Most Marin parents will tell you that it isn’t uncommon to see alcohol consumed on the sidelines at youth sporting events or at team parties. Or that they have been offered a drink while out trick-or-treating with their kids. Or they have sent their nervous teens off to their first prom while sipping wine with other parents. It’s completely normal. But, some are questioning, should it be?
Every stage of parenting presents a brave new world of challenges. What other job can you imagine doing that, even after a decade of experience, can still have you feeling like you’ve been suddenly blindfolded and dropped into the front seat on the wildest ride of your life?
Having young children and teens is a grand opportunity to re-examine our attitudes and habits. With Alcohol Awareness Month as our prompt, let’s invite each other to consider the role of alcohol in our childrens' lives.
Consider this: You would be hard-pressed to find a teenager who is not aware that driving after drinking alcohol is unsafe and unacceptable. Decades of well-funded public health education campaigns have elevated this message to common knowledge status, and medical research and traffic safety statistics confirm it as an inarguable reality.
Across Marin County, local town boards and councils are considering regulations on the sale of flavored tobacco products. The goal: make it harder for young people to obtain tobacco products, which they are suddenly using at an alarmingly higher rates throughout Marin and across the nation.
Surprised that you could be held responsible for teen substance use at your home? Whether or not you are there? Consider how lightweight that fine seems in comparison with the cost that could result if there are any injuries or accidents that occur as a result of underage substance use at a residence.