29 Sep
Because You Can’t Keep A Teenager In A Cage. Even Though You Should.

The word “teenager” strikes fear into many a heart, more than “zombies” or “apocalypse” or “Jerry Springer for President” ever could. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a parent who doesn’t have some back-up plan in place for when their precious son or daughter turns into that moody, self-absorbed, hormonal monster from ages 13-19. This usually involves some form of confinement like boarding school, a mountain cabin, or crate training. And the reason for this is that we are all terrified; scared of the poor decisions our teenagers will make, the least of which is whether or not to give in to peer pressure.

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How do we know to be this fearful? Because we’ve all been there! At 15, I remember thinking it was completely reasonable to do a beer bong after three wine coolers at a party where my friend and I knew absolutely no one. Because being a drunk teenage girl in the middle of a house full of strangers is completely safe.

My mother and step-father were cops so I did, in fact, know better. To this day, my sister and I can recite verbatim a fair number of stories where our mom had to be the one to knock on a parent’s door and tell them their teenager had been killed in a drunk driving accident. And yet, we didn’t listen. It’s only by sheer luck that we are both still here.

These days, I’m a fairly relaxed parent. For example, my son is able to wear whatever he wants, whenever he wants, even if that means I’m accompanying a pirate to the grocery store in the middle of summer. But when I think of his teenage years, I become less laid back. I still believe in giving a child the space and freedom to make choices. However, I also know that once those hormones kick in and there’s a driver’s license involved, all logic goes out the window and peer pressure is paramount. In those instances, a device like Soberlink  can be instrumental. If you have a teenager, take a few minutes to check this out:

In my opinion, there are just some situations where a choice shouldn’t be an option. What do you think? Do you agree? Would you use something like Soberlink when your teenager takes the car out for a night on the town?

– Tonya, TMH

Thank you to Soberlink for sponsoring this post.

18 Responses to “Because You Can’t Keep A Teenager In A Cage. Even Though You Should.”


Comment by Connie.

Absolutely I would use this!!! There were several students killed while I was in high school that was due to drunk driving after parties. I don’t want that knock on the door regarding my daughter.


Comment by Jen.

I like the idea but how do you get them to use it? Puting it in your bag is one thing but…? And what about young men? Are they supposed to put that giant thing in their pocket?

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

This is exactly what I was thinking. 🙂

Marinka Reply:

So this is what I’m thinking– obviously this has to happen in terms of a longer conversation– about drinking responsibly (and I’m sorry, but I’m firmly of the belief that “teenagers drinking responsibly” is an oxymoron), about driving, about privileges and accountability.

In order for this to work, the kid has to sign on to it as well. If the child ignores it and doesn’t check in as agreed, then there is a problem and maybe that’s a clear signal to the parents to look into the issue further.

As to how boys will carry it– good question. Leave it in their car? Backpack? I know that if something’s important enough for them, they’ll figure out a way to make it work.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Our daughter? Didn’t need it. She was and is more responsible than we are. For my son? Definitely thinking about it. He most certainly lives by his own rules.


Comment by Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up).

Hmmm…not familiar with it but I was just discussing yesterday with my daughter about how she’s NEVER driven drunk (nor has her sister) but how stupid some of her friends are about that.

I say talk about it. A lot!!!


Comment by Bean.

Hey – Jerry Springer was a GREAT mayor (Cincinnati) before that whole crossing-state-lines-with-a-hooker-and-paying-with-a-check thing.

(PS: there’s fascinating research related to teens, sleep, car crashes & moodiness in the book Nurtureshock.)


Comment by Angie Uncovered.

I do like this idea, but how would you know if your child using the breathalyzer? I am a big fan of having devices like this installed in ALL vehicles to prevent people of any age from getting behind the wheel when drinking.

I wish there were an absolute answer… but I agree Lynn, talk about it a LOT!

Marinka Reply:

You’d know it was a kid because you get the photo of them using it emailed to you.

Angie Uncovered Reply:

Oh, Duh moment for me. Shoot! Sorry!


Comment by Regina.

i was planning on accompanying my daughter everywhere durning her teenage years and into college. i figure i can get away with it since i’m short – perhaps i could pass for a strange boy in a baseball cap?

i lost one of my closest friends in high school to a drunk driver, so yes, i would use this. or rather, i would insist my child use this. perhaps a better alternative to following her everywhere. teenage years can be hard enough without a crazy, short mother following you yelling, no beer bongs!


Comment by Kristine.

I’m with you Tonya. Peer pressure is an amazing force, and I fear how that will play a role in the years to come. For now, all we can do is help foster self-esteem and good values. But even with those, there’s a natural sense of curiosity, you know?

This looks like a great tool. Just in case, even. And for those with established problems, it looks like a life-saver.


Comment by Carrie.

I think i want to get this for my husband!!! You know, for when i suspect that a late meeting involves scotch rather than powerpoint!!!


Comment by Kelcey.

I love anything that keeps teenagers more safe. I’m already terrified and my oldest is seven.


Comment by Michelle.

Having buried a 19 yr old child just 3 yrs ago, I can say that anything that helps is worth the investment. I have received the 2 a.m. call, and will tell you DO EVERYTHING AND THEN SOME to make them understand… Not just drinking… Speeding, wearing seatbelts, drugs, and set the example. Love them unconditionally, make HOME the place to be. And yes, my entire life has changed. We can give them wings, they have to fly… But we have to TEACH them and guide them as best we can to the safe paths…

I'm a big ol' b with a captial B! Reply:

I am so sorry for you loss. I wish I could give you a big hug. 🙁


Comment by Karin.

I guess I was little miss goody-two-shoes b/c it never occurred to me to drink with my friends (with whom, I was considered the “wild child”) until I was out on my own so this device really confuses me. I’ve never used alcohol as a relax-aide and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve drunk to excess. This wasn’t to say that I was legally allowed to drink when I started drinking – I’d have a glass of wine with family holiday dinners (and I mean FAMILY – aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, multi-generational family friends etc) and champagne with every birthday starting around age 14. I think this taught me how to drink responsibly and will be doing this with my children.

oh, and I rarely get drug references/nicknames unless pointed out so my husband is in charge of noticing that kind of thing.


Comment by ziggyzabel.

for serious, this is the 3rd soberlink sponsored post I’ve read today. And probably the 6th or 7th in the past week. And apparently every single one of you totally supports it! Because “when my babies are teenagers I will be a total dictator for their safety so there!”

I don’t have a problem with you guys making a few bucks, I’m really enjoying the free entertainment. But I don’t think you’re keeping it real with this one.






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