Rule #1: Get Wasted With Your Kids

in Rules of Parenting

Drinking With Your Kids is Cool

Last one to the bottom has to drive home.

Admit it. You want to be a teenager again. It’s not the loose-fitting clothing. It’s not the brazenly hip banter or the meaningful grunts that translate into intelligent conversation among peers. It’s not even the prospect of rolling naked in a field or in the backseat of a Malibu with a relative stranger.

No, it’s none of these things. You simply want to be cool again.

And the only way to feel cool again—and be accepted in the pantheon of coolness—is to get wasted with your teenager and his friends. There are those who will call the idea preposterous, and there are laws on the books in many (OK, all) jurisdictions that prohibit drug- and alcohol-related indiscretions when it comes to juveniles. But the law is for old sober people, and the law has no regard for an adult’s desire to relive the misguided, drunken rush of picking a fight with two security guards at a ZZ Top concert or earnestly discussing, until 3 in the morning, how outrageously good funnel cake is.

So some of you might be asking, “Dude, why don’t you just get wasted with your old-ass friends and leave the teenagers alone?” This is complicated. You see, somehow, some way, the act of getting wasted with your friends loses its coolness around the age of 31.

old guy passed out from drinking

Going beer for beer with your kid is hard. You should try anyway.

This is mainly because once you find yourself wasted, nothing terribly good happens except going to bed feeling bloated and blotchy. You actually want to clean up the disgusting things in the sink. Whereas when you’re a teenager, you get wasted and never consider the sink. Indeed, the sink is merely an abstract conduit of utility.

This is the difference, and it is a revelation. And the revelation is only cool if you follow up on it.

This Is About You, Not Them

Moralists will say getting wasted with your teenager is wrongheaded. But moralists often forget that your teenager is much cooler than you. By joining them in their underage binge drinking and rampant pot-smoking, you’re simply saying, “Hey, I’m into making bad decisions, too—only mine are much worse than yours because I have a minivan, a mortgage and a 401(k).”

Which means that if getting wasted as a teenager is cool, getting wasted when the stakes are infinitely higher is even cooler. Besides, wouldn’t you rather have them getting wasted at your house (instead of with one of their friend’s parents)?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kevin October 25, 2008 at 11:26 am

the last sentence is a total clincher. great blog.


Donna Peak October 28, 2008 at 7:33 am

Taking this drinking advice one baby-step at a time…
My 3-year-old daughter loves drinking from a mug and thinks everything that comes out of said mug is “coffee.” She also thinks every brownish beverage is “coffee.” Hence, when we’re out a restaurant and she asks me, “Mommy, can I have a sip of your coffee,” more than a few eyebrows of nearby patrons are raised. “How DARE she give her child coffee?” they gasp. “It will stunt her growth.” “How irresponsible!!!” But damn if my kid doesn’t love me! Next step, beer mugs–perhaps for her 5th birthday.


GM1971 October 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I agree with Donna. People gotta relax. I often joke with my 6-yr-old about going out for a coffee or a pint. He knows there’s no bloody way in hell that’s going to happen, but we have a good laugh. “Dad, I’m not a grown up, you silly head!”


Bettis March 6, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Is it bad that my parents used me as a beer fetching machine when I was young? I mean, I was also used as the TV remote control (“Jump up and change the channel to Dean Martin for me honey”) and the Caller ID (“Sweetie, grab the phone and find out who it is for me. . .”) and the answering machine (“. . and if it’s Mrs. Robins down the street just take a message for me and I’ll call her back later”) so at age 8 the phrase “Go grab me a beer, punkin” was a natural progression for me. It took only a few weeks to see that this job, however, didn’t suck as much as the others. Why they never questioned that their drinks were always half empty by the time the beer arrived in their hands I’ll never know. So, in a way, yeah – I’ve been drinking with my parents for a really long time. Good Rule.


Crystal June 23, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Love it! I was also all those things as a child! Sometimes they didn’t even have to ask me I would just get my father another beer when it was low. As I got older I would throw the almost empty one away before replacing it. Never got questioned about the beer left in the bottle!


sailor January 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

no its not bad i trained my godson to fetch beer from the fridge, he hasnt learned their names yet just colors but a little more training and he will be able to make the perfect martini on request, and now that i think about it my beer is always a little light… little scamp he earned a lollipop.


Christine Bukowski July 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm

My oldest son who is now 21 refuses to let me take him out for a night of rebonding ala binge drinking in the college town he moved to. He has no problem letting me buy him 1/2 gallons of absolute and drive the 40 miles to deliver it to him when he’s low on cash but I dare not try to stick around and drink it with him. I think his greatest problem with it is the fact that all of his college age friends find me a milf. I must state that I am not a cougar I am a milf there is a huge difference. I do not go after his hot lil friends. No way no how. I’m not that chick. The nasty thoughts I have about his 20 something friends I keep to myself. I can not control the fact that his friends stare at me with milf intent however. I’m sure it must be uncomfortable for him to see his buddies looking at his moms ass or to overhear a disscussion on what they would like to do to his mom. He needs to find a way to get over though because I have been invited to the huge back to school bash by his roomate who also said I can crash in his room if I got too wasted to drive the 40 miles back home.I accepted the invitation to the party but told his room mate thanks but I think I’ll just crash in Alex’s bed so I can snuggle him and sing him to sleep like I used to. He will love that I’m sure he misses it as much as I do.LOL.


skywalker September 6, 2010 at 3:51 am

@Christine Bukowski, my mother is considered by some to be a milf as well, and I found a way to deal with it. What I do is keep a small wire object, like a piece of coat hanger, with one end in a lit candle at all times. Then when I catch one of my friends staring at my moms ass, I simply bury the hot wire in his eye socket. I usually only have to do this once.


Christa June 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

I never in my life seen my parents drink booze of any kind. And my kids never see me drinking it either! It looks disgusting.


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