Open Phones: TMI for Parents on College Partying?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

beer pong drinking party

Parents of kids about to go to college or parents with kids already in college, how much do you want to know about their partying? Call us up at 212-433-WNYC.

Parents with kids in college, talk to the parents who are about to send theirs off. What advice would you give them about how much to worry, how to much to ask about, and what guidance they should offer their departing college freshman? Maybe you've seen the story about thirteen people ending up in the hospital after binge drinking at Seton Hall University's Spring Fling. How much does that worry you when you think about your own college kid? Or maybe you heard that Wesleyan University alerted parents about the annual Tour De Franzia drinking-while-biking event. Is that too much information? Let us know what you think. 212-433-9692 or comment below.

Comments [25]

bingebiking from tinseltown

"drinking-while-biking" sounds hilariously fun, too bad Wesleyan students don't actually do that

May. 09 2013 06:21 PM

There is no one rule that works for everyone. Even though my daughter spent a semester in Spain drinking wine or whatever at every meal, and was able to drink anywhere, she returned to school and still drinks heavily at campus parties. We introduced her to alcohol at home before she ever went to college but it made no difference, even though she actually got drunk at home one time from overdrinking. For all you parents whose kids are about to go off to college, don't fool yourselves that your kids will be any different.

All kids are

May. 07 2013 07:48 PM

I think choosing not to drink has to come from within to survive the sometimes heavy social pressures of adolescence and early adulthood. If people are forbidden to drink, but not convinced that it is the right thing for them, they are likely to rebel when given the opportunity. If on the other hand you decided for yourself not to drink (the reasons can vary) and you don't mind other people's drinking, it is pretty easy. I have always been very happy to be the designated driver. Since I don't drink it does not cost me anything and it is my little contribution to keeping the people I hold dear safe from harm. It is useful for young people to know that you can party with the rest of them without drinking. As the people around you lose their inhibitions through drinking you can loosen up your own reigns, but still retain some control. You are relaxing as the people around you are doing it, but you remain alert. It may also be helpful to lose yourself in music or dancing. Physical exertion and rhythm can provide many of the same releases as people get from drinking, but you don't get the adverse effects the day after. Being a non-drinker is generally cheaper, makes recovery from a party quicker and easier, helps you avoid some very dangerous situations, and may help you save family and friends in adverse situations. Of course there is also a cost: You still will make some mistakes, but never have the easy excuses available to everyone else. Moreover, you don't get the inadvertent benefits that could result from the bad mistakes you choose not to make.

May. 07 2013 01:10 PM

How about the puritanical american phenomenon of prohibition?

In cultures (Italian/French) where children are introduced to responsible drinking habits at the family dinner table, there is no (or VERY little) binge drinking by college-age kids.

A little education goes a long way...

May. 07 2013 12:33 PM
Philip from Brooklyn

18 year olds are binge drinking in the military as well. I know I was one of them some time ago. So people of college age and military age are looked upon differently for some reason. This is not apples and oranges. Both groups are on the threshold of adulthood.

May. 07 2013 12:25 PM

Grown adult parents using their own son as the designated driver and now he does not want to drink? Can you imagine what he has witnessed? Some role models there....

May. 07 2013 12:19 PM
Becca from NJ

I once received a pants call from my son, in his dorm room, discussing with a friend who turns out was a drug dealer, how my son would become a dealer with him. I texted my son, "Leave your room and call your mother." He called me. I told him he had to come home the next morning for a meeting with me. He came home, I read him the riot act, he was put on probation with Mom, which meant coming home every weekend for the rest of the semester. Thank god for Megabus.

As fate would have it, the next day while I was reading him the riot act, his dorm was busted by College Police, and his roommate thrown out of school for drinking, and the drug dealer kid arrested for drugs. my son called housing that day and got assigned a room in another dorm, and he had a good semester after that. This episode scared him for a while, which gave him some time to mature, and as a graduating senior he's not all that interested in partying as he was when he was a freshman.

Still can't believe I got that pants call. Clear as a bell, heard every word, wouldn't believe it if I saw it in a movie.

May. 07 2013 12:13 PM
Katherine from Manhattan

You are not doing your college student any favors by treating them like children. Part of your son or daughter's college education is to learn how to be a responsible adult. They are capable of figuring it out. It's one of the hardest parts of being a parent but you have to let your kids make mistakes and learn from them. My son is 23, a college grad and one of the few in his group of friends with a real job...(that he found on his own.)

May. 07 2013 12:12 PM assign your kid to be the designated driver while you get wasted in bars?!?!?

Is it really any SURPRISE the kid doesn't have an interest in being impaired?!?!

He's smart enough to understand that he has been the forced enabler of his own parents alcoholism!

He's choosing to be emotionally functional.

May. 07 2013 12:02 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Yo...some of these parents are bananas.

May. 07 2013 11:59 AM
Nancy from NYC

Yes, teach them to respect and be cautious about booze or whatever they're ingesting. Teach them at home, before they go away to college.

May. 07 2013 11:59 AM
John A

And prescription drugs:

Jon Booth said
"I've definitely seen this new normal in my university. If all the other students in your class are blasting through their papers in one night using Adderral, you don't seen any reason not to use it too. Plus, you have more time to party."
Mar. 21 2013 10:55 AM

May. 07 2013 11:59 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Wow, that last woman was hilarious!

May. 07 2013 11:57 AM
Tish from Brooklyn

My parents were VERY strict with me when I was a teenager, and forbade me from drinking and "socializing" like many teenagers would have 20 years ago. Before I went to college, I remember my Dad telling me "the things I've done and ways I behaved that I regret the most were when I was under the influence of alcohol." That was it for talking to a teenager whose grandmother was an alcoholic (I found out years later).
On the other hand, my husband's mom was a teacher at LaGuardia High School, and she made sure she talked to her kids about drugs and alcohol, and told them that no matter what, they should call her if they were in a situation they couldn't handle, and often made sure her kids "partied" at home with their friends where they were safe. I also went to a VERY consdervative college, while he went to a VERY liberal college.
I made the BIGGEST mistakes with alcohol in college and just kind of went wild with a bunch with regrets and shame; while my husband partied quite a bit in his fraternity, he was also fairly informed and it seems did far less that led to regrets and dangerous situations.

May. 07 2013 11:57 AM
PJ from Nj

I am going to send my son to my country in the Caribbean in his senior year so he can see how kids his age behave. Being a teen doesn't mean being stupid and immature as I see with kids here. I went to college there and I have never seen anyone drunk, maybe because I could buy a beer since I was 5. The novelty around this stuff wears off quick

May. 07 2013 11:57 AM
cristi from Manhattan

How and when can youth grow up if they are constantly monitored by their parents? When their brains are still developing/minors they do need close supervision, but isn't college the time to explore and learn?

May. 07 2013 11:56 AM
Dee from Brooklyn

When I was in college I was not a fan of drinking because I saw how out of control people around me were. So I was always the designated driver...I smoked pot instead.

May. 07 2013 11:56 AM

The jocular tone of this discussion is VERY disturbing!!!

May. 07 2013 11:55 AM

Our youngest of four is last to graduate college this year. She was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning while in high school during Christmas recess. She was lucky; but, didn't learn the lesson as she still get snookered more often than not when out and about with friends. Her brothers and sister did not drink so much in HS but did so in college as most. They all are good about DD or taxis when drinking so that lesson has been learned. I tell them all the time when one gets that polluted they are unhappy and need to talk to someone.

May. 07 2013 11:55 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

I think if the student is paying for him/herself it's none of their parents' business. They're adults & entitled to their privacy.

Now, if the parents are paying the freight - that's a different story.

May. 07 2013 11:55 AM
Harriot from Brooklyn

I can't believe how many parents are okay with violating their (grown) kids' privacy! Reading someone else's email should be a red line.

May. 07 2013 11:54 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Good parenting means knowing the good and the bad.

Advice to your children: less drinking, more studying!

May. 07 2013 11:51 AM
William from Manhattan

Weekly Skyping works for us. Granted, our son (a junior at a university in the midwest not particularly known for partying) has always been level-headed (more so than me, I would say). It does help for all of us to get to see and talk to each other for a half-hour or so.

May. 07 2013 11:50 AM
Nancy from NYC

Caller -- setting it up so you can read your college student's emails? Ugh.

May. 07 2013 11:50 AM
Allison from Park Slope

I have a step-daughter going to college...I know what I did in college and I want to know NOTHING. She can tell me stuff if she needs help but other than that...want to know NOTHING AT ALL.

May. 07 2013 11:50 AM

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