TEENAGERS AND CLUBS

(42 Posts)
hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 08:58:08

My son will be 17 at Christmas and is very mature for his age. He is a lovely lad and has a wide circle of close friends. He and his friends all started college in September. They now want to start going to night clubs. He has given me his argument as to why and although I understand his reasons I am still very worried about his safety. He says after they will get a taxi home to a friends who lives nearby. I want to say no but is that fair?

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:34:00

Let him go but tell him you want him home by 2am and not wasted..stopping him when all his friends are allowed will be a recipe for trouble IMO speaking from experience as the teenager in this situation! wink If he breaks your rules in any way, get grounding

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 09:40:55

Erm, he's not 18? I don't really know where to begin with this one actually.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 09:47:53

Yes you are confirming what I think I should do. Should I let him stay at the friends, if I do I then have no way of knowing what time he gets home. Thanks for the advice!

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 09:48:39

What do you mean, don't know where to begin?

pinkbraces Mon 11-Nov-13 09:53:26

Both of my girls started going to clubs when they were 17 - always with a group of friends. Initially my DH insisted on pick ups and then it was taxis. There has never been any issues or problems (yet!).

Only rule we have is they stay with their friends and if they want to leave earlier than others we will pick them up, no matter what time. No taxis on their own.

You know your DS if you like his friends and trust him IMO its fine.

The only downside is I never slept until they were home.

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 09:55:15

I'll have a bash-

a) He is underage, therefore would be breaking the law.
b) You are technically encouraging this if you give him your blessing. What sort of role model does that make you?
c) He could get in a lot of trouble if he is caught.
d) That is assuming he gets let in- what is his plan for trying to get in? Fake I.D? Just winging it, hoping he won't get I'D'd? Places are very strict these days. IME bouncers don't tend to let young lads in without I.D. My OH was always I'D'd without fail when we went to clubs together, whereas I was maybe 2/5 times. He is a few years older than me and you can tell.
e) If he is so mature for his age, he can wait another year. I purposely waited till my 18th because I didn't want to ruin it for myself and also didn't want to risk getting in trouble.

If you must let him drink, then perhaps under your roof would be better? It's still an offense to purchase alcohol for minors, but the likelihood of getting into shit is minimal compared to him trying to go out, plus you have more control over his consumption that way.

Please don't think I'm a lecturing cow, like I said I was 18 when I went out to town for the first time, and that wasn't too long ago. I wish people would just stop trying to grow up too fast! Nothing worse than seeing children trying to get into clubs.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 09:59:00

I also think an outright no would be a big mistake. In a matter of months he will be legally an adult. Much better to support him in minimising risks, rather than banning.

Friendships are so important at this age. FWIW, my closest friends as an adult I met through socialising at night in my teens, from 15-19. Had I not been able to go out we simply wouldn't have met. (I wasn't allowed though, I had to lie to get out!)

And, two of my best friends met at a club when they were 16 and 17. They got married 13 years later and now are nearly 40, with two lovely young kids. Again, had they not been allowed out as teens, things would have been very different.

hellsbells99 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:04:01

Hi Op. So your DS is 16 at the moment? In all honesty he would struggle to get in any clubs near me. They all ask for ID from younger looking people, particularly the boys.

Chopchopbusybusy Mon 11-Nov-13 10:10:15

I'd be really surprised if he can get into a club.

notadoctor Mon 11-Nov-13 10:10:46

I started going to clubs much younger than that - and was by no means a tearaway - but the world's changed a lot since then and I agree with some of the posters above that he may struggle to get in.

It sounds like you have a good relationship for him to be speaking to you honestly and reasonably about this so I agree with those who say an outright no would be detrimental.

If if it was me, I'd ask him how he'd feel if his mates all got in but he didn't, how he'd feel if he got in to trouble etc so that at least you know he's thought about it. Then set guidelines about what time you want him home, not getting wasted etc.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:12:13

tracypenisbeaker

I think you're a little out of touch with the law on alcohol:

a) He is underage, therefore would be breaking the law.

If the police catch him they'll only confiscate it. It's hardly the crime of the century and the law is set at 18 because they know full well that 16 & 17 year olds will drink.

Did you know it's legal for children as young as 5 to drink in the home or other private premises, by the way? Not to get drunk, but giving a young child a small sip of wine for example is considered by some to foster a health approach to drink, rather than banning it till adulthood.

b) You are technically encouraging this if you give him your blessing. What sort of role model does that make you?

I would say treating her some like the almost-adult he is and coming to an agreement which reflects the real world and suits them both makes her sound like a great role-model! She'll be modelling trust, empathy and diplomacy, rather than inflexibility and naivety.

c) He could get in a lot of trouble if he is caught.

A lot of trouble. Really? For what exactly?

d) That is assuming he gets let in- what is his plan for trying to get in? Fake I.D? Just winging it, hoping he won't get I'D'd? Places are very strict these days. IME bouncers don't tend to let young lads in without I.D. My OH was always I'D'd without fail when we went to clubs together, whereas I was maybe 2/5 times. He is a few years older than me and you can tell.

It's her son's problem how he gets in, not hers!

e) If he is so mature for his age, he can wait another year. I purposely waited till my 18th because I didn't want to ruin it for myself and also didn't want to risk getting in trouble.

Why on earth would it have ruined your 18th if you'd gone out? Great it worked for you, but I had a fantastic time going out when I was 16 & 17. Crap 18th though as it was the day before a GCSE and so I wasn't allowed out ha ha. But nothing to do with all the fun I'd had before!

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:17:35

"I'd ask him how he'd feel if his mates all got in but he didn't, how he'd feel if he got in to trouble etc so that at least you know he's thought about it. Then set guidelines about what time you want him home, not getting wasted etc."

Sounds very sensible.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:19:51

The biggest worry for me with clubs tbh is violence. Some clubs attract trouble makers and often have violence. Others simply don't. I'd want to know where they were going and do my own research about their reputation.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 10:20:56

Hi tracypenisbeaker You obviously have no teenagers. In just over a year he will be an adult. Now he is still a teenager and tells me what he is doing, (most of the time!). The important thing is he tells me about the big stuff, like going to a club.
Of course I know he is supposed to be 18 and like I said If I had my way I would keep him at home safe with me, always. I love him.
But on the other hand I have bought him up giving him all the things I never had, confidence, social ability, a good education and tons of love. I cannot deny I am pleased to see him have so many good friends and enjoying life and in reality I can not stop him if all his friends are going. That is the reality. I have to trust in the solid upbringing I have given him that he will make the right decisions.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:22:22

Oops, I meant "treating her son" above, not "treating her some!"

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 10:24:36

To thepobblewhohasnotoes
Thanks so much for the comments!

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:25:30

Of course every single point I made in my post was wrong thepobblewhohasnotoes. hmm

Could argue with you but what would be the point? I'm willing to be balanced but arsed arguing with someone who uses 'It's her son's problem how he gets in, not hers' as a reason for him to go out. Just silliness.

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:26:34

hettiw I don't need teenagers, ta. I'm pretty much in touch with what goes on seeing as I was 18 two years ago.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 10:29:17

HA HA

FeisMom Mon 11-Nov-13 10:31:35

Agree with pobble. When your DCs are younger you have so much more influence and think you will continue to do so. As they get older, you realise that you have to be much more pragmatic in managing your relationship with a teenager and continually rethink the boundaries in order to nurture your relationship with them.

An outright no is not always the way

If he was mine, I'd rather he came straight home afterwards, so that I knew he was back safely, and that he wasn't so drunk as to be in danger - his friends may be nice people, but that doesn't automatically make them sensible!

Better to let him have some freedom, within boundaries, and with a way of checking that he is keeping reasonably to those, before letting him go further. If you say an outright "no" it's more likely that he'll find ways to do it anyway, and not feel able to call you for a lift if there's a problem, or talk to you if something happend that he is worried about.

Times were different when I was that age, and nobody got ID'd, but I was going to clubs at that age with my parents knowledge. I always knew that I could leave if I was uncomfortable, and wasn't relying on some lie about sleeping over at a friends house.

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:32:06

hettiw On a different note, I'm glad to see you have such a good relationship with your son.

I've just noticed this post was in 'parenting,' as opposed to 'AIBU' so I will back off so not to offend any further. I'm not a parent as yet so I don't see why my opinion should be valued here, just thought I would give my perspective (and there's me thinking that the law-abiding choice would be the sensible one!)

Ciao.

birdybear Mon 11-Nov-13 10:32:29

Tracypenisbeaker, that Will be the reason why you don't have the maturity and experience to understand and reason this point of view then . not being nasty, you just don't .

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:34:35

birdybear hmm

Ageist much?

mummytime Mon 11-Nov-13 10:35:44

I have teenagers. I have never been asked this (yet!).

My big issue would be fake ID. Personally I would be against it and would discuss why with my teens. I haven't yet, as if DS asked I would probably faint from shock that he is "going out" at all. DD is younger, but I will have the dreaded Prom next year to think about with her.

But do keep talking is my advice, its oddly reassuring when your DC let you know about the bad things they could be doing (but obviously aren't yet).

tracy you obviously made one set of choices, and I agree they were a good set. But, did you not have friends who did go out into pubs and clubs underage? I know my own friends who were more at risk were those who had lied to get out, lied about the fact that they drank, lied about who they were with and how they were going to get home.

On a scale of 'keeping safe', yes staying home or going to organised youth clubs is going to be safest.

But going out without your parents having any idea where you are or who you are with is pretty much at the bottom of the scale.

A reasonable compromise, for most people, is to put boundaries in place which reduce the risk of doing things that lots of other people are doing.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 10:37:11

Thanks everyone, so great to get advice sometimes. Yes I will let him go but make sure he comes home after.

NoComet Mon 11-Nov-13 10:44:29

Since I went to local rural discos and drank from 14 (everyone did), my DDad was probably stricter than most and insisted on picking us up if it wasn't in our local hall.

The only rule was come straight home/be at pick up exactly in time (and never said, because DDad doesn't drink, don't be pissed and throw up in our car).

By the time I was at freshers at University in a strange city with no friends, yet to bail me out. I'd been there and got the T shirt.

The state the London and other big city students got themselves in was frightening.

So I don't think a bit of practice, while parents can still ground you, is at all a bad thing.

SoonToBeSix Mon 11-Nov-13 10:46:11

Just say no, he is underage it is illegal, you are his parent. Act responsibly the law is there to protect young people. I do not understand your dilemma.

SoonToBeSix Mon 11-Nov-13 10:48:04

Also I do have a teenager myself .

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:55:38

AMumInScotland My friends were all older than me so they got into clubs, which on one hand was crap for me, but on the other hand it was good because when I turned 18 that meant everyone could come and we made a proper night of it- I even booked a limo and had champagne on the way into town. I feel that I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I had already been as the novelty would have worn off.

I can't really relate to the lying to my parents aspect of things, I just never had that relationship with them. I've always been my own person without the need to 'rebel' or have this rite of passage behind their back. My mum was always straightforward with me about her 'misspent youth,' it was just something that never appealed to me. I really resent the fact some posters on this thread are taking the piss because they are frustrated that I don't fit into what they think a teenager should be like, and my age means I shouldn't have an opinion.

Thought it might have been refreshing to hear from the other side of the coin but meh. Only the parents can be right in this instance apparently.

Tracy You do have to remember that we all used to be teenagers too though, and you did come across rather 'holier than thou' about how he'd be breaking the law and get into terrible trouble. Most of us, as teenagers, did break the law. Partly because it was much easier in our day of course!

We now go out for a meal with 20yo son, and he gets asked for ID if the three of us share a bottle of wine.

I was getting served in pubs from about 15 and going to clubs from 16. So your "It's simply illegal and wrong" line seems a little, well, immature and shows a very 'black and white' attitude to morality which is actually very usual in people around your age. But it doesn't cover the full situation for lots of people.

That doesn't mean your point of view is wrong, but it only based on your own experience, which is still limited.

I'm glad that you had a good relationship with your parents and didn't feel the need to rebel. But lots of people do, and parents have to find some 'middle ground'. That might be saying "Yes, but..." or "No, because..." but it can't often be just "No." and usually shouldn't be just "Yes".

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 11:22:10

A large part of my reasoning for not attempting to go out clubbing is because I don't think its as easy these days compared to say, the 80's. They have cracked down, even in the past few years. I have friends who are bouncers who have told me this. Have you been clubbing recently AMum? Do you know how difficult it is for underagers to get into clubs? I may not have been around when 15 year olds were drinking snake-bites, but I can offer insight to what it is like these days. Apologies if you do go out, I'm not trying to make you feel out of touch.

Trying to get in with a fake ID (or, more commonly someone else's ID, in the hope that they will just glance at the picture) it isn't inconsequential, either- I know someone who borrowed an ID from someone else, the bouncers confiscated it and the police turned up at the address on the provisional, much to the dismay of the parents (whos son didn't actually go to the club).

I really do think it is a pointless exercise for a group of underage lads, morals aside, to try and get into a club. There is a very slim chance that they will all get let in. There is usually at least one from each party that gets checked.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 13:49:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

birdybear Mon 11-Nov-13 16:16:53

no Tracy, not ageist, just obvious that at 20 years old you are not much older than the teens we are talking about, so therefore you have limited life experience. that isn't discriminatory, just perfectly obvious that generally the older you are the more life experience and wisdom you have and a different view point.

PartPixie Mon 11-Nov-13 19:40:02

Some great advice already given but I just thought I would add a couple of things. Make sure your DS and his friends have discussed what will happen if some of them get in and others don't. Particularly what happens if he did agree to stay at his friends and the friend he is supposed to be staying with gets in/doesn't get in and the opposite happens to him.

Also, make sure that he is aware of the risks of drink spiking. Although less common, it can happen to boys.

NoComet Mon 11-Nov-13 20:23:31

I think the drinking law deserves to be broken.
It's stupid that instead in drinking in a warm pub or disco as we did, DCs are drinking in the park with the local drug dealers hovering. (And this is a nice rural town)

It's stupid to have a law that means the better supervised and truthful, DCs don't start going out drinking until they are university with their parents 100's of miles away.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 09:44:37

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:12:13
tracypenisbeaker

"I think you're a little out of touch with the law on alcohol:

a) He is underage, therefore would be breaking the law.

If the police catch him they'll only confiscate it. It's hardly the crime of the century and the law is set at 18 because they know full well that 16 & 17 year olds will drink."

Yes, but the person who sells him the alcohol could have their licence revoked.

To me, an adult, possibly a family man, losing his livelihood seems a far more serious matter than a teen losing face with his mates because he can't go clubbing for a few months.

I have a 17yo and a 13yo and I will not condone anything that involves tricking other people and potentially getting them into serious trouble.

If a teen of mine says "But if you won't encourage me to do that, I will do something else and get into even more trouble" my reply would be "If you choose to do that, that is your responsibility, don't try to pin that one on me if you want to be considered an almost adult. If I think something is wrong, I will not be blackmailed into saying it is right."

For the record, I will be 50 next month. Does that make me mature enough to have an opinion on the subject?

NCISaddict Tue 12-Nov-13 10:07:05

Thank goodness for some sense Cory I'm 48 and have a 21 yr old, a 20 yr old and a 17 yr old and would never condone or facilitate them doing something illegal.
Their socializing pre 18 was done at friends houses most of whose parents I knew well or at drama clubs which were supervised.

For my elder DS it could have been more of an issue as he was a year ahead so wasn't 18 until his first week at uni. He coped and is a well balanced 20 yr old with lots of friends. He isn't a frequent clubber even now but I can't say that worries me, all of them prefer films and pizza with mates.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 10:39:25

I probably supervise mine less than yours NCIaddict. Dd has been up to London on her own a couple of times and I suppose there would have been nothing to stop her from trying to sneak into a pub. But I made sure she understood the moral and legal implications of doing so- that is the best I can do. Also she understood clearly that nobody else would bear moral responsibility for a decision made by her, that I am not prepared to absolve her from that in any way by stepping in and giving permission.

NCISaddict Tue 12-Nov-13 10:47:22

Oh they've all gone out on their own but I do talk to them about the implications of breaking the law. There was nothing to stop them except the boundaries I have instilled. If they did overstep the mark then we would have to deal with it but that doesn't mean I have to allow or facilitate them breaking the law. I have zero tolerance for it.
Also as I work for the emergency services they have heard numerous stories about what can and does happen, particularly with underage drinking and know how seriously unimpressed I would be.

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