It’s Monday – let’s get talking…
Hands up who used to drink “rocket fuel” when they were a teenager. You know, when someone would pour a mix of all their parent’s booze into a plastic coke bottle. We put Bailey’s into our rocket fuel once and it curdled. We still drank it before the party we were going to. Gross. Pink champagne and casks of peach cooler were also favourites. Or we’d all put in and get someone’s older brother to buy us a bottle of vodka. Then we’d go to our local Pizza Hut or Maccas, buy massive Fantas and spike our drinks with it. We’d sit on the bus on our way to Seniors (an underage disco) drinking our half-and-half concoctions, thinking no-one was the wiser. I shudder thinking about.
In a news.com.au story on the weekend, it detailed police picking up 13 drunk and drug affected teens as young as 14-years-old. In some of the cases, their parents did not know where they were. In some cases, their parents did not care. It’s not a new story. Every night there’s a drunk teen somewhere. Not too surprising seeing that alcohol is so freely available and so openly promoted. We’re a nation of drinkers, you only have to think about how former prime minister Bob Hawke was given a champion’s reception for sculling beer at the cricket recently.
I suppose it’s made me think more about my girls and how we deal with the issue of alcohol use in front of them.
You see, we’re a pretty open household. We don’t play kids music in the car, generally the radio is tuned to Triple J or we’re signing along to Sia or the Beastie Boys. We have hip hop dance offs in the morning while watching MTV and we talk quite openly in front of our children about life. Swearing is only for adults, except our middle child has given it her best shot lately. And instead of play cafes, we have frequent visits to the markets, China Town and Bunnings (I am married to a man, visits to Bunnings are a given). We want our kids to grow up in the world, rather than shielded too much from it.
Lately, I’ve wondered if there’s one area we need to start protecting them from and that’s drinking. Most nights my husband and I will share a bottle of wine and lately the kids have noticed. When we walk past the bottle shop the kids will say loudly: “Do you need to get some more wine, Mum?” and recently we drove past a billboard advertising alcohol and one of the kids exclaimed: “There’s another bottle shop ad. Do you need to go there?”.
The kids that were caught by police in Sydney could’ve been in any state of Australia. They could’ve been me or my friends when we were younger. We were good kids, we were just experimenting. Perhaps it’s time we start taking some of the temptation away and treat alcohol for what it is – a drug. Perhaps we need to stop publicly advertising it, like we did cigarettes. Perhaps we need to start looking inwardly at our own relationship with alcohol and watch out our kids aren’t following our lead. Or perhaps that’s just me?
What do you think about it?
Have a fab day,
Main photo: Pinterest