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Vijay Mehta
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xx Drinking and the Youth
« Thread started on: Jul 6th, 2004, 4:29pm »

I received a letter from one of the concerned parent.

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Hi ! Vijayji,

I happened to talk to you on the ATA - convention. And atteneded one ofthe seminar in the youth rooms about your presentation about youth in college & their situations. In the room there were lot of youth attended too.

But came to know as the youth planned a party in one of the hotel rooms and had drinks etc. And this happens in very convention ex. AAPI or TANA OR ATA etc etc where the youth in groups are.

And it get's caught by parents sometimes. Sometimes parents don't know at all , if the kids have their own hotel rooms etc. And staying with friends. All they keep trust in the children. We, as parents will not be able to know until the young adult tells exactly the scenerio and realizes it is wrong.

How as parents, can we emphasize as it is wrong and don't join in the wrong crowd. As, for the youth they think everyone is doing and is normal why cant I? Inspite of thinking the dangers & after effects & health hazard it causes etc.

Looks like at these conventions apart from meeting & socializing & speed dating
These things are happening. Even in college campuses they might have similar parties etc. How can we rectify this epedemic??

Reply at your conveinance.

Thank you

SR (not the real name)
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Vijay Mehta
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xx Drinking and our Youth
« Reply #1 on: Jul 6th, 2004, 4:50pm »

Dear SR,

The degree of alcoholism in our kids is totally incomprehensible by the parents. Basically at any convention where youth get to gather you can almost count on alcohol being there.

This is especially dangerous, because we parents sometime feel very secure if our 16 year old is going with a 20 year old we know. Unfortunately the underground youth culture we have, it is totally normal to drink and let the minors drink.

One time there was a religious youth convention and about 1000 Indian kids to participate in youth only three day camp. We were boasting with the hotel manager as to how well behaved all this kids were because it was primarily a religion and youth camp.

However, the manager called me after the convention was over and he said practically every room had so many empty liquor bottles that he was shocked to see being consumed by such young people.

What can we do?

First, we have to acknowledge that alcohol is a big problem not only in the college kids but the kids living under our own roof. It is amazing how many kids are alcoholic before they graduate from high school.

One of the reason our kids have one of the highest rate of binge drinking is this.. The American kids drink in front of the parents etc over a ball game so they learn to enjoy the social drinking. While most Desi kids drink along and in secret and get the buzz or get drunk. And as soon as they go to college they just give into pent up demand and get drunk.

If you kid is under eighteen one of the things you can do it simply tell them is this. “I am aware of illegal and excessive drinking that goes on at such parties. I could tell you not to go but I am going to allow you to go. Only condition is that we need to know where you are so if we choose we can drop by and whenever the party is over you need to talk to us for few minutes before you go to bed.

I would like to warn all the parents who allow such kids only party. You are legally liable if your son/ daughter keep such a party and allows minor to drink. In Temple TX few years ago three 16 year old kids of prominent citizens died due to drunken driving after one of the friends party held away from town. Now the father of the host child is facing multi million dollar law suits and wishing he never kept that party!

Basically, we have to talk about these issues with our teenager and have some sort of agreement that assures no excessive drinking and at the same time we might have to teach them to drink in moderation at home before we let them lose to college campuses.

As a community we need to acknowledge that even the good kids, and the kids from good family are drinking. And not to look down upon a particular family if thier child is drinking. Parents can unite to fight this problem of teen drinking. It is not uncommon for a teen to keep a drinking party at his / her house when parents are away even for few hours.

You will be surprised to know how often the older cousins or brother / sister will provide minor the drink. Fake ID's are also easily available. It is cool to spike the drink of unsuspecting teen.

Thank you.

« Last Edit: Jul 9th, 2004, 2:48pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #2 on: Jul 6th, 2004, 5:29pm »

i went to the link of sasa gathering in this web site. it was in texas and many youth attended from all over. it said go to forums and pictures and it clearly shows thats happening. youth drinking. and some of these people will become alcoholics later on in life if they dont get help soon. even ladies drink alot and gets so drunk. i wonder if they will have drinking problems when they get married? huh and people sharing rooms and with whom? huh there's lots of things going on now and it's time to recognize. our desi people arent innocent anymore. it's time to see the truth. im shocked that parents even in social gatherings when they see their kid drinking several drinks, dont say a word or stop there kid. i know it's embarassing when at a gathering, but if you are a parent nothing should stop you from making a right choice, that is to confront your child even its at a gathering.
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #3 on: Jul 6th, 2004, 5:46pm »

i think that people should go into these websites of desi parties etc and look for disturbing behaviors and such and point them out as problems. i think that parents should go on to these websites. talk and acknowledge problems to your friends, kids, relatives, community, etc. go to confused parents or kids or youth for desi website links.
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #4 on: Jul 6th, 2004, 7:08pm »

THIS IS VERY GOOD TO TALK ABOUT SINCE MANY ARE DOING THIS AND OTHER THINGS..... NOW IN 2004 MANY ISSUES ARE RISING..... THE AUTHOR MADE THE ARTICLE IN 2002 AND NOW THINGS ARE HAPPENING SO FAST AND UGLY. .....THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO SAY SOMETHING........I ALWAYS HEARD PARTY PEOPLE PUTTING ALCOHOL IN DRINKS IN SODA AND SMOKING...NOW IT'S MORE DEEPER AND A BIG CONCERN.....LOOKING AT VIEWS OF CONCERN AND CARING PEOPLE HERE...IT TELLS YOU THAT THERE IS A CRY FOR HELP.... I HAVE SEEN PARENTS WHO ARE SO LOVING AND GOOD BEING TREATED HORRIBLE BY THEIR OWN CHILDREN....I ALSO SEEN INNOCENT PARENTS LETTING THEIR CHILDREN GO PLACES, BUT UNAWARE COMPLETELY OF WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING....I HAVE SEEN SOME PARENTS SEEING OR SOME THINGS OR EVERYTHING THAT MOST PARENTS WOULD GET UPSET ABOUT, BUT THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN CHILDREN...I SEEN IT ALL. I SEE MANY PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT PARENTING AND CHILDREN SECRETLY....LIKE HE'S DRINKING AND THIS PERSON HANGS OUT WITH THEM AND STARTED DRINKING.....I THINK SEMINARS SHOULD BE ACROSS USA, CANADA, AND UK. WE ALSO NEED HELP FROM YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS, INDIAN AND PAKISTANI, AND OTHER COUNTRIES COMMUNITY GATHERINGS TO DO SOMETHING....NEWSPAPERS OF INDIA AND SUCH THAT ARE PUBLISHED IN THESE COUNTRIES USA, CANADA, AND UK SHOULD WRITE ABOUT ALL THIS THINGS....MILLIONS OF PEOPLE SHOULD SEE AND READ ABOUT ALL THIS......THIS IS GREAT PROGRESS THAT MANY PEOPLE SHARE VIEWS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.....GREAT WORK!
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xx Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #5 on: Jul 6th, 2004, 8:57pm »

It is a sad fact that many attendees to these conventions do not attend it for the purpose of intellectual, artistic or spiritual enlightenment or social networking, but the main driving force is the partying! Same is true of the talent shows at various universities across this country. No matter how wonderful may be the talent show, if they do not keep an after party they are doomed to fail.

It is the parties that make and break the convention. When you go to the convention during the day, you are lucky if you see about one fourth of the young people there, When you go to the late night parties you see more than the number of people registered there. I think that at ATA there were so many party goers that they had to turn people away! But that is not unique to any one group of youth.

We need to be vigilant about alcohol use at an early age of 13 -15 and worry about the regular binge drinking starting in the first semester of college. Watch out for minors drinking at Desi party they can manage to get hands on alcohol, courtsey of their older friends or relatives.

When I was a speaker at SASA in Houston, it was hard to get more than 500 or so to attend the first session at 1 PM in the afternoon. The reason - they were still recovering from the party night before. Many prominent speakers from the community gladly come to these conventions thinking that they were helping the younger generation. Mr. Rajat Gupta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Deepak Chopra, prominent South Asian journalist etc were all there on time. Only less than 50% of registerd students are likely to be there on time.

It is sad state of affairs. I have not been to any convention where the youth and alcohol is not a huge problem.

Every once in a while I come across a parent who gets mad at me for saying that our youth and alcohol is a big problem. They must be the member of Ostrich Club of North America whose motto is - if you stay in a state of denial then the problem will not exist!

The first step to fixing the problem is to admit that the problem does exist and it is rampant.

Thank you all for giving your feed back.
« Last Edit: Jul 9th, 2004, 7:09pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #6 on: Jul 7th, 2004, 12:50pm »

IN THE PAST THERE WEREN'T THIS MUCH PROBLEM..... OF COURSE THERE WERE COLLEGE AND HIGH KIDS DRINKING AND SMOKING, BUT NOT ALOT.... THERE WERE ALSO DATING..... NOW THERE'S MORE DESI'S AND BAD AMERICAN TV AND INDIAN TOO...... THE INDIAN TV HAS GOTTEN WORSE AND IT REALLY INFLUENCES PEOPLE TO DRESS. ACT A CERTAIN WAY..... NOW INDIAN TV SHOWS TOO MUCH FASHION, DRINKING, DATING, CLUBBING, BAD THINGS AND MORE....IF INDIAN DOESNT CHANGE AND PEOPLE DON'T PROTEST....WE WILL BE THE SORE LOSERS....WHILE TV WILL GAIN PROFIT....WE WILL FACE TROUBLES AND PROBLEMS THAT TV CREATED....MANY OF US JUDGES SAY THAT THEY ARE THE ONES STUCK WITH THE PROBLEMS THAT SOCIETY IS IN CREATED BY TV AND OTHERS. I THINK ASIANS SHOULD PROTEST TO INDIAN AND AMERICAN TV...THERE SHOULD BE FINES...AND PEOPLE SHOULD TELL THEM WE ARE THE ONES WHO SUFFER FROM THERE ACTIONS....PEOPLE NEED TO STEP UP AND SPEAK OUT....IF YOU LOOK AT DESI'S NOW DON'T THEY LOOK SIMILAR TO HINDI CINEMA PEOPLE?... I REALLY WHOLEHEARTLY BELEIVE THAT NOT ONLY PARENTS AND YOUTH SHOULD BE EDUCATED, BUT MEASURES TO STOP TV AND TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THIS....NOW SOCIAL INDIAN FUNCTIONS LIKE DANDIA RAAS HAVE BECOME NOT WORSHIP TIME, BUT GET WITH GIRLS AND GUYS AND SHOW OFF FASHION...OUR CULTURE WILL BE DOOMED IF NOTHING IS DONE NOW!!!...............
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #7 on: Jul 7th, 2004, 1:02pm »

i got a useful link to contact us gov't....it can be used to report problems of any sort. we should take advantage of it.

http://www.ncsl.org/public/govern.htm
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SWETA
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #8 on: Jul 7th, 2004, 4:37pm »

I WONDER WHAT PARENTS WHO COME HERE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL THIS STUFF huh huh huh PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO IF ANYTHING huh huh huh
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Sweta
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #9 on: Jul 8th, 2004, 10:27am »

It's a good observation about Indian Cinema. It has greatly influenced us young teenagers and adults to conformity and assimilate into westerniztion. It is why youth dress, act, and get involved in things that need to be thought of twice. American TV or Media is bad very much and Indian Cinema wants to make money and destroy families, values, dreams, and such. They want to copy American and follow the same path. I have heard and witness some families whose children don't live with parents or turned enemies or Indian youth in India going through western problems now because of Tv exposing these bad behavior. Many other factors do play part like wrong crowd, making wrong choice, poor parenting, and such. If parents want to reverse the youth towards them, they will also have to challenge the media because it is a great force that can easy sweep away people. It can sweep young and old. What ways can Indian or Desi Society in Western countries can do to complain to Indian and American Cinema? huh
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #10 on: Jul 8th, 2004, 3:44pm »

In college campuses in some, there are drinking, drugs, going on. I do work at a college where there are many indian, pakistani, and other nationalities related to us. When I came from India, I came to do Masters of Science here. I am a aid for the prof. and I have learned through experience that many of our people are two faced, disrespectful, cheaters, and liars. I seen many situations where I seen Indians telling each other where and when classes are and students who are not registered fro that class come to take tests and booklet. They run out of the classroom. They sit by the doors and since they are in big classes they can easy get away. They sell papers to friends and such. Also passing tests or sitting next to friends. Many of my collegues have changed minds about "Desi", we used to be considered very honest and respecful. From what goes on we changed that perspective. Many of the students keep high gpa's from cheating and lying. It's very troubling matter, I also seen college parties and it's all true what it's said here.

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Anu
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #11 on: Jul 8th, 2004, 4:36pm »

Teen drinking is definately a problem, and it seems more so in supressed youth. It does seem like everyone drinks, your neighbors's kids, your best friend's kids, etc. As a teenager, I know that the demands of being "desi" can be overwhelming. Every time you see an auntie or uncle, you feel obligated to kick into "good little indian mode" as your mother boasts that you already know how to cook 10 andhra dishes. And then the auntie tells your mom that her little girl is the best kuchipudi dancer in New Jersey. This is where the problem lies. The parents are so caught up in making sure their children turn out to be not only financially sucessful but culturally sucessful, that they forget that kids want a say in their life. Parents feel lost and depressed when their kid says they want to be a liberal arts major instead of going for pre-med. What parents need to realize is that every child has a gift, and it may not correlate with the parents plans of sending them pre-med. (what would have happened if Rabindranath Tagore's parents forced him into engineering!)

Desi kids learn at an early age that when it comes to differing opinions, its better to keep your mouth shut, smile and nod, and go about doing whatever it is that you want to do (without your parents knowing, of course). Fellow desis look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that I've talked to my parents about dating (albeit to no avail). Kids start ignoring parental advice...even when its good. I'm not trying to blame all the teen problems on parents, but at the same time it wouldn't be as rampant if parents were more willing to listen to their kids instead of jumping to conclusions. The bottom line is that desi kids and parents are nearly inept at communicating with eachother. And for all you good parents out there, its also very much the kids fault for resorting to destructive decisons instead of finding a more productive outlet, such as the arts.

And in regards to television programing these days, yes it is terrible. Thats why you simply turn it off. Instead of keeping the T.V. on during dinner tell the kids that its broken (I really do do this to my parents all the time) and instead start a discussion (Bush is usually a good way to get anyones debate nerons firing). Slowly ween your family away from the T.V. and talk to eachother more, even if its about seemingly trivial things. At first, especially older kids, will act very unreceptive to your efforts, but every kid, no matter how old wants nothing more than to befriend their parents. Unfortunately, too many kids think this is immposible...prove them wrong.
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xx Parents can do a lot ...
« Reply #12 on: Jul 8th, 2004, 9:55pm »

I agree with some of the points made by Anu, Sweta and Mitesh.

I think the most important thing we, the parents, have to do is to get in our head that alcohol, smoking, drugs can happen to our kids too. No matter how wonderful front they put up.

We need to talk about all these issues at an early age of 13-15. Discuss the difference between social drinking and binge drinking. Point out to them the legal issues involved. A minor in possession of alcohol goes in your college record and may be the deciding factor whether you get in medical school or not. Drinking and driving can put you behind the bar or worse.

They are not as innocent as they portray (do not fall for the façade). Living a double life has become norm rather than exception. Many of them act that way because they think parents will flip out or get a heart attack if they knew what is going on in real world. Reassure them that you will not have a heart attack no matter what you find out.

While we preach no sex, no dating, no alcohol, no drugs etc, we need to prepare ourselves as to what to do just in case we catch our "ideal child" doing something that we never expected. Failure to do so, you might react in a wrong way with worse result than what would happen if you never found out. If the message of abstinence fails, we should work on moderation!

Avoid sending your kids to parties that are not supervised by any adult. Also there is nothing wrong in specifically bringing up alcohol or weed, and ask if there was any such thing at the party. Do not reward their honesty with, "you are never going to their party again!" But on the other hand ask your child as to how you can be assured that even if he / she went to a party where there were drugs and alcohol he / she was able to resist the temptation. Make an unexpected entrance to the kid’s party and check out what is going on for your self.

Draw a line when others are providing your kids with alcohol. It is illegal to provide your child under 21 with alcohol and if suspected of any such thing get the police involved.

Discuss the problem with other parents and make a support group of parents. Follow a golden rule that you shall not put down the kids of others. If your child is not into alcohol or drugs it is more a matter of luck or may be your child is good at hiding the habit.

Attend the courses about teen drinking and drugs, DARE etc to learn the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug consumption. Watch out for too much fragrance spray on clothes, or room. What small are they trying to cover up?

More importantly, offer them alternative activities. Make a group of boys and girls who can go to mall or six flags to gather or take turn to have a party on weekend at one of the family's houses. This way you get to watch them as how they interact. . We can promote male female interaction at the same time discouraging sex.

Do not let you kids make you irrelevant. I know too many parents who really do not have any idea as to who their kid is spending a lot of time with.

Insist that no matter how late the child returns from the party they need to spend some time with the family, talking about how wonderful time they had etc. And learn to figure out when they are buzzing!

A can or two of beers over a ball game in front of family is less dangerous than your child hiding a bottle of Vodka hiding under the bed to consume alone at night. They need to learn the concept of social drinking and responsible drinking. Currently, since they drink underground, it is not unusual for them to get into binge drinking.

Remember our teenagers are living among the culture where so many people (Indians and Non-Indians) are involved in drinking, smoking or drugs that it almost feels like norm to them.

For the teen who does not want to drink, please do not take any open drink from others. The drink may be spiked. And it definitely not cool to smoke cigarettes or weed. I know too many people who regretted ever starting on it. Quitting is not as easy as you think.

While we are on the subject of alcoholism, we can not miss the fact that it is rampant in adults too. For years I used to organize Garaba Raas during Navaratri and people came from far and away came to participate. Lately it became impossible to curb the alcohol at such events and it was pathetic to see adults drunk at such an event.

So at our wedding or funeral, religious or social gathering our community is slowly being addicted to alcohol. And it is impossible for Indian parents to tell our youngster about our Indian culture where we, the adults to set an example.

Even for our children, who are now in early thirties and grew up here, current alcohol and drug scene is beyond comprehension. The entire Desi youth culture is moving so fast that even those who went to college ten years ago and were familiar with campus life are shocked to see how fast it is moving.






« Last Edit: Jul 9th, 2004, 04:51am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #13 on: Jul 9th, 2004, 2:25pm »

i am very happy to see that all of you are saying alot about these matters : drinking and youth and who is really confused parents or children. i have a friend who turned out bad, he smokes weed, drinks, cigarettes, drugs and other harmful stuff. he has been with the wrong crowd since in grade school and now he is 22 y/o and he hasnt changed since. two yrs ago he was hospitalized for two or three months. we all thought he would changed, but he didnt. he still does the things he does and doesnt care about his family and friends. he makes a fool out of himself for doing all this and thinking he's gangster. even though many people can and do help him, we realize it's his choice for help. he has to help himself. he's so caught up what some peers are doing these days that he wants to fit in and be known. i wish that people spoke about this matter public. i just hope that all this "reality issues" are spread and help people to change their lives around. i really pray this web site does lots of things in community to help. thank you all for sharing, it is a big step and a big help.
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xx Re: Drinking and the Youth
« Reply #14 on: Jul 10th, 2004, 8:28pm »

it's really sad to hear this. drinking is a big killer and drugs too. even though there are many deaths yrly still we have more people doing this. it's a national problem. if you know anyone that does this send them to counseling. help them as much as you can.
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