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Have you had teenage party at home? Drink? supervision?

(31 Posts)
inkyfingers Tue 07-Jun-11 20:07:29

Eldest son had his 17th party last month. First one at home that wasn't film and pizza-type of thing. I bought a small amount of low-al beer (about 1 each). Of course about 4 boys brought some with them, and I didn't realise til later. Behaviour was actually fine. We were in the house, but not interfering (not supervising the drink either). One of his oldest, nicest friends was sick in the garden and stayed the night at house, which was planned. Our DS was fine and didn't drink much at all - maybe he didn't dare??!!

Basically, not again. Not happy about the alcohol and we'll do a food-based party even if it's adult 'dinner' rather than teenaged rave-up.

Honestly, what would you do? Do you supply stuff, ban their own bottles. 'man' the bar and breathalyse them every hour?

what sort of teenage parties do you allow either at home or for your DCs to go to? I was amazed that these sort of parties started with a bang on the 16th birthday.

Sorry lots of questions.....

MmeBlueberry Tue 07-Jun-11 21:29:41

We don't do parties for our kids but our older teens do go to them.

I will only knowingly allow them to go to places I know are all supervised.

The norm is for parents to buy a case of weak beer and that is it. They also frisk everyone coming in, and also check their property (including over the fence into their neighbours' gardens).

My DS2 had a bad experience when he was 16. I dropped him off empty handed at a very nice house and has a call within an hour (the dad took his mobile and called 'mum'). He was wasted - drank loads of rum, presumably egged on by whomever supplied it. The host parents were horrified that we may have thought they were bad hosts and we were equally horrified. More than a year later, DS2 hasn't touched a drop, so a good lesson. We are generous drinkers, btw.

For me, I would be guided by the law and stick to that. No encouragement to drink under 18. I don't think you can go wrong.

OpusProSerenus Tue 07-Jun-11 21:41:10

Unfortunately we live in a society that attaches far too much glamour and not enough shame to over-indulgence in alcohol.

While we all want to protect our children from alcohol we also have to be aware that many of them will leave home at 18 for uni and need to have some coping strategies, know safety, their own limits and capabilities, etc by then.

We never encouraged our DCs to drink but gradually relaxed the rules from 16-18 so we could feel confident they could make the right decisions when they left for uni. We had one major over-indulgence incident with each of them and (as far as I know!) they are both fun-loving yet sensible young people.

Interestingly the one friend of DSs who regularly got into scrapes with alcohol and substances was the child of a vicar who had a very strict home life and ran wild the minute she could!

Maryz Tue 07-Jun-11 21:43:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BitOfFun Tue 07-Jun-11 21:46:08

I would definitely have to drink if I hosted a teenage party, yes.

Hassled Tue 07-Jun-11 21:46:18

Astonishingly I managed to get through the whole of the older DCs' teenage years without a single house party. They never dared - I wasn't the problem, it was the insane witch neighbour who would have called the police. Result grin.

But they went to many themselves and drank themselves silly - DD having to be collected (a friend of hers rang me) and then vomiting all over the kitchen floor was the one that sticks in my mind. I don't think you can stop them going - it's a rite of passage, and I know I went to enough myself. But yes, give them information - talk to them about how vulnerable they make themselves, talk to them about the dangers etc.

MmeBlueberry Tue 07-Jun-11 21:47:25

I don't think being strict is a matte of making decisions for your children - it is being very clear about your values as a family.

Pagwatch Tue 07-Jun-11 21:53:19


Ds has had four or five now.
He had one when we were away last week.

When he was 16 we provided some alcohol as he had been allowed wine with dinner since he was smallish and cider with BBQ or on hols. But I told the parents there would be small amounts of alcohol and we provided loads of non alcoholic stuff.
He is now nearly 18. It is his home too. He can have parties if he wants. But he is careful who he invites and he clears up afterwards and we have had no problems.

He is going to Spain in a few weeks. He will then be off to uni.

I believe gradual responsibility and independence help resist the binge mentality.

OpusProSerenus Tue 07-Jun-11 21:58:23

Agree with you Mme Blueberry that bringing them up with values is vital but sooner or later you have to allow them the chance to make their own decisions and live those values themselves.

I have always said to my DCs that my job was to give them the knowledge to enable them to make good decisions when we were not around to advise. In DSs friend's case it seems that her parents may, from what I was told, have imposed their values and forbidden a lot of experiences that left her struggling to make decisions well when alone. The trick is finding where the line between good values and over-strict lies for your own family I think.

Schtum Tue 07-Jun-11 21:59:17

Re: Have you had a party/ What would you do?...

We've never had a proper teenage party. My daughter has only ever had girlie supper parties. DH and I have been in the house, they are all lovely girls who we know well. From the age of sixteen, we've served some sort of cocktail ("Champagne" cocktails or Pimms or whatever) then a nice supper (that DD has prepped with my help) with a glass of wine.

Personally, I'm not planning on having a typical teenage party at home, ever, if I can get away with it. Some of my friends have and it's always been a case of "never again". I'm happy with girlie suppers for the time being but very aware that her eighteenth is looming on the horizon - don't quite know what we're going to do for that. DD also doesn't feel she wants a big teenage bash. She says it's too much responsibility and that there are always people who are disrespectful to property, people who get completely smashed and throw up and then, the next week, the word goes out that unless so-and-so's party was "amaaaaaazing" then it was "really gaaaaaaaaaaaaay".

The other possibility though, is a very small get-together. Sometimes one of her lot has an "evening in" for, say, six (mixture of boys and girls) which involves a casual supper (chilli or pizza or lasagne or whatever), a couple of little beers for the boys, a couple of glasses of wine for the girls, parents somewhere in the background and they end up watching a DVD or playing cards or whatever and having a laugh. I'm happy for her to her have something like this.

Re: What sort of parties do I allow my daughter to go to?

My daughter is seventeen and has been going to teenage parties since she was fifteen. We either know the kid having the party or know of him/ her through friends of friends since they're all from school.

They do all seem to take some sort of alcohol with them so, since she was about sixteen I've compromised and let her take a couple of alcopops since I'd rather she drank them than be swigging from somebody else's bottle of God Knows What.

She's been drunk once. I had a phone-call from the party host's Dad to ask me to come and collect her because she had got drunk (interestingly, she didn't take anything of her own to drink to this party - she'd had swigs of other people's stuff) and had thrown up (in the loo - not all over everywhere). I was mortified and very, very disappointed and upset with her at the time but now I put it down to experience. She now knows that there's a reason that I say she should eat before she goes out, stick to one type of drink, and have a big glass of water between each alcoholic drink. She hasn't done it since.

The parties seem to have died out a little bit because so many of her friends are eighteen now and can go to bars and clubs. Although there are some eighteenth parties - usually at home, with a disco in a makeshift marquee-ish thing in the garden. Parents usually supply some drinks to get the evening started and canapes to provide some sort of lining of tummies but knowing that most of them will have brought something of their own.

OpusProSerenus Tue 07-Jun-11 22:02:32

Pagwatch - agree with you completely.

We have had, maybe, 4 or so parties over the years and although there has been the odd breakage they have been relatively uneventful

One of the highlights was after DSs first party returning the next morning to a houseful of 17 year old boys all frantically cleaning to the best of their varying abilities! Including one of them wearing a pinny and cooking bacon smile

Maryz Tue 07-Jun-11 22:05:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Tue 07-Jun-11 22:10:24

Poor boy - a pinny ! grin

It is usually so tidy I only know because of the empties and pizza boxes. But I end up with quite a collection of sleeping bags and black ladies cardigans.

My theory is the girls put on a cardigan to look fairly straight laced as the leave the house but it gets abandoned.
I could do an eBay shop..

Pagwatch Tue 07-Jun-11 22:12:10

Yes I agree totally
And IMO 14/15 is totally, totally different from 16/17
I would not have provided, nor allowed, alcohol at 14

Maryz Tue 07-Jun-11 22:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Annunziata Tue 07-Jun-11 22:20:41

Unfortunately the same is true for Scotland, Maryz. And for that reason, no way in hell would I ever, ever have a teenage party. They can bring their friends up and have a couple of beers/ drinks if they're all over 18, fine.

I hate the drinking culture among teens. DD's best friend is frequently brought back to ours because she is too drunk to go home.

MmeBlueberry Tue 07-Jun-11 22:27:21

I know that I had a couple of years in my teens that I am not particularly proud of. I imagine that my teens will follow the same learning curve. I think that it important that parents are in the background to show their disapproval - to care. I think there can be nothing worse than to have permissive parents who are trying to be cool.

I think that teens need an exit strategy from difficult situations and prudish parents are as good as anything.

Maryz Tue 07-Jun-11 22:29:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Tue 07-Jun-11 22:31:11

Yy to exit stategy.
I know sometimes I have just said "no. No way" to ds1 and he has been silently grateful.

OpusProSerenus Tue 07-Jun-11 22:37:14

I have been an exit strategy for my DCs on more than one occasion! They have always known I can be blamed when they need a way out.

Unfortunately irresponsible parents don't just stop at alcohol nowadays. DS went to a 17th party in a lovely, very chi-chi village and, as well as booze, the parents had left cannabis and a bong shock

I'd have given them a piece of my mind but DS was mortified at the idea and I was impressed and relieved that he behaved well and told me about it so agreed not to but it rankles me to this day!

Maryz Tue 07-Jun-11 22:43:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

generalhaig Tue 07-Jun-11 23:17:20

There's no way any of mine are having a big house party after the hell on earth which was my 18th birthday party.

We were overwhelmed with gate-crashers (and this was in the days before mobiles and facebook so I can only imagine that now it would be worse), there were horrible kids I didn't know throwing up all over the stairs, cigarette burns everywhere and the worst thing was my alleged best friend screwing her one-night stand in my bed angry. It was a deeply hideous experience and I felt very guilty for putting my parents through it (they'd gone out for the first part of the evening and came back at about 10:30 ...)

one of our neighbours, who likes to think she's very hip, held a party for her dd's 14th birthday - this was in November so most of the guests were still only 13. She'd provided alcopops for them and the vast majority were hammered - I got home with ds1 at about 11:30 and the road looked like the retreat from Moscow, with paralytically drunk teenagers standing in for Napoleon's defeated troops

josla Wed 08-Jun-11 00:58:43

agree with many of the posts on here - Maryz is a pillar of advice, brillaint.
I would never provide alcohol. When DS is 18 he can buy his own. He is 16 now and I allow him to drink with us. He's had little get togethers but no party - we use the excusse house too small and other DC's asleep. He only goes to parties when I am happy with the other parents.
And I totally agree with the anger over other parents not being parents. Yes it is a pain to check on your teen, and check who comes in, and where they are going, and to be concerned even though they give you lip, and to be a parent... not just leave them to it, and let shit happen... they are still not quite adults and they are under our care, FFS angry
sorry - lots of experience of other parents not being hands on enough... angry

josla Wed 08-Jun-11 00:59:18

grrr at 'hip' parents...

sunnydelight Wed 08-Jun-11 07:54:55

DS1 wants a party for his 18th in a couple of months but I have said it had to be a local hall, not at home. We live on the junction of two busy roads and I am just too worried about gatecrashers - I don't have a problem with DS1's friends, they are nice kids, but it is too easy for these things to get out of hand.

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