ABU DHABI // For one British expatriate, the thought of the possible ramifications of her teenager being caught drinking alcohol led her to send him home to finish his education.
J C was aware of her son drinking from age 16 without her permission. The following year, the mother-of-three sent him back to the UK after living in “constant fear” he would be caught by police.
“These teenage parties are an absolute nightmare to be honest,” she said. “There has been quite a big problem up at Al Zeina, with kids getting into empty flats and having parties.”
J C said that when she moved to the UAE in 2013, she thought teenage drinking would not be an issue.
“At that time, my son was 16 going into Year 10. I thought it was going to be great. There are no drugs, there is no alcohol – it will be safe,” she said. “But they behave just like they do at home except that when you get caught the result is much worse.”
Her son is nearly 18 and it has been a year since she sent him home. “I have known him to drink here without my permission and come home in a state,” she said. “We were constantly worrying he was was going to do something that would get the whole family in trouble.”
J C believed teens had easy access to alcohol. She had heard that they can contact someone known as the “milkman” who sells bottles of spirits out of the boot of his car. Others bought it from liquor stores, hoping they would not be questioned about their age or asked for a licence.
J C said her son, at 190 centimetres, could pass as an adult and would not face questioning from those serving alcohol.
Many parents, she said, also let their children have access to alcohol in their own homes.
“Personally, I was not willing to be responsible. For others, I think the attitude is they would rather it be in their house rather than say ‘no’ altogether – because the teenagers are willing to do it anyway.”
J C said teenagers needed to be aware of the consequences.
“My son didn’t care at his age what would happen if he got caught,” she said. “What is needed is a campaign – from both parents and the schools – about the dangers of alcohol and the ramifications of doing this and getting caught.”
Source: uae news