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Beer for a 12 year old - views please!

(17 Posts)
Gilli Sun 10-Aug-03 22:21:11

My ds (12) has just come back from a sleepover at a friends house, where he spent the day swimming, playing tennis etc, and joining the family for a barbeque. They have boys of 12 and 10. He was offered, and drank, about half a glass of Stella Artois.
I played it cool when he told me, and said that I trusted him not to be silly, and that I thought once in a blue moon was OK etc, but inside I am seething! I feel 12 is too young for all but perhaps the weakest of shandies. I have also been a bit concerned because over the last year ds has become very curious about drinking and trying beer etc. I feel that the other parents shouldn't have offered it, (their sons seem to be used to it) but wondered whether I am completely out of step and over-reacting?

Claireandrich Sun 10-Aug-03 22:23:32

Personally I don't think another adult should be offering any alcohol to your son either. That should be a decision for yourselves. They should have at least sought your permission first. I don't think I would be happy if I were you either.

ForestFly Sun 10-Aug-03 22:27:31

They do say that if you dont keep things from children they are less likely to go behind your back. Also they are not as desperate to try it. But that is not a decision someone else should be making for you, so id be furious too. You should be deciding whats right and wrong for your son, otherwise hes just getting mixed messages. You should send there son home drunk and see what they say!!!!

WedgiesMum Sun 10-Aug-03 22:33:21

I think it's out of order for other adults to offer alcohol to your son without checking with you first. He is only 12 after all, and those kind of decisions should still be yours.

However, I don't think it's too young to be trying alcohol at all. Kids will naturally get curious about alcohol and trying it in an atmosphere where you can talk about consequences of over indulgence and peer pressure is much better than furtive raiding of the drinks cabinet when parents are not there. But it's your call as to when you feel your own children are up to dealing with it - my parents trusted us from about the age of 12, when we had (watered down) wine with meals or the occasional shandy. But you know your own child if you feel they aren't ready, then they aren't IMHO.

SofiaAmes Sun 10-Aug-03 22:57:31

I would be absolutely furious if another parent offered beer to my under age child of any age, but certainly the young age of 12. And I would certainly discuss it with the parents. However, it's wonderful that your son trusts you enough to tell you what took place, and you should be carefull when mentioning it to the other parents so it doesn't get back to him so that he doesn't want to tell you next time.

M2T Sun 10-Aug-03 23:48:28

I would've been furious too!

My brother is 14 and the other night he was staying at our house. I offered him a glass of beer which he refused, but I thought it was okay to offer as I know he's a sensible lad. I also thought about myself at that age and I was drinking with my friends in the park most weekends. I know he's mature enough to not go mental with it and if he had had a glass of beer that would've been it.

But he is my family and I've talked about this with my parents. They thought it was okay for him to know that if my dp was having a can of lager then he could have one can too. Turns out he is absolutley against the idea of it and we had a great chat with him about alcohol.

Those parents should NEVER have assumed that it was ok to do that!!

doormat Mon 11-Aug-03 06:46:30

Gilli, they should of checked it out with you first IMO.

codswallop Mon 11-Aug-03 08:28:07

I would go ballistic if this were me! Half a glass - that would have me on the floor!

janh Mon 11-Aug-03 16:27:44

Gilli, did he say it was the parents who offered it, not the boys?

If it was the parents I agree with the others that they were out of order.

Gilli Mon 11-Aug-03 23:20:06

Thank you everyone for all your support - at least I don't feel that I'm somehow too uptight to know what's best for my son, now! However, I'm still left wondering where we go from here....

Paula71 Thu 21-Aug-03 00:00:10

Under no circumstances should any adult offer a child alcohol without the prior knowledge or consent of the parent of that child.

These adults behaved extremely stupidly. What is right for their son may not be for another and they have no right to make that choice for you.

Sorry but alcohol abuse is so prevelent now that I think attitudes need to change. Although I think a little beer won't do harm children need to be aware long before they are adults that enjoying your drink means knowing when to stop.

SimonHoward Thu 21-Aug-03 16:36:13

Gilli

My parents took the view that if it wasn't banned then it would not be so eagerly sort after or tried in secret and in the case of my brothers and I it seemed to work.

We had access to small amounts when my parents had some but only beer and wine nothing stronger and it was never an issue.

Gilli Thu 21-Aug-03 21:34:05

Simonhoward - just wanted to say thanks for the sensible advice for boys - and (since I've just seen your other thread) - thanks for giving it when you've got so much on your own plate. A true mumsnetter! Best of luck with custody etc.

Blu Wed 27-Aug-03 16:43:54

As the priority - and the best defence aginst off-the-rails behaviour in the future - is your relationship with your son, I think I would concentrate on that and play down your reaction to the other parents...I think it was highly thoughtless and presumptious of them to offer your child beer...but you could forarm yourself for the future, and perhaps say to them calmly in passing that you don't actually offer alchohol at home yet, so could they hold back in future...or perhaps let you know that alcohol will be available, and ask whether your son should be offered any. It's a great reminder to the rest of us to check in advance of social occasions what other parents' policy and practice is.
I was offered very small amounts of beer and watered down wine at family meals on certain occasions at 12 and in being treated as a grown up, understood that I needed to be responsible about it. That kept me from sneaking off to the pub for under-aged lager-and-limes until at least...15!!!

Blu Wed 27-Aug-03 16:45:35

As the priority - and the best defence aginst off-the-rails behaviour in the future - is your relationship with your son, I think I would concentrate on that and play down your reaction to the other parents...I think it was highly thoughtless and presumptious of them to offer your child beer...but you could forarm yourself for the future, and perhaps say to them calmly in passing that you don't actually offer alchohol at home yet, so could they hold back in future...or perhaps let you know that alcohol will be available, and ask whether your son should be offered any. It's a great reminder to the rest of us to check in advance of social occasions what other parents' policy and practice is.
I was offered very small amounts of beer and watered down wine at family meals on certain occasions at 12 and in being treated as a grown up, understood that I needed to be responsible about it. That kept me from sneaking off to the pub for under-aged lager-and-limes until at least...15!!!

DaddyCool Thu 28-Aug-03 12:59:46

I'm a pretty laid back Dad but I think offering a 12 year old beer is a bit off. Realistically, I don't think it would do any harm but I would have to agree with most others in that the parents should not have offered it without you knowing.

soviet Fri 29-Aug-03 17:01:36

alcohol in my opinion is not really a bad things. i find that children are more likly to go behind your back and drink underage, if they were restrained at an early age. i was given alcohol once and a while and i'm not a big drinker now. because it has tought me responcibility.

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