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Discussion Starter #1
My 19 year old son is in his first year of college and lives on campus, last weekend he was at a bar and got a ticket for underage drinking. He called me the next day and told me. Most people will think that's no big deal but with my family's drinking issues and his mom's family's issues drinking at all is an issue, but that's not relevant to this thread.

My question is should I attend court with him, my thoughts are divided. On one hand I think if the judge see's the kids father there at least he knows the parent is involved and maybe will be a little less harsh with fines, also I can try and make sure my son acts and dress'es accordingly in front of the judge.

On the other hand letting him go alone may have more of an impact on him, I got to think it's going to scare the snot out of him going in front of a judge. But that approach leaves me afraid something bad could get worse, like the judge decides to make an example of him.

Should I attend the hearing or just let him go it alone? Either way the consenquences are his to deal with no matter what.
 

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I would probably go with him, but let him know you strongly disapprove of his behavior. Over the years, I've had much better results with my daughters by always being there for them. You may want to ask him what he wants.

BTW, that bar should be in trouble for serving him!
 

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No one can tell you what to do in this situation.

I think that as codependents we try to protect our addicts from experiencing the full consequences of their actions. The longer we soften their blows, the longer it takes for them to hit rock bottom, or snap out of it.

I'm not saying your son is an addict, but it sounds like addictive behaviors are something he has in his blood.

Some would say he is an adult, he made an adult decision, he can face the consequences like an adult.

on the other hand, he is your son and you are the one that has to deal with the consequences of attending with him, or not attending with him. If the guilt of not being there for him is going to eat at you, and the "what if I went with him" thoughts are going to haunt you, then by all means go. If you are content with letting him handle this on his own, let him take care of it on his own. you, too, have to be in the proper mental state to let him handle his own battles.

Personally, if it were me, I wouldn't go. But there was a long time where I would have done everything in my power to protect my addict from the consequences of their actions. I wanted to know that if anything fatal happened, I did everything in my power to stop it. Eventually I learned that my meddling, micromanaging, and bailing out only exacerbated the problem. I learned I couldn't do anything to fix the addict.

I could ramble on for a long time on this subject, sharing stories and how I finally learned I couldn't bail my addict out anymore (something I am still learning, unfortunately) But I don't know how much of it would be helpful to you in your particular situation, and how much of it I would be saying just to hear myself ramble.

Good luck, I know this isn't an easy decision to make.
 

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I would go THIS time.... and I did with my son. But I also made sure he understood it was a one time deal. That way, it was a win-win. He saw that I am there for him, and he also understood that he has to behave like a responsible adult.
 

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Go with him this time.

Make it clear you will go this time but not next time.

I see this as a principle issue.

In my country he would be out drinking any time he liked from 18 so I don't see it as anything that can be controlled as a parent from that age onward.

In your country, he knows the boundaries, and you stand by him when he needs it. The first time is a mistake. The second time he knows exactly what he is getting into. And so he invites what ever else in the full knowledge. He cannot blame you for not being there the second time it happens, and he cannot criticise you for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Court isn't until 10/12, I have decided to attend the hearing. I'm hoping instead of a fine they give him some community service and make him work at the homeless shelter a few evenings.

I actually had a good teaching opportunity this weekend, there was a birthday party at my sisters house. My sister and her husband are in their mid 50's and hard core partiers, as are their friends. I picked my son up from college and took him to the party just so he could see what a life time of drinking and drugs will get you, all things I have pointed out before but a bunch of drunken toothless loud mouths sure helps drive the point home.
 

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Had the court hearing today, my son was able to take a program for first time offenders that combines community service and some classes about drinking. As long as he completes the program the charges will not be on his record.

Just for the record I am glad I went, there was 8 other kids there for the same thing and you should have heard them talking, how stupid the law is, how they drink all the time and it's no big deal, one girl was bragging that she hadn't even made it through the first semester and she already got busted. Immature arrogant idiots. I was the only parent that was there, it sounded like most of the kids hadn't even told their parents. I guess legally they don't have to so I am glad my son called and told me about it.
 

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Had the court hearing today, my son was able to take a program for first time offenders that combines community service and some classes about drinking. As long as he completes the program the charges will not be on his record.

Just for the record I am glad I went, there was 8 other kids there for the same thing and you should have heard them talking, how stupid the law is, how they drink all the time and it's no big deal, one girl was bragging that she hadn't even made it through the first semester and she already got busted. Immature arrogant idiots. I was the only parent that was there, it sounded like most of the kids hadn't even told their parents. I guess legally they don't have to so I am glad my son called and told me about it.
You were there for him, even though he, and HE ALONE, would have to face the music.

Those other kids there, seeing as their families were NOT there (whether they were told or not), their flippant attitude surprises me not one bit.

P.S. Loved the party tactic!:D
 
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