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(42 Posts)
hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 08:58:08

My son will be 17 at Christmas and is very mature for his age. He is a lovely lad and has a wide circle of close friends. He and his friends all started college in September. They now want to start going to night clubs. He has given me his argument as to why and although I understand his reasons I am still very worried about his safety. He says after they will get a taxi home to a friends who lives nearby. I want to say no but is that fair?

mummytime Mon 11-Nov-13 10:35:44

I have teenagers. I have never been asked this (yet!).

My big issue would be fake ID. Personally I would be against it and would discuss why with my teens. I haven't yet, as if DS asked I would probably faint from shock that he is "going out" at all. DD is younger, but I will have the dreaded Prom next year to think about with her.

But do keep talking is my advice, its oddly reassuring when your DC let you know about the bad things they could be doing (but obviously aren't yet).

AMumInScotland Mon 11-Nov-13 10:36:50

tracy you obviously made one set of choices, and I agree they were a good set. But, did you not have friends who did go out into pubs and clubs underage? I know my own friends who were more at risk were those who had lied to get out, lied about the fact that they drank, lied about who they were with and how they were going to get home.

On a scale of 'keeping safe', yes staying home or going to organised youth clubs is going to be safest.

But going out without your parents having any idea where you are or who you are with is pretty much at the bottom of the scale.

A reasonable compromise, for most people, is to put boundaries in place which reduce the risk of doing things that lots of other people are doing.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 10:37:11

Thanks everyone, so great to get advice sometimes. Yes I will let him go but make sure he comes home after.

NoComet Mon 11-Nov-13 10:44:29

Since I went to local rural discos and drank from 14 (everyone did), my DDad was probably stricter than most and insisted on picking us up if it wasn't in our local hall.

The only rule was come straight home/be at pick up exactly in time (and never said, because DDad doesn't drink, don't be pissed and throw up in our car).

By the time I was at freshers at University in a strange city with no friends, yet to bail me out. I'd been there and got the T shirt.

The state the London and other big city students got themselves in was frightening.

So I don't think a bit of practice, while parents can still ground you, is at all a bad thing.

SoonToBeSix Mon 11-Nov-13 10:46:11

Just say no, he is underage it is illegal, you are his parent. Act responsibly the law is there to protect young people. I do not understand your dilemma.

SoonToBeSix Mon 11-Nov-13 10:48:04

Also I do have a teenager myself .

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 10:55:38

AMumInScotland My friends were all older than me so they got into clubs, which on one hand was crap for me, but on the other hand it was good because when I turned 18 that meant everyone could come and we made a proper night of it- I even booked a limo and had champagne on the way into town. I feel that I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I had already been as the novelty would have worn off.

I can't really relate to the lying to my parents aspect of things, I just never had that relationship with them. I've always been my own person without the need to 'rebel' or have this rite of passage behind their back. My mum was always straightforward with me about her 'misspent youth,' it was just something that never appealed to me. I really resent the fact some posters on this thread are taking the piss because they are frustrated that I don't fit into what they think a teenager should be like, and my age means I shouldn't have an opinion.

Thought it might have been refreshing to hear from the other side of the coin but meh. Only the parents can be right in this instance apparently.

AMumInScotland Mon 11-Nov-13 11:07:58

Tracy You do have to remember that we all used to be teenagers too though, and you did come across rather 'holier than thou' about how he'd be breaking the law and get into terrible trouble. Most of us, as teenagers, did break the law. Partly because it was much easier in our day of course!

We now go out for a meal with 20yo son, and he gets asked for ID if the three of us share a bottle of wine.

I was getting served in pubs from about 15 and going to clubs from 16. So your "It's simply illegal and wrong" line seems a little, well, immature and shows a very 'black and white' attitude to morality which is actually very usual in people around your age. But it doesn't cover the full situation for lots of people.

That doesn't mean your point of view is wrong, but it only based on your own experience, which is still limited.

I'm glad that you had a good relationship with your parents and didn't feel the need to rebel. But lots of people do, and parents have to find some 'middle ground'. That might be saying "Yes, but..." or "No, because..." but it can't often be just "No." and usually shouldn't be just "Yes".

tracypenisbeaker Mon 11-Nov-13 11:22:10

A large part of my reasoning for not attempting to go out clubbing is because I don't think its as easy these days compared to say, the 80's. They have cracked down, even in the past few years. I have friends who are bouncers who have told me this. Have you been clubbing recently AMum? Do you know how difficult it is for underagers to get into clubs? I may not have been around when 15 year olds were drinking snake-bites, but I can offer insight to what it is like these days. Apologies if you do go out, I'm not trying to make you feel out of touch.

Trying to get in with a fake ID (or, more commonly someone else's ID, in the hope that they will just glance at the picture) it isn't inconsequential, either- I know someone who borrowed an ID from someone else, the bouncers confiscated it and the police turned up at the address on the provisional, much to the dismay of the parents (whos son didn't actually go to the club).

I really do think it is a pointless exercise for a group of underage lads, morals aside, to try and get into a club. There is a very slim chance that they will all get let in. There is usually at least one from each party that gets checked.

hettiw Mon 11-Nov-13 13:49:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

birdybear Mon 11-Nov-13 16:16:53

no Tracy, not ageist, just obvious that at 20 years old you are not much older than the teens we are talking about, so therefore you have limited life experience. that isn't discriminatory, just perfectly obvious that generally the older you are the more life experience and wisdom you have and a different view point.

PartPixie Mon 11-Nov-13 19:40:02

Some great advice already given but I just thought I would add a couple of things. Make sure your DS and his friends have discussed what will happen if some of them get in and others don't. Particularly what happens if he did agree to stay at his friends and the friend he is supposed to be staying with gets in/doesn't get in and the opposite happens to him.

Also, make sure that he is aware of the risks of drink spiking. Although less common, it can happen to boys.

NoComet Mon 11-Nov-13 20:23:31

I think the drinking law deserves to be broken.
It's stupid that instead in drinking in a warm pub or disco as we did, DCs are drinking in the park with the local drug dealers hovering. (And this is a nice rural town)

It's stupid to have a law that means the better supervised and truthful, DCs don't start going out drinking until they are university with their parents 100's of miles away.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 09:44:37

thepobblewhohasnotoes Mon 11-Nov-13 10:12:13

"I think you're a little out of touch with the law on alcohol:

a) He is underage, therefore would be breaking the law.

If the police catch him they'll only confiscate it. It's hardly the crime of the century and the law is set at 18 because they know full well that 16 & 17 year olds will drink."

Yes, but the person who sells him the alcohol could have their licence revoked.

To me, an adult, possibly a family man, losing his livelihood seems a far more serious matter than a teen losing face with his mates because he can't go clubbing for a few months.

I have a 17yo and a 13yo and I will not condone anything that involves tricking other people and potentially getting them into serious trouble.

If a teen of mine says "But if you won't encourage me to do that, I will do something else and get into even more trouble" my reply would be "If you choose to do that, that is your responsibility, don't try to pin that one on me if you want to be considered an almost adult. If I think something is wrong, I will not be blackmailed into saying it is right."

For the record, I will be 50 next month. Does that make me mature enough to have an opinion on the subject?

NCISaddict Tue 12-Nov-13 10:07:05

Thank goodness for some sense Cory I'm 48 and have a 21 yr old, a 20 yr old and a 17 yr old and would never condone or facilitate them doing something illegal.
Their socializing pre 18 was done at friends houses most of whose parents I knew well or at drama clubs which were supervised.

For my elder DS it could have been more of an issue as he was a year ahead so wasn't 18 until his first week at uni. He coped and is a well balanced 20 yr old with lots of friends. He isn't a frequent clubber even now but I can't say that worries me, all of them prefer films and pizza with mates.

cory Tue 12-Nov-13 10:39:25

I probably supervise mine less than yours NCIaddict. Dd has been up to London on her own a couple of times and I suppose there would have been nothing to stop her from trying to sneak into a pub. But I made sure she understood the moral and legal implications of doing so- that is the best I can do. Also she understood clearly that nobody else would bear moral responsibility for a decision made by her, that I am not prepared to absolve her from that in any way by stepping in and giving permission.

NCISaddict Tue 12-Nov-13 10:47:22

Oh they've all gone out on their own but I do talk to them about the implications of breaking the law. There was nothing to stop them except the boundaries I have instilled. If they did overstep the mark then we would have to deal with it but that doesn't mean I have to allow or facilitate them breaking the law. I have zero tolerance for it.
Also as I work for the emergency services they have heard numerous stories about what can and does happen, particularly with underage drinking and know how seriously unimpressed I would be.

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