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To think my MIL is a drama queen?

(285 Posts)
gladstonefive Mon 12-Nov-18 19:46:47

In laws came round last night for Sunday dinner.

Made G+Ts when they got here, and DD1 (14) asked if she could have one. We said yes. Then DD2 (12) asked- me and DP looked at each other and thought about it for a moment and he agreed.

The drink we made her was literally a splash of gin in a large wine glass topped up with tonic water filled with ice and lemon. I would say it was approx 10% gin and the rest tonic water/ice/lemon. She didn’t act any differently after drinking 60-70% of it. We made the same for DD1 who has had it a few times when we have had friends over etc- id say 3/4 times in the past year or so.

MIL went on a rant about it and we ended up asking her to leave because she was turning it into a full blown argument.


BumsexAtTheBingo Mon 12-Nov-18 19:49:30

Why would you give your 12yo a drink that was 10% gin? Yabu imo. Completely unecessary.

flossieisbossy Mon 12-Nov-18 19:50:14

Wouldn't have a problem with the 14yo but
12 is a bit young though in my opinion

Disfordarkchocolate Mon 12-Nov-18 19:50:26

I would automatically have said no when your younger daughter asked, 12 is too young for me. Even at 14 I would have gone for a very week drink.

LokiBear Mon 12-Nov-18 19:50:37

Yanbu. It is legally fine for a child to drink alcohol at home aged 5+. Allowing small amounts of alcohol, supervised amd moderated, takes away the mystery of alcohol and encourages young people to drink responsibly. Even if your mil doesnt agree, your kids are your kids.

LongWalkShortPlank Mon 12-Nov-18 19:50:37

Yeah, I think yabu too. They're kids. Let them be kids.

RabbityMcRabbit Mon 12-Nov-18 19:50:39

YABU to give a 12 yo and 14yo spirits yes. That being said, your MIL should probably have minded her own business

Returnofthesmileybar Mon 12-Nov-18 19:51:08

I kinda think most people would be judgey about giving your 12 year old gin to be honest, you don't say what she said so not sure yabu to ask her to leave or not

LokiBear Mon 12-Nov-18 19:51:25

Not that id give alcohol to a 5yo!

GreatDuckCookery6211 Mon 12-Nov-18 19:52:10

12 year olds having G and T? Is this a joke?

AutumnCrow Mon 12-Nov-18 19:52:16

So what, that's the equivalent of a sherry glass of wine? Just trying to get my bearings here.

BaronessBomburst Mon 12-Nov-18 19:52:28

I'm pretty sure it's illegal too.
Spirits are from age 18 across the board, the rules for cider, beer, and wine are different when drinking at home.

CalamityJane10 Mon 12-Nov-18 19:52:48

I’m with your MIL here. No way would I give spirits to a 12 year old.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Mon 12-Nov-18 19:52:51

I have to admit I’m judging you for giving your 12 and 14 year old spirits. Sorry, but I think that’s too young for spirits.

BerylStreep Mon 12-Nov-18 19:53:27

I think your MIL has a point. There is clear evidence that there is a correlation between problem drinking in later life and being given alcohol when young.

I think she was right to voice her opinion.

LaBelleSauvage Mon 12-Nov-18 19:55:22


Your MIL was ridiculous

Mamimawr Mon 12-Nov-18 19:55:28

It's not illegal but I woudn't give my 12 year old dd gin and I wouldn't be happy at all if anybody else gave her some.

BumsexAtTheBingo Mon 12-Nov-18 19:55:44

Yeah you definitely have to be knocking back gin at 12 to be a responsible drinker hmm

pallisers Mon 12-Nov-18 19:56:07

I mightn't have pushed it to an argument (I would if the child was under 10) but I certainly would have judged you for giving a 12 year old a gin and tonic and would have at least said "are you really giving that child gin?" Don't think much of giving a g+t to a 14 year old either.

Sailinghappy Mon 12-Nov-18 19:56:56

10% gin?? For a 12 year old?!

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 12-Nov-18 19:57:03

You’re their parents so it’s up to you but I’d have given them tonic, ice and lemon and skipped the hard liquor because there’s no point or need for either of them to get used to drinking alcohol at their ages.

legalseagull Mon 12-Nov-18 19:57:06

Although I agree with your MIL I don't junk she has any right to argue with you and your DH about it you're the parents. She can judge all she likes, but not dictate how you raise your kids

Moreisnnogedag Mon 12-Nov-18 19:57:58

10% gin! That’s a fair old amount. I thought you gave her a sip of yours, not an entire glass. And I am actually okay with kids tastes of alcohol but an entire G+T is a bit much.

But she should have judged you in silence.

pallisers Mon 12-Nov-18 19:58:10

Allowing small amounts of alcohol, supervised amd moderated, takes away the mystery of alcohol and encourages young people to drink responsibly.

well it does in the minds of those who do it. There is no evidence it actually does.

And even if you are of the school that a beer or cider at home at 15/16 is normal enough, giving a gin and tonic to a 12 year old is not even in the same league.

Gazelda Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:00

A watered down glass of wine would be ok. 1 part wine, 10 part soda water. But gin?!

Hoppinggreen Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:09

I’m 46 and when I have aG&T it’s only usually 10% gin.
Too much too young, I’m with your mil

pallisers Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:09

I am also bemused at a parent watching her 12 year old to see if her behaviour had changed after giving her spirits. weird.

Armchairanarchist Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:12

Not spirits there was no need, maybe a splash of wine or beer but no need for 40% proof at 12.

LaBelleSauvage Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:20

We got a small amount of wine sometimes diluted with water. A half measure of gin is not an unreasonable amount. I'm sure lots of parents give a half glass of champagne at christmas. A half measure of gin would be the same amount of alcohol.

To all the people banging on about spirits, it wasnt a shit of tequilla. It was heavily diluted with tonic, so weaker than wine.

dinosaurtin Mon 12-Nov-18 19:59:33

YANBU I don’t understand how one small drink occasionally will do any harm.

Moussemoose Mon 12-Nov-18 20:00:26

You don't give 12 year olds gin.

MIL had a point.

puzzledlady Mon 12-Nov-18 20:00:34

must be a joke thread. No one gives a 12 year old gin and tonic. I would even baulk at the 14 year old, but the 12 year old is a joke. Not a funny one either.

Cherries101 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:00:37

Your MIL presumably loves them and so wants the best for them. Giving them gin at 12 / 14 isn’t the best for them in a lot of people’s opinions (mine included)— be grateful you have a mil who is willing to fight you to protect her grandkids.

Lana1234 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:01:01

A couple of sips maybe but a full glass is quite a lot and 10% really isn’t that small of an amount for a 12 year old

SassitudeandSparkle Mon 12-Nov-18 20:01:07


crispysausagerolls Mon 12-Nov-18 20:01:18

This can’t be serious

Ellisandra Mon 12-Nov-18 20:01:31

I would have judged you for that.
I think it’s fine to let them have a taste - for the demystifying thing. I would even let my 8yo dip a finger into a spirit and mixer and lick it.

Actually, first I’d say “smell it” and that would probably stop her wanting it. Then the finger thing - my experience is that when I say yes to trying, she then says “no thanks actually”.

But I wouldn’t be making her a glass up! It’s not the amount of gin, 10% or whatever. It’s the normalising of a 12yo (or 14yo) having a spirit based drink. I wouldn’t do one with 5% or 1%. All 10% is going to do, is make her think she likes G&T! And let her start forming a habit of drinking.

Tell them both no to a glass, yes to a taste.

Katiecausesmischief Mon 12-Nov-18 20:01:57

I was allowed to drink (small) amounts of alcohol at home from about that age & think it is responsible parenting to introduce them to alcohol and demystify it.
If they never have it and see it as ‘forbidden’ they are much more likely to drink irresponsibly & potentially cause more problems for the future.

Even if I did agree with MiL (which is clearly don’t) it is not her place to tell you how to raise your children. The key is they are your children to raise as you and DH see fit.

Lizzie48 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:02:01

I think 12 years old is definitely too young to be drinking gin (actually so is 14 IMO), so I'm with your MIL on this one. She shouldn't have argued with you in front of your DDs, though.

Santaispolishinghissleigh Mon 12-Nov-18 20:02:13

Yabu to encourage your dc to drink alcohol. I support you mil.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:02:25

Your MIL was ridiculous

Some people.

Ellisandra Mon 12-Nov-18 20:03:09

And if I was your MIL, not only round I judge you for giving alcohol to a 12yo, I’d also assume it’s because you didn’t have the parenting skills to say “no” - and I’d judge that too.

Whynotnowbaby Mon 12-Nov-18 20:03:48

Wow, 10% gin is about the ratio I make for myself. I’m sorry but I think giving a child a g and t of their own is completely different to letting them have a sip of wine or beer to demystify it. I would have felt very uncomfortable if I had been there (but probably wouldn’t have said anything as I’m a bit of a coward and hate confrontation),

GinIsIn Mon 12-Nov-18 20:04:19


Grimbles Mon 12-Nov-18 20:04:29

I'm all for the introducing teenagers to alcohol thing, but in my mind that would usually be something like a shandy or white wine spritzer with a meal

Not gin confused

Tippexy Mon 12-Nov-18 20:04:41

10% of 250ml is 25ml.

That’s a shot.

You gave your 12 year old a shot of gin.

LIVVI1234 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:04:44

OP I don't think you did anything wrong. Most people I know were given small quantities of alcohol at family gatherings etc growing up. I can remember having little glasses of white wine spritzers, or sips of my dads whisky and lemonade when I was little. I thoroughly believe it helps kids in the long run. It meant I didn't go crazy like you see some kids today who get over excited when they are old enough to drink and simply cannot handle it.

SavageBeauty73 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:06:13

I find this baffling. No way would I give my 12 and 14 year old's a G and T. They are far too young.

BunsOfAnarchy Mon 12-Nov-18 20:07:41

Yikes. 12 is waaay too young.

goodnessgrace Mon 12-Nov-18 20:08:11


12 years old ffs.

GummyGoddess Mon 12-Nov-18 20:10:38

I think it was fine, it was only a tiny splash. My siblings and I have all been allowed alcohol from a similar age and none of us are big drinkers.

PaintingOwls Mon 12-Nov-18 20:10:48

You're a wind up merchant --or a shit mum--confused

mineofuselessinformation Mon 12-Nov-18 20:11:38

At 12, I wouldn't have allowed my dcs anything other than a sip of beer so they could see what it tasted like (if they asked).
At 14, I still wouldn't have allowed spirits, sorry. Maybe a small glass of the cheapy lager that doesn't have much alcohol in it, or maybe half a glass of wine (and the instruction used to be 'sip, not gulp')!
At 15, heading towards 16, then I allowed a little more - but still no spirits.
And I should add, I was brought up in a pub.
I'm not surprised your MIL was shocked to be honest.
My dcs are now older, and while I know they might not always drink responsibly, (they're old enough to make their own choices, so it's in their hands), they have a healthy respect for alcohol.

Nanny0gg Mon 12-Nov-18 20:12:42

Spirits? I'm with your MiL.

Moussemoose Mon 12-Nov-18 20:13:50

I fully agree with the demystifying idea, with a glass of well watered wine, a shandy with lots of lemonade.

This was a shot of gin for a 12 year old. Just wrong.

MsJudgemental Mon 12-Nov-18 20:14:27

I am from a European family. DS has always been allowed small amounts of alcohol in the context of celebrations and, later on, family dinners. He is now at university, living independently in our basement and can take it or leave it, having the odd glass of wine at dinner or a pint of beer on a night out. Often he doesn’t drink because he’s not in the mood whereas his friends and girlfriend are always getting pissed, having hangovers, vomiting and missing lectures.

madeyemoodysmum Mon 12-Nov-18 20:16:21

My dd and ds have a buzz fizz on Xmas day or a weak shandy but spirits absolutely not!!!

PortiaCastis Mon 12-Nov-18 20:16:41

Sorry don't agree with kids drinking gin

Blanchedupetitpois Mon 12-Nov-18 20:21:08

12 is bloody young for spirits - and I’m usually relaxed about alcohol.

Your MIL was rude to rant but I share her view that this isn’t a good decision for you to have made as parents.

Barbie222 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:25:31

Nope, I'd judge, and I think well of your MIL for saying something. It's not good is it!

TattiusTeddius Mon 12-Nov-18 20:27:21

YABVU to give a child alcohol. I don't think you should have given it to the 14yo either, I'd also find it hard to keep quiet

DramaAlpaca Mon 12-Nov-18 20:27:43

I'm with your MIL here.

WellFuck Mon 12-Nov-18 20:28:50

Your MIL sounds very sensible. Meanwhile you and your husband are being VVVU.

Ohyesiam Mon 12-Nov-18 20:30:23

I have a 12 and a14 year old and there is no way I’d give them spirits no matter how dilute.
I was just saying to my 14 year old that by next Christmas ( not this one) she could have a glass of champagne with lunch.

Sidge Mon 12-Nov-18 20:36:20

Fuck me.

I let my 12 year old have the odd sip of my wine, or prosecco. I certainly wouldn’t be making her a G&T. She likes Schloer in a wine glass so she feels grown up...

A bit of wine or cider is one thing, but spirits are a whole different ball game.

Careerhellllllp Mon 12-Nov-18 20:37:04

Wow. Sorry, I judge you too. You gave your 12-yr-old 10% gin?! I even judge you for giving it to your 14-yr-old. What on earth is the benefit?!? Demystifying is nonsense at age 12.

Also agree that your kids are lucky they have a grandmother who is willing to argue when she sees a bad decision being made for them.

Cherries101 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:37:05

@MsJudgemental - your son probably isn’t getting drunk around you. Either that or has built up a huge tolerance (like a lot of French people who drink from childhood do). From the experience of health professionals children who drink often having drinking problems when they’re older. It happens a lot in Europe unfortunately.

Justmuddlingalong Mon 12-Nov-18 20:40:11

Gin and tonic at 12? How terribly posh. And irresponsible.

helacells Mon 12-Nov-18 20:40:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

luckylavender Mon 12-Nov-18 20:43:09

I'm quite shocked tbh.

exLtEveDallas Mon 12-Nov-18 20:45:37

I wouldn't have an issue with this at all.

The drink was 90% tonic water. So I don't get the angst over it being "ooh no, not spirits". Especially from people saying they'd give a wine spritzer smile

(And MIL needs to remember that she is grandmother, not parent)

Waffles80 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:47:54

You gave a child that young gin?


What a waste. angry

Happyinheels Mon 12-Nov-18 20:48:05

YANBU these are your kids, your call. I'm sure you exercised caution rather than pouring her a double 🤦🏻‍♀️

Caprisunorange Mon 12-Nov-18 20:50:40

It’s your decision not your MiLs. Bit miffed at the drama llamas on the thread too- what do they actually think 1 weak g&t will do??!

GreatDuckCookery6211 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:52:28

Another MIL troll?

Sexnotgender Mon 12-Nov-18 20:52:46

I have a 14 year old daughter.

For a few years if she's asked for a taste of my drink I'll let her have a sip, I don't want it to be some massive mystery.

There is zero chance I would make her her own drink.

Your MIL is totally reasonable to judge you.

gladstonefive Mon 12-Nov-18 20:54:09

It wasn’t even a half measure. It was literally the smallest splash possible out the bottle. Maybe 10% was an overreaction- maybe more like 5%?

MeredithGrey1 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:55:49

I think it’s way too young, I thought you were going to say you’d put literally just a dash of gin in, not 10%, presumably the 14 year old had more than 10% gin?
I’m pregnant with my first so no experience yet of being the parent in this situation but at that age I was allowed a sip from their glass of what my parents were drinking, if I wanted it. This was almost always wine but occasionally gin and tonic. At 14 I’d have had half a glass of prosecco at Christmas, certainly not spirits.

Cherulewis Mon 12-Nov-18 20:56:55

My sons are 15 and 12 and are allowed sips of drinks for the taste. That is it.

It is mainly wine or fruit ciders.

I hate this whole let them have drinks from teen years.

I am with your MIL, I would judge you.

Fluffyears Mon 12-Nov-18 20:57:25

I used to be slloweda small drink at new year from the age of 12, a few babychams or a snowball or two. I barely ever drink nowadays. It’s hardly poisonous, a very weak drink on a rare occasion is fine.

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Nov-18 20:57:25

I used to have Pimms from age 12 up. I liked the taste and was allowed one (half measure) with lemonade and fruit
Grew up in pubs, was never refused alcohol if I asked (which was rare)
I barely drink now, unless I'm out and it's a social thing. Probably a total of 20 units a year

MrsExpo Mon 12-Nov-18 20:59:50

Both of them are way too yoing for G&Ts IMO. You are BU both to give them the drink in the forest place and then fall out with your MiL for expressing her (perfectly valid) opinions.

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Nov-18 21:00:35

I should add the reason I first had Pimms was because I saw my mum drinking it and asked to try it then had my own glass, so no I don't see the issue with a tiny amount of gin as a social thing with a meal
Better than being 14 and necking 2l cider in the park

Jungster Mon 12-Nov-18 21:01:27

I sympathise with you here because everybody is in agreement but I say to my 15 year old that I don't want her to WORK at developing a liking for alcohol! She does try a wheedle a drink occasionally but I just say no 'when you're 16' and when she's sixteen, I still won't be thrilled but I'll allow it at home I guess. But 12 is too young. You should be sending the message to her that it's not even a judgement call, it's a physiology call - her body is too young for it.

gladstonefive Mon 12-Nov-18 21:02:03

I doubt you can even see it. It’s literally a tiny pool in the bottom of the glass

gladstonefive Mon 12-Nov-18 21:02:49

This is how large the glass is

gladstonefive Mon 12-Nov-18 21:03:43


GreatDuckCookery6211 Mon 12-Nov-18 21:04:27

You obviously think you were ok OP, not sure why you posted.

ICantThinkOfANewName Mon 12-Nov-18 21:08:05

I still think you were U even with your updates. Anything in a glass that big will look like a piddly amount even if its gin.

ICantThinkOfANewName Mon 12-Nov-18 21:08:35


MsTSwift Mon 12-Nov-18 21:09:01

Err no. If this is real what were you thinking?

Sure I read that studies show that kids introduced to alcohol by parents are more likely to have drinking issues than those whose parents say they shouldn’t have it as the teens see drinking as condoned. So that introducing them in the family home theory is bollocks.

Cheeeeislifenow Mon 12-Nov-18 21:09:25

I am judging you I am afraid. Yabu big time.

MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 12-Nov-18 21:11:39

I've never met a child who likes tonic <missing the point>

DarklyDreamingDexter Mon 12-Nov-18 21:12:19

No way would I be giving a 12 and 14 year old even a splash of gin! It sends the wrong message that you can't have a good time/social event without alcohol! I'm not surprised your MIL said something. However, if it really was a 'rant' that's OTT and she should have known when to stop. YABU in my opinion.

OnceUponATimeInAmerica Mon 12-Nov-18 21:12:55

From age 12 or so, I let my DS have an occasional sip of my G&T. I suspect his occasional sip has as much gin in it as the splash in the bottom of a large wine glass given that I make mine quite strong.

I can’t start clutching pearls about spirits and not wine/beer. Either you are ok with children having a tiny bit of alcohol or you’re not. The form it is in is irrelevant.

MeMeMeow85 Mon 12-Nov-18 21:13:03

12 years old and drinking spirits?? Seems unreasonable. I would have said no to the 14 year old, too

WhyAmISoCold Mon 12-Nov-18 21:14:50

No OP, post pictures and protest as much as you like. 12 year olds (and the 14 year old tbh) shouldn't be having bloody gin and tonic. Give them a lemonade and be a responsible parent.

exLtEveDallas Mon 12-Nov-18 21:16:45

Hahahaha. God that's not even 5%, let alone 10! You've given your DDs a homeopathic G&T 😂😂

(Mind you, I'd still taste it - can't abide Gin)

LoveWasAccidental Mon 12-Nov-18 21:17:33

My parents used to give me tastes of alcohol from about this age and my own drinks from about 14. Like your dds,, OP. I had to have treatment as an adult for my alcoholism. I would never sit and watch while someone encouraged a 12 year old to develop a taste for alcohol. You obviously think you know best though so I'm not quite sure why you posted.

EnglishRose13 Mon 12-Nov-18 21:18:48

Why would you waste your gin on children?

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