To think my MIL is a drama queen?(285 Posts)
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.
My family background is Italian / French / Spanish and I can honestly say that I have never seen over there the sort of public drunkenness you get over here.
really? Because I've lived in Brittany (Rennes, to be specific) and have seen French teenagers getting TONS drunker than anyone I've ever seen. Have you never heard of Rue de la Soif? There's one in every university town or city!
I agree with your MIL. You need to learn to say no to your children. Gin is not for children.
I really don’t get the fuss over a spot of gin, it’s not illegal and where is the harm.
The idea that allowing kids to drink in a controlled home environment helps them to regulate their drinking once they become an adult is bollocks.
As is the 'really watered down' theory. They are enduring myths.
My alcoholic father used to let us drink in a very middle class way, tasting wine on a Sunday, a baileys at Christmas. I would say that I and my 3 siblings all have a weird relationship with alcohol. I'm tea total because I became the biggest binge drinker out between the ages of 18 and 30.
Kids don't need alcohol. It's no different to sticking a fag in their mouths.
Less and less children are growing up and drinking though, teenagers aren’t drinking anywhere near what 50 year olds did during the 1980s. So what’s going right then?
Id never give a 12 year old gin.
I might have allowed a tiny sip but not given either of them a whole glass - you’re getting them used to drinking alcohol and it’s no good for anyone’s liver, never mind a young’uns! I think yabu
I wish my parents had ntrodiced me to alcohol in a safe environment.
We were necking Woodpecker on playing fields en masse aged 14 and it was shit!
It was ‘you can’t drink yet’, but of course we wanted to try it. All sorts of dangerous, pissed-up debauchery took place instead.
You are not being unreasonable.
I think had my parents introduced me to a glass when they were having one and not made it into something I explored the crap way, I wouldn’t wince at the memories!!!
Sorry but there's no way I'll be giving my children gin at age 12&14.
I don't see the issue with it personally- it was an 'occasion' and done under supervision at home. It was very dilute and with a meal.
My eleven year old will be having an alcoholic drink with her Christmas dinner next month.
Better than having kids that dabble in goodness-knows-what outside the home at this age (I clearly remember being eleven/twelve years old and it was not an innocent age!).
Why do you want to teach your child to drink alcohol and to associate it with having a good time?
I would not give a 12 or 14 year old gin. If they want to join the grown ups just a glass of tonic with ice and lemon would look just the same. There is plenty of evidence of the harm alcohol causes (apart from drunkenness) particularly for young developing bodies.
MN is a strange place sometimes.
On this thread 12 year olds are drinking gin and 11 year olds will be having alcohol at Christmas.
On other threads an 11 year old is made to eat from the kids menu, while another one needs to be supervised getting changed for swimming.
YABVU. If a 12yo pupil told me they'd been drinking gin I would report it to my HT and it would be recorded as a red flag. Children's bodies aren't designed to cope with alcohol at such a young age. There's a legal age limit for a good reason.
Leeee. How sad that is already preparing to give your 11 year old daughter an alcoholic drink with their Christmas dinner. Do you think you are a ‘cool’ parent ? You are bloody irresponsible in my book. 11 and 12 is an innocent age, people like you take away innocence by giving 11 year olds alcohol!!! What’s she going to be doing at 15? Actually - don’t answer that.
Gin and tonic for 14 & 12 year old. I don’t often side with the MIL but on this occasion I do. Giving alcohol to children is not only illegal it’s irresponsible
No way here too. No need for such young kids to have alcohol.
I was given wine as a kid, l used to pour whiskey and lemonade for my mum and gran and would have a sip. By 17 I was a raging alcoholic and took 10 years to stop.
There is no way I'll be giving my kids alcohol, even when they are 18!
Why give spirits to a child ? I'm on the side of your m I l, not good parenting or are you joking with us?
Sorry just read it is not illegal, well blow me
Still wouldn’t do it...16 with a very dilute drink to take the allure away from not being allowed to do it but I stand by what is said about 14 and 12 with gin
Peachdribble high fructose corn syrup has the same affect on the liver as alcohol, but no one is up in arms about giving children products with this substance in
Lustig is a renowned endocrinologist and you can find him on sugar the bitter truth, if you want to watch the full hour and a half talk
I’m another who believes the OP was BU. No way would I give a 12 or 14 yo child alcohol.
I am pleased your MIL said something and stood up to you. How bizarre she must be feeling for having been booted from your house over this.
YANBU op, your MIL is vastly over reacting.
I think it is fine to introduce alcohol to the children in the safety of the home as they are growing up. Having an open and honest relationship over anything with children will hopefully prevent them binging on it when they are what? 16? That's only 2 and 4 years away for them so well done on your honest and open style of parenting.
Your MIL on the other hand is from an era where smoke filled public spaces was perfectly acceptable!
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.
I understand the logic but the limited studies in the area actually suggest the opposite: that those who drink at home with their parents when minors are more likely to develop problems with drink.
Link re. the above www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/01/25/study-parents-who-give-their-teenagers-alcohol-inviting-trouble/1067481001/
Apologies it's a media article and not the studies themselves but I'm sure they're easily found (and I'm in work so not gonna keep looking )
I do think that YANBU. The British attitude to alcohol consumption is unusual
batshit crazy and this is reflected in adult consumption. I am from a European background and alcohol was consumed at home in small quantities from around 12/13. I had no interest in drinking cheap cider in the park when I knew there was a decent red at home. Even now, it is quality over quantity.
YABU in my opinion. People over measure at home and a shot could easily look like a splash in a large glass. 12 years is too young; I wouldn’t happily give spirits at home to a child under 17/18 TBH. I agree with PP that wine or beer I’d allow a bit of experimentation with, if they asked.
My children never asked for alcohol at the table but I wouldn’t have minded giving them wine with their dinner. Both drank out of the house when they were teenagers and got it out of their systems. At the ages of 27 and 29 DD has a drink when socialising or with dinner and the DS abstains completely. I only drink at weekends and my DM, their DGM, was the nearest thing you can get to an alcoholic without being one.
The OP gets to say what gives with her kids as she knows them and clearly does not want them growing up drinking irresponsibly.
I don’t think gin is really all that much worse than beer. And although 12 is very young, there is a lot to be said about taking away the mystery of alcohol, which many families do in France and Italy and other places in Western Europe where they don’t have a binge drinking culture.
But on the basis of the information you have provided I think it’s a bit rich to call your MIL dramatic after you just actually chucked her out of your house.
I was allowed to have a small drink at family parties when I was 13, I am now 42 and have never been a heavy drinker. YANBU OP, I would let my daughter have a small drink if she asked at that age.
All the people here slating OP for ‘trying to be cool’.
Maybe she’s trying to just do what she believes is right by introducing alcohol in a safe, family environment.
I’ve previously said my first experience of alcohol was that it was forbidden, but grown-up so we all literally pooled money and stood outside the off license asking passing adults going in, to buy us cider with the cash. 9 times out of 10, they did so. We got pissed. One girl lost her virginity on the school playing field while drunk, and then allowed boys to shag her everytime there after! I look back on these memories with utter shame because I was pissed, queasy and didn’t once think to intervene and let her know she needed to stop it.
I stopped hanging around with them and subsequently drinking on the playing field after one teenage boy groped my breasts so hard he left bruise finger marks on them.
So. As a parent now - I think that approach of ‘don’t do that’ is totally uncool and I’ve discussed alcohol, appropriate age-related drinking, the dangers, the benefits of waiting to be old enough. The dangers of being out of control or even lightly uninhibited. My DS has tried a shandy (last Christmas) and wasn’t impressed.
12 and 14 year olds are strong-willed and will try alcohol whether you’re there or not. Unless of course you don’t give them ANY independence. It’s the same with sex and drugs.
It’s a hard part of parenting having to deal with these issues and there’s nothing remotely ‘cool’ involved in any of it.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The UK has an ugly drink problem and a nasty reputation for being out of control drunks.
Alcoholism has many factors, and I don’t know too many alcoholics, but I can do a quick straw poll on ones I do know and they didn’t drink as kids.
This is nothing to do with being ‘a cool parent’.
I personally think as long as it's a very weak drink it's ok. It makes alcohol "normal" and less tempting so they don't binge drink at 18. Having had experiences with alcoholism and seen the "look at me I can drink now" stage where they are too drunk to stand up even, anything to make alcohol less tempting and acceptable is got to be better
YABU. 12 us far too young to have, as someone said before, a shot of gin. I'd never give them a full glass of wine either. Not that mine would drink. They see us drinking moderately at home and I think is the best example. No need for them to actually drink when they are this young. Maybe a sip of your own drink if they are curious... But no more
The thing is, why do we need alcohol to be seen as “normal”? It isn’t part of my life and I actually feel quite sad that children have to have this substance that they don’t need, don’t like the taste of and that actually does them harm slowly introduced to normalise it. No one needs alcohol, some people choose to drink but it’s fine if you don’t.
I think you can “demystify” alcohol without actually giving it to your children - and having a full and normal life that doesn’t involve drinking alcohol is a model I want to set for my children.
My father gave me champagne aged 12. Quite a bit. No mother. I threw up. Bad.mI still like champagne tho.
YABVU - please don’t give alcohol to children. Many, many studies are around to back this up. I’ve attached one peer reviewed one here (https://australiascience.tv/parents-who-supply-alcohol-to-teens-are-doing-more-harm-than-good/) from Australia which was conducted on over 2000 children over a number of years.
Secondly, I don’t think your MIL was being unreasonable. I think she was fighting hard for something she believed was damaging to her grandchildren. It would be a different story if she was unhappy about what school you were sending them to or something else equally as inane. But alcohol is dangerous.
I am a drinker, don’t get me wrong. I grew up in Australia surrounded by alcohol and I don’t have a problem with it. But it is not for kids.
I think, on balence, that you were being a tad unreasonable. Other posters have said that it’s not proven that giving a G & T to young people is a good idea, although I can see how it could possibly happen when you are having a relaxing time with your family.
Although your children are definitely your responsibility, I also think you were rather harsh with and about your MiL, is she ever ‘allowed’ to say anything? I also think that you gave quite a lot of gin to young people. Did they like the drink? Would tonic, ice and lemon been a good compromise?
Hopefully family harmony will be resolved 🌺
No, YANBU, but how much G&T did your MIL slurp? Sounds as if she may be one of those inclined to turn somewhat nasty after a wee drop of the hard stuff.
It’s absolutely better than a child who leaves home and can’t handle drink because they they’ve never tasted anything.
Inappropriate to serve a child a gin and tonic, & what was the point? I was given alcohol from a similar age (not spirits) & did not see alcohol as a concern - but actually it is!! It did NOT help me develop a healthy attitude or safe drinking habits, quite the opposite, as I saw it as normal & didn’t question it. I stopped drinking after I found out I was pregnant & only after that developed a healthy relationship with alcohol & by then was mid thirties!! YABU for how u reacted to your MIL, speaking up for her grandchildren & for not listening. What’s up with saying “no, but you can have the same drink if you want it, without the alcohol”?
I agree with your MIL far too young too be drinking alcohol let alone spirits. Sorry OP
That you have fuck all idea of how much alcohol you actually doled out to a child is irresponsible. If you are going to give your children sprits, at least get a proper measure, none of this "splash" nonsense.
The major problem people have with alcohol is not understanding what a correct unit looks like. You may think that was just a splash, but it looks to be at least half of a pub measure in a massive glass.
Your mooncup holds more liquid than a pub measure of spirits.
I was always allowed small tastes of alcohol at a young age and small weak drinks of my own from about 11/12 up at family Sunday dinners and special occasions. Oddly however my mum was really really strict about what I did outside the house (not just about alcohol) I don't really drink much now, don't get me wrong I love the odd g&t or glass of wine but DH drinks much more than I do and he was almost 40 before he even tasted spirits.
I don't mind Dd1 having sips of drinks now (almost 9) and will take the same approach once she hits big school
Never have I seen so many pearls being clutched! OP, it was fine, anyone would think they were necking neat vodka. And nothing to do with your MiL at all. This is the first thread I've ever seen leaping to a Mil's defence!
Fine in my opinion,
When I was 12 I was drinking out with friends.
And stealing stuff from the alcohol cupboard!
And I'm just fine...... <HIC>
Why would you give children alcohol?? Just why? I’m so confused by this if I’m honest. I’m with your mother in law. I would have questioned it too. I don’t get why it was necessary. Why was it even a question that you would give G&T to a 14 and 12 year old? Alcohol is not easy for adult bodies to process never mind adolescents/preteens. And IMO the small amount give is irrelevant. It’s just so unnecessary.
not wanting to give a 12 year old gin is now pearl-clutching? I wish I had known earlier that so little was required of me as a parent.
I would not have given both "children" a gin. I do not agree with under 18s drinking alcohol. That shite allowing them to drink in moderation in front of their parents is bollix, would the same parents let their kids smoke??
Hard alcohol for 12 and 14 year olds?
I think you're displaying remarkably poor judgement, personally.
Aside from your views on giving a little taste pouring a 12 yr old their own gin and tonic is just completely normalising drinking from a young age. Why would you want to normalise that? They’ll still be curious about getting drunk and will have developed a taste for alcohol by the time they’re 18. Why would anyone think that would lead to sensible drinking in a society notorious for binge drinking?
It seems MIL isn’t allowed to show concern for her grandchildren. She wasn’t intervening over something minor. She obviously loves her grandchildren and cares about them. And the vast majority on here agree with her. I hope she gets an apology op. And be grateful you have a mil who cares enough for her Gc to speak up even if it doesn’t make her popular.
Not only pearl clutching but highly hypocritical.
I'm trying to get the logic of "because sugar is very bad for you, it is ok to give a 12 year old gin"
Grandmother gets upset at 12 year old grandchild being given alcohol and gets told to leave?!
What a git caring about her, eh?
Pallise so what is the difference in the way the liver deals with both substances?
Probably because I don't drink so alcohol never features in my life.
But throwing your Mil out seems an extreme reaction when you have invited her round to eat with you.
How much alcohol had you had before hand yourself? Are you big drinkers? I.E do you stick to the government guidelines or do you and your dp drink more than 2 small drinks per day everyday?
Pallise so what is the difference in the way the liver deals with both substances?
No idea. Presumably there is none. So that makes it hypocritical and pearl-clutching to think giving a 12 year old a gin and tonic is wrong?
Here's a novel thought - you can actually think that as 12 year olds with a G&T is utterly ridiculous AND think children shouldn't eat sugar.
Thing with alcohol is it is restricted by intoxication, unlike drinking sugar which isn’t inhibited by becoming drunk so far larger quantities are drunk
What on earth do people on this thread think 1 g&t will actually do to a 12 year olds liver? It’s just a pointless discussion isn’t it? It won’t do anything!
Caprisun you are missing the point. It isn’t at this stage about the physical effects on the liver.
It is about making alcohol seem like a normal thing to drink with a meal and where it might lead.
By giving alcohol to children it is making it acceptable for them to drink and I wonder if there is some sort of pressure to get the children to drink to keep the parents happy.
Like a smoker giving a cigarette to their children so they can join the parent in the garden for a fag and a chat.
I have been around drinkers and the amount some teens drink now is not the same. The pressure to drink by their mates is far greater than years ago.
Whilst I was in the minority sticking to pineapple juice. People only drank on a night out in the pub 2 or 3 pints of beer, women had half’s. Gin and vodka was for the older generation.
If someone ordered a G&T they were probably getting on for 30 at the youngest. I could almost tell their age by what people ordered.
Now young teens are making bottles of spirits the first port of call
Several of dds friends had mothers, when she was in school, who berated me for my stance on alcohol.
Dd hasn’t touched a drop. She tends to work serving alcohol rather than on the other side of the bar. She is slim and healthy.
A lot of her friends who were supposedly taught to drink by their parents have spent time in A&E being treated for alcohol poisoning and a lot considering how slim they were before being taught to drink look really bloated and fat and are never seen with out a drink in their hands.
But why give a 12 and 14 year old gin? Why would you even think to do that? I think it's odd and quite remarkable behaviour.
Actually I think better the devil you know. Kids aren't stupid. If you say no, they'll be down the park sipping goodness knows what with goodness knows who. Better tried in a safe environment in a controlled amount. I think it was reasonable tbh.
Oliversmumsarmy tbh I think you seem a little niaeve. I had strict parents. Kids find a way around this. The whole slim healthy bit is a bit insulting. I hardly hit 8 stone well into my 20s, I still drank, not crazy amounts and am perfectly healthy. I don't expect my children to be perfect, and would rather an honest relationship where I can try and offer advice rather than blindly pretend they never entered a pub before 18, then sipped on juice all night tbh.
Pallisers there's nothing wrong with sugar, you practically can't avoid it, just like alcohol it only become a problem when you overconsume it.
If you say no, they'll be down the park sipping goodness knows what with goodness knows who.
And if you say yes they'll be doing the same. Do people really think the kids down the park sipping goodness knows what are doing it because mum and dad won't give them a light g&t with sunday dinner? it is a teenage thing - - they want to hang with "goodness knows who". It is not a need that can be fulfilled by having a sherry with granny on a sunday.
Tantrumschmantrum I know dd certainly wasn’t down the park passing round the vodka. I know she doesn’t drink. During her teens every spare minute was taken up with a certain pastime which if she drank (not that she had time) would have really not been a good idea.
Now she is either driving, or in charge of the bar and catering for big events or working on her business.
Some people don’t actually drink.
Yes not everyone drinks and that's fine if that's what you want, but it's not wrong to drink, it's a personal preference as is anything else in life.
Many European countries believe in introducing something sensibly, i.e a small amount over a meal with family at home. I believe we have much worse alcohol problems here than many of these countries because they have a far better method of introduction.
Our pubs are different from when my parents were young where you had a good mix of ages, the youth being kept in check by the oldies. Village style pubs. They are more into town with a mainly younger crowd who are out to get hammered. Your DC may choose to abstain, but the average kid wants to fit in so better they learn from granny over a g&t their limits and when to stop than to be peer pressured into silly situations.
My parents were as I said strict. I towed the line for the main part, but if I did want to go to a specific party which I knew they wouldn't agree, I would attend a sleep over at my BMs house (a girl they approve of and over 20 years on is still my bestie) and they'd be none the wiser.
Oliversmummy yet research at St Andrews University shows that teens are drinking dramatically far less now than generations before them and peer pressure is not to drink alcohol
ivykatie44 that might be the case in St Andrews but from a rl POV all I hear is that someone’s dd or Ds who was supposedly taught to drink sensibly is off their heads drunk or in a&e being treated for alcohol poisoning.
I think also dd has gone a different route to her peers.
She has her own business and is working and drives around in a very nice car and has her sights firmly on her business. Whilst her peers were running around different unis off their faces on freshers week.
Alcohol damages developing brains.
She is being a drama queen! If you want to give your kids a drink then what's it got to do with her! Personally I don't think 12 is too young for a small amount of alcohol.
Oliver’smummy the research was done at the university not in the town, it wasn’t anecdotal
First up, there's no way in hell I'd give my 12yr old anything stronger than a sip of my drink (and only wine/beer, not spirits).
More generally, I'm afraid I don't get this thing about "demystifying" alcohol, and "introducing it in a safe environment". It wasn't alcohol per se that I was interested in, as a teenager, it was getting drunk.
Do teenagers really sit around in the park with their mates, refusing their turn with the cider bottle because they already know what it tastes like?
I presume PPs aren't saying that they're introducing their kids to getting excessively drunk in order to put them off? Because, frankly, that's the only thing that would have been relevant to me. And actually, even being sick as a dog many many times didn't stop me either. I can't see how alcohol at home with my parents or not would have had any relevance to my decision to drink with friends.
Wait..are some people here really saying giving alcohol to 12 and 14 year olds is OK?
' Takes away the mystery of of it '...or alternatively normalises it and gives them a taste for it at an early age.
I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no need whatsoever to be giving children alcohol.
I think that is fine imo. I’d let my 13 and 14 year old have a very small weak gin. Lady Friday my 13 year old was offered a bottle of fruit cider to drink with dinner. She had a small amount, a similar amount the following night and has just asked me if she is allowed to finish the rest of the 500ml bottle. The answer is yes. I’m here, her drink is controlled and she is very sensible. Possibly because her dad is a functioning alcoholic who we no longer live with. I chose not to make alcohol the forbidden fruit
Either the St Andrews study was done for new students before freshers week or someone has massaged the figures. Or some were telling porky pies.
Quote from someone who went there
you “leave St Andrews in one of two states: either married or an alcoholic
Oliversmummy, the research wasn’t done in St. Andrews, do you seriously not understand that if a research fellow at a university conducts research they don’t actually research in the university city news.st-andrews.ac.uk/archive/scottish-teenagers-drinking-less/
I was reading this survey which given the amount of people surveyed seemed to correspond more to the intake of St Andrews university itself than the wider population.
Also we would have to take into consideration that a proportion probably around 400 of the 2200 surveyed if it was based on the intake are American and wouldn't have drunk anyway. As well as other students from other tee total religions.
This would account for virtually the 20% who don't drink.
A study over a number of years and a wider area of 15 year olds has shown the decrease of drinking in teens is far more substantial and has decreased to just 11% that leaves nearly 90% not drinking whereas before it was 60%
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.