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Parents get a wake-up call about underage drinking

WILMINGTON -- What can you do to address the issue of underage drinking? A local organization called Coastal Horizons posed that question to parents at Thursday nights town hall meeting. A panel of community leaders and students said that parents have the greatest influence on whether a child drinks. The panel suggests that parents need to step up to the plate and be more engaging in theirs childs life. Coastal Horizons Committee member Nona Fitchett says parents shouldn't try to be friends with their child. Her 17-year-old son sat on the panel. Fitchett believes parents have to let their children know that alcohol is not acceptable. "I constantly talk to him about consequences of your actions and just because you're a big guy doesn't mean that you're old enough to engage in certain things". In a recent New Hanover County Schools survey, 47% of highschool students had taken a drink within 30 days of taking the survey. 15% had their first drink before the age of thirteen. all the more reason why Fitchett believes parents are vital to stopping underage drinking. "It's ok for your kid to close the door if they're mad at you, because you're the parent and you have to instill those values". Experts say young people who know that their parents are against underage drinking are less likely to drink.

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get over it

every one needs to get over it b\c it is not going to so what if your pearnts let you drink its your chorce if u do like u have never done nothing wrong


This always amazes me that people aren't aware of underage drinking. The same goes for teenages having sex. "Not MY child" is always the response. Um YES YOUR child. If you did these kind of things when you were young do you really think that your kids aren't going to? PUUULEASE. Get your heads out of the sand people.

I drank early, and I drank

I drank early, and I drank heavy for years after being of age. It took being pregnant and having a beautiful baby for me to see though focused eyes. I'm 35, I have been drinking consistantly for 20 years. The first time I was drunk I was 13. I know the tricks and I know the lies I told . . . we drank, and drank. Sadly, my parents trusted me and really didn't notice a problem until I was of age. They didn't approve of drinking and would not feed me my first legal drink. Years later, after I'd lost my dad the drinking got worse. My baby saved my life. Again, 35 and not promoting teen pregnancy. Parents should pop up/in on your kids . . . . follow up on where they say they are. I remember being in 6th grade sneaking beer cans from the house or from a friends house . . . why???? All the $ I've drank away upsets me. But I think God that I was never hurt nor did I ever hurt anyone physically by my drinking. I did however, let people down. Sadly, it was the people I love.


This shouldn't be a SHOCK to parents...I tried out drinking at 17-18 as well. It was an experimental thing. Today....In my upper twenties...I VERY rarely drink IF AT ALL. Just not my thing. HOWEVER, I would buy ANY 18 year old soldier a drink ANY TIME! If you are old enough to DIE for your are darn sure old enough to drink! I think the 21 age limit is bull crap when you can be pulled up by the US Government to fight.

Teen drinking

Why don't we lower the legal drinking age to 13 since that seems to be when many teens try their first drink? Then we won't have a problem with under age drinking. While we are at it, legalize drugs and that will take care of another problem. Better yet, why don't some of you lazy butt adults act like adults and realize that these children are too young to understand the consequence of poor decisions made in their youth. Take responsibility and act like the adult. Act like a parent.

What are you talking about

You cannot stop kids from drinking...just like you cannot stop kids from doing drugs. What exactly do you mean by taking responsibility and act like an adult? I didn't see anywhere in that persons post about saying it's okay for kids to drink. I agree with their assessment that if you or old enough to die for your country then you are old enough to have a drink. But that doesn't mean I think it's okay for 16 year olds to be out getting hammered

Obviously you can not read.

Obviously you can not read. She/he said that she/he would buy an 18 year old alcohol. That is not acting like an adult when you buy someone underaged alcohol. It does not matter if you think the law if fair, it is still the law. Breaking the law, in this case, is not acting like an adult. The reason we can't control this situation is because of people like you who admit defeat. We will never get control of underaged drinking and drugs with that attitude. Why can't we stop it? I don't have the answer, but I don't think we've tried very hard. The vast majority of adults that do drink did not start when they were 21. It started earlier, much earlier. What stopped them? Nothing. No adult to say no. No adult to supervise their behavior. It is a parental responsibility to know what your kids are doing and with whom. It is a job, but left undone and this is what we get. Again, I say act like an adult, supervise your children, even when they really get angry. There is too much at risk to leave it up to a child to make the call.

Obviously you cannot read

Obviously you cannot read the exact quote is "HOWEVER, I would buy ANY 18 year old soldier a drink ANY TIME!" stop being an ignorant journalist and read the entire quote not the part you didn't like.

Get real

I bet you never break the law either do you? YOu never drive 1 MPH over the speed limit. You never speed up at a yellow light knowing you cannot make it through the light before it turns red? Giving an 18y/o a beer may be wrong, but it doesn't lead that person to drink. I was allowed to drink at the age of 16, while supervised by my father. It didn't turn me into an alcoholic. I may have a few drinks once every few months. As far as my attitude goes, I don't care what you do you will not get rid of drugs or underage kids drinking alcohol. That's just the way it is. You remind me of one of those people that say if we teach abstinence in school, kids will quite having sex. Sorry, it doesn't work that way

teen drinking

"That's just the way it is." Great answer and excuse. This is not about speeding (two tickets as a teenager) or running lights ( not with the red light cameras in force). This is about teens being too young to make such life altering decisions. Having a parent supervise underaged drinking is even worse. No respect for the law, no respect for themselves or their children. We are talking about teaching responsibility and you can not do that if you are participating in the situation. You become a part of the problem, not the solution. As long as we condone the drinking, with no real consequence other than possible death, we will never solve the problem. I laugh at the beer commercials - "Drink responsibly." Everybody thinks they do this until it is too late and causes a wreck that kills a friend or someone else. And you are correct. None of this - drugs, drinking, sex - is going to stop until we, as adults, stop turning a blind eye to the reality that this IS going on and develop a plan to get a better handle on the problem. It will never completely stop. I can't help but wonder, every time I read of a teen's death due to drugs or drinking, could something have been said or done to have prevented such a tragedy? Maybe that parent is wondering the same thing. It was fun being cool with your teen, but at the expense of losing that child. I doubt it. Make 'em mad, make 'em angry and maybe they will live to give you greater joy.

Wake up call?

I don't get it, these parents should know if there kids are drinking or not. Also, in all seriousness, who is the government, or coastal horizons, or anyone else to say to parents they are not allowed to let their kid drink. Maybe some parents want their kids to drink when they are in high school so they are exposed to it when they get to college and don't go over board. Maybe some parents want to teach their kids how to drink responsibly because they know most kids don't wait until they are 21. Just a thought...

Heres an idea

How about we make the punishment for kids who are caught drinking underage more harsh. Getting away with a fine, thats BS. I know of two boys about 18 (guessing they are friends with my brother) who have atLEAST two dui's. Now if that were me I would not still be driving around wilmington, and I know that if I was caught drinking and driving at that age my "mommy and daddy" would not have bought me a brand new 45K truck. Parents need to do somehthing. I understand that you have to work and kids have their own agendas but it is a shame when I can tell if one of my brothers friends is on something, right after his parents dropped them off. Either parents are blind and dont want to believe their kids are into things they shouldnt be, or they just dont care. Its that blindness and being careless that will make your kids think its okay to do what they want, believe me I was one of those kids, and yeah I never got into trouble with the law but I paid the price of "doing what I wanted" and rebelling.

why is it a wake up call?

Why is it a wake up call to most parents that their kids are drinking. Do these parents not remember back when they were that kids? What happens when people have kids that they forget what life was when they grew up?