Alcohol and 18 yr old on holiday - how to play it

(24 Posts)
LittleGreyFluffyCat Thu 28-Oct-21 09:55:53

Me, DH, DS18 and DS14 are on a short European city break.

I barely drink, DH likes to drink.

DS18 likes alcohol (too much in my opinion) and in the UK goes out to get smashed frequently with friends.

This is our first holiday since DS has been 18, I'm finding it difficult seeing DH buy DS a drink at what seems like every opportunity, e.g while at destination airport waiting for cab.

I think he's being a bit too generous with the drink and role modelling boozy behaviour to DS14, but then I don't drink and maybe DH is just acting normally? It's difficult to judge.

As a parent how much alcohol do you drink with your newly adult child, with a younger teen in tow?

OP’s posts: |
meltingappointment Thu 28-Oct-21 09:58:08

Adults, on holiday, having a beer?

That's absolutely fine.

SchoolForScoundrels Thu 28-Oct-21 09:59:58

Better having a beer with parents who love and care for you than going out to the park and getting shit-faced with your mates / in a club where there is nobody really looking after you.

Runforthehillocks Thu 28-Oct-21 10:01:22

Your dh is enjoying having a drinking buddy and I agree, buying a drink while waiting for a cab is over the top. Try to explain to ds18 that he doesn't have to say yes all the time. Trouble is, will your dh get huffy with him if he says no? Do that thing where people call other people boring because they won't have a drink? You might need to step in here methinks.

Kitkat151 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:01:42


Adults, on holiday, having a beer?

That's absolutely fine.


Worldgonecrazy Thu 28-Oct-21 10:02:36

You have a battle. As many non and low drinkers are aware, the normalisation of heavy drinking is endemic, and a major contributor to cancer, ill health and obesity.

I’m guessing your DH will not accept how his role modelling will damage his children, and he is probably happy his child is now old enough to support him as a co drinker.

I don’t know what the answer is. Without a massive societal change to alcohol it will continue to be seen as harmless fun.

Keep modelling the good behaviour. Let your children see that getting pissed is not a great look.

bunnybopbop Thu 28-Oct-21 10:03:54

When I was 18 I was going out getting smashed at the weekend. Pretty normal behaviour really.
I'm now 27, have the odd glass on a weekend and only get 'drunk' if there's an occasion and I don't have DD. It doesn't last!

14 - a beer or two with a meal or of an evening.
When I was 18 I just partied most weekends through to early twenties and it soon stopped.

Drinking at the airport I'm my view is pretty normal (apart from when little children are there ) obviously can't get smashed to go on the plane, but a few drinks and something to eat is part of the fun at the airport!

I wouldn't worry too much. Deffo set boundaries to your 18 year old. Tell him it's not a boozy holiday but of course he can have a few drinks with his dad and get Merry. Part of the holiday IMO!


PinkFizz1 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:06:40


Adults, on holiday, having a beer?

That's absolutely fine.

Yes I agree.

MissCreeAnt Thu 28-Oct-21 10:07:55

I don't know really, DH drinks a lot more often than me but it still tends to be evenings only, with dinner and afterwards.

ifonly4 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:11:35

If DH is having a drink then at 18 you'd expect DS to be offered one - if you feel DH and DS are actually both drinking too much that's something you need to discuss with DH. If DH is buying DS one and no one else is drinking, then I wouldn't encourage that.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 28-Oct-21 10:13:19

I agree in principle it's fine and a good way for him to learn to drink sensibly BUT I wouldn't be thrilled at DH having to knock back a pint every time we stopped moving. Why does he need a drink whilst you wait a few minutes for a cab? He must be having to guzzle it down.

If DH is drinking to the point of drunk every night on a family holiday that would also be an issue.

Is he a big drinker at home or "letting his hair down"

Rainallnight Thu 28-Oct-21 10:16:04

I agree with you, OP. I like a drink and am not sniffy about it, but drinking at every opportunity like you describe would make me uncomfortable.

girlmom21 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:16:57

Does DH drink more on holiday? It sounds like he's enjoying having a drinking buddy.

Do they drink much together at home?

Maybe just have a quiet word with DH about the fact you'd like a nice family holiday so, whilst you're not bothered if they choose to have a drink, that it wouldn't be fair on DS14 if it turns into a drinking holiday.

LittleGreyFluffyCat Thu 28-Oct-21 10:17:41

Such diverse answers, interesting!

@Worldgonecrazy I agree with what you say re the normalisation. I think that now I've stepped away from this it's going to be very difficult for me to be around while DH gets drunk with DS1 and then in a few years DS2.

I think the odd beer is fine, it's just when it escalates (so yesterday beer at lunch, port tasting in afternoon, bottle of wine at dinner, port then beer at home after dinner). To me that seems a bit much.

OP’s posts: |
girlmom21 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:20:01

I think the odd beer is fine, it's just when it escalates (so yesterday beer at lunch, port tasting in afternoon, bottle of wine at dinner, port then beer at home after dinner). To me that seems a bit much.

That's not actually a massive amount on holiday. One bottle is only a glass and a half of wine each. It'll seem like more to you if you're not a drinker.

LittleGreyFluffyCat Thu 28-Oct-21 10:23:04

Good questions / thoughts from some of you, thanks.

DH drinks too much at home in my opinion. He grew up in a very boozy family.

He also smokes in front of the DSs and always has, no matter how many times I've asked him not to.

It's frustrating as I think drinking to get drunk and smoking are both repulsive.

OP’s posts: |
saltontoast Thu 28-Oct-21 10:25:29

He can do what he wants, if it's getting so drunk that it's ruining your holiday then I'd say something but if it's not effecting anything then leave him to it

Worldgonecrazy Thu 28-Oct-21 10:31:41

It feels ironic that one of the best things the country could do to ‘save the NHS’ is step away from the heavy drinking culture, the normalisation of drunkenness, etc.

As an ex heavy drinker, it’s quite shocking when you look at it from the other side.

I’m guessing your partner doesn’t want to change, and his continued smoking in frontier of the children shows his unwillingness to accept that his habits are extremely damaging to them.

As I said, there are no easy answers, but I hope you find a way forward. I have never been in your position but I think if my partner was drunk on such a holiday, I would leave them at the hotel and go sightseeing on my own.

CremeEggThief Thu 28-Oct-21 10:39:02

Let them enjoy a few drinks on holidays, OP. Your son won't want to get too drunk with his dad and vice versa, they'll rein each other in, so try not to worry.

Bluntness100 Thu 28-Oct-21 10:41:46

The thing is op. You think it’s too much on holiday. Your husband doesn’t agree. Both are entitled to your opinion, randoms on mumsnet are irrelevant. But your son is an adult,he can choose. Your husband isn’t pouring it down his neck.

Goblina Thu 28-Oct-21 10:46:22

DS is 18. You don't have any say over what he drinks.

Bottleofstout Thu 28-Oct-21 10:49:06

I think the odd beer is fine, it's just when it escalates (so yesterday beer at lunch, port tasting in afternoon, bottle of wine at dinner, port then beer at home after dinner). To me that seems a bit much

I'm totally with you op. The odd beer is fine bit this is not ok. Not for a lad just turned eighteen. Teens do what we do, not what we say. And your DH seems to be intent on setting up your son for a life of hard core drinking.

Does your DH has a drink problem when not on holiday? It sounds as though his behaviour is bordering on addictive?

Eighteen is a time when it would be helpful for your DH to be modelling responsible drinking to to your son. In other words, he buys a soft drink at the airport sometimes, doesn't always say "yes" to drink when it's available, takes his son out cycling or scuba diving instead of port tasting. But then enjoys a beer before or with his dinner. It's a question of balance.

VanCleefArpels Thu 28-Oct-21 10:54:54

Honestly doesn’t sound like masses to drink on holiday - I have relatives who will have champagne with breakfast, a bottle of wine at lunch, pre dinner cocktails, more wine, after dinner liqueurs and a night cap. Every day for a fortnight!! I’d be more mad about the smoking to be honest - I couldn’t live with that

SleepingStandingUp Thu 28-Oct-21 13:58:29

(so yesterday beer at lunch, port tasting in afternoon, bottle of wine at dinner, port then beer at home after dinner).
A pint of beer, a few small glasses of port, 3 small glasses of wine, a glass of port and a pint of beer isn't much.
Two pints of beer, half a dozen small glasses of port, a bottle of wine each, most of a bottle of port between 2 and 4 pints is a lot every night on holiday, esp with the mixing.

And the 18year old might be an adult but it's likely he's a dependent one who lives at home on his parents earnings with someone still doing most if not all of his housekeeping. So still impressionable and learning how to navigate the adult world.

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