This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
DS (15) wants to take alcohol to a party - advice please(202 Posts)
DS is 15 and has never really shown any interest in drinking - so far. He has been invited to a party this weekend. The party is at the house of a nice family who have a quiet, well behaved daughter.
Everyone is taking alcohol to the party he says - and he can show me the facebook messages to prove it! I have said that I am not sending him off to this party with cans of cider/lager. He is only 15, I dont want to be responsible for him getting drunk at this party and if I do give him alcohol I dont know who else is going to end up drinking it.
But am I being too strict here? Would you be happy to let your 15 year old go to a party with alcohol? I am going to try and speak to another parent whose kids are going to this party but I need other opinions.
Do the parents at the house where he is going know there will be a party and one where everyone is bringing alcohol? They would be my first questions.
It is tough because at 15 I would have drunk at a party but as a parent I would worry about what kind of supervision there would be.
I'd say no. It's illegal.
You could always call the girl's parents to ask if they are happy for your son to rock up with alcohol. If he doesn't want you to call, it will be telling.
Yes this is an organised party, parents will be there. Do they know there is going to be alcohol? Not sure, I did think about ringing the Mum and asking her but is this going too far? Surely they will expect kids to turn up with alcohol and have planned for this (I would).
I feel out of my depth with this one. Do I allow him to take a couple of small bottles of something weak and hope the parents confiscate it if they dont want it there?
Just remembered that I had a small party for my 16th and got very very drunk. All the other guests were sensible and well behaved. I was in bed fully dressed and still wearing shoes at about 9pm.
Personally I'd give him a couple of cans of weak lager/cider and a chat about being responsible and earning trust etc. Then make sure you pick him up after the party, no sleepovers!
I'm with Welsh on this. A four pack of wkd or something and a pick up later on rather than the option of staying over.
Do you know for sure they will be there?
Not sure I would want his first taste of alcohol to be away from home in a situation where he may well feel pressured to get stupidly drunk.
I'd probably send him off with a couple of bottles of lager and lots of advice, including if you've finished both bottles fill one with water and drink that, then you don't lose face for having no more alcohol left. Or if he's a strong character that isn't easily led just switch to soft drink once they're finished.
Thanks all, that's helpful. There is always a danger that he is going to get his hands on alcohol at this party and get stupidly drunk anyway so I guess we need to have a good chat beforehand. And yes I definitely want him home at the end of the night. Oh for the days when you worried about them having a meltdown because they didn't win at pass the parcel or being ill from eating too much chocolate.
There is similar being planned at dds school. A house party & they are planning to take alcohol. I see her Facebook messages so have said she isn't going if there is going to be alcohol.
I'd give him a couple of weak cans or bottles.,
I'd let him take a couple bottles of cider or a 4 pack of alcopops! They aren't very strong.
80k it's not illegal, anyone between the ages of 5(!?) and 16 is allowed to drink alcohol on private premise like at a house party. It would only become illegal if the party moved to a public space like the park or a licensed premises!
I have been in exactly this situation and said no to taking alcohol. I know that my DS sometimes drinks when out, and I have gone down the route of discussions about sensible drinking rather than trying to impose a ban that will be impossible to enforce. However, I am not going to facilitate his drinking or that of his friends. If "everyone" is taking alcohol to the party, it sounds like there is going to be quite enough alcohol there already!
At 15 I'd let him take a couple of cans, and I wouldn't be letting him stay over. That's what I did when mine were younger teens.
It's a minefield, isn't it?
I'd say no. It's illegal.
Under what law?
Let's spell this out. I go to the fridge in my house, extract a bottle of beer, hand it to a fifteen year old child of mine who places it in their bag and goes to another house where they drink it in the company of other fifteen year olds. Assuming we're in the UK, who has broken which law?
The answer, in case you're on tenterhooks, is "no one" and "no law".
I was bought a small bottle of spirit by my parents when going to house party at 15. Their reasoning was at least they knew what I was drinking and it wasn't spiked. The conditions I was given were not to accept any alcohol from anyone and I was always collected from parties. They always knew I had barley drunk and was safe.
Not sure if it was the getting collected or having the fun taken out of drinking but never got drunk whilst I was 15 to 18!
When DH did his public license course, children aged 5-18 were allowed to drink alcohol in a pub or restaurant with a table meal with an adult..... that was in 2012.....
You are just on the cusp.
DS is now 16 1/2 and now usually goes to parties with beer (just weak lager - Budweiser etc). But a year ago I was having exactly the same conversations with him as you are with your DS.
I would do some digging - find out what other parents are doing (united front), and what the party-holder's parents think, what sort of event it is (supervision-wise).
You have to say yes at some point (let's face it, if there's booze about they will end up drinking whether or not they brought it along) - you have to decide when you feel comfortable saying yes. The first time we let DS take alcohol he was told in no uncertain terms that we were trusting him, and if he let us down, all such privileges would stop. I'm happy to say that he's been very sensible, and often comes home again with most of his beer untouched. He even made it through his prom after-party in one piece!
little isn't it 16-17 years old are allowed one alcoholic drink with their meal if they're with family, but the alcohol has to be beer or cider - spirits aren't allowed!
When DH did his public license course, children aged 5-18 were allowed to drink alcohol in a pub or restaurant with a table meal
He wasn't paying attention, or didn't tell you accurately.
You can drink wine, beer or cider with a meal (it might have to be at a table, I can't remember), the alcohol purchased by an accompanying over 18, on premises with a table license.
And most places know this: I've never had trouble buying beer for my children in pizza express, for example.
I'm doing this from memory as we came out of the business in 2013. Yes, that's a no to spirits.
I can't seem to find a link to what seems the old rules.
I may be mixing up what age you can drink at home and you are correct.
Sorry, I forgot to add to my correction the vital IF AGED 16 OR 17. Under 16s are not covered by this.
For DD's 16th I made a punch with sangria and lemonade. But others brought cider and lager.
Now she takes a bottle of some disgustingly sweet alco vodka stuff.
They will drink. Or not.
Get over it.