up to what age do you insist on no alcohol?(73 Posts)
I would like it to be 16, but is that unrealistic?
In what circumstances? I remember as a child I was allowed a <god this is cringeworthy> Babycham or Snowball at Christmas and New Year from probably the age of 11 or 12. I was also allowed a glass of wine with dinner. I'm guessing that in both cases it was watered down with sparkling water or lemonade though.
Going out on the piss started at about 16, but parental approval wasn't involved!
Oh shit that looks bad - I mean "special occasion" dinners, not every dinner!!!!!!
She's 14.6, has never drunk anything because she hasn't wanted to. She now is starting to go to parties where people are having some alcohol. Question is whether to tell her she can join in.
Well that was my thinking but in her peer group it appears it is!
Well you can insist all you like but unless you go to the parties with her, you can't really prevent it. Well I couldn't with my dd anyway.
A lot of kids will be trying alcohol at 14. Many of them will do it regardless of their parents giving them the OK. My DD didn't like the taste of beer or wine at 14, but admitted she would try a little vodka with coke. However, she has 2 older brothers and has seen the effects of overdrinking on them and their friends. Fortunately she doesn't think it's cool or grown up to stagger around off your head and is very critical of her friends that pretend to be drunk or who go overboard with alcohol. She's 16. Fortunately she's able to discuss all of this with me and I have never forbidden her from doing anything. I'd rather she was informed and knew what her limits were, rather than laying down the law and then having her try to hide her behaviour.
Speak to you DD, OP. Discuss social drinking and its effects. Sadly many families can point to someone where drink has seriously affected their family life and their personality, so you may have an example you can use.
I think the best you can do is teach her about alcohol and what it does to the body, then explain that it is illegal for her to drink alcohol at her age in those circumstances (although it may not be at a private party - not sure how it works) and you hope she makes sensible choices. And make her clean up her own sick when she first goes OTT!
We have given the DC small amounts of booze from about the age of 12/13. Just a (very) small glass of wine, or a third of a glass of beer - with a meal.
Figured that they get to try the nicer stuff,and don't feel that they have to rush out and drink shedloads as they haven't drunk alcohol before.
So far it seems to be working to an extent. The 18 yo has had a few good nights out - but with only one or two hangovers.
17yo is almost 18 -but hasn't shown any urge to go out to parties drinking yet. He meets with school mates at a local Italian restaurant -so obv can't drink there as they would want to see his ID.
I was buying cider at the age of 13 - for myself and (slightly younger) friends. Hitting pubs and clubs seriously by 15. But I think things were more lax back then. I'm not saying that is how it should be, but alcohol is a fact of life, and kids want to try it. The best way is to do it in a controlled manner at home - to de mystify it.
I will "insist" on no alcohol until they are 18.
However, I know and accept that they will try it before then, possibly in great quantities.
DS1 is nearly 17. To my knowledge he hasn't drunk alcohol nor expressed any wish to do so. He doesn't really seem to have entered into Party Mode yet though.
I don't actually have a problem with them drinking alcohol from about 16 but I don't think they need to know that really. I think they need to have the idea that there are boundaries.
I think I told DS1 when he went to a party at 16 that under no circumstances was he to arrive home drunk. I don't think he even tried any.
I've played it by ear.
DC were offered nothing until 15, then asked if they wanted a small glass of champagne etc at special occasions (they didn't accept).
At parties, I offered to buy a small amount of lowish alcohol drink to take (they didn't want to).
Now in sixth form they still don't drink. They can if they want, but they don't.
DS1 is 16.7 and drinks cider/ lager/
hopefully well diluted spirits at parties. I warn him against spirits and have talked about mixers, measures and so on. I buy him a few cans of cider occasionally for a party but he doesn't usually ask. He hasn't got in a mess yet.
DS2 is 14.8 and might get offered wine with his Christmas dinner this year, that will be the first time he is offered I think. I suspect he will turn it down, tbh.
DSS1 is 20 and DSS2 is 18 and they never drink alcohol. We often have wine or champagne and they are welcome to it.
Maybe I'm in a particularly bad area but it's fairly common round here from about 14. I know I was drinking cider in the park from about that age to. They go to these "gatherings" and that's what they do. I just try and encourage honesty, talk at great lengths about the dangers and DD has to be picked up by me and stay home. So far she has never seemed drunk or even tipsy I don't think she's to keen, hoping it stays that way.
My Ds is 14 and occasionally has the odd (small) can of fruity cider at home if we have friends round. He is only allowed one and is happy with that. I would much prefer for him to have first tastes of alcohol at home where I can keep an eye on him rather than in a park with his friends so we do it this way.
He has seem me acting sensibly with alcohol, just having one or two then switching to soft drinks so he is perfectly happy to do the same. I'll do similar with my girls when they are older too.
I think if you ban something it often makes it more alluring so they may do it behind your back, I prefer to be able to watch what is going on and be open about it.
I don't know how you can determine what your child will be drinking when they are not with you....
In our house, there are no age limits for drinking eg wine or beer with a meal (not that any child under 16 has wanted it).
My eldest wasn't (isn't) sociable so the concept of him drinking except with family just didn't arise.
DS2 who is nearly 18 is far more a party animal. To my knowledge he has only been drunk once, but I do know that parties are only about drinking and large quantities are consumed - rum and vodka are the drinks of choice, although cider and lager seem to be taken too. If your child is going to parties after the age of 15/16 I think you can assume they are drinking, or at least surrounded by others who are.
I agree with those saying to de-mystify the whole alcohol thing.
Ours have been allowed to taste alcohol from when they were relatively small. Allowed to have a small amount in a glass at home with us from 15ish (but neither of my older ones were ever really bothered after the first try).
Talk about different sorts of alcohol with them - different strengths; the way spirits are masked by sweet flavours or by something like coke or lemonade; the dehydrating effects ; what you can do if you feel uncomfortable at a party; what you can do/say if you don't want to drink alcohol and others start to pressure you, etc.
Show them a good example - that it's fine to 'not drink' when others are, or it's fine to have one then switch to something without alcohol in it, that you don't have to do things 'because other people do'.
4 kids here (18-23)
I was livid when I discovered that DD2 had been given booze...by a parent..at a sleepover.. enough to make her sick...at 13
But by 15 I didn't mind if they were going to a party and were allowed a small amount... (say a glass of wine or a beer)
After 16 I was a little more relaxed... both girls got drunk once at that age, but not the boys. They didn't turn into raging boozers.
Now 23,22,21 and 18... youngest doesn't drink, 22 yr old can't hold alcohol so rarely has any. Both girls went to University and have got merrily plastered on a few occasions but are now in jobs which demand a clear head ( a doctor... boy do medics drink) and nurse( ditto) and rarely have anything!
I think that realistically kids over 14 WILL have something..even if you don't know.. and teaching them to respect their limits, bodies, and also how to help someone who has got horribly drunk and passed out...is a useful skill. Teaching them that it's ok to say no.. to drink, sex,..anything.. is also vital!
My problem is that I read that teenagers should not drink at all, not even small amounts - see the advice here:
But even in that article it emphasises the key thing is that when teens start to drink they need to learn how to do it responsibly.
Join the discussion
Please login first.