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16 year old Son Wants Me to Buy Him Alcohol

(42 Posts)
CopingWellConsidering Tue 04-Oct-11 22:36:44

My 16 year old son has asked me to buy him a small bottle of vodka and some beer to take with him when he goes camping for a night at the beach with his friends!

I said 'no' to the vodka and said 'maybe' to the beer. He asked me to buy him 12 cans of beer! I feel it would be irresponsible of me to buy him 12 cans of beer. But I'm wondering whether to say no, or whether to buy him just a couple of cans for his own use.

Bearing in mind that at that age they seem to be able to get hold of it anyway, would it hurt to buy him a couple of cans of beer? He will be 17 in Janurary. What do other people think?

Trills Tue 04-Oct-11 23:02:48

Beer yes, vodka no (volume and need to pee will slow down the beer to a healthyish level, vodka can be drunk before you realise how bad you feel).

mycatsaysach Tue 04-Oct-11 23:05:00

my ds is 17 - i wd say yes to some beer prob not 12 and def no to vodka
ds tells me he doesn't even like beer which is a bit worrying

cat64 Tue 04-Oct-11 23:15:01

Message withdrawn

CopingWellConsidering Wed 05-Oct-11 08:57:33

Thanks for your replies. I think what I'm really worried about with 12 cans of beer is that I'd be supplying alcohol to his friends and if anything happened to them I'd be responsible.

I don't think for a minute that my son would drink 12 cans by himself, because we've recently started letting him have a beer at home at the weekends, and he only gets through about half a can and puts the rest in the fridge for another day! So he must have been intending to bring alcohol for his friends.

I'm also worried about them drinking at the beach as you hear about teenagers walking off cliffs or drowning because they're drunk. I think I'll say to him tonight that I'll give him up to 3 cans of beer for his own use, but that I'm not happy buying alcohol for his friends because if they come to harm I'd be legally and morally responsible.

I'm dreading telling him tonight because he's got a bit of a temper, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm supposed to be his parent and not his friend sad

AMumInScotland Wed 05-Oct-11 09:22:24

Your last point is an important one - it's your job as a parent to think about safety and health and boring grown-up stuff like that. And it's his role as a teenager to try to stretch the boundaries. Be strong - you may feel bad about limiting him to 3 cans, but you'd feel a damn sight worse if you gave him 12 and he or one of his mates got badly hurt as a result.

And just think - if he's asking you for all this for his mates, it's at least partly because his mates aren't able to persuade their parents to provide them with it, at least not in quantity.

So picture the moment when one of his mates parents is wailing to the police about how they'd made sure not to let them go off with a load of booze, and they don't know what irresponsible person can have given them all that.

3 cans is a reasonable compromise, if you normally let him have a beer at the weekend - I don't think you could really say none. But 1 to 3 sounds fair and reasonable to me.

CopingWellConsidering Wed 05-Oct-11 09:28:56

Thanks a lot AMumInScotland. I feel I lack confidence in my parenting skills at the moment as my son is so moody and everything we say or do can get an angry reaction. Getting this feedback does help to bolster my resolve to do what I know is the right thing.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 05-Oct-11 09:33:01

I would (and have) said no to both requests, if it was for an occasion out of our home and with other children out of their homes. What happens in your own home, with your own child is quite different.

They can only get their hands on it if someone either supplies it to them or buys it for them.* I would not want to know that I was responsible for supplying other people's children with alcohol.

And if I found out that other parents were doing this, without asking my permission, I would be livid.

It does sound as if your DS was hoping that you would supply enough for all of them. I wonder if the other parents have been asked?

*They can, of course, try and buy it themselves, which is something of a rite of passage in young adulthood! But it's not as easy as it was in my day to do this - although there are plenty of unscrupulous shopkeepers who will sell it to them.

CopingWellConsidering Wed 05-Oct-11 10:48:08

Thank you BecauseImWorthIt. My resolve is being stiffened by your feedback.

When he was a toddler I was very confident that I knew what was right and what was wrong, but teenagers have a way of making you doubt yourself. I'm feeling a bit fragile at the moment because my daughter has recently left home to go to uni and I miss her (she was no trouble at all!).

I know what I want to say and you are helping to give me the confidence to say it to him. I will give him 2 cans of beer at the most and tell him my reasons for not supplying more (legal & moral responsibility etc). If he doesn't like it he will have to lump it!

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 05-Oct-11 11:02:18

Ah! Another bereft parent! DS1 has just gone off to Sussex. <sends lots of empathy>

We're also currently dealing with DS2, also 16, and alcohol and drug issues, so I do really get where you're coming from, especially re perspective.

TheSecondComing Wed 05-Oct-11 12:42:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CopingWellConsidering Wed 05-Oct-11 14:22:04

BecauseImWorthIt Thanks for the sympathy. It's a difficult time, isn't it?

TheSecondComing He never brings his friends home or even talks about them, so I only have a vague idea of who they are. He is incredibly secretive! I wish I could speak to the other parents and find out what their feelings/plans are. I will give him a small amount (this is the first time he's asked) and see how it goes. He may need a lift to the beach so this will give us a bargaining chip. Thanks for the advice.

TheSecondComing Wed 05-Oct-11 14:44:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noddyholder Wed 05-Oct-11 14:46:59

BIWI my oldest friend has 2 dc at sussex now and as I live in Brighton I am surrogate mum/spy! I am happy to add another grin

Grumpla Wed 05-Oct-11 14:57:52

What makes you think your son won't drink 12 cans of beer? His behaviour out camping with his mates is hardly going to be the same as when he's at home with you! I bet he doesn't drink vodka at home, does he? But he's asked you to give him some for his trip.

I could easily have drunk a couple of four-packs at that age then spent the rest of the night merrily vomiting onto someone else's shoes.

I'd give him a four-pack of weak lager. And a strong talking-to about how easy it is to end up really, really sick really, really quickly on vodka. And demand names of friends plus phone numbers of a couple of parents.

I suspect what's happened here is at some point he's boasted to his mates "yeah my mum's totally cool with me drinking, she gives me loads of beer at home all the time!" and they've now turned round and responded "right, your mum's cool, she'll give us booze then won't she?"

Disclaimer: things may have changed since I was a thoroughly irresponsible teenager

lijaco Wed 05-Oct-11 15:10:25

I would say no to be honest. Drinking is a big problem for trouble etc...
He is under age firstly and if you have provided the beer you would be responsible if Police end up being involved. Drinking in your own home is your business and at least you can keep a watchful eye.
My son when aged 16 went out with the lads bought a bottle of vodka and ended up collapsed in hospital and one of his mates they could not revive.
I would say no.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 05-Oct-11 15:22:40

grin @noddy! I'm sure DS1 would just love to know that he has MNetters looking out for him!

AgentProvocateur Wed 05-Oct-11 15:30:22

I've been asked by my 16 year old DS to buy him some booze for a party this weekend, and I've said no. I think it's different in your own home, but a party / camping has got the potential to end up in trouble, and you don't know what the others will no, no matter how responsible your own child is.

I've heard some horror stories about DS's peer group and alcohol, and I'm not willing to condone drinking by buying the booze.

(Yes, I'm being hugely hypocritical because I drank at parties at that age, but I'd never have asked my mum to buy it for me.)

incognitofornow Wed 05-Oct-11 15:30:22

Message withdrawn

SecretSquirrels Wed 05-Oct-11 16:14:49

Def no to vodka.
While it's true you can get very drunk and very sick on beer , the sheer quantity puts the brakes on a little. You can drink a lot of vodka very quickly before the effects are felt, not least if it's mixed with pop.

You have said that he seldom finishes a can of beer off. Perhaps you can use that to justify giving him enough for his own consumption but not for his friends?

My DS1 is also going to a sleepover where drink is involved this weekend. But I know the parents and it will be supervised. Even so I am planning a talk.

I think it's important to spell out possible consequences of drinking. Getting drunk and sick are obvious, but young people don't always know that alcohol can make some otherwise gentle/quiet people turn violent. Also loosens the inhibitions if the opposite sex are involved.

CopingWellConsidering Wed 05-Oct-11 17:02:53

I've told him that I only bought 2 cans. He was grumpy but there was no door slamming or anything.

I also said we need to have a talk as DH & I had some questions we needed answering, such as the names of friends he's going with etc. He said could I write them down, so I've given him a list of questions with spaces for answers! I also said we need a short talk afterwards to discuss his answers.

I know he thinks I'm being completely OTT but if we lose control now then it's gone forever. We're going to say that unless we're happy with his answers then he's not allowed to go after all. The talk is going to be at 8.30 tonight. Wish me luck!

cat64 Wed 05-Oct-11 18:47:25

Message withdrawn

eatyourveg Wed 05-Oct-11 19:14:05

ds1 is 17 and I have more often than not given him a 4 pack of beer or a 2L bottle of cider when he has gone to parties. I have done this primarily so that he has something to drink other than what the others there might be drinking because they may only have vodka or jack daniels and I don't want him drinking spirits. He's earned the nickname "mum" (not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing) because more often than not when the party is at someone's house he's usually in the kitchen making cups of tea!

TheSecondComing Wed 05-Oct-11 19:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grumpla Wed 05-Oct-11 19:27:57

He wanted you to write the questions down? How peculiar!

Make sure you save the piece of paper for future embarrassment purposes! wink

Hope all goes smoothly and that your DS is not as much of a hysterical drama queen as I was at that age !

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