Are you talking to your kids?

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Just_A_Mom, May 17, 2007.

  1. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Parents - yep you who are about to send your kids off this June, July and August - don't forget to have that all important talk about alcohol. All of these situations where kids get themselves into trouble are rooted in excessive use of alcohol. Even if yours is going to an academy and is a plebe - they still need to hear it from you. They will eventually be in a situation where they have to make a decision about alcohol.
    Believe it or not, kids do listen to their parents. They may pretend not to, or don't want to but they do listen and they do remember your advice.

    Please, please remind them of the dangers of binge drinking. Talk to them about how binge drinking clouds judgement and impairs reasonable thinking.
    Trust me, good kids with good parents can get into trouble with alcohol.
    While they are still home- continue to find those "teachable" moments.
    Go ahead and talk of the latest drinking "scandals" but take it a step further and talk about the impact that alcohol had on the situation and the importance of drinking responsbily. Do not leave this job solely to the academies or orientation at college. Let them hear it from YOU. Let them hear your expectations for behavior.
    When they come home on leave or break, continue to find teachable moments, as well. Remember when your baby was born and it suddenly hit you - that you are responsible for this little life for the next 18 years? Ha Ha - Guess what? Parenting never ends. You just get be a spectator a whole lot more instead of in the game.

    Off my soapbox now - Have a very happy and safe graduation season - congratulations on a job well done and raising amazing kids!
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    Amen. Said well and rightly. As we've all discovered, this is disaster, tragedy, and sadness disguised as just a six pack ...
     
  3. BR2011

    BR2011 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    9
    sadly i think this conversation should be had before high school. theres only a few kids i know who DONT drink.
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yep, BR you are right - before high school, during high school, after high school - it needs to be ongoing and open.
     
  5. nurseypoo

    nurseypoo Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've talked to my kids since they were really young about drugs and alcohol. Plus, since I have wacked out patients who drink and do drugs (hence the problems we have in surgery with them), I have lots of stories to tell them. All true and they think these people are absolute idiots.

    Thank God!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2007
  6. OldProp

    OldProp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Minnesotan Cadet tragedy

    A sotry which was incredibly tragic was the Minneapolis 2nd year USMA cadet who during Christmas liberty received a DUI and leaving the scene of an accident criminal charge. He went missing and was found this spring after the ice broke up - apparently a suicide.


    The pressure and terrible time the poor cadet must have gone through.

    USMA showed amazing tact and reported that as he had not been convicted of any crime, he was noted to have served with honor and distinction until his death.

    What we did, especially as the senior high school students started to clebrate the approach of year end and graduation, is call all of our son's friends and tell them he was doing something different and with different demands and standards than colleges, and if they were his true friend they would protect his status. Everyone of them undertood and relayed they would take care of him. We also talked with our son and he understands and pruposefully stays away from events and situations where it is likely his peers are drinking.
     
  7. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    1
    I heard about that story but I understood he was found this spring after the ice had thawed and that apparently he had fallen in and it was a tragic accident.
     
  8. OldProp

    OldProp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    likely best way to see it

    I am sure it was an accident.

    But I think we can all understand the pressure these kids are in when their peer group back home just before Beast or during visits back home have a completely different set of standards to meet. Their friends are not in the Army - even the ROTC guys.
     
  9. MarathonMom

    MarathonMom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just_a_Mom,

    I'm glad you brought this up...good post. We talk to our son (2010) every time he comes home and before he joins up with his high school buddies. I know we sound like a scratched record--but his dad and I sing that same tune everytime he walks out the door. :shake:
     
  10. ArmyWife29

    ArmyWife29 Parent

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    We talk to ours all the time! Thank you for bringing this up! So important!:angel:
     
  11. Just a Dad

    Just a Dad New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is perhaps the most valuable information I have have seen posted to date. If the kids entering school don't hear this from their parents, chances are they won't hear it at all - until bad things happen.
     
  12. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    2
    My Mid and I have talked about personal use of alcohol, but one thing we haven't discussed enough (probably) is the problem of "guilt by association." Whether they're on leave with HS friends, or on liberty with other Mids or ship's crew, making decisions about what they will or won't do themselves isn't enough. They also need to be able to judge others well enough to stay out of the company of those whose actions could jeopardize their careers. It's so easy to throw away your entire future on a 6 pack (or other folly).

    Thank goodness we haven't had an issue, but it breaks my heart every time a story comes up of a Mid/Cadet whose life is forever changed or ended by issues like this.
     
  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,370
    Likes Received:
    1,839
    Good thoughts... anything that helps to keep that under-developed impulse control in check when exposed to alcohol, hormones and wayward group-think will help.

    We talk a lot with our sponsor family about "operational risk management." I ask them to think about the phone call home they would have to make if they mess up before a major holiday or graduation, and they can't go home, upsetting family or possibly derailing their career. We respect them as adults and involve them in a dialogue going about things to watch out for, to think through what the negative consequences could be in the worst case.

    Some of the worst conduct trouble in our family has been with those who were locked down too hard in high school (as in, no dating, none of the usual social experiments) and didn't get to test their wings a bit there in a parentally-controlled environment and suffer consequences, or those who have low self-esteem and are easily swayed by pack leaders who are looking to work every angle of the conduct system.

    We have no doubt our sponsor family members have broken many, many Mid Regs over the years. They either scare themselves silly and breathe a sigh of relief they weren't caught, or realize it wasn't worth it after all. That's all part of growing self-discipline and making deliberate choices, the journey toward being ready to be a junior officer responsible for enlisted personnel and the mission. The sad ones are the cases that fall into UCMJ territory, as several of the cases discussed on here have done. Regardless of the circumstances of the case, I have great sympathy for the families, who sent their son or daughter off with high hopes.
     

Share This Page