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Drunk 15 year old DD , how to handle?

(62 Posts)
Camomileteaneeded Thu 01-Jan-15 08:22:21

My DD is almost 16 and generally a great young adult , she studies well , has lovely friendship group , lots of interests and plans for 6 th form and Uni , so typical teenager really . But she really worries me with her attitude to drinking alcohol ( I do have alcoholism in my immediate family so could be getting this out of proportion ) .

She's been to 4 " parties" since July where drink has been available . Three times she has come home very drunk . When I say very drunk , I mean vomiting , falling over and generally a risk to herself sad. She has a busy social life generally seeing friends , activities and no problems then.

Ive tried the " give them information and advice " given her trust and hoped that she'd learn from her last experience . But last night she was only away from home for two hours and was in a right state when we picked her up , so she obviously can't be trusted . I know it's NYE but she's only 15 !

I've had a sleepless night , making sure she's not sick again and worrying . Her attitude to alcohol is frightening , everything I read talks about the younger you start drinking the higher chance of developing alcoholism in later life . besides the risk she puts herself in when she gets like this.

So advice please , I'm really finding it difficult to know how to handle , short of locking her in the attic till she's 18 smile
Would you ground her , take away privileges , just keep talking ( hasn't worked so far ) or any other advice please . Or do I put this down to normal teen behaviour ?

PurpleWithRed Thu 01-Jan-15 08:30:13

How does she feel about her drinking? does she see it as normal? have you videoed her when she's drunk and shown her?

I am sure you have made sure that she and all her friends know how to put each other on their sides when they fall asleep or pass out is a great video

skolastica Thu 01-Jan-15 08:45:58

It's tricky to know where to put the emphasis whilst still maintaining an open relationship. When mine were teenagers, I made sure they knew about all the youngsters who had died/become paralysed after doing stupid things whilst drunk. I tried to emphasise personal safety over and above everything else. I had a family history of alcoholism to worry about as well, which didn't help. But I think that a lot of alcohol problems stem from unresolved emotional issues, so making sure that there is no suppressed ill feeling or anger is also a way of being vigilant. You might also tell her that it's a big issue for you because you have seen alcohol ruin the lives of people and could she take this on board.

Bakeoffcakes Thu 01-Jan-15 08:58:40

I think she should be punished, you've tried the talking approach and its not working. She's starting to put herself in danger and I think you need to give her a bit if a shock.

I'd be really cross with her when she wakes up. Let her know you've had no sleep and that she crossed the line last night and unless she changes her behaviour she won't be going to another party for the rest of Y11.
I do have experience of this as DD2 was exactly like your dd. we did have to threaten no more parties if it happened again. She also had to endure 'the talk' about being sensible, drinking slowly, and not mixing drinks, just before she went out.

Camomileteaneeded Thu 01-Jan-15 10:00:35

Thanks everyone .
I'll have a look at that clip , might be good for her to watch some online advice . I'll have a look for other sites with advice for teens .

She'll definitely know how unhappy I am . She'll be punished in someway , starting with her cleaning the vomit from inside my car sad
DH thinks we should ban her from parties till after her GCSE's , I'm tempted but would this be too extreme and alienate her ?

I know she'll be upset and disappointed with herself as she was last time , and she listens when we talk and makes all the right noises before she goes out but ....

agnesnott Thu 01-Jan-15 10:19:19

One of my dc went through a stage of this. I felt just like you. But we were talking about it the other day and she said the thing that she remembers me doing that had most impact was getting her up early sending her and friend who had sneaked out to pub on school night to school. When welfare rang to say they had virus and could I collect I told her it was a hangover and I was disgusted.
They were both sent back to lessons and kept back to make up time missed. They were green when they got home.
She is a responsible doctor now and can't drink since she needs to be in so early but she said facing the consequences was a massive shock since I usually tried to ensure she felt better before talking to her and was understanding not disgusted!

agnesnott Thu 01-Jan-15 10:22:03

I meant previously understanding and that time was just disgusted!
But the main thing was it was a stage. But I'd grown up around an alcoholic and it was very worrying to think there was a problem.

Hippiastrum Thu 01-Jan-15 10:23:35

Ds did this at a similar age.
I photographed him and showed him the pictures.
He was quite shocked TBH.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 01-Jan-15 10:27:30

I was always collected from parties and told that if I was drunk when I got in the car, itd be the last party I went to for six months. Harsh, I felt at the time, but now I am an adult it seems a sensible approach.

It.meant I got tipsy but had to hide the fact id had a drink grin so I always stopped at a certain point

ihatethecold Thu 01-Jan-15 10:34:15

I used to drink a lot as a teen. Now as an adult I only drink occasionally and never to excess.
It's part if growing up and finding out your boundaries.
I wish my parents had of noticed and cared that I was pissed every weekend.
I used to drink because I could, I thought it was cool,
Because No one stopped me.

My ds is 14 and had his first beer last night with us and friends.
That's was a bit weird for us as parents to see.

SpanielFace Thu 01-Jan-15 10:56:22

I don't have a teenager, DS is only two, but am dreading this stage! But I remember going through this stage all too clearly myself. Most of my friends would get drunk enough to vomit regularly in our mid teens. I think to some extent it's part of learning about alcohol, and learning your limits. We all grew out of it within a year or two, and learned how to drink responsibly, and we all did ok at school. Most of us have professional jobs, and one or two are quite high flying these days, which would have been hard to imagine if you'd seen us drinking cider in the park at 14! I'm not saying this to justify your daughter's actions, and she does need to be told of the potential harm this could cause. And definitely agree with consequences eg cleaning the car, being made to get up and go to school / family gatherings etc with a hangover. But hopefully she realises that it's not much fun to be that drunk, and will learn her limits.

Camomileteaneeded Thu 01-Jan-15 11:36:01

It's good to know people have had similar experiences and come through it to have a normal attitude to drinking . Gives me some reassurance .

I think video / photo of her in this state might be a good idea . It would be a reality check . Although I'll try to believe she might have learnt a lesson this time hmm

For now she's up , very sheepish , feeling very rough ( and looks it ) says she didn't mean to get drunk and she's very sorry . And she's cleaning my car !

ElizabethHoover Thu 01-Jan-15 11:41:38

showed thread to s1 who is 16
he said ( rather candidly )
'The teenager just sounds quite stupid really. No one likes being sick (or shouldn't) but I don't really think that there is anything to do here. You could ban her from doing these things but most teenagers would find a way to go regardless. She sounds quite immature and probably only a really bad experience with it would calm her down'

ElizabethHoover Thu 01-Jan-15 11:45:21

i would wonder who is giving your daughter drink....

Camomileteaneeded Thu 01-Jan-15 13:29:55

Elizabeth, Thanks for the advice but I think she knows she's been stupid and immature ,I was looking for constructive ways to help prevent this behaviour rather than leave her to it until she does something really stupid and puts herself in danger .

As for where she got it , I've a couple of ideas , friends with older siblings etc but really, as you say if they want to do it they'll do it anyway . I Would rather help her see that it's not the right thing to do , teach her to be responsible when it's around her.

PrincessOfChina Thu 01-Jan-15 13:36:13

What's your general attitude to alcohol like? I ask because I recall from being a teenager that those in our group who were not allowed to drink and whose parents didn't drink were the ones who drank to excess. They hadn't seen "normal" alcohol consumption.

Equally, she could just be subject to immense peer pressure. It's a hard age.

AmantesSuntAmentes Thu 01-Jan-15 13:48:37

Does she drink occasionally at home, in order to learn her limits in a safe environment?

AmantesSuntAmentes Thu 01-Jan-15 13:54:11

PrincessOfChina what you've said is true to my experience.

Oblomov Thu 01-Jan-15 14:09:06

As a teen and in my 20's, I drank a lot. Never to a really bad state, never vomited. I don't have alcoholic / addiction tendencies in my personality. So I don't see your dd's situation as particularly serious. I think she needs talking to , to clean up the vomit and no parties for a couple of months. Should be enough.

ElizabethHoover Thu 01-Jan-15 14:13:09

i disagree re the uptight parents kids get drunk. IMO the permissive ones who talk about getting hammered to their kids are the worst!

Camomile - wasnt to make you feel bad - just that he sees it as not the norm and he goes to parties etc

GingerbreadPudding Thu 01-Jan-15 14:18:20

When I was a teenager I used to binge drink, same as all my friends, and regularly come home, vomit horribly and feel dreadful the next day. I wasn't 15 - more like 17, but anyway the thing which made a massive different to me was realising my limit. It sounds completely ridiculous but you buy rounds of drinks, shots etc and suddenly find yourself completely wasted. It was a real revelation to work out that after three pints, of equivalent, I was happily drunk but wasn't going to get horribly ill. So I just stuck to that - drank halves, counted my units and interspersed with soft drinks.

Maybe find out what her drink of choice is and work out what six units, or whatever seems reasonable, of that is. If she knows this she could try an evening out and sticking to that limit. There's no point trying to stop her from drinking but knowing her limit can be a really useful tool

Bakeoffcakes Thu 01-Jan-15 14:23:57

I disagree about the uptight parents too, the ones with parents who think its cool to give drink to 14 year olds and let them get pissed, (as they have to learn) are the teenagers who get pissed a lot. At least mine weren't going through this stage until they were 15/16.

titchy Thu 01-Jan-15 14:27:51

I also don't think it's worth a massive punishment - it's fairly normal for year 11 tbh and you have to accept that. If focus on working out strategies with her to avoid getting so drunk in such a short space of time, work out how she can pace herself. But you'll need to do it with her to work out which strategies would be socially ok, as she wouldn't do anything if it meant losing face. So mixing a bottle of wkd with juice, or alternating drinks with bottled water for example. For boys take your own small bottles of beer and stick to those, or carry around a bottle of beer, but only drink some of it.

Annietheacrobat Thu 01-Jan-15 14:30:16

It's a really difficult one. My social group drank heavily from around 15 onwards. We used to come home in a complete state. I vomited in a taxi once.

Strangely out of the 10 or so of us , only 2 had parents who actively discouraged the drinking. The others ( including mine) facilitated it and seemed to find it vaguely amusing. I don't know whether it's because we were all doing fine at school and we hung around with a respectable group of boys.

In terms of how I've turned out - I don't have the healthiest relationship with alcohol. I spent most of my teens and uni years getting absolutely hammered and in compromising alcohol fuelled situations. I drink rarely now - but still go overboard when I do.

I half wish my parents had been stricter and told me how unattractive it was rather than laughing and supplying wine.

AmantesSuntAmentes Thu 01-Jan-15 14:34:33

Elizabeth and Bakeoff, parents who are incredibly anti alcohol are definitely equally as detrimental to teens behaviour around drink as those you mention - the non-caring enablers.

My mother was incredibly anti alcohol. I was generally pissed to the point of collapse and vomit, from around 14, into my 20s and ended up in many a detrimental situation, incredibly vulnerable and with stomach ulcers by the age of 16.

One day, fortunately, I just stopped drinking.

There has to be a happy medium, where parents are neither too anti or too enabling and I'm pretty certain that route would be best. Allowing a teen to drink occasionally at home, so that they are able to learn safe limits in a safe environment, is how I wish the matter had been approached for me.

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