Would you allow your 14 year old to go to a party and have 1 or 2 drinks?

(96 Posts)
tjah04 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:30:12

It is a house party with other kids from school.

Personally I am shocked but have been told that I have no idea and to wait until mine get older and I will understand.

I do not understand. My Dsis says that it is a compromise with a teenager and she is working on mutual respect.

I am worried that this type of compromise undermines a parents authority.

What do you think?

irishchic Fri 01-Feb-13 12:31:43

Erm, no bloody way would I be allowing this, my dd is 12, it aint happenin when she is 14, nope!

No I wouldn't , although they will do it anyway. My nearly 16 says that drink always gets smuggled in even if parents banned it. Luckily she is not too bothered but I think my ds will be more challenging.

I don't see how parents can be responsible for other people's children and do this.

My friend, was a bit like your Dsis, and had a light bulb moment on a Monday morning in the car on the way to school with her 15 year old dd.

"Mum, do you know, this was the first weekend in a long while I have not been drunk both Friday and Saturday night". shock

LaurieBlueBell Fri 01-Feb-13 12:34:17

When hell freezes possibly. Until then not a chance though I'm sure lots will think it's ok.

Speaking as a parent no I would not be sending my 14 year old to a party with permission to have one or two drinks. They won't stop at one or two anyway ..........

However, I remember as a 14 year old going to parties with woodpecker cider whoch my mum would have bought for me. No way would she have given me wine or anything but in those days we all seemed to be able to get our parents to buy us cider.

I do think though that if we allow teenagers to go to a party we have to accept that they are going to try and have a sneaky drink whether we give permission or not. So, you either don't let them go which is a bit harsh really or you let them go knowing they will probably drink.

This is what your sister is thinking as well I am sure so maybe she is hoping that if she says they can have one drink that will be enough. I see her POV but I think they will not stop at one or two!

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 01-Feb-13 12:34:36

My eldest ds will be 14 in may and there's no way I'd let him drink.
I'm not naive enough to expect him to wait until his 18th birthday to try it but hell would have to freeze over before I let him.

SkinnybitchWannabe Fri 01-Feb-13 12:35:15

Forgot to add-let him at 14.

I have a nearly 15 yr old. She does not go to parties. She has agreed with me that she will not be going till she is older. She also knows what her friends have got up to at said parties and thankfully she has her head screwed on well enough to be horrified at the tales of underage sex and excessive drinking that then come out afterwards. If she really wanted to go to a party I would probably let her but I would be frank about the risks and temptations and I would not expect her to drink at all and said party. You can have mutual respect without letting them do exactly what they want! 14 yr olds should not be drinking at all.

willyoulistentome Fri 01-Feb-13 12:36:51


AmberSocks Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:09


But if we were having a party at home with family and friends i would let them have a drink.

Sugarice Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:49

You're right not to give her any booze but I bet you it'll be there anyway if you let her go and will she refuse it if she is offered any.

That's the hardest thing , is your dd feeling strong enough to say no if it's offered and if you've forbidden it.

Mine have drunk beer behind my back, it's almost impossible to prevent it unless you stop them going or your child is strong willed.

Sidge Fri 01-Feb-13 12:38:55

Er no, not my 14 year old. She has never been to a party (excepting family ones/wedding receptions etc). I'm sure when she's 16 or so it will be different but not now at 14.

I don't see any need for young teens to have parties really. And certainly not with alcohol.

Madlizzy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:40:17

Not in this lifetime. My 13 year old daughter is off to a party tonight, but it's non alcohol and very well supervised.

Yes. DD is 15 and has now been to 2 3 parties (1 when she was 14) and had a drink.

I wasn't going to let her but after speaking to the mums of the girls who's house parties she went to, I relented. She usually has a small bottle of lambrini, is supervised, in a house, and has my trust.

Teens in a group want to drink (for whatever reason). If you don't give them permission to drink sensibly, in a safe environment, then they will find a way to do it behind your back, which can be dangerous.

My DD has never come home drunk, but has come home with an empty bottle for me to recycle.

Ill probably get flamed for this but it's not that long ago since I was a teen, and my DD is 100 times more trustworthy than I ever was grin

bedmonster Fri 01-Feb-13 12:42:38

When my Dsis comes over on a friday night from time to time, if I open a bottle of fizzy I let her have a small glass.
DN is and is allowed a half a crabbies or similar, or a small G&T at a party/special occassion.
TBH, I don't see an issue personally with small amounts of alcohol during the earlier teen years at home in a controlled way and as a part of socialising every now and again, but it's a different kettle of fish at a party with little or no adult supervision.
I know a few teenagers who are allowed to drink at parties and some who aren't.
It's greatly down to how alcohol is viewed at home by responsible adults though I think. I wouldn't have an issue if it were one or two drinks and I could trust them to stick to that - but that's the key word - trust.

HelpOneAnother Fri 01-Feb-13 12:43:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sugarice Fri 01-Feb-13 12:44:33

OP, do you know if adults will be there keeping an eye out?.

soverylucky Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:22

No. I would let them have a small glass of wine with a meal with the family but no - not at a party where I wasn't there.

DeafLeopard Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:25

DS is 14. I allow him to have a small drink at home under supervision on special occasions - eg he has had a glass of champagne on xmas day / NYE or a small bailey's coffee after dinner.

However I have seen pictures on FB of his friends with fosters / magners / bacardi breezers etc at parties, no way would I be encouraging that.

Totally hypocritical as at that age me and my best friend would be at the park drinking cider, malibu or 20/20 most weekends without parental knowledge.

Cornycabernet Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:41

No I wouldn't.

sazpops Fri 01-Feb-13 12:45:41

I'd say it would depend on the circumstances - are the parents going to be there supervising? Do you know them well?

When my DD1 was 14 she was invited to a friend's party and the parents (with whom we were also friendly) asked us if it would be OK for her to have a couple of glasses of cider. We were fine with that as we knew they would be the ones handing out the drinks,and we trusted them. If the kids are helping themselves, then probably not.

Floggingmolly Fri 01-Feb-13 12:46:12

Why does your dsis imagine that allowing her 14 year old to drink alcohol will encourage "mutual respect"? I'm missing something...

SkivingAgain Fri 01-Feb-13 12:46:34

There is no way I'd give permission or enable it by providing cash, but ds will do what he chooses and take responsibility for any consequences.

Icelollycraving Fri 01-Feb-13 12:47:32

I remember getting really pissed at parties from about 15. I dread ds growing up!

Foggles Fri 01-Feb-13 12:48:00

If you don't allow it - they might sneak 1 or 2

If you allow 1 or 2 - they'll have 3 or 4

RunnerHasbeen Fri 01-Feb-13 12:49:48

The question is just whether you let them go to the party surely, you can't really control what she does when she is there. It is the drinking part that sounds bad but is fairly inevitable if she is going to parties, so I would rather discuss sensible drinking than ban outright. My 14 year old neighbour recently had a house party when her parents went away, it sounded like six or so girls, a couple of alcopops each and hours of karaoke - is isn't necessarily as debauched as we are all imagining - so depends on the kids and their friends to some extent.

I can see the argument to giving beer or something low alcohol content to take, otherwise a willing older brother will pop out and get people spirits (that always seem like much better value if coming by alcohol is difficult).

tjah04 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:50:17

She thinks adults will be there but does not know them. I am very worried

Startail Fri 01-Feb-13 12:50:40

Yes, if I was certain that everyone was only going to have one or two.

I'd be totally hypocritical not to.

Our local pubs and village dance bars served us from 14.

Totally hypothetical, DD1 never gets invited to those sort of parties.
Her friends idea of a wild time is a trip to the theatre or a hike across the hills and hot chocolate in a tent.

Maryz Fri 01-Feb-13 12:52:54

I think it's the job of parents to say no.

My problem is that I don't trust the parents - any parent who has a group of 14 year olds for a party and allows them to have a few drinks is really saying "I have no idea how much they are going to drink and I don't care), because once there is drink there, it's impossible to police how much they have individually.

I currently have a 16 and 14 year old. I know the 16 year old now has the occasional can of cider, but she doesn't want to get drunk. The 14 year old is not allowed - he knows that if there is drink at a party he is to tell me, if I find out (and I will) that he has lied, he will be in the shit.

Having said all that, my oldest was drinking regularly at 13, in friends' houses with their parents permission and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. So if kids want to drink they will - that doesn't mean we have to say it's ok.

ChilliChips Fri 01-Feb-13 12:53:49

Nope (and I have a 14 yr old). Although going by some of her friends on FB, there's a rather broad range of approaches to drinking at this age. Dd1 was offered a small glass of wine at Christmas but refused. If she was going to a party I'd assume that some of them would be drinking, though. At 14 I'd still be wanting the host's parents to be supervising heavily.

Ragwort Fri 01-Feb-13 12:53:50

It depends, if it was a family I knew well and was 100% confident that they would be there for the whole party and supervising the drinks then yes, I probably would. But in these circumstances when you don't know the other parents, and your DD only 'thinks' they might be there, then no, I wouldn't.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 01-Feb-13 12:55:32

A lot of the posters saying no, no way, seem also to be accepting that it'll probably happen anyway and whilst they won't enable it, they know they can't stop it.

If I knew and trusted the parents, yes, I would and have.

QuickLookBusy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:56:08

No not at 14

I let DDs go when they were 15 nearly 16.

They were always picked up at 10.30 ish. They weren't allowed to stay at parties until they were in sixth form.

catladycourtney1 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:56:38

I think it depends on a lot of things - how mature is your dd? Do you trust the people she'll be with? Will there be adults? Personally, if my daughter was fairly mature and knew about the dangers, etc etc, and I trusted that she was going where she said she was going and the people she was going with, then I think I would.

I certainly used to go to house parties and drink from around that age, and I got in some sorry states, too... But then when I turned 18 and started going out properly, where there were people I didn't know and the possibility of drink spiking/being attacked/passing out in the street, I knew my limits and fared a lot better than some of the more sheltered kids I knew.

QuickLookBusy Fri 01-Feb-13 12:57:16

Sorry, agree with TheOrigional, if I knew parents and adults were there, I would let them go at 14.

Goldmandra Fri 01-Feb-13 12:58:19

Yes some teenagers will smuggle drinks into parties and have a sneaky swig. Even with parents present they probably ingest some alcohol.

However there's a big difference between a supervised party where alcohol isn't allowed and one where it is encouraged/accepted.

DD1 (15) attended a couple at a friend's house last year. I had ensured that alcohol was not expected and an adult would be present.

A few months later I picked her up from one at the same house where there were lots of alcohol bottles lying around and no adult in evidence. It also turned out that the party goers had been going off into the family's beds in couples. I told her she wouldn't be going to one there again.

The next party they had was a complete disaster and the house was wrecked. DD told me I had been right to keep her away.

I knew there would be illicit alcohol available at the first one but the fact that it wasn't allowed and the party was supervised put a limit on how much drinking happened and how the teenagers behaved.

I respect my DD's ability to make responsible choices but I also acknowledge that she is too young to take full responsibility for her own well-being in a room full of unsupervised, drunk teens.

ivykaty44 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:58:40

I really don't like the idea, but I wouldn't stop her.
Dd went to a party just before christmas where all the party goers were given a bottle of wicked, I wasn't told before hand or even asked. Dd came back in a very lively state but no harm was done - though not sure about a couple of other girls as they are not allowed to drink for religious reasons.

Thing is if you stop it then they will do it another way, and having one drink in a controlled situation is the lesser of two evils

niceguy2 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:59:47

I wonder how many of you who has said no have teenagers?

As others have said they'd probably sneak a couple more than they are supposed to anyway. So I'd rather she went to have a couple with my blessing and not feel the need to hide it than go, get pissed, into trouble but then be too afraid to call me.

Teenagers need to be given increasing amount of rope so they can spread their wings and learn to make decisions (and mistakes) on their own. I let my DD drink from about 14 in the company of family/friends. Even bought her alcohol since I don't personally drink. She's now 16 and curiously enough she doesn't bother now at all. I even offer to get some for her and she turns it down.

Take away the forbidden fruit aspect of it and I guess it's pretty boring for a teenager.

Lilymaid Fri 01-Feb-13 13:00:07

No - as said, drink (particularly vodka) is always smuggled in and it usually ends up with at least one child in a pretty bad way.

I had this situation not so long ago.

Ds1 (13) was supposed to be going to a party and the mother had phoned and asked if it was ok if he had a couple of drinks.

To me, no it's not ok. It's not in my house, I have no control over what or how much he is drinking.
I know in all likelihood he will have a drink before 18.

But I wasn't the only parent who objected to this and quite a few of the boys ended up not going.
In all fairness, I spoke to DS about it and said I wasn't happy about the drinking. He said that if all his friends were doing it he probably would do it so he didn't go, a few of the other boys didn't go either and stayed at our house with pizza and ps3

We later found out that 2 boys were sick in the house, the fish tank was smashed, and a mirror broken.
And a lot of DCs grounded.

awoogaagogo Fri 01-Feb-13 13:07:33

I'd let them, yes.

Maryz Fri 01-Feb-13 13:10:04

Sorry, I'm not saying I wouldn't let them go - I would and do let them go to parties.

I just have an agreement that they tell me the truth. dd knows I won't punish her for drinking, ds2 and I have an agreement that he won't start until after his 15th birthday, and then be honest with me.

If they break my trust they won't be going to parties (and they need to be driven, so I can stop them going).

I'm not stupid though. I suspect both will screw up spectacularly at some stage along the way - we have all done it. But 14 is too young to allow it.

Theas18 Fri 01-Feb-13 13:10:28

2 questions really.

Would I let my 14yr old have a couple of alcoholic drinks at home. Yes (but wine /beer /cider not alcopops. If you drink alcohol I think you need to know you are drinking it, not some sort of fruity pop that has a " get drunk" side effect).

Would I let my 14yr old go to a house party where there will be many teens, alcohol and little supervision? No I don't think so and they wouldn't want to go I don't think.

TheCatIsEatingIt Fri 01-Feb-13 13:11:57

I'm not sure. When I was 14, we had parties at a friend's house. His dad would go to his girlfriend's, just up the road, so he'd have been there in minutes if we'd needed him, and we knew that if we did need him, we could call and he'd sort us out. We got thoroughly pissed, but no real harm was done. Sexual experimentation didn't go further than a bit of snogging and groping until we were much nearer 16. We still laugh about those memories now, nearly 30 years later, and many of the group are still good friends. Those who didn't want to drink or had really strict parents didn't drink but still had fun.

I think, if it was that sort of friendship group and that sort of set-up, I'd be cautiously ok with it. If I was less happy with the group, not just my kid, maybe not.

ScaredySquirrel Fri 01-Feb-13 13:14:49

no I wouldn't. But I only have a 14 yo son at the moment, who isn't at all interested in booze. I haven't given him any drinks at family parties, and he hasn't asked.

There may be more pressure from my daughter when she is 14. But I won't allow it still and will clamp down if I discover it does happen. (suspect it will anyway though...).

AntimonySalts Fri 01-Feb-13 13:15:13

No, no, no, no, no. And again: no.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 01-Feb-13 13:15:54

At 14, no that's too young IMO.

Theas18 Fri 01-Feb-13 13:16:43

and I with maryz re truth. Truth and personal safety.

I have a 19 and 17yr old as well as the 13yr old. The 19yr old does as she likes now she's at uni, I've seen lots of party photos , but she always appears reasonably sober..ish (maybe I don't get the rolling naked in beer shots!). However she also needs to be up and singing Sunday morning, so there is a slight limit to how hung over you can be then LOL.

The 17yr does drink a little at parties but has never been rolling drunk either.

THey all know that while they are within driving distance (so OK not at uni!) if they are ever in a situation where they are worried /feeling unsafe we will fetch them (even if they've done something daft and got completely ratarsed or god forbid, taken something) and we will help not shout them out.

impty Fri 01-Feb-13 13:17:02

dd is 15 and not allowed to go to parties with drink. She is offered small amounts of wine at family meals occasionally. She doesn't really like it though.
Its the same for most of her friends. Im sure it'll change in the coming years...sad

Now when I was 15 shock grin .... well lets not go there!

Flobbadobs Fri 01-Feb-13 13:21:23

I know what happened at house parties when I was 14/15, I remember most of it. No way in hell will mine be doing that at the same age!

Maryz Fri 01-Feb-13 13:22:56

By the way, I think it's important to say (and I'm sure you have all heard it) that with the "don't drink" message we should all as parents give the "if someone does have too much to drink, you must call us and tell us and we will help. If you call us and tell us you will NOT be in trouble, you will NOT be punished. If you try to hide it and put your friend to bed they might DIE and then you will be in trouble".

We need to tell youngsters this - a youngish teenager died near me last year as they had smuggled drink in, she drank too much, they were worried so put her to bed and in the morning she was dead sad. Their reason for not telling was that they didn't want her to be in trouble as she had said her parents would kill her if they found out she was drinking.

And I also tell dd's and ds2's friends when I get the opportunity that if they deliver them to me drunk I will thank them for getting them home, not bollock them for getting them drunk (which has happened to teenagers I know, parents going apeshit with friends because their precious darlings have been made to drink hmm).

We should also teach them the recovery position, ensure that they are always aware of where each other are (especially if they are split up) and reiterate the 999 call procedure that we did when they were toddlers. And do it over and over again.

Rache1S Fri 01-Feb-13 13:23:54

Unless things have massively changed in the 20 years since I was 14, excessive drinking would not be done at organised parties as, even if there weren't adults present, there was a house/property which could of been damaged and there would have been consequences/parents informed which wasn't worth the risk.

All of our excessive and irresponsible drinking was done on the streets or in the woods. Parties were a tame affair. This also means that the inevitable post-drinking sex also took place on the streets by some as young as 12 (not me - I waited until 16 with a boyfriend).

Unless you prevent your child from going out with friends until they are of an age where you feel getting drunk is acceptable then I'm afraid a determined teenager will find a way to do it.

I am a long way from having a teenager yet but already dreading it!

Home breathalysers are available quite cheaply these days and my DC will be subject to testing and expected to pass or these will be consequences! <evil laugh>

Maryz Fri 01-Feb-13 13:32:47

Rachel, excessive drinking is now done at house parties.

Many parents work shifts, or are away these days, and "free gaffs" are readily available to a lot of teenagers. Almost all ds1's drinking as a young teenagers (and pot smoking) was done in houses, either with parents out, or in many cases with liberal parents allowing it.

niceguy2 Fri 01-Feb-13 13:35:12

I find it ironic that some of the parents who are saying 'hell no' are admitting that they at the same age did drink.

Did your parents ban you or did they trust you?

If they banned you, clearly that failed so what makes you think your ban will be anymore effective?

If they trusted you, are you therefore implying you've done a bad job as a parent and cannot afford your child the same level of trust that your parents gave you?

MammaTJ Fri 01-Feb-13 13:39:01

I had to laugh at 'allow'.

I drank at that age and I am damn sure my mum did not 'allow' me too. I think your DSis has a good sensible approach.

MammaTJ Fri 01-Feb-13 13:39:33

Damn, Damn, Damn. I can spell, I do know that allow me to has a single O in to!!

PootlePosyPerkin Fri 01-Feb-13 13:41:25

Err no! DS1 is 15, almost 16. I may consider it when he turns 16 but not before. No way!

Foggles Fri 01-Feb-13 13:43:42

niceguy2 when I was 14, my parents didn't give a shit what I was doing. I was out clubbing at 14 and drinking on the streets. I went to parties and don't know how I got home. I have tried to be a better parent than that.

My DC are older now. They were always allowed a little beer/wine at home. DS2 (18) doesn't like alcohol AT ALL but it's amazing what pressure he gets put under, not only by his peers but also adult relatives, to have a drink.

Dozer Fri 01-Feb-13 13:49:09

Not looking forward to the teenage years....

I had what at the time seemed like much too strict parents, at 14/15 many of my friends were allowed "out" on friday and saturday nights, basically drinking cider, 2020 etc on the street, local war memorial, parks etc. I was only allowed to houses of friends whose parents they knew a little, or to the cinema or whatever. For any sleepovers they would speak to the parents about arrangements. I wasn't really the type to lie anyway. I felt pissed off and left out as lots of conversation at school revolved around plans for/events at these nights.

They let me go out at 16 with 11pm curfew, by then we could get into pubs most of the time, and mum would always wait up, so couldn't get away with too many drinks.

Now have DC can kind of see their point more!

Flobbadobs Fri 01-Feb-13 13:49:42

Good point niceguy, not thought about that.
As far as I can remember I never actually told my parents there would be drink there. They're not stupid by any means so probably knew. The house party that I had when slightly older certainly had under age drinking and they were on holiday. I may have downplayed the amount of partying that went on that night come to think of it....
What my parents did has already been mentioned on here. We were told to phone them, no matter what time and they would come and get us so I suppose the trust was implied there.
Still not sure I would let him though, my mind would be filled with the reports of those parties advertised on FB and hundreds of teenagers turning up fighting!
I would have to consider where it was and which child was hosting I think.

CambridgeBlue Fri 01-Feb-13 13:56:11

I'd like my DD to have her first drinks at home with us and get used to what it feels like to drink alcohol. If I think she's sensible/mature enough I'd probably be OK with 1 or 2 drinks at a party at that age - it's not ideal but I'd prefer her to do it with my blessing than behind my back. My parents were very strict about drinking and consequently I am was a nightmare with alcohol from about 13, got into some very silly situations which I would never want DD to repeat. I know 'allowing' her doesn't mean she won't then push her luck but I'd rather try it than banning alcohol completely.

That said she's only 10 now, wouldn't be surprised if my feelings change once she's older smile

Maryz I have filed away your 'thank their mates for getting them home safely and don't bollock them' advice for future reference, you talk a lot of sense.

niceguy2 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:47

Hi Foggles. Sorry to hear about your parents. I understand where you are coming from but being a better parent does not necessarily mean banning them from drinking.

I just think it's better to let them have a couple with your blessing than ban them only to risk them hiding it with Maryz example as a possible consequence. And then they hit 18 and go into a pub/club getting totally smashed and ending up god knows where because they've no experience at all.

Maryz Fri 01-Feb-13 14:08:24

I think you have a point niceguy, but I also think that 14 is too young. I think as a parent my job is to tell him (and I'm talking ds2 here) that he mustn't drink, and if he breaks my trust there will be compromises.

On the other hand, with my oldest son, there was nothing I could do to change his behaviour - but I still didn't want to be seen to condone it, because I think alcohol and 14 year olds is intrinsically wrong. Alcohol and 16 year olds is a very different thing.

Goldmandra Fri 01-Feb-13 14:12:40

I just think it's better to let them have a couple with your blessing than ban them only to risk them hiding it

How does one ensure that it is just a couple?

Foggles Fri 01-Feb-13 14:13:38

niceguy - sorry if I have not been clear but I never banned my DS's from having alcohol. Quite the opposite - we've tried to educate them on safe drinking levels. I just didn't agree to DS1 taking alcohol to house parties at 14 years of age when I knew they would be unsupervised. That wouldn't happen under my roof so I don't see why I should condone it elsewhere.

In the area where we live, there is a zero tolerance on drinking in the streets. The pubs also work closely with the police and do not tolerate under age drinking. All of this was not available when I was 14. What it is doing though is pushing the teenagers into drinking indoors and, where it was only cider & 20/20 when I was young - they are now knocking back bottles of cheap vodka.

assumpta Fri 01-Feb-13 14:20:13

Yes, I think you are being unreasonable. There are kids out there that may not be be bothered about having a drink before they are 20, and others that feel they should drink, or want to drink. My friends brother, had friends that were drinking from the age of 15, 16 or 17, he didn't drink anything but soft drinks until he was about 25. I hate to say it, but he is now an alcoholic and trying to manage things. This, of course, could also have happened if he started drinking at a much younger age, or maybe he would have levelled off and just continued to drink a 'normal' amount of alcohol.

I have a 15 year old dd. She is one of the youngest in her year, therefore a year younger than anyone else. When she went to a party just befor her 15th birthday, she asked us if she could bring alcohol. My dh and I felt she was too young and explained this to her. I had asked her what did she think she would have wanted to bring, she said maybe some wine, not beer, which I figured. We have discussed the dangers of having too much to drink, drugs etc. She brought some soft drinks with her.

When she got back home, we chatted about the party etc. She was fine and had a good time. I asked about what alcohol was there and she said wine, vodka, beer etc. I asked if she had any, she looked at me and told me she had some vodka and voluntarily told me how much. We talked again about underage drinking, wine versus spirits, being young etc.

She was truthful and honest, and next time she will be allowed to bring alcohol of some sort. Ideally i dont want her drinking, but I would rather she had the choice of drinking what she brings, rather than just having what everyone else brings with them.

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 01-Feb-13 14:39:33

This is such a difficult question. If I knew the parents and was sure that they would be there for the whole party, then maybe I would let my DC take lager or cider, but definitely not alcopops, wine or spirits.

As other posters have said, house parties can easily get out of hand nowadays. Many DC invite loads over when the parents are out/away and it seems that many don't have any idea how to treat things. I have heard from DS1, who has a very active social life, of many horrendous house parties that he has been to. Parties where toilets have been broken (as in smashed), carpets wrecked, etc.

When I was 16/18 we often had house parties. All the furniture would be moved out of one room into the garage, any horizontal surface would be covered in plastic. The drinks/food would be in the kitchen and, most importantly, my parents would be upstairs, everyone would know that they would be upstairs and they would come down once or twice, just to check. I have fond memories of those parties. It all seems a bit more hardcore nowadays. It's ironic. People won't let their DC walk to school, stay at home on their own for more than a couple of minutes when they're younger, but don't seem to check on their teenage DC.

Are you sure that your DC even wants to go to this party? Sometimes, they really do want you to say "no", even if they grumble about it to their friends. It's easier for them to say that you won't let them rather than to say that they actually don't want to.

As is the case with so many decisions that we make re our DC, only we know them and we always make the best decision at the time, that we can. I try to be as little judgmental as I can with other parents, as I am not walking in their shoes.

I also agree about making sure that they know that they can ring you at any time if the party seems to be getting out of hand or if any of their friends seem to be in trouble. That's what my parents did and it worked very well. I wouldn't be telling them/their friends off, either. The only time I did was when DS1 (18) told me he was going to take vodka to a party. I told him I thought it was a bad idea and that beer would be better. He still took vodka, drank it very quickly and was brought home by a friend very much the worse for wear. The friend slept in DS's bed and DS spent a very uncomfortable night on the kitchen floor, with me staying up nearly all night beside him as I was so worried. He hasn't done that again.

Theas18 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:37:01

ILJJ agree totally with the " sometimes they want you to say no" and I've said I'm happy to be the " big bad parent" if they want to use me as a reason not to go to something they aren't happy about.

This has so far only been used to collect from a party/sleepover when DS didn't want to stay over , but that's fine.

We do a lot of taxiing when they have parties too. I/DH are always happy to turn out and take /fetch back. THe other safety thing about alcohol and teens of course as they get older is driving. Even if the driver is stone cold sober , driving home late at night with a car full of noisy kids (drunk or not) when you are tired and partied out, really isn't a challenge a new driver should take on I feel.

(control freakery moment.... I'm not sure I trust other parents if i don't know them, to drive my kids home on NYE for instance either!)

usualsuspect Fri 01-Feb-13 15:40:20

I didn't allow my 14 year olds to drink, I'm pretty certain they did though.

No, she doesn't go to house parties, her friends don't have them. She won't be allowed until she's at least 16.

I drank at 16 and above, went to pubs and nightclubs - that was a different era and where I lived was the alcoholic/drug capital of Britain. Join that with alcoholic parents and no supervision whatsoever and I'm lucky I didn't get into even more trouble.

Sadly there's too many daft parents - let me mention again the mixed sex sleepover dd was invited on for a 13th birthday party - the parents were going to be upstairs and would provide 2 beers each hmm utter fuckwits IMO. No, no one went.

HoneyStepMummy Fri 01-Feb-13 17:20:13

Compromise?? What is there to compromise about?? My DSD is 16 and there is absolutely no way I would allow her to drink. I'm not naiive and of course I know that teens drink and do drugs, but that doesn't make it OK. We are responsible for her safety. I understand that I can't control what goes on behind my back, but I can control what goes on in front of me and what values we teach and portray.

We had made it very clear to her to never drink and drive. We said that if you ever are in a situation where your ride is drunk (or you are) to call us for a ride or a taxi and we won't get mad. Well, a bit mad maybe...

TroublesomeEx Fri 01-Feb-13 17:29:03

No, I wouldn't allow it.

My son is 14 and I know that some of the kids in his year are having house parties and some get drunk.

He doesn't have any interest in drinking but I didn't at the same age either.

TroublesomeEx Fri 01-Feb-13 17:30:39

Oh and he isn't doing it without my knowledge, because we're quite open about discussing stuff and he's allowed to have a small drink with a meal at special occasions at home.

He isn't interested in having a small drink with a meal and he doesn't go to the parties.

complexnumber Fri 01-Feb-13 17:31:48

I started drinking in pubs when aged 14 (I think things were a bit more lax in the 70's). I'm not trying to argue that was a good thing, but there were plenty others my age doing the same

I'd be interested to hear from those posters who think 14 is too young, when did they start drinking alcohol, and what was their parents attitude at the time.

(As an aside, I remember my aunts telling me that my dad was captain of his pub's darts team aged 15, he's now in his mid 80's)

Lafaminute Fri 01-Feb-13 17:32:45

Ì drank at 14. I was not wild (though I had pretty adventurous friends who've turned VERY respectable in old age and are horrified that THEIR teens are trying to get up to same as they didconfused!) but my parents did their best to be understanding and open in the hope that I would be open back - that aspect did make me try to do my best by them - while keeping up with my adventurous friends. I would have been OFF THE RAILS if my parents had openly condoned my drinking underage. I dread my children reaching their teens but my rough plan is to try and instill responsibility and an understanding of their health and then fingers crossed and hoping and praying and involking an assortment of Gods to look after them......hmm

amicissimma Fri 01-Feb-13 17:32:48

No. And that is the recommendation of my DCs (one teen, one early 20s) who reckon that the people who go to those young teen drinking parties are 'the sad losers'.

I'm not sure about this one tbh. I think it depends a lot on what the friends are like, and each individual child.

Chances are, most kids will have a drink at a party anyway, even if they have said they won't be/haven't.

My just 15yr old went to a new year party and had 2 drinks, and came home and told me so. At first I wasn't overly pleased she'd been drinking but then she was responsible enough to stop at 2, and was open enough to tell me too.

Oh an as a 15yr old, I was completely sloshed most saturday afternoons at a rugby club.

cantspel Fri 01-Feb-13 17:41:27

My youngest is 15 and i would trust him to have a couple of beers if he went to a house party. A couple meaning 2 and only normal strenght like fosters or carling.
He has done nothing to make me think i couldn't trust him so until such a time as he proves my trust misplaced then i will continue to treat him like the responsible young man he is.

Nope! When I was 14 we got our friend with big boobs and a low cut top to buy vodka for us. The '1 or 2 drinks' (usually something sugary and not tasting of alcohol at all) were provided by parents, we then topped that up very easily!

bruffin Fri 01-Feb-13 18:30:26

Ds 17 probably had hid first drink at a party at 14 and goes to lots of parties has never come home rolling drunk.

I got a phone call from a parent when Dd 15 was 14 and asked if she could have a drink. I said okay if she wanted. She tried 1 wicked and wasn't over keen. She has been to 2 or 3 more parties and again hasn't drunk.
We don't drink much at home but let them have a drink on special occasions and they are sensible and don't see the point of getting ao drunk you can't remember what you were doing.

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:46

complexnumber - my parents weren't remotely draconian about alcohol. We had tastes of wine for special occasions when we were small, increasing to a glass of something when we were teenagers.

I never went to parties, so that wasn't a problem - and didn't drink alcohol until my final year at university. Even then, I didn't drink myself into oblivion - it was a couple of drinks and that was that. I don't drink much now - I'm not bothered either way.

But if my DC were 14 and wanting to go to parties with available alcohol, I would definitely be saying no. The only house party I ever went to was when I was 17. I rang my dad to ask him to collect me as I was so horrified by the drunkenness.

Scholes34 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:36:10

OP - difficult for you to form an opinion if you don't have teenagers. You need to know your children and give them a good understanding of the effects of alchohol on their bodies and how it's not on to knock back a load of vodka someone's older sibling has provided - be it at a party, or out in the park on a warm evening in the summer.

redroseruby Mon 04-Feb-13 21:56:03

my teen went to his first party this week. All his friends were going to stay over at one house, planning to walk there after the party. I wanted mine to come home so that
1) I knew he was safe and
2) I could be certain he had not drank alcohol or had anything else!
I kept in touch with him until 2am via text, then his friends walked him home before they all went to stay at one lads house. He came in, absolutely sober - even though booze was available he has not got any desire to drink at the minute. Most of his friends did drink, but 2 or 3 of them were like him and did not bother. Apparently the girls were drinking far more than the lads - Is this usual?
Anyway I found out the next day that all the others had NOT told their parents they were going to the party ! It seems I was the only mum that knew about it. I am glad that I can trust him, that he is totally honest with me and that he chooses not to drink. I am under no illusion he may choose to drink in the future but he knows that I feel strongly that he is too young. It shocks me that some parents think its ok for under 16s to drink. It also shocks me that kids feel the need to lie to their parents about where they are because their parents will not, under any circumstances allow them to stay out late on the rare occasion there is a party. By the way, I did not drink alcohol so could have picked him up, but wanted him to show me that he could be responsible, have a good time and choose not to drink or smoke, or god forbid anything else. I also chose to stay awake until he came in.... I am expecting most parents to disagree with m here, however I am happy with the honest trusting relationship I have with my teen, and want to strengthen that so it may continue. School nights he is in by 9pm latest and in bed by 10pm latest. This was a one off .... what do people think?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Feb-13 21:59:05

No way on Gods earth and she wouldn't be going to the party unless I spoke to a parent, who'd be present. I would also ask the parent why alcohol was permitted?

But thats just me smile

VictorAndBarry Mon 04-Feb-13 22:00:05

No way!

kaumana Mon 04-Feb-13 22:19:28

When I was 14/15 it was fairly easy to get booze from the local corner shop, normally vodka or cider. Parents had NO clue what we were up to!

I now have a 14 year old and my attitude to underage drinking has changed somewhat, go figure..

As a 40 odd year old I've realised the destruction that alcohol can wreck on lives both young and old, so I question why we consider it a norm that people have to do. Do we have to consume alcohol ( a toxin) to be part of society now?

Don't get me wrong I love a glass of wine but something strikes wrong when we are talking about introducing a toxic substance into our teens lives earlier than is even legal. We would not be talking about this if it was cigs or other drugs.

Not looking for an arguement just something I've been thinking about recently.

SirIronBottom Tue 05-Feb-13 02:33:24

Not at 14, no.

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 05-Feb-13 03:31:51

No. There is a huge difference between a 14 year old and a 16/17 year old. I started drinking at 14 and it just isn't something i want for my children. I don't get why so many people are in such a hurry for their teens to grow up and why saying no sometimes is such a bad thing.

cory Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:45

Dd started going to parties with drink available at 15. She does not drink personally, she is on medication and doesn't like the effect anyway, but I understand that her friends have occasionally got drunk. I see no reason in not letting her go as I trust her to make sensible decisions. She has nice friends who do not put pressure on her.

Ds is going to be more of a problem...

Arcticwaffle Tue 05-Feb-13 09:44:38

Yes I would, if child is fairly sensible in general (which my dc are so far). I'd rather they were talking to me about drinking etc and it was out in the open. I'd assume that a 14yo who really wants to drink would be doing so anyway with or without my permission.

I had an authoritarian father as a teenager and, hmm, none of us willingly go near him now. I'm going to err on the liberal side.

chocoluvva Tue 05-Feb-13 10:03:25

I have teens aged 16 and 13.

At that age she was allowed to have half a glass of wine at home. I think I managed to frighten her off drinking at these parties by explaining about the way it loosens your inhibitions with potentially very embarrassing effects, long before you're at the rolling drunk stage and how it affects your judgement so you can't resist having too much once you've started. She wasn't allowed to drink. It's not that I don't trust her - I just think that expecting a young teenager to be sensible at a party with drink is unrealistic, however sensible they normally are and the risks are too much.

(She took alcohol-free beer to one party to give the impression that she was having a drink, but that's not always going to be a good idea).

There was a news item about a year ago reporting the government chief health advisor's advice to not allow ANY alcohol before 15 at the youngest as it has a much greater effect on under 15s. Not that my teens would pay any attention to him! I think the potential for being the source of other people's entertainment and photos was what worked in my DD's case. Worth a try OP.

Alcohol at these parties does seem to be the norm now.

Saski Tue 05-Feb-13 10:17:11

No. Really, NO.

I'm not sure how hypocrisy comes into it. Can you actually be a good parent and not be a hypocrite? Bar those few angels who walk among us, there are any number of things that a parent might do that they would not want their child to do.

niceguy2 Tue 05-Feb-13 10:17:20

I don't get why so many people are in such a hurry for their teens to grow up and why saying no sometimes is such a bad thing.

It's not so much I am in a rush for my DD to grow up but neither can I stop it either. It's more the fact that I believe that as a parent of a teenager my role has swapped being the final decision maker to helping her slowly make her own decisions and stand on her own two feet. Only clamping down when it's imminently dangerous.

So if she wants to try a drink or two I'd allow it since she has shown herself to be sensible & mature in other areas. So i make it clear I am trusting her with the expectation that she will not want to betray that trust. Plus it means if something goes wrong, she doesn't have to hide anything and we can step in to help if needed.

Lastly it worked for my mum. She didn't ban me and was happy to nip across the road to the off license to buy my beer. Even when I got busted at school for drinking on a school trip, she never punished me. It took away that mystique and rebel without a clue mentality which comes with alcohol. I don't drink at all now. What's the point? It's flipping expensive, bad for your health and I can enjoy myself without resorting to drugs. I guess that's what I'm aiming for with my DD. I've not seen her drink for ages even when I offer.

mrsjay Tue 05-Feb-13 10:21:14

erm no not at 14 I guess your sister is trying to be mates with her dd but that is really up to her, my eldest dds friends mum used to give her alcohol to go out with at 13/14 her reason is well at least I know what she is drinking hmm

I did let my dd drink at 16/17 on a few occasions so I suppose i am a bit of a hypocrite, I didnt give her any but was end of exams and I did tell her to not come in pissed, so not really given permission

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