we keep our kids wrapped up in cotton wool their whole lifes they will never learn


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