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16 year olds and alcohol
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Sturmundcalm · 17/12/2016 21:23

DD is away to a party tonight, and we refused to give her any alcohol to take with her.she was at a different party at the same house a few months ago and the parents provided alcohol and DD had a couple of vodkas (with Fanta - so classy!).

Neither of us is keen to start down the route of encouraging/facilitating drinking but the peer pressure is definitely increasing... For info, she's 16.5 and while it's just a birthday party they have all just finished their prelims and she has got 6 As, she'll be at sports training in the morning and performing as part of both choir and orchestra at the school concert on Monday night- so pretty engaged/active and she does talk to us about most things.

Are we being unreasonable? My view is that if you provide alcohol you up the ante, whereas without our approval she might have a few drinks but is less likely to go overboard. But is EVERY other parent really providing some??

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iamadaftcoo · 17/12/2016 21:24

Yanbu IMO, drinking culture in the U.K. is bloody horrid.

I used to hate all the pressure to drink when I was a teen.

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INeedNewShoes · 17/12/2016 21:30

I think that the type and amount of alcohol on offer at the party needs to firmly be in the control of the parents who are hosting the party under their roof. They need to take responsibility for it if they are allowing this situation.

I had alcohol at my 16th but the amount and variety was chosen by my parents so that there was only enough for 2 or 3 drinks each.

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MoreCrackThanHarlem · 17/12/2016 21:31

My view is that if you provide alcohol you up the ante, whereas without our approval she might have a few drinks but is less likely to go overboard.

Ime the opposite is true. I provide my dd, same age as yours, with a suitable amount of drinks (usually 4 small cans of Malibu and Coke, or 3 fruit ciders). Some of her friend's parents do similar. The rules are that she she drinks only what I provide.

The friends whose parents say no drinking at all tend to beg, borrow or steal what they can. Last party this was a large pop bottle filled with vodka, brandy and rum from somebody's drinks cabinet. The girls that drank it were horrendously drunk and very sick.

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Sturmundcalm · 17/12/2016 21:34

I didn't drink till I was 23 and do remember avoiding lots of parties to stay away from being hassled!

The parents apparently had beer and wine available to anyone at last party (which did include some 14/15yos) but also bought the vodka for their own DD. My dh used to work with one of the parents in addiction services so we were a bit surprised/unamused!

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ExitPursuedBySantaSpartacus · 17/12/2016 21:35

I've read that today's youths drink far less than previous generations. I provided DD with flavoured cider when she was 16. She has gone to a party tonight with a very small bottle of Bacardi.

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Sturmundcalm · 17/12/2016 21:37

Fair enough Harlem - def not our DD so far (she hasn't stayed away overnight or anything so we are confident of that).

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AndNoneForGretchenWieners · 17/12/2016 21:39

My son is 16 and I've never stopped him drinking - I've allowed him wine with dinner from a relatively young age and I don't know if it's because of that or despite it, but he can take or leave alcohol. He likes a pear or cherry cider, and mulled wine, but doesn't go out drinking with friends and on occasions I've been buying booze for me and DH, and have asked DS what he wants, he usually chooses lucozade.

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JustSpeakSense · 17/12/2016 21:44

My son is 16, and will have the occasional beer at home. When going to parties, I allow him to take 4 fruit ciders. I would rather know what he is consuming than have him getting drinks from another source.

He has never arrived home drunk, and seems to have a sensible attitude to drink.

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corythatwas · 17/12/2016 21:53

I've never provided anything. My attitude is that if you are old enough to go to parties, then you are old enough to behave sensibly without me having to do something I don't feel comfortable with.

From what I hear from dd, sending them off with a "gentle" option is absolutely no guarantee that they won't get rat-arsed on somebody else's vodka anyway. The only guarantee is if they decide that they want to behave responsibly.

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BlueClearSkies · 18/12/2016 08:32

I always gave my DS, larger or cider to take to parties, or just for Friday night when they would meet up.

Often they would come to mine on a Friday night. My rules were no more than 10 and to tidy up afterwards. I would always provide beer and cider, plus pizza, crisps and brownies. My hope was that they would eat and not get too drunk. For the most part Friday nights were incident free. They would have a few drinks, get very chatty for a while, then watch a film and fall asleep. I would hear them leaving in the early hours.

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ThroughThickAndThin01 · 18/12/2016 08:38

My 16 year olds take low alcohol drink to parties. Much rather they drank that then necked vodka. No problems so far. My now 20 year old barely drinks at all after drinking from 15/16.

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Motheroffourdragons · 18/12/2016 08:38

We had a 16th birthday party for one of ours some years ago. I had bought in some alcopops , but nearly passed out when I saw the quantity of alcohol the guests brought with them.
It is all very well saying the parents at the party are in control, but it is not always the case. The other kids' parents dropped them off so must have known what they were bringing.
Anyway, all was fine in the end, nobody died, but there was no way anybody else in our house was having a 16th birthday party ever again Shock

I don't really know what the answer is - it is a very difficult one. I never gave mine any to take with them but it seems there was always plenty to go round.

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MissAsippi · 18/12/2016 08:46

Worth noting that the country's where drinking is acceptable from much younger are also the country's with the lowest alcoholism and binge drinking rates. My friend from Spain was shocked at how drunk people get here as it just isn't really done that much over there because they learn about alcohol and have access to it from early on, so it takes away that "forbidden" appeal

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TheSecondOfHerName · 18/12/2016 10:31

We used to refuse to provide alcohol for DS1 to take to parties, as we felt it was condoning under-age drinking. Despite this, there were several occasions when he was inebriated by the end of the party; once to the point of vomiting. At most parties, there is punch available, which contains a random mixture of drinks, including spirits. Also, we discovered that some hosting parents are happy to supply alcohol (including vodka) to other people's children.

When he turned 16, we agreed to provide two bottles of beer for him to take to each party. Since then, he has never come home drunk.

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corythatwas · 18/12/2016 18:30

MissAsipi, several of those countries have horrendous problems with high rates of liver damage, so I'm not sure that's something we should be emulating.

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DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen · 18/12/2016 18:36

I'd give a low alcohol drink for her to take.

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GasLightShining · 18/12/2016 19:52

TheSecondOfHerName my DS started going to parties at 15 (Y11 and an august baby). The ones who got much more drunk than others seem to be the ones whose parents disallowed alcohol.

DS was allowed 3/4 bottles of lager. Same applied to DD

DD rarely drinks and is 21. DS is at university and does go out drinking but not too much (we are transferring money to him so know that the frequency of this is not allowing for too much drinking).

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lljkk · 18/12/2016 20:10

It's really hard... there's lots of alcoholism in my family so i'd love DC to just be teetotal.

2nd best is I check there are supervising adults in the vicinity & I supply very low alcohol % item with lectures about how they'll face all the consequences if they do stupid stuff. I don't think they'll suddenly get it right if they do nothing until 18... I still have some influence in how they do alcohol at 16 so I might get them started in right direction.

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Sundayafternoonblues · 18/12/2016 21:40

I don't provide my 16-year-old DS with alcohol to take out. I know that he does drink and we have frequent conversations about keeping his drinking within sensible limits. My attitude is that I would prefer him not to drink at all. I am not going to attempt to impose an unenforceable ban, but nor am I going to facilitate his drinking by providing him with alcohol. Touch wood, things have been OK so far. He generally returns home sober. There have been a couple of times when he has returned home a bit cheerful, but nothing worse than that.

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BackforGood · 20/12/2016 00:51

Once mine have got into 6th form, I've preferred to facilitate them having a couple of cans / bottles of cider / beer rather than them drinking any stuff they can get their hands on, and being more likely to mix things. Plus, I've always believed it's only polite to take a bottle to a party.
The most important thing is to have talked to them / to keep talking to them about awareness. Stuff like mixing drinks is bad. Drinking a glass of water inbetween every other drink it good. Drinking on an empty stomach is bad. Letting other people give you things / pour you things when you don't know what is in them is bad. Making sure you walk about, and preferably get some fresh air is good. Doing other things - like dancing - is good, just standing with drink in hand and nothing else to do with hands is bad.... etc.,etc. Educate them. Talk to them about looking out for one another, and what to do if a friend makes a mistake and gets paralytic.

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Sturmundcalm · 20/12/2016 16:51

Thanks everyone- have discussed responses. think we're still not comfortable supplying alcohol, and do expect her to be sensible no matter what!

She's not keen on beer/wine/cider, so it would be supplying spirits and we're just not going there at this point- apparently everyone was having jack Daniels and coke on Saturday night...

Will see how it goes but at least slightly reassured by varying views.

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Kel1234 · 20/12/2016 17:07

I think it is almost inevitable that young people today have more peer pressure to drink.
That said, I was always allowed to drink when I was growing up, my parents always said that they would sooner I was drinking in front of them, so they knew what I was drinking and that it was proper stuff, rather than drinking cheap stuff in secret behind their backs. Because I was allowed it, I learnt to be responsible with drinking, and now my tolerance is a lot higher than a lot of people my age and even older. And I never get hangovers and always remember what's happened.
I'd let my child drink at that age, but I wouldn't want to provide alcohol for others unless I knew that their parents were 100% okay with them drinking, and what they were allowed.
(For example, I was allowed a small drop of wine filled up with lemonade on special occasions like Christmas, from the age of 10. When I was a teenager I was allowed a weak spirit and mixer, or alcopops like WKD, Smirnoff ice or Bacardi breezers. Then from 18 I could drink whatever I wanted).
I will be the same with my children, rather they do it in front of me than behind my back

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Giddyaunt18 · 20/12/2016 17:12

I am horrified by the amount of encouraged drinking amongst my DD's friends. We haven't allowed he to drink but she has been going to parties where parents of 14/15 yr olds have supplied cider etc. Really makes me cross as they haven't check with other parents that this is ok and the peer pressure is great. So far our DD has told us she has had 1 Smirnoff Ice at a couple of parties. We now ALWAYS collect her so no sleepovers after a party. At least then she knows we will find out.

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GasLightShining · 21/12/2016 22:40

My DD used to take archers and lemonade bought ready mixed. Alcohol content was about 5% as opposed to the alcohol content of it neat and then not mixing it with much lemonade.

If you do get to a point where you are going to go there Tesco sell cans of JD & coke, vodka & cranberry and such like.

However you need to do what you are comfortable with

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