As a parent, it can be challenging to manage your child’s alcohol intake, but does that mean you should lock them out?

A user asked the forum, “Am I a jerk for freaking out when my wife locked our son out of the house at night after he drank alcohol?”. Read the complete story to know more.


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The Original Poster, OP (M39) has a 16-year-old son with his wife (F40). An incident happened a few days ago, and she’s still mad at OP.

OP was on a work trip and his wife was at home with their son. When OP got back home, he found out that his son had been hanging out with his friends and they convinced him to drink some beer. He got a little drunk.

OP agrees that it was not right, but he and his son had a talk about it, and OP says it was fine.


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The problem is that when his son came home and his wife found out, she was furious and kicked him out and refused to let him back in until the morning. His son was begging her to let him, but she wouldn’t.

When OP found out, he was furious.


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OP says that regardless of what his son did, she made a slightly drunk teenager stay outside by himself at night.

He says that something terrible could have happened to him.


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OP and his wife had a huge argument over it.


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OP asked her how the hell she thought that was okay. She just kept saying that it was their son’s fault for drinking alcohol.


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OP says that his wife isn’t talking to him now, and his son isn’t talking to his mom.

He feels like he is right, but he also thinks that he might be wrong.

OP asks if he is a jerk.


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“Not a jerk. Leslie Mahaffy, a victim of serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka was locked out of her house by her parents the night they kidnapped her.

They took turns making videos of them physically assaulting and torturing her for days before they killed her. Has your wife researched that case, and I bet she never locks him out again.”


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“Not a jerk. I get that she’s trying to teach your son that actions have consequences, but the much more important lesson to teach here is- “when I screw up, I can always go home. Mom and Dad might be mad, but I know I will be safe with them, and we can talk it out.”

Punish him for drinking underage, but that’s being grounded or having your driving privileges taken away. This is an important moment in the parent/child relationship; you want to be home base, not the police here.

Just to be clear- I am not in any way saying DON’T punish him. He did something wrong. But coming home drunk your first time drinking is not the time to be berated and kept outside; it’s the time to hear, “Sleep it off. We’ll be discussing this in the morning,”

“I am the son of parents who immediately punished and did things like your wife did, so now we have a very superficial relationship (they get next to no news/info because I’m still nervous it will somehow be used against me), and I don’t seek them out whenever something happens to me.”


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“Not a jerk – Your wife single-handedly taught your son that if something is wrong, he can’t trust her (to keep him safe).

Withholding safety is not a punishment; it’s cruel. I really hope your son has seen you stand up for him on this, that you have or will sit down with him and tell him that what he did wasn’t okay but that her reaction was entirely unreasonable and unacceptable.

She cannot do this kind of thing in the future. Talk with both of them about what rules he is not allowed to break and what will happen if he does (none of which should be abusive responses intended to scare or embarrass him).”


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“Not a jerk. No matter if he was a little drunk or very drunk, he’s a vulnerable minor, and I would not leave him outside. There are a lot of other ways of setting high expectations and disciplining a kid. Child neglect isn’t one of them.

You two need to talk and get on the same page as far as discipline goes so you have a set of consequences and rules you are both comfortable with.”


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“Not a jerk. He is not the first 16-year-old to show up at home drunk. Giving him a lecture is fine. Locking him outside is not. He is a minor. Safety should still be considered. That is one of your tasks as a parent.

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