Last night, my daughter came home drunk from a party. She’s 15-years-old and has never been drunk in her life. She was crying, apologizing, and confused. She managed to take a shower, drank some water and got into bed.
When she woke up this morning, she was upset, and worried I’d be angry. Obviously, I’m not pleased, but I’m more concerned about what happened and how. As far as I knew, she was going to a friend’s, the parents were home, and some other similar aged girls and boys were dropping by.
Apparently, that’s not what went down. When my husband dropped her off, he waved hello to the other girl’s mother and said, “Have fun!” To which she replied, “Thank you.” But she thought he knew that she and her husband were going out of town for her surprise birthday gift.
In their defence, those parents thought my daughter was sleeping over, along with one other friend, and that their older son was also having a few friends over so the girls weren’t alone.
I’m not sure who played whom, and thankfully, other than a headache, my daughter is fine. But it could have been much worse. What are my next steps here?
Your daughter obviously respects and trusts you. She came home knowing you’d be unhappy with her, but also knowing home was a safe place. Well done you on the parenting side.
Definitely a call to the other parents is in order. I would say wait until they get home from their trip, but I’m concerned about their daughter (if yours came home drunk, there’s a good chance theirs was drunk as well), and the state of their house. Depending on the girls’ friendship, your daughter could call her friend, and then you could drive her over, make sure her friend is OK, help clean up and then call the parents.
I think the way your daughter feels is punishment enough. You knew she was going to a party; she’s 15, not 12; and she was scared and felt ill. Unless she lied to you, and knew what the party was really going to look like, she hasn’t really done anything punishable.
But obviously you have to talk to her about why drinking is illegal for her age, the effects of alcohol on her underdeveloped brain, and about quality, quantity and mixing.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman looking after her parents and living in the country (Oct. 26):
Reader – “When I read your response today to ‘Ignorant in the hills,’ my first thought was ‘I think Lisi had a decent childhood.’ This is a wonderful thing, and your response is excellent if the writer does indeed have a normal childhood, but it sounds like he does not.
“I am 39 years old and my parents are dead. My amazing older sister and I looked after our mom and ourselves when she could not look after us. She suffered from schizophrenia and cancer throughout her short life. She died when I was 20, and we were in charge of looking after the house, our mom and each other. No one braided our hair, did the laundry or made meals for us. My sister and I had to do it ourselves and for our parents.
“My dad was an alcoholic but was incredibly successful professionally so we were fortunate to not suffer financially. He had an autoimmune disease that left him immobile for the last decade or so, and was again cared for by me and my sister until he died.
“I love my parents and I know both parents loved us as best they could, but with lots of therapy and assistance from many medical professionals throughout the years, I now understand this is not what a healthy childhood entails. This letter writer is parenting his parents. Please give him some grace. Social media is the last thing on his mind... he is too busy and exhausted in his caregiver role which he has had to take on far too soon to think about what is being posted on Instagram.”
Lisi – I’m sorry to hear that you did not have what you consider a “normal” childhood. However, you sound strong, well-adjusted and thoughtful. And you have an incredibly tight relationship with your sister. Bonus.
I agree that the letter-writer sounds as though their own life is overshadowed by the caregiving of their mother, and that is agreeably all-consuming.
I wasn’t judging the letter writer – that’s not my job or my go-to response – but advising them on how to stay current. And with social media, it’s very easy.