Anderson Cooper: Underage Drinking & Parent Advice

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Anderson Cooper: Underage Drinking Advice for Parents

After Bill and Cynthia’s story on underage drinking, Anderson invited Wes and Theonia onto the set to share their experience. The couple allowed their daughter to invite 130 of her friends over for a graduation party. Actually, the 130 friends were the entire graduating class!

Wes and Theonia invited one other couple over to help watch the kids, as both the audience and myself knew where this story was heading. Sure enough, the sleepover – consisting of tents in the backyard – involved alcohol, even after Theonia stood on a picnic table and mandated a strict no alcohol policy. Of course, teenagers will be teenagers.

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Anderson Cooper Underage Drinking

The police arrived at 11pm and Wes was hauled away into the back of a police cruiser. Sitting beside him was a kid from the party, very much intoxicated. The gravity of the situation hit Wes full force after seeing the kid. This time around, the parent was only charged with two misdemeanors: for throwing a house party and serving beer to minors.

Words of advice from the wife: just because you trust your kid, it shouldn’t automatically extend to friends of theirs. This implied her daughter was in the clear, something I tend to doubt, but who knows? The husband admitted that both parents were woefully inadequate at providing supervision for the night and seemed sincerely naïve to the fact that a backyard full of teenagers would resort to drinking.

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Anderson Cooper: Advice for Parents

Anderson admitted to drinking as a kid and going to great lengths to hide this from his parents and teachers. On the contrary, CNN legal expert Sunny Hostin and family blogger Renee Syler proclaimed they had never partook in underage drinking.  Anderson seemed more than skeptical as he asked the two experts to share legal advice on the subject.

Sunny, after emphatically stating it was best to never have a party in the first place, rattled off a checklist for parents: hire an off duty officer, invite over a lot of other parents, and ask children to sign waivers. Quite frankly, I’m a little skeptical about the last bit of advice. I can only assume a 15-year olds scribbling his name on a page isn’t going to cut it in court. Having more adults around also just seems like common sense.

Renee added that parents should be parents, not pals. Be in the middle of the party and don’t worry about hurting feelings or making your child feel uncomfortable. That’s certainly a pretty good strategy to abide by.

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