Your teen knows that they shouldn’t drink. Though you have alcohol in the house, you have always been very open with them about the fact that they need to wait until they are 21 years of age to consume it themselves.
On the whole, you feel like your teen is smart and obedient, and you’ve never worried that much. Then you get a call from the police that they were picked up at a party. They had a beer in their hand and the remains of a six-pack in their car. What happened?
Teens want to fit in
The issue may be peer pressure, which experts have said is a major reason for underage drinking. Even teens who would never consider drinking on their own may be talked into it by their friends. They absolutely want to fit in — even when they say they don’t — and being the only person at a party who refuses to drink makes them feel like an outsider.
They could even be pressured by people who aren’t their friends. Maybe your teen’s main peer group also doesn’t drink, but they all wound up at a larger party with a different crowd. Again, not wanting to be seen as outsiders at a social gathering, they may have decided to do things they never would have done if they just stayed at your house to hang out.
What should you do next?
Peer pressure is something every teen faces. You don’t want it to impact their entire future. Make sure you know what legal options exist for you and your teen after an arrest.