to have told my 11 year old that no he cant have alcohol

(62 Posts)
mamamibbo Thu 15-Nov-12 22:17:52

after his teacher said she gives her (primary aged) children some now and then because if she doesnt then they will binge drink when they get older hmm

Hemlet Thu 15-Nov-12 22:19:56

Same reason I give my kids heroin.

Only joking. I don't have kids.

But what a stupid reason to give a child booze.

Feenie Thu 15-Nov-12 22:20:13


Blimey shock


pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:20:22

Nope, your absolute personal choice.

My DDs get some on special occasions just as I did as a child, they are told that drunkenness is socially unacceptable and that alcohol is a potentially dangerous drug, but they still get some.

That is my choice, you have made yours and you are absolutely not unreasonable.

BluelightsAndSirens Thu 15-Nov-12 22:21:08

No, we used to have children's drinks in adults glasses around 11 and coming from a family of drinkers allowed the odd small glass from 16 but 11?

Tell him his brain is still growing and alcohol kills the cells and makes you look old.

Can you tell I'm not ready to share my precious vino with DC?

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 22:22:02

Lots of people educate their children by letting them have sipps and watered down wine so alcohol isn't a mystery.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:33:46

first of all, if I remember correctly it is illegal to give children alcohol under the age of 18 and I would certainly remind the teacher of this, face-to-face and ask her to think about what she could do to "take back" what she said.

yes, my kids are trying to get a few drops of daddy's beer or wine daddy's as most kids do, just because it's fun and yes if we are not vigilant enough sometimes they win..
but no way they are allowed to drink any alcohol! as they are not allowed to smoke or drive or get married and have kids (in my book anyway...) or miss school for no reason etc..

end of

I hate smoking, but DH does on holidays, so kids got interested.
I told them that if they want to try it I'll have a fag with them on their 18th birthday, no drama, then they can decide...but if I ever catch them until then they will be in big trouble. they said ok, no mention of it since, my oldest is also 11. worth a try?

NatashaBee Thu 15-Nov-12 22:35:17

Children can drink at home from the age of 5. Not that I would let mine... And the teacher shouldn't be discussing something potentially controversial like this with pupils.

whois Thu 15-Nov-12 22:36:36

amazingmumof6 it is not illegal to give your own children under 18 alcohol in your house.

CassCade Thu 15-Nov-12 22:37:16

Don't think the idea works. Should you give your child a puff of your fag so they know how disgusting smoking is? Surely it's all about peer pressure when you're a teenager? And the opinions and decisions you have when you are 10, tend to have changed by the time you're 15/16.
Mine insist they will never ever drink or smoke. Mmm, ok, they're 10 and 7 - we'll see.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:37:39

I meant all the not allowed stuff under the age of 18! (or whatever the legal age is )

stargirl1701 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:28

The only legal age in the UK is 5. No alcohol by law to under 5s. After that it is up to parents.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:50

I grew up allowed a wine with lemonade at sunday lunch/christmas dinners. Theres pictures of me about 2 having the froth off of my dads beer. Right till my dad left me I was always allowed the froth. I don't binge drink. I'm not saying I never have a drink and get tipsy but I don't binge drink.

CassCade Thu 15-Nov-12 22:41:11

I should have said; I won't let mine drink alcohol, though they have asked to try. I think that their livers are not developed enough to deal with alcohol. Planning to educate them about booze and fags and hope they choose not to do what I did!

squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 22:41:33

I was allowed sips of drinks from the age of about 10.. and the occasional glass of wine with soda from 11/12.

Neither of my parents were big drinkers, my dad was teetotal for most of his life and my mum would only have the occasional drink while he was alive.

blisterpack Thu 15-Nov-12 22:44:50

My ten year old has friends who are given alcohol at home shock. It's to do with demystifying it apparently. Wonder at what age they'll crack on with demystifying drugs and sex?

CassCade Thu 15-Nov-12 22:47:32

Laughed at blisterpack's demystifying! Crazy, isn't it! All in good time, I say.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:49:18

whois & * natashabee* thanks, I didn't know!
well, I'm not telling them that any time soon, especially that my DS" is 9 and does like the taste of both wine and beer! grin!

btw I just remembered that I do put wine in a stew or bolognese sauce, coz I was told the alcohol actually evaporates after cooking for a while

to the idea of let them so they will not binge drink I think the jury is still out on that one.
have you seen War of the Roses? (Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner)
the scene she says let the kids eat chocolate/sweets every day so they will not feel deprived and eat loads as soon as they can?
then cut to them being teens and they are fat as hippos! grin

still a teacher should not be discussing this in a permitting manner, I'd definitely talk to her!

Dominodonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 23:10:23

YANBU, and I think it's a strange thing for a teacher to tell a class of that age.

However, I drank a class of snowball at every family party from the age of about 8, my family are not heavy drinkers at all and I rarely drink.

AThingInYourLife Thu 15-Nov-12 23:18:17

"However, I drank a class of snowball at every family party from the age of about 8, my family are not heavy drinkers at all and I rarely drink."

Smart - get you drinking the most boaksome of all the booze drinks to "demystify" alcohol. grin

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 00:49:16

Personal choice, my 11y DD is allowed a little bit, but generally doesn't like it.
14yo DD will happily have a small glass of most things.

Our choice to decide that alcohol isn't forbidden, but drinking to excess when they are older is.

DD1 said she was the only one in her PHSE class who had never seen a family member drunk.

I've never seen DH drunk either. He has seen me throwing up, but 21 years ago after wine, very dry salmon and very hot dancing in a full length dress.

I want my DDs to be able to drink responsibly or not at all.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:55:00

I come from a Spanish family where drinking is not a major thing. I was given a (small)glass of bucks fizz on xmas morning and a small glass (sherry glass) of red wine every now and then with my meal from aged 10.
To be honest I hated the taste, but I really respect my parents for being so laid back, it taught me that alcohol isn't this magical thing that only adults are allowed. Growing up I didn't see the fascination that my friends had for bacardi breezers and drinking on the sly but now I realize that it was because they were not allowed any by parents.
I do believe that a blanket ban on alcohol encourages kids to drink it on the sly and hide it from their parents.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:56:23

But YANBU you have made a decision on how to bring up your kids with regards to alcohol and so have the other kid's parents in the class. You shouldnt be undermined by the teacher! I would not be impressed.

madbengal Fri 16-Nov-12 01:22:25

DD is 11 and gets her juice in a wine glass on a special occasion, I can remember my mum giving us very watered down martini and lemonade at Christmas but it's not something I have though of with DD, Im lucky OH is tee total through choice and I only drink wine which is occasional

The teacher shouldnt be telling a class this though as its a personal choice made by the parents LOL the teacher allows it beats the whole but xyz friend is allowed it

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Fri 16-Nov-12 01:53:32

I don't think it is very professional for a teacher to tell a class full of 10yo's her parenting choices.

amazingmumof6 Fri 16-Nov-12 02:15:37

I'm sorry, I don't get this - pregnant mums should not drink alcohol to protect baby, but when baby turns into a 5-year old and it's ok to have sips of wine or beer or whatever.

I'm not convinced.

what's wrong with hot chocolate?

AdoraJingleBells Fri 16-Nov-12 02:29:24

WTF? I'd be speaking to the school if my DCs told me that, unbelievable.


DaveMccave Fri 16-Nov-12 03:01:29

It's not uncommon at all, I'm surprised how surprised you are. I was always allowed watered down wine when my parents had wine, from about the age of 7, or the odd stubby bottle of beer, because 'thats what french families do, and it takes the mystery away'. I was also encouraged to have a toke of my step fathers cigarette when I was about 7 because I was so intrigued, and they wanted me to be so utterly disgusted I never wanted to try again. I liked it and they had to pull it away from me. I also binge drink regularly. I don't think giving kids small amounts of weak alcohol-ie not let them get pisssed, is such a controversy, but I'm under no illusion that it 'works'.

Having said that, I never was threatened with strict discipline for drinking as a teen, so I was usually the first to leave a party where binge drinking was happening, because I wasn't too scared to go home and face the consequences, so although I still did and do binge drink, I took less risks than my peers.

Euphemia Fri 16-Nov-12 06:58:57

The bigger issue is that children's livers don't have the enzymes to break down alcohol, so the danger of damage to their organs is greater than for adults.

Giving alcohol to young children is irresponsible, and all this "I had watered-down wine from the age of seven and there are no drink problems in my family" guff is the sort of nonsense people tell themselves to justify their own actions.

altinkum Fri 16-Nov-12 07:03:29

I remember being in a chemist at 10ish and buying a few cans of hooch!!! The chemist and me thought they were new soda drinks, a few weeks later it came out in the newspaper that they were alcoholic beverages.

after I spend all night vomiting

buttercrumble Fri 16-Nov-12 07:06:04


mummytime Fri 16-Nov-12 07:10:11

My kids have all been allowed a sip of wine at Christmas or other special occasions, from the age of 5. The 14 and 16 year old don't drink, and think it tastes "disgusting", the youngest isn't interested either (but she is more influenced by what her elder siblings do at present).

But I am shocked if a teacher told her class this, as it is unprofessional behaviour.

NulliusInBlurba Fri 16-Nov-12 07:39:07

Personally I think it's shocking that any parent would give their 11yo alcohol - how could you do that to your child? There are people who refuse to leave their pre-teen child alone at home for a few minutes, but then go ahead and feed them a damaging substance. I just don't get it. But yeah, according to the law that's your decision, so whatever. I think the legal position simply reflects the fact that alcohol and irresponsible drinking is tolerated in the UK far too much. But what is absolutely out of order is the teacher telling other people's children about her choices in such a way that those children are going to say 'Mum, why can't I do that too?'. That is appallingly unprofessional.

valiumredhead Fri 16-Nov-12 07:51:19

Ds has had sips of champagne and the froth of dh's Guiness and the odd sip of his wine ( I am tea total) I don't think it's big deal tbh.

cory Fri 16-Nov-12 08:30:02

I was confirmed when I was 11. Which involves Holy Communion. Which at least in those days was certainly alcoholic. I am not a binge drinker.

My brothers were agnostics, and consequently did not have any exposure to alcohol. They are not binge drinkers either.

Ds was allowed sips at home. He is not a binge drinker either.

Very stupid of the teacher to tell her class that they will become binge drinkers if they are not parented in a certain way. I'd complain about that.

I think lots of young kids occasionally get sips out of dad's beer or mum's wine but only sips. Often they don't like the taste anyway and that's that. I seem to recall when I was 8 or 9 having a very, very small and very weak cider shandy.

I was reading about the rail guard sent down for 5 years for manslaughter yesterday when a girl who was leaning against a train slipped between the platform when it left and died. An awful thing. She was 16 and had apparently had a blood alcohol reading of around 240. The legal limit for driving is 80. She also had a small amount of drugs in her system. Her mother said: "'We have listened as our daughter was portrayed as being a drunken liability when, in all honesty, she did no more than what many teenagers do of a weekend - she went out to celebrate her friend’s birthday"

It's a very tragic thing. I feel sorry for the family. But it worries me greatly that the mother seems to think that there is nothing wrong in a 16-yr old being out and getting pissed.

The whole binge drinking situation is desperately worrying. I'm 38 and I remember what I was doing when 16 - 21 and me and my friends never behaved in the way I see so many behaving in towns and cities these days. Women completely plastered by 9pm. You sort of become a bit accustomed to men pissing in the streets after midnight. But I even see young girls pissing in doorways as early as 10pm.

I think there is a serious educational issue around alcohol that schools perhaps need to tackle in a different way? I don't know. But it worries me.

FTRsMammy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:32:18

Tbh I don't think it's her choice to do that which is the issue it's the fact that she thought it was appropriate to share it with a class of 11 yr olds. I'd be having a quiet word with her. What you then choose do regarding your own child trying alcohol should be your choice

Bue Fri 16-Nov-12 10:47:41

Bizarre that the teacher discussed this with pupils, but completely normal attitude - I was always allowed a mouthful of beer foam (definitely when I was under 5 - there was probably no law back then!) and would have a teeny glass of wine or beer on special occasions. It's what I'll do with my own kids too.

Bue Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:41

Actually cory makes a good point. Are people also shocked by children taking communion? confused I took it from age 8. And it sure wasn't grape juice!

CheerMum Fri 16-Nov-12 11:00:06

My parents went along with the idea that letting me have a small glass of wine on a Sunday would remove the mystery of alcohol.
It didn't work and I spent many years as a heavy drinker.

They also made me have a puff of a cigar to show me how gross smoking was. That didn't work either and I spent years as a heavy smoker.

I've got things under control now but I think a lot of it comes down to the type of person you are.

(It'll be interesting to see what dd does as Dh is teetotal and has never smoked)

WaitingForMe Fri 16-Nov-12 11:04:18

I think my stepsons have tasted alcohol under our care once. I was making a casserole and DH had picked up some cider for it and let DSS1 choose the bottle. I only needed half of it so was splitting the rest between two glasses when I noticed DSS1 watching intently. I poured two minute measures and we gave one to each of the boys then aged 3 and 6. They declared it gross and it barely touched their lips. It's been 18 months and they've displayed no curiosity since.

We're just taking it as it comes but I was allowed small glasses of wine from about 11 and DH and I think that was reasonable. I'd be unimpressed with a teacher raising it in this way though.

WaitingForMe Fri 16-Nov-12 11:05:06

I meant tasted it once under our care. Obviously they have, I just think that was the only instance.

CheerMum Fri 16-Nov-12 11:06:59

Thinking about it, I suspect dd is going dh's way as she won't even drink fizzy pop, it's water or decaf tea for her

amazingmumof6 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:07:40

bue communion is different as it is has nothing to do with drinking.drunk issues!

Ragwort Fri 16-Nov-12 11:09:46

Very unprofessional of a teacher to talk to her class about this - if indeed it was discussed in a formal setting at school. (Would love to hear the exact context of the conversation).

Personally I do allow my DS to have the odd sip of wine/beer etc and my DM even gave him a sip of Pimms when he was 2 but if you choose not to then that this is absolutely fine and you shouldn't feel you have to justify your parenting decisions.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 16-Nov-12 11:12:32

YANBU. Up to you.

Bt there are plenty of "others do that" out there.

My DD's teacher apparently explained two weeks ago that DD was entitled to 6 pounds pocket money a week because she is 6 years, the 7 pounds for 7 years old, etc.

I killed that idea pretty instantly.

slhilly Fri 16-Nov-12 11:13:09

Many Jewish kids (including me and my DCs) have a sip of kiddush wine on Friday nights right from from babyhood. Rates of alcoholism are pretty low in the Jewish community. But heart attacks from too much fatty food are a different matter...

EuroShagmore Fri 16-Nov-12 11:22:24

I don't think it was appropriate for the teacher to say it to her pupils. But I do think that small amounts of alcohol from age 10 or so are not a problem. And it's not illegal.

amazingmumof6 just a word of warning - the people at university whose parents had a very strict approach to alcohol were the ones who went absolutely bonkers during Freshers week - couldn't control their drinking, had unsafe sex, etc. I think demystifying alcohol for older children is a good thing.

toddlerama Fri 16-Nov-12 11:44:50

I wouldn't care what my kids' teacher did at home. I think it's wholly inappropriate for her to be talking about parenting with the children. The motivation can only have been to get them to compare their own parents to her - it's not like she was training them to raise children of their own.

CaptainSolo Fri 16-Nov-12 12:08:03

My mother is from a European country where it was usual to have wine with meals long before it became popular in England. I was always allowed wine from about the age of 7. I took it because it made me feel grown up but in all honesty didn't really like the taste. I certainly didn't turn into a raging alcoholic and very rarely drink now.

On the other hand a friend of mine was totally anal about her children not drinking alcohol until they are 18. The 18 year old has gone to uni and 'discovered' alcohol (not helped by the student union selling three whiskey's for £3) and has already had three alcohol related trips to A&E in the last 6 months. He has no idea how much is too much or how to handle it. She is now reconsidering her no alcohol until 18 policy for the two younger ones............

Mintberry Fri 16-Nov-12 13:03:28

Actually, I heard my Dad complaining about how, when I was little, the advice all over the news was that you should give your kids bits to drink from a young age so it gets rid of the mystery for them and they're less likely to binge drink behind your back later. Then, when I was in my late teens sat with them in the living room, it came on the news that "parents who gave their kids even little drinks when they were young are to blame for the binge drinking crisis".

The lesson is, 'expert' advice changes every few years - only you know your kids and you should do what feels right for your family in your situation.

That said, being given drinks from a young age didn't stop me embarrassing myself as a teenager. blush

Remotecontrolduck Fri 16-Nov-12 14:25:38

I don't think it's neccessary (though not 'wrong') at a young age.

I do think it's EXTREMELY counter-productive however to have a total ban until 18. Having no experience of drinking and then suddenly having free range to buy absolutely anything they want is an absolute disaster and I'd go as far to say is actually irresponsible of a parent not to prepare them adequately for the dangers of too much drink

From about 14+ a small low strength beer or wine along with some discussion of how easy it is to get drunk too fast is not an issue really. Banning is very rarely the way forwards

trice Fri 16-Nov-12 15:22:52

I think 14 is a realistic age for a small baileys at christmas. Wouldn't dream of giving booze to a primary age child. I also think 'learning' to drink is bollocks.

mummytime Fri 16-Nov-12 16:05:40

I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys! No alcohol that tastes like kiddy drinks or is too sweet. A little wine, a bit of beer (or a sniff of whisky, thats usually more than enough).
But again at present my kids don't drink (and yes I would know) and long may it continue. We do also talk about how it feels to be drunk, why its not a good idea, about staying with friends etc. etc. We also discuss drugs and smoking, and other issues.

amazingmumof6 Fri 16-Nov-12 16:32:59

I don't encourage giving alcohol to them is perhaps a better way of phrasing it.

I see your point about forbidden fruit, but alcohol is not a mystery to our children! we have a wine rack fully stacked plus a shelf with spirits and apart from the toddler phase of wanting to play with the shiny bottles they never touch them.

Normally they see family and friends having a glass or 2 and not getting drunk, but enjoying it, and that teaches them the right attitude to drinking and that in moderation it is something nice and relaxing and part of life and celebrations and they can look forward to do when they are older (over 16-18 is my personal preference)
They understand that adults are allowed different things from kids and they accept it - for now anyway.

I see your point about the forbidden fruit and as I said before they pretty much all have tried sips of wine/beer/champagne thanks to DH,
Personally I don't even mind that,as they don't like it anyway, but would not want to turn it into a habit, so I say better not at all.

Am I contradicting myself? maybe, I don't know

I do cook with wine... and of course I had gotten drunk before, I'm not a

I think my biggest problem is that I get annoyed at the sight of DH offering them a sip, and it's a bit of a teasing game.

<note to self, must figure out why it annoys me so much>

Maybe he is right (and some of you also) and I'm wrong, but I don't drink habitually so I don't see why should the children!
< note to self: have a chat about this with DH>

btw they have seen the effect of DH getting drunk before, so I think that's just as good a lesson to teach them about the moderation/demystifying part!smile

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 16:42:11

I had wine with my christmas dinner from 1 year old - half a special tiny glass, with instructions from my dad on how to drink it properly, ie use it to 'cleanse the palate' not swig it. That was enough to put anyone off drinking for life!

I have always let my children have a taste of my wine if they are interested, and they have not liked it.

Now all 3 at uni, 1 teetotal, 1 drinks occasionally but does not like most of it, 3rd has suddenly taken to it like a duck to water - has wine with meals, likes my gin shock and has been known to get drunk at uni. Still, a long way to catch up with the boys there who were buying armfuls of cans in intro week and sit in the kitchen drinking at the weekends! I'm sure there was not that much drinking when I was there - just a pint in the bar in the evening and more if going out on a college trip. Alcohol was not generally available at supermarkets when I was that age, and much more expensive!

I am not a big drinker, but my brother who was only a year younger is. He had lots of issues at school with social problems, being bullied and academic problems. Used to get drunk at gatherings with the neighbours - very embarrassing. Our family background is mostly anti-alcohol, so my dad's ideas were not approved of!

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:19

""I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys!""

I once did a school sewing project with a group of year 5s. They told me all about the alcohol they liked - Baileys, Irish Cream, Breezers Vodka thingies etc! Tried not to look shocked or to quiz them too much! It was fascinating.

Enfyshedd Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:16

I used to be given a small glass of port & brandy if I had a bad tummy at night from about the age of 6 - I think it knocked me out rather than settled my stomach. I was also allowed to have a sip of neat wine to taste and a glass of wine spritzer on the occasions we had it with sunday dinner (special occasions only - Xmas, Easter, birthdays).

The maximum I've ever drunk on any 1 occasion is 4 drinks (apart from my 17th birthday when I was sick in front of my DM after my friends phoned her to collect me) and at 30 years old, I only drink about 4-5 times a year.

The teacher is BVU though - I would be speaking to the head teacher as I think it's totally inappropriate.

mummytime Fri 16-Nov-12 17:43:30

I'm not shocked that some parents would give their kids Baileys, but a MumsNetter? Surely not wink.

redexpat Fri 16-Nov-12 19:37:44

I can't remember a time when I wasn't allowed a drink if my parents were having one. It was always half a small glass of wine with sunday lunch. DS is still under 5 so not really thought about it yet.

I don't know really, i like a [bottle] glass of wine on a Friday night, and i have given my almost 17 year old a glass of wine with our Sunday Lunch, but i would rather him have a choice rather than coming home pissed (which i know he will )

whois Fri 16-Nov-12 20:26:23

I don't see the harm in giving children a sip of beer or wine when they are little, or a small/watered down drink when they are 12ish and up

I had sips of beer and hated it.
My own small bucks fizz at NY, or an aperitif of my parents had friends over for dinner (mine with soda water and cassis more than wine) and I remember liking it because it meant there was a special occasion and I got to be a part of it. Suppose I would have felt the same of it ha been an entirely non alcoholic drink made up in a special way tho.

From the age of 16 or 17 I would join my mum in a glass of wine with dinner in the holidays.

I got v drunk and v sick on a school trip to Spain when I was about 14.
I got v drunk and sick at a NY party when I was 15.
Both because I hadn't appreciated that when you et the 'fun feeling' and carry on drinking you've had way too much!

Live and learn.

I also got accidentally quite drunk when I was about 15 at a family friends Xmas drinks party (day time). The host kept topping up my wine glass and I didn't realise how much I was drinking. Got in the car to go home and I was mortified to admit to my parents that I thought I might be drunk and needed to lie down when we got in! Mum laughed and said shed drunk more than she realised too as her glass kept being topped up.

I love the taste of wine and if I'm making a nice dinner I'll often have a glass with my dinner. Usually at work now until late so do that a lot less.

Don't like being drunk and I'm a massive light weight so tend not to drink of we go out clubbing and stick to high-energy sprite.

So basically I'm saying I was allowed alcohol, it didn't stop me from experimenting and getting sick, but it didn't turn me Into a raging alco either.

I certainly never drank in parks, nor was I going out on a Friday or Saturday bing drinking ever.

The good thing about my parents attitude was that I was never afraid to ring them and ask for help. At the Ny party wjere i got v sick I rang and they came and got me and didn't tell me off just put me to bed with some water and said "be careful next time, watch how much you're drinking".

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