DEAR ABBY: My son, "Jason," is a 17-year-old high school senior honor student. My wife and I have managed to establish a fairly open relationship with our children; we encourage honesty and have attempted to establish mutual respect.
Recently, Jason asked if he could have seven or eight friends over to drink. My wife, reasoning that if teenagers are going to indulge in alcohol, it's better for them to do it in a safe, controlled environment, said yes. I, on the other hand, said no, based on the fact that the parents of the other teens would not approve. Jason admitted that was, in fact, the case.
While I agree with my wife's reasoning, I refuse to allow my house to become the place where teens can gather to drink without their parents' knowledge. Jason is now upset with me, and I'm afraid he may no longer be willing to confide in me. In my heart, I know I made the right decision, but my relationship with my son means the world to me. What do you think? -- TORN IN HOUSTON
DEAR TORN: I agree. You did the right thing. You acted like a responsible parent. Not only would it have been illegal, but also, if any of your son's friends were to be injured after leaving the party drunk, the liability could have been yours.
That you asserted yourself will not ruin your relationship with your son forever. In time he will realize that your decision was the right one, and he will respect you for it. I know I do.