Are all 15 year olds taking booze to parties?

(112 Posts)
Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:14:16

apparently my DD is the only one whose parents don't buy her alcohol to take to parties...

I am remembering being 15 and drinking cider and hiding my drunk friends from my parents

I am remembering DH being the same and worse - so we have no room to talk about underage drinking but of course we don't want our DD doing it! haha

I'm not in AIBU but you're all going to tell me I am, right?....

advise please and sympathetic hugs about parenting teenagers smile and boundaries and letting go and other difficult stuff!

No, don't know any who do this and I know hundreds.

Parents are not buying them alcohol unless you live in a scabby area.

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:17:09

I don't think the area has anything to do with it does it? Just trying to gauge opinion. If I said it was terribly posh Kensington or Woolwich would it make a difference then?

Maria33 Fri 11-Apr-14 18:19:07

I don't buy my 15 yo alcohol. Some parents d, lots don't. It's annoying. I think 15 is too young for regular social drinking.

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:21:37

Agree, it's annoying, cause of another argument and yet more debate about being sensible etc etc

Area/social group - all have a fair amount to do with giving kids alcohol. The area I grew up in and my parents - spent their whole time pissed. Alcohol freely available , no ID taken in shops - had no problem buying alcohol from 13 onwards.

MaureenMLove Fri 11-Apr-14 18:29:07

I didn't give my DD alcohol to go to parties at 15, but I know it was there. I remember a 16 party she went to as well, where all her mates where drunk and given that she's the oldest in the year, it's likely most of them were still 15.

I assume a lot of her friends will still be 14 as well?

bigTillyMint Fri 11-Apr-14 18:30:04

Well from what I hear, 15yo's are taking alcohol to parties but their parents aren't necessarily buying it for them. The DC say a local shop sells it to teens, but some of them (paticularly the boys) easily looked 18 when they were 14 - obviously not asking for ID!

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:30:59

I think it is quite strict in shops here about selling alcohol to under age - lots of checks, according to local paper. I think it's more difficult these days for kids to get it from shops. Not like when I was young and the oldest of us went in and just bought a big bottle of cider and ten JPS!

I don't think the kids are actually buying, I think mums are thinking they dont want to be the only one who says no and buy a bottle of lambrini. I only actually know of one mum that has done it tonight for a party which DD is going to - which brought the subject to the fore, hence this thread.

Just wondering if I am the minority.

kaumana Fri 11-Apr-14 18:31:07

No, the majority don't BUT there are a few parents who do so. They tend to be my child is my friend type and want to seem cool.hmm

Laurie These parents are do not live in a scabby area in fact the complete opposite.

kbear I was pretty much the same as you as a teen but our drink of choice was vodka. So, I'm fully aware of what teens can get up to. Even more so now that a friends 15yr old is being treated for alcohol addiction and he comes from a very much middle class family.

I personally do not feel the need to enable
my son.

PiratePanda Fri 11-Apr-14 18:32:55

FFS it's illegal! Why the hell would you give your DCs alcohol to bring to parties??? I'm not stupid, I know there will be alcohol come what may, but seriously? Just say no, end of.

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:35:53

Piratepanda - calm down a bit, I don't need a lecture, I have said no. I'm just having a conversation.

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:36:56

I know it's illegal. That's what I told DD.

PiratePanda Fri 11-Apr-14 18:40:57

Not lecturing you, m'dear, more of a general WTF?! at the people who do this grin

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:41:16

lol phew

MrsRuffdiamond Fri 11-Apr-14 18:41:48

I think many parents will provide their 15-17 yr old teenagers with a limited amount of alcohol - a couple of cans of cider, lager, etc. to take to parties, on the basis that the alternative is likely to be them getting their own or friends' older siblings to buy alcohol for them. This might well be spirits, which would be a whole lot worse.

The reality is that they are going to get alcohol from somewhere, so I think many parents take the pragmatic approach, not trying to be 'down with the kids', but in the hope of some damage limitation.

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 18:44:04

They make it harder for the rest of us.

DD knows how I feel about it, she said everyone takes something, they are just at a gathering of a few girls, she's being picked up and coming back here.

I said take some J2Os and she got that choked up embarrassed lump in her throat, trying not to hate me but wishing I would just let her take it to share and then she wouldn't feel embarrassed. I said just tell them you don't like the taste, then you don't have to feel embarrassed cos your mum is an old fart who says no to underage drinking at parties.....

Nocomet Fri 11-Apr-14 18:54:47

DD doesn't get invited to parties, but she enjoys listening to the stories the Monday after. They certainly get alcohol from somewhere.

If she did get invited, I probably would give her a couple of cans, then she wouldn't have to pinch it.

We are lucky enough to be able to afford boxes of cans and both DH and I grab stuff that's on offer. I honestly don't know exactly what's in the dark corner of the store.

heronsfly Fri 11-Apr-14 18:55:25

I would never buy my 15 year old dd alcohol, she wouldent ask and I dont really think her and her friends are at that point yet
But I do buy my 17 year old dd a bottle of wine to take to partys, she is under strict instructions not to drink anything else and so far I think she has stuck to the rules, as another poster said it is damage limitation.

kaumana Fri 11-Apr-14 18:56:45

mrs ruff The thing is that they will still get the extra booze from their sources and the parents end up adding to the pile. Of which, spirits is the first drink of choice. Your couple of bottle of beer won't be drunk till the vodka has been necked neat.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 11-Apr-14 18:59:54

Some do, some don't.

Some don't but drink the stuff that others do.

90sthrowback Fri 11-Apr-14 19:03:43

Yes it seems to be the norm round here (rural-ish Home Counties).

And I disagree re the scabby area - kaumama was spot on saying that it is the parents who want their teens to be their friends - typically middle class, liberal attitudes.

I can kind of see how it happens though - child asks, parent says no, child gets it off someone else, parent doesn't want their child to be seen as the tightarse one who is always drinking everyone elses booze and not bringing any so they sigh and think "oh well I'll buy a couple of bottles of weak stuff", and so it goes on. Also the kids all want to put up selfies of themselves with bottles / cans of alcohol so it seems more widely the norm than I think it actually is.

FWIW I'm relaxed about 15yo DS having a drink at home if he wants, with safe adult supervision, I'd rather he learnt responsible drinking around us than sneaking off to the park with vodka nicked from someone's parents house like I did, but I'm not providing him with booze to go to a party.

Delphiniumsblue Fri 11-Apr-14 19:09:03

I disagree with 'scabby area' too, it happens in the best of areas. I didn't, but unfortunately many parents do.

sinningsaint Fri 11-Apr-14 19:31:52

I started letting DD2 take 2 small (200ml) cans of pre-mixed bacardi/coke or pimms/lemonade to parties when she was 15 1/2. She is now nearly 17 and I'll give her 3-4 kopparburgs to take but maybe this is because we live near scabby blackpool!! I know full well there is more booze readily available to her but she told me last week that on NYE after having a couple of shots of vodka on top of what I had given, although not being physically sick or anything, she decided she was too drunk for her liking and hasn't had any extra since grin I for one am glad I took this choice as I now trust her to luck after herself when I'm not around like at the festivals she is going to over summer.

MrsRuffdiamond Fri 11-Apr-14 19:33:36

When ds1 started partying, some years ago, I did a lot of research around what appeared, from discussion with other parents, to be a grey area as far as our knowledge was concerned. We were all very shock at the time to find out that:

It is against the law:

For someone under 18 to drink alcohol in licensed premises, except where the child is 16 or 17 years old and accompanied by an adult. In this case it is legal for them to drink, but not buy, beer, wine and cider with a table meal.

It is not illegal:

For a child aged five to 16 to drink alcohol at home or on other private premises.

NurseyWursey Fri 11-Apr-14 19:34:39

When I was 15 nearly everyone in my year drank regularly

LynetteScavo Fri 11-Apr-14 19:37:04

I definitely don't give ds alcohol and he and his friends aren't interested in drinking anyway.... Sue that'll change over the next year or two, but I won't be supplying them.

TheZeeTeam Fri 11-Apr-14 19:39:57

No but the drinking age is 21 here so I wouldn't want to get arrested! Nearly all the parties my sons' friends have seem to end up at our house and none of them have ever brought alcohol or drugs. They're 17.

Although I think a legal drinking age of 21 is a little crazy IMO, I do like that his liver isn't getting a regular thrashing before its ready.

Didn't 15 year-olds always do this? I'm always a bit grin that loads of people drank underage themselves but are quite convinced that their own dc wouldn't dream of doing so!

Kbear Fri 11-Apr-14 20:14:15

the fact that we did it is precisely the reason we are worried sick lol

DS1 is 16. I'm happy for him to have a beer or two at family gatherings (he's 6'3 and built - I don't think it has any impact on him whatsoever) however, like a couple of people have already said, I don't and won't buy him alcohol to take to parties (not that he goes to many!)

I'll admit I was drinking fairly regularly at that age. DH (then just BF) is older than me and we were boring old farts who sat in grubby pubs for our exciting nights out, but my parents wouldn't be providing me with drink. I looked old enough to buy my own...

Looiloo79 Fri 11-Apr-14 20:24:43

I buy my 16 yr old dd drinks to take to parties! Does that make me a bad mum? I buy her it so she doesn't drink something she shouldn't and she's happy with what she gets! I'd rather it be that way than doing what I did when I was a teenager and drank anything in sight without my parents knowing!

kaumana Fri 11-Apr-14 20:27:28

holmes I have stated that my peer group, at the age of 15, were drinking alcohol.

However, my prior life/ DS's current peer group/online media friends has lead to full and frank discussions from an early age.

TBH the idea that alcohol is a norm is really worrying to me and I say that with a glass of Pinot in hand.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 11-Apr-14 20:30:09

I was in the pub drinking tequila sunrises purchased by Royal Marines at 15.. blush I turned out OK. I would be happy with the softer end of the alcohol scale - beer/cider etc. I would not recommend my grandad's peapod wine that I stole as it made us all sick as pigs.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 11-Apr-14 20:31:42

I am locking up my PFB of course.

kaumana Fri 11-Apr-14 20:39:56

porto Peapod wine?!

PortofinoRevisited Fri 11-Apr-14 21:11:08

Jeez it was bad.

SirChenjin Fri 11-Apr-14 21:16:04

I bought DS 2 small bottles of low alcohol cider when he was 15 - he was going to a party at his friend's house, someone we've known for ages.

I would much rather that I knew he was drinking and where, and the rule here is that if he comes home drunk he doesn't go to the next party (they are not a regular occurence). So far, he's behaved himself.

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 11-Apr-14 21:16:55

I'm 20, my parents allowing me to take booze to take to parties when I was 16. I would say Year 11 is the year that it becomes acceptable.

Most parents would buy cider/beer, no spirits.

kaumana Fri 11-Apr-14 21:29:35

porto grin That made me LOL!

TheZeeTeam Sat 12-Apr-14 00:10:44

Tbh, I think the whole "well, I did it and it didn't do me any harm" mantra is probably quite responsible for the fact there are record amounts of under 40's suffering from liver disease in the UK.

This is not 1994. The pressures on our teens are totally different from the pressures we had. So, encouraging them to make the same, dumb mistakes just because we did is, quite frankly, a little bit stupid. Not least, because their drunken mistakes may end up staying with them for a lifetime if put in the wrong hands.

MillyMollyMully Sat 12-Apr-14 00:22:32

It's a bit like people who advocate smacking children because they themselves were smacked a lot and it didn't do them any harm.

Clearly it didn't do them any harm.

I agree with TheZeeTeam.

SirChenjin Sat 12-Apr-14 18:12:18

Yes, that's absolutely right - providing my son with 2 small bottles of cider for the occasional party is absolutely the same as advocating smacking.


PortofinoRevisited Sat 12-Apr-14 19:08:59

It is much better to let them have small quantities and talk about it than complete banning and no discussion in mho. I can remember my dad and sm talking about parties in the 60s. Drugs, alcohol, sex etc. Tales went from teen pregancies, people getting their eyebrows shaved off, to someone overdosing on heroin. Some of the stories were funny, some were so not. It made me very careful and gave me confidence to turn stuff down. And I lived through the ecstacy generation without even being tempted. I wish they had extended it to smoking though....

I know that my DC wouldn't do it because I know where they are at all times, they're not allowed in pubs, wandering about aimlessly or to house parties.

Much different than when I was young and I was very poorly parented - allowed out at all times to go to nightclubs and pubs, no curfew, given alcohol.

There are many things I don't do that my parents did.

And I was regularly given money for cigarettes - everyone smoked when I was young, my parents smoked 40 a day each - fags were a pound a packet.

Claybury Sat 12-Apr-14 19:31:38

My DD15 and DS16 will not touch alcohol. ( weirdly ) I have offered them a small drink at home and they will not try it. At family gatherings relations try to get them to drink , like it's a treat, which really annoys me as DD has had on occasions to pretend to like it to be polite - I have said to DD15 that lots of people don't drink these days and it is perfect acceptable to say ' I don't drink ' . Society seems to put pressure on people to drink which is pretty unhelpful.
Before anyone tells me how lucky I am I should DS is much happier smoking weed, and had has tried other drugs, the only consolation being he doesn't mix them with booze.

IHaveAFifthSense Sat 12-Apr-14 19:36:06

It hasn't been all that long since I was 15, and I was drinking at parties then but my mum wasn't buying it for me. She did buy me a bottle of Lambrini (because I'm classy) to drink in the house on my 16th birthday though.

BackforGood Sat 12-Apr-14 19:39:58

Not here.
I have a 17 yr old ds and a 15 yr old dd.
It seemed to start happening once they got into the 6th form, so dd has another 18months before we'd consider it.

chocoluvva Sat 12-Apr-14 20:06:31

DD didn't start taking drink to parties until she was 17. Once aged 15 she took some alcohol-free beer with her to look as if she was drinking. She denied all knowledge that it was hers!

Her BF used his brother's ID to buy drink when he was 16.

The 'cool' thing is to have shots apparently. Some parents provide their DC with beer or cider in the hope that they'll drink it instead of other alcohol.

MrsRuffdiamond Sat 12-Apr-14 22:04:27

Just out of interest, Laurie, how old are your dc?

In my experience once their dc have reached 16, very few parents would go as far as not to allow them to go to house parties and 'gatherings', which seem to be the most common form of socialising between the ages of 15 -17!

I'm not saying parents shouldn't be able to say no in particular circumstances, but wouldn't a blanket ban on parties leave their dc completely out on a limb in relation to their peers?

Under age teens would rarely go to pubs and clubs, anyway, as ID is fairly rigorously checked nowadays from what I hear.

minniem Sat 12-Apr-14 23:47:10

mrsruff What's your thoughts on allowing/buying alcohol for the under 18s?

MrsRuffdiamond Sun 13-Apr-14 11:41:09

Laurie, these are some of my thoughts:

It is not against the law for under 18s to consume alcohol. I therefore think that I am likely to be on dodgy ground if I try to enforce a code of conduct upon my 16-17 yr olds which the law of the land does not support, and which I myself do not adhere to.

I personally don't think it is a viable option for me to prevent my teenagers going to parties at which alcohol is likely to be available (all of them, as far as I can make out!) without segregating them from their peer group.

I think a blanket ban on attending such events is likely to lead to a breakdown in the relationship I have with them, which facilitates the calm and open discussion of things such as alcohol consumption, drugs (obviously illegal anyway - I'm on stronger ground there) and sex (also not illegal for under 18s), and in which I can state my point of view, which I hope will be taken on board, along with my expectation of sensible behaviour. That is my aim.

I would rather that, than imposing my will and having them sneak out to parties behind my back and lie about what they have been doing, which was the experience of one family I know, whose strict house rules prompted not cooperation, but duplicity. Growing up is a gradual process, and limited exposure to some of life’s dangers is essential in helping teenagers know how to deal with them.

I know that my DC wouldn't do it because I know where they are at all times

This is quite unusual, in my experience, if you are talking about teenagers 15+, hence my enquiry as to the ages of your dc.

NigellasDealer Sun 13-Apr-14 11:49:30

Parents are not buying them alcohol unless you live in a scabby area
well that is odd because the only parents that i know of who have been warned against supplying their child and his peers with alcohol live in the biggest house in town and are lawyers or similar.
nothing like a bit of class stereotyping on a sunday morning eh?

NigellasDealer Sun 13-Apr-14 11:51:19

I know that my DC wouldn't do it because I know where they are at all times
good luck with that

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 19:25:27

I think it depends more on social circle than area. It's plausible your DD might be the only one in her social group who isn't being bought alcohol to take or taking alcohol at all.

Yesterday I went to an even in a park near us, there were 15 year olds there doing Guides and Scouts, really geeky, but very sweet and polite kids, they unfortunately aren't the sort of people my DC hang around with. I wouldn't expect them to be drinking and going to house parties.

When I look at my DC and their friends I have to be honest with myself, they aren't off for a night of wholesome fun with their mates, they're off for a night of taking selfies, koppabergs and fingering. I read Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and I'm aware of the reality.

I will openly admit I've given my teen a pack of beer (4 cans) or similar to take with them. It isn't illegal depending on where they will be drinking it. I think 15 has been the earliest I've done this, so probably Y10 or Y11, as thats when most of the parties start anyway. I haven't had my own DC brought home sick, have had other peoples and I've been called to a party where there was a very drunk girl and no parents. Clearly there have been times where someone has managed to get their hands on some spirits, but even then its being shared amongst so many of them, it doesn't measure out as much at all. I'm really not too worried about it.

I'm just relieved my DC aren't able to go into the local shop and buy a litre of vodka to neck between them and one mate as I used to do.

It's the easy availability of ketamine and MDMA which causes me far more concern than a bit of moderate drinking once a fortnight.

MrsRuffdiamond Sun 13-Apr-14 20:35:47

there were 15 year olds there doing Guides and Scouts, really geeky, but very sweet and polite kids............I wouldn't expect them to be drinking and going to house parties.

I think you might be surprised, Mama!

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 22:36:43

All DS1's crowd (inc. him) have been right through the Scouting movement - currently in Explorers, which is how they spend they Friday evenings, thankfully. However, even they go to occasional parties/gatherings in each others houses, complete with (a limited) amount of alcohol. Sorry Mama grin

I've been looking after foster children for more than ten years. I know where they are at all times because it's my job to know where they are. It's also my job to provide them with a range of 'wholesome ' (couldn't think of a better word grin activities).

SS would be firing me if I didn't know where there were or were allowing them to drink, or worse providing them with drink.

I'm surprised at some of you thinking gatherings or house parties are common, don't know any that happen round here - children are too busy mostly doing structured activities - scouts, explorers, dance groups, cadets, climbing a massive thing, skiing is a big thing - a whole load of dd's mates go skiing on a Friday night

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 22:51:02

Are you generally easily surprised Laurie?

Round here the kids do structured activities and occasionally let their hair down at a gathering or house party. You know - much the same as we do.

I'm not easily surprised, I'm surprised at people thinking house parties are common. There have been none yet in current dd's year 11 group.

MrsRuffdiamond Sun 13-Apr-14 23:06:42

skiing is a big thing Are you in Austria, Laurie? grin

I can completely see why you might not be able to be laid back about foster children in your care, but how is it practical for you to keep tabs to such an extent on older teenagers?

<Hopes to get some tips>

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 23:06:48

No need to apologise to me Sir grin its nice to hear they aren't socially outcast in the way I had presumed. My DC aren't exactly showering themselves in glory, some of the things I read on FB/Twitter/Insta etc send me into crisis. I keep reminding myself that I did far, far worse but its all very testing. I think having a DC who has made it to adulthood helps me nowadays.

I was verbally bitchslapped by my DC for suggesting that maybe they would enjoy Guides/Scouts. Its good to hear that those kids are having a fun time too. In the nicest possible way I had felt a bit sorry for them.

Laurie you cannot genuinely believe that you live in an area where these things don't happen?! Surely its just your kids aren't invited/don't tell you about it or it happens in completely different social groups to the ones your DC are mixing in. Where do you live so I can move there when it all becomes too much maybe we can work out if its actually true?

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 23:08:16

That doesn't mean they are uncommon.

You may also find that they have been happening, but at that age they tend to socialise in smallish groups and don't really have much to do with other 'sets' (unless your DCs have a very small year group), so it's perfectly possible that there have been gatherings, they just haven't been advertised widely for fear of gatecrashers etc.

Gatherings in houses where the parents are present but out of sight are great things imo - as long as there's a good mix of academic stuff, structured activities and the odd party then I'm happy.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 23:09:22

No Mama - not socially outcast, lol grin grin

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 23:10:10

Can I just say by the way it is actually quite easy to keep tabs on teen DC now. Most are permanently attached to their phones and so I happily buy them an iPhone with the caveat that it must have Find My iPhone on it, and that must always be enabled (excluding tube and other barriers).

My DC have been trained from early about keeping in contact and I'm not really in the habit or banning them from anywhere so I find it very easy to trust FMI.

RhondaJean Sun 13-Apr-14 23:12:49

My 14 yo is so anti drinking it's unreal. I know that could change but I don't think it will. At her school - in a very nice area with vairy naice children - 13 is the age they seem to start round here. Girls in her year st school have been arrested for hitting s policeman when drunk, a few weekends ago one broke a toilet at the airpo trying to hide vodka when they searched her there was cocaine in her bag.

How the fuck do you afford cocaine at 14.

Dd told me this as she was appalled. I am not pulling the wool over my own eyes, but no not all teenagers drunk.

Dd2 is o ly 9 however I am bracing myself for her teenage years.

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 23:13:44

Christ sorry Sir, I have just read that back. I did not intend to sound like such a Mean Girl.

Glad to hear they're having fun and am slightly jealous of how it all sounds just the right amount of mischief.

LOVING the subtle bolding on this thread.

RhondaJean Sun 13-Apr-14 23:14:11

I however do drink ^^ apologies for uncorrected iPad.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 23:16:45

I think it also depends on the child. DD is almost 15 and much more of a homebird than DS1, who is far more extrovert and outgoing.

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 23:18:57

Rhonda, it's really not that expensive now. If you're buying from certain people in certain places I think it can still be expensive, and a habit is obviously costly, but your average coke dealer is cutting it with so much that you can get it very cheaply. Failing that, sexual favours often help. Horrible but true.

SirChenjin Sun 13-Apr-14 23:19:02

No problem at all - it just made me laugh, DS1 and his friends are definitely not social outcasts, quite the opposite in fact grin. They just love the outdoors, hiking and camping and drinking a bottle of beer round the campfire

RhondaJean Sun 13-Apr-14 23:20:05

Shit mama don't want to think about that. Im stuck in the £50 a gram days. And happy there.

MamaPain Sun 13-Apr-14 23:29:05

Glad you aren't offended, I definitely have foot in mouth syndrome. I think my views of it all are probably a bit clouded by not knowing anyone who did those activities when I was younger and my DC being horrified at the suggestion. My DC are like their darling mama and get very anxious the further they go from 24 hours shops and zone 1. I have tried to remedy this by sending them to stay on a smallholding each year but the pull of WiFi and smog is strong.

Yes Rhonda its definitely changed. As I said up the thread, I think MDMA and Ket are much bigger problems amongst teens now than coke ever has been.

RhondaJean Sun 13-Apr-14 23:34:00

Ket is scary shit. DH sat with a female friend one day as she came off and she told him how she WAS the twin towers.

Tbh, I think al, you can do is teach risk management and also be there. Show disapproval in general but acceptance of your children?

Solo Sun 13-Apr-14 23:37:32

I haven't bought any for my 15yo Ds and he's been to more parties than I have in the last 12 months.
He asked me last week if I would buy some for next weeks party and that's the first request from him. My answer was no. He asked if he could take two cans of Fosters from the fridge. My answer was still no.
I have asked him not to drink alcohol at the previous parties he's been to and as far as I know he hasn't. Mostly, I collect him. One he stayed over I wasn't happy to help clean up!
I hear that other teens take alcohol to parties, but who actually buys it or supplies it for them I have no idea.

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 00:11:20

there were 15 year olds there doing Guides and Scouts, really geeky, but very sweet

This kind of comment REALLY gets me cross.
My dd was out with Scouts today, and ended up taking part in a real life rescue that has almost certainly saved a man's limb. I'm immensely proud of her and everybody who was there today, but having those skills doesn't make them some kind of social outcasts. All 3 of my dc have been through Scouts, and none of them are short of social invites. Like SirChenJin siad - quite the opposite.

Zucker Mon 14-Apr-14 00:37:40

C'mon do the people who have teenagers going to these parties with no alcohol really think their drinkless teens are standing there sipping tap water all night?

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 00:48:07

Zucker - there's a BIG difference between a 15 yr old - quite probably Yr10 - child, and once they have gone into the 6th form.
IME (ds is at the end of Yr13) have dns at University, God-dd and God-ds at university as well as friends and cousins children - the house parties where is does involve alcohol, start in the 6th form.
Prior to that, they are just a gaggle of mates nattering away. Not tap water, no, but doesn't mean they are all necking the alcohol either.

SirChenjin Mon 14-Apr-14 08:19:39

I'm getting confused with Years and Forms - we don't have them here in Scotland. Is 6th Form the same as 6th Year here, ie 18 years old?

sixth form starts at 16.

sixth form goes on for 2 years, finishign when you are 18

i buy a couple of bottles of bulmers cider or perry for dd who is 16 nearly 17.
i wouldnt do same for 15 year old. though ds was drinking <<with friends>> at 15.

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 08:39:54

I do sometimes buy a few beers for my son and his friend but very occasionaly and only a few.

Damnautocorrect Mon 14-Apr-14 08:45:20

I remember seeing that Newquay program where they were saying part of the problem was the parents buying it, each parent of a large party of 15/16 year olds (on holiday) was giving them booze. But this then added up to a ridiculous amount.

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 08:48:20

well it does depend what you mean by 'booze'. for me, that means hard spirits and any parent who is buying their teens that deserves the full force of SS. and yes round here, parents do buy bottles of vodka for them. I find it shocking, yet on the other hand I would be slated for buying them a few beers by another type of parent wouldn't I?

SirChenjin Mon 14-Apr-14 09:03:57

Yes, because buying them a couple of beers for the occasional house party means you're either the liberal middle class type who is trying to be their friend or you live in a "scabby area" grin

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 09:04:35

grin cheers mate

claraschu Mon 14-Apr-14 09:11:33

I don't buy it, but most of them are drinking at parties at this age. My kids are friends with a big mixture of state / private school kids in Oxford (wide range of incomes and social background), and they almost all drink. Some of them successfully deceive their parents.

DownstairsMixUp Mon 14-Apr-14 09:22:45

All the people saying "I regualarly bought alcohol underage back when I was young - my parents didn't know" Well it's not the same now! Even back when I was 15/16 (which was only just over a decade ago) it was nowhere near as strict as it is now. All the shops round here now follow the think 25 policy, some are even using the "think 30" Makes it a lot harder now.

I would buy my DS a couple of beers once he has left school (so 16-17) but nothing under that no, though I'd be tempted to full him with becks blue and change the label if he kicked off! Booze and and me generally ended in me making bad choices even in my 20's so can't imagine a house full of pissed hormonal teens. :S

SirChenjin Mon 14-Apr-14 10:03:58

There weren't nearly the same number of shops selling alcohol back in the 80s/early 90s - but it was just as easy then as it is now to get someone else to buy you alcohol. As for ID...well, we used to make our own or borrow someone else's paper driving licence. It was just as easy to get hold of alcohol then as it is now.

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 10:33:14

I don't know SirChenjin. We went to a (50th) birthday party the other week as a family. In a works social club, all as families, and my 18yr old niece was distraught when she realised she'd come out without ID - 100% convinced she wouldn't get served and wouldn't go near the bar all night (she doesn't look underage or anything, it's just their experience that until you look about 35 you'll get ID'd wherever you go - my other niece couldn't believe that I didn't automatically carry ID with me wherever I go).
At 18 I'd have been comfortable that I'd be served in that sort of environment, if not in a club or City Centre bar.
I needed some matches the other day and asked my 15 yr old to nip into the shop for me, and she pointed out they wouldn't let her buy them as she was under age! grin

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 10:34:39

Sorry, forgot to answer your 6th form question - you go into 6th form the September after your 16th birthday. So my June born ds is almost 18 now, at the end of his 2nd year, but my Sept born dd will be turning 17 at the start of 6th form.

MamaPain Mon 14-Apr-14 10:50:16

BackforGood don't be so sensitive. I've already managed to discuss this nicely with SirChenjin, I obviously didn't mean it in a nasty way. However these kids were doing some sort of Easter Egg raffle and Face Painting, sorry I didn't recognise their life saving abilities, which as it happens are not exclusive to scouts and guides. My DC have done advanced First Aid courses through their hobby and through school. It's hardly a slight on your DD to notice some obviously very geeky kids who happen to share the same activity as herself. If I had said there were guides and scouts behaving particularly poorly I don't imagine you'd be rushing to associate your DD with them.

Btw much to my eternal glee I still regularly get asked for ID here and I'm 41. I might not look my age but I certainly don't look under 18! I think it's just become a policy in lots of shops to ask unless the person looks ancient. Some staff clearly take it very seriously and spend ages calculating my age while umming and ahhing.

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 14-Apr-14 10:54:40

There's lots if house parties where we live, both for teens and adults. DS and sometimes end up at the same one! He's nearly 16. I give him 6 Budweiser or similar and he often brings some back with him. When we hosted a party in January, there were around 10 friends age 15 to 20. They all brought alcohol and all except one were sensible. DS booted the offender out as he didn't want to be around someone like that.

DS also goes to a mates house every few weeks for a board games night with his mates family and a few others. I think they have a couple of beers then.

I and other parents are comfortable with it - as long as it is not excessive.

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 14-Apr-14 10:57:19

I can't decide between "scabby area" or "liberal middle class". Choices.... grin

Nocomet Mon 14-Apr-14 10:58:36

I'm 46 and I have never ever been asked for ID.

I think I have just gone through life a few years ahead of the fuss. Our rural pubs served us from 14, university bars and pubs by the university never asked (just assumed everyone was 18. My best DF wasn't at freshers (she'd been HE abroad and put up a year when she got home)

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 10:59:11

I am liberal middle class and i live in a scabby area....lucky kids get double beer rations

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 14-Apr-14 11:00:30

Nigellas grin

claraschu Mon 14-Apr-14 11:06:43

My 15 year old son can buy alcohol and tobacco sad. He knows which stores won't bother to ask for ID, and there are quite a few, unfortunately.

NigellasDealer Mon 14-Apr-14 11:07:56

my 15 year old made himself a fake ID on the college computers grin

MamaPain Mon 14-Apr-14 11:28:41

I think most teens know of a shop or two where they can get drink and fags. Our two nearest corner shops will serve my DCs as they know them and us.

The difference in my eyes is that whereas I used to go to our local pub or a nearby bar and get served and be under pressure to behave myself to some extent, kids won't get served in those type of places. They have to drink out and about or at someone's house. Id rather much provide mine with a few beers or similar to stop them hitting the spirits because the environments they're in seem to have more risk.

DownstairsMixUp Mon 14-Apr-14 12:02:38

Then it is all your jobs to report these places really. Nigella I'd tell your son to be very careful, I've served someone with a fake ID (it had the pass logo on it but it just didn't look right at all, if you are trained, it's not hard to spot a fake) and I called the manager who agreed it was fake, we confiscated it and called the police who took the ID and confirmed it was a fake so god knows how much trouble the boy is in. Not worth it really for a few fags. Also reg get people trying to use other people's ID's even though the photo is different confused we have to take them away to and call the police as it's fraud.

DownstairsMixUp Mon 14-Apr-14 12:03:43

We have the number printed at work actually somewhere if you suspect a shop that's selling a lot to underage kids, if you report them they tend to get "mystery shopped" a lot. One down our end got fined a lot for failing it.

SirChenjin Mon 14-Apr-14 12:46:30

The police are well aware of which shops sell alcohol to underage children round here, whether that's directly - or indirectly through other people. They get a small fine, a slap on the wrist and it settles down...for a while. The shops in question tend to be the small, independent grocers rather than the big chains who don't want the adverse publicity imo.

chocoluvva Mon 14-Apr-14 20:21:31

The big chains are very strict. DD's 18YO BF wasn't allowed to buy alcohol because he was with DD (aged 17) who didn't have ID. DD suggested she go and wait outside but they were having none of it.

AnarchoSyndicalistMumofthree Tue 15-Apr-14 23:34:15

Despite it's social acceptability it is one of the most damaging of substances and I discourage my eldest by not consuming it myself and as we have two alcohlics in the extended family she has seen first hand the damage. Legal(ish) doesn't equate safety. Quite frankly there are many illicit substances I'd rather she took to a party, fear of prosecution and criminal record aside that is.

MrsRuffdiamond Wed 16-Apr-14 00:09:51

A teacher who gave a talk at the dc's 6th form parent's introductory evening said much the same thing.

Whereas parents get their knickers in a twist over drugs, it is actually alcohol that is far more insidious as far as the school is concerned.

However, I fear that alcohol is so ubiquitous in their socialising, that 16+ teenagers are unlikely to be dissuaded by their parents.

Can't decide whether I'm a defeatist or a realist. sad

SirChenjin Wed 16-Apr-14 08:08:27

I don't think that there is anything wrong with acknowledging that alcohol plays a part in our socialising - but we can teach our teens about safer drinking, ABV levels, personal limits etc. DH doesn't drink at all (he has diabetes and finds it just messes with his levels) and I drink very rarely ie a couple of glasses once every few months - so whilst I'm happy to buy a small amount of alcohol for DS1 for the occasional party it's against a backdrop of a family where alcohol doesn't really play a part.

I honestly don't think we can expect our teens not to see alcohol as an integral part of socialising if we, as parents, are regular consumers of alcohol. The argument that "this is something for grown ups" doesn't really wash at that age.

TheZeeTeam Thu 17-Apr-14 04:50:05

mrsRuff, I find that really interesting in a cultural pov. I'm a Brit living in the US and when my son became a HS student, we were told that, without a doubt, the biggest danger to our kids was in our own medicine cabinets. Apparently Xanax, Ambien and Ritalin all have a whole new price on their heads, despite being very different and very scary drugs.

It's interesting in that kids will gravitate to the "drug" they can get easiest.

Claybury Thu 17-Apr-14 14:27:47

I went to a talk from the Amy Winehouse foundation at school. They opened by saying we, the British, have become a nation of pill poppers - with an alarming number of kids surveyed taking paracetamol freely for headaches without heeding dosage limits. The advice was to train your kids to always read the label in the hope they would learn to pay attention to what they take, and maybe when someone offers them an unlabelled pill to be more cautious. Also to keep an eye on your own medicine cabinet - as thezee says, these are drugs that are easily available.
The speaker cited legal highs as the biggest problem now, as is there are new ones constantly emerging , and kids perceive ' legal ' as safe. He showed us a sachet called 'Gogaine' which you can buy at our nearest Texaco, labelled 'not for human consumption'. Google it !

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