October 4, 2011

The letting of the go

[The following is a sponsored post about an interesting patent-pending product. I do hope you'll view the video below and chime in with your thoughts in this conversation.]

Just yesterday Noah came in from playing in the neighbor's yard, the sky nearing night, and I told him he couldn't go back out. But we were playing CSI! They don't have to go in yet, MOOOOMMMM. Okay, honestly? I was so excited that he had friends and was outside playing that I let him go for ten more minutes. Not even thinking to ask wait, hey, how do you play CSI anyway?

So, like many mothers, I'm kind of playing it by ear... this whole parenting thing and the letting of the go. Which has been fine so far for me- I go with my gut! Listen to my heart. Respect their feelings and dreams and omg they grow up and soon are farther out of reach. I'm now texting his cell phone to say "time to come home" because he's farther than my voice can carry from the front door.

I delight in Noah and his emerging independence. But I do not know what lies ahead for him as a growing person, and me as a growing parent.

The video below is, well, sobering.

Those statistics are real no matter if you think it applies to your child or not. As a mom who wants to be able to talk openly and honestly with my kids (sounds so easy right now when my oldest is ten), including the desire to respect their privacy and development of good choices on their own, I kinda like the idea of a remote alcohol monitoring product like Soberlink.

Jeff and I watched and discussed it together. His concerns were that Soberlink is quite invasive, and stressed the consideration of our child's feelings and trust as a top priority. He wonders how it would effect our relationship with the kids if we say we trust them but then tell them to prove it with such a device. We prefer to trust them until they give us a reason to not trust. Then, only after that trust is broken we would absolutely consider something like Soberlink, with good reason.

Of course it's important to note that the legal drinking age doesn't include teenagers at all. So, I don't intend to give the impression that I condone the idea of letting teenagers drink alcohol responsibly. But a good conversation starter? Yes. Even if just between you as parents, especially if your child is too young to really consider a device like this or you assume it will never be an issue with your kids.

Hmmm. Your thoughts?


  1. My thoughts on this, as a parent and a former underage drinker, are just no. No way.

    Look, I totally get that drinking underage is a problem, but this device would have made me resent my parents and rebel even more than I did as a teen.

    You have to trust yourself as a parent and believe that you are doing all that you can do. Mistakes are part of growing up and I feel that video is a tad bit in your face/scare tactics for my liking, I do agree with you regarding "trust until they give us a reason to trust".

  2. We were just talking yesterday about how terrified we are to be parents to a teen in just over a decade when teens these days never fail to shock us. I drank a few times as a teen, but we were the kids who always had a dd and still had curfews! Then you have G whose first drink was when he began dating me at 22. We're a varied couple!

    Still I think that unless they've broken your trust and/or seem to have really poor judgement when it comes to their peers that this would just feel wrong to me. A breathalyzer on a car is one thing, but so detailed on a phone. It just makes me think that the company doesn't trust kids at all, nor our ability to raise ones who are more intelligent and thoughtful than that.

  3. My kids are 17, 13 and 11. We have talked openly about drinking and driving. We don't drink very much ourselves, just once in a rare while, we have allowed the kids to have a taste this way the curiosity factor is taken care of.
    I must say I would never ask my kids to use that device, it boils down to trust. It's not too long now till they are out on their own and by this point I have to trust them. And they need to trust me.
    I just showed the video to my 17 year old daughter and these are her thoughts
    "It sounds like something an overbearing parent would use. If you have to resort to that then you need to think hard about repairing your relationship between your teen and yourself."
    Out of the mouth of babes.

  4. I thnk it's funny that the ad says "this device empowers your teen to make the right choices in moments that matter the most". How? Because they'd be too afraid of getting caught to do anything else? How does that empower them? This is just another product sold through fear tactics to parents who feel like they need to have constant control.

  5. Completely agree with Maggie. Empowered decision making means making the right choice when nobody is looking, not making the right choice because you might get caught.

  6. Good intentions but bad idea. Getting your child through the teen years is hard enough - they can so oppositional - and to do anything to impeed their trust is asking for rebellion. The best way is to talk, talk, talk, talk. Even if you don't think they're listening, some of it gets through and, deep down, they know you love them. Been there, done it, survived it, and so did my kids:)

  7. SO interesting how the comments here are so different than the ones on my SoberLink post. I mean, some people said the same thing...but there were a lot of people that were all for it. I think it's just a really tricky issue in general. I wouldn't use the device myself, but I understand why some people would.

  8. As a teenager being able to make an empowered decision means someone having your back. Have you ever been surrounded by your friends offering you a drink and you saying no? Not all teens have the courage to do that. This device would give them a bonafide "Excuse" that they could blame their reason for not drinking on. They can't be called chicken (or worse) for not going with the crowd. This shows their parents that they are willing to go the extra mile to prove trust. Trust is earned, not given. I was trusted by my parents. Straight A student, honor roll, dance team, and part time job. What they didn't know was that I was the school party girl, drinking EVERY weekend. Sometimes until I blacked out! They put check-ins in place, but I was sneaky and found ways around them. Did you see the stats? If your kid isn't the one drinking then his friends are, and with some regularity. Don't be naive! If I hadn't totaled my car by being under the influence my parents would have NEVER known! I was that good at hiding it. 3 years they were clueless to my binge drinking. Think about that.


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