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not to 'endorse' an underage pissup?

(47 Posts)
thatbags Tue 12-Jan-16 19:04:58

Minibags (15) has been invited to the birthday sleepover of a friend who will be sixteen. Friend's mother has asked me to send her a text acknowledging that the fifteen and sixteen year olds will be supplied with alcoholic drinks. I'm pretty sure that some of them fully intend to get drunk. I don't feel I can send that text even though Minibags has never even tried a sip of any alcoholic drink DH and I might be having–peer group pressure (and drunken peer group pressure at that!) and all that. It's not that I don't trust her, more that I don't feel comfortable putting her in that position. Nor do I feel comfortable being put in the position I've been put in by friend's mother!

Sometimes I hate being a parent.

baubles Wed 13-Jan-16 08:12:55

The sleepover/party sounds as though it could be an uncomfortable experience for a fifteen year old who doesn't want to partake of alcohol. It wouldn't be the safest environment in which to try drinking for the first time either.

The birthday girl's mother is doing her no favours.

Penstemmon Wed 13-Jan-16 08:43:27

No, no no! Irresponsible mother asking the question of you in 1st place. If it is 'just' a small glass of bubbly then ask that particular question, ' Would you allow minibags to have one small glass of bubbly' at the party. The way it is worded sounds Un thought through! I would be wary!

Iam64 Wed 13-Jan-16 09:14:19

thatbags - do let us know the outcome of your discussions with mini bags and the mother of the birthday girl.

One of my daughters was the youngest in her year but only a school year apart from her older sister. When the older group were reaching 16th birthdays the two year groups planned a get together at our local (alcohol free) teenage bar/dance venue. My youngest asked me if she could go and a rather long discussion followed. I eventually and reluctantly agreed that she could go. Her response was "you don't want me to do you mum, you really don't want me to go". I slowly realised she wanted me to say no, so she could tell the other girls she'd wanted to go but mean old mum wouldn't let her. So I said firmly but with a smile, No X, you are not allowed to go there till next year, you are far too young. Job done.

Best of luck bags - the only thing more difficult than being a 15 year old girl imo, is being the mother of a 15 year old girl.

Jane10 Wed 13-Jan-16 09:26:59

Absolutely right! Hope it goes down OK. I know you'll not want to be a 'clype' (good Scots word for grass) but might this be of interest to the school? I know we were always getting letters from the HT about the evils of this sort of thing. I bet other parents feel the same as you and might welcome some more formal guidance.

thatbags Wed 13-Jan-16 09:39:53

Thank you all! Gransnet is such a help in situations like this. I knew all along my instincts were right (right enough anyhow!) and all these comments confirm that. Between you, you have covered all the points that were trooping through my head, things like the possibility of an alcoholic midnight feast scenario which I don't think Minibags would be comfortable at, the legal aspect, and more.

Like several of you, I've no problem with teenagers having an occasional alcoholic drink in a situation such as a dinner or a party where adults are present and where the purpose is not to get pissed but simply to enjoy an alcoholic drink in a non-riotous social setting. Thinking back, I think Minibags did accept a small taste of champagne when we were celebrating her sister's university degree graduation. She didn't like it enough to drink all of the quarter glass we gave her to try, so I cannot imagine her feeling comfortable with a bunch of girls who, according to her, have all been imbibing alcoholic drinks since they were twelve.

Several of you mentioned peer pressure. I felt I was being subjected to parental peer pressure too. It might have felt different if I'd known the parents but I don't. Then there is the peer pressure on her if she went. Just imagining what that could be like makes me shudder – it's hard enough to stand up to it when you're a mature adult and know your own mind, never mind when you're just fifteen.

In the end, I told M to tell her pal that if I sent a text it would say that I didn't want her to have alcoholic drinks (I also told her I wanted a promise from her that she would be sensible). She was OK with that. Message came back, via the birthday girl (at no point has birthday girl's parent contacted me directly, which is another thing that makes me feel uneasy: it's all a bit too casual for comfort), that the others wouldn't be allowed alcohol if M wasn't. Since the apparent purpose of the party/sleepover is an experiment in getting drunk, I don't think M's presence at the event would be all that welcome!!

So now I'm hoping and praying (atheistically of course!) that it is in fact a bit of a relief to M that she has to turn down the invitation. It's certainly a relief to me. Sad because I'd have had no problem with a "girls being silly" sleepover. Too many people seem to think you can't have fun without being drugged one way or another

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 09:49:34

Really odd that the mother hasn't emailed you direct. Mb is definitely best off out of it. Wonder what other mothers think of it. And if all the other kids will accept.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 09:50:12

Sorry. Didn't mean to put the 'Mb' in bold! Force of habit.

vegasmags Wed 13-Jan-16 09:51:35

Coming to this discussion a bit late but on the side of those who think allowing M to go and drink is asking for trouble, so good for you bags. When my own kids were in their teens we had problems in that the local pubs would seem to serve anyone over 14! My DD didn't really like alcohol and would just have the odd glass of cider. My DS was a bit more of a problem but fortunately played lacrosse with a team of veterans, who would buy him a beer but kept an eye on him. In their 40's now, DD drinks from time to time, but DS is virtually teetotal.

I was quite shocked when 3/4 years ago, my nephew gave a party for his DD's 16th and had a garage stocked with booze for the guests. One of the boys got horribly drunk, decided to use the trampoline in the back garden, fell off and fractured his skull. Young people do daft things without the stimulus of alcohol, but add that to the mix and you are asking for trouble.

Granarchist Wed 13-Jan-16 09:54:52

Wow - it sounds as if M has escaped what might turn out to be a very unpleasant experience. I am fairly appalled at the parents of the birthday girl. If we lived in the US it would be a criminal offence in some states to offer alcohol to this age group even in a private home. I'm afraid we had no birthday parties here between the ages of 12 and 18 - treats, days out, etc etc yes, but parties, no. 30 yrs ago in the next door village some parents gave a very smart party for 16 yr olds, served masses of alcohol, of course none of the girls had eaten before the party so it turned very nasty, with the result that no-one within a 20 miles radius tried to repeat the performance for years. The birthday girl ended up in tears begging people to go home. Dreadful. All because her parents thought they were being 'cool'.

Well done you and well done your daughter.

Penstemmon Wed 13-Jan-16 11:01:56

Just a you think the party girl's mum needed moral support from other parents to say No alcohol?

I remember one time as a teacher there was a bout of 'swearing' in class so we made the rule that if everyone agreed they could use rude words..I & TA were also to be consulted. We said no swearing and this allowed other kids to say the same without looking like spoilsports! It turned out onlty 2 or 3 thought it would be OK!

downtoearth Wed 13-Jan-16 11:06:55

Remember very well DD had a friend with a cool mum with a very well stocked bar of all sorts of alcohol. Without out warning DD arrived home 5pm out of her skull after an afternoon being allowed to do what they liked while mum spent the afternoon in bed with dad...mum had a cool job and worked all hours I was a stay at home mum,few months later same 15 year old came to me thinking she might be pregnant ,she couldn't talk to mum and envied my DD for having mum always there on hand.

Penstemmon Wed 13-Jan-16 11:16:27

The grass is always greener!

What looks exciting and attractive from a distance is often difficult and dangerous in reality hmm

downtoearth Wed 13-Jan-16 11:16:55

Fortunately this hasn't arisen with E who is soon to be 17.I have offered a small glass of wine or fizz on sociable occasions,and fortunately does not appear to be impressed.Smoking was a passing phase,I said that I was happy for her to do so,but I was concerned of implications on health , she would have to fund it herself.She soon realised it was expensive and her pocket money soon went so no outings with friends....the phase very quickly died a natural death never to be heard of again smile

M0nica Wed 13-Jan-16 11:29:01

From what I have read in the papers drink and drugs are much less popular with the 15 - 20 age group. A significant proprotion (I think as much as 45%) have not even experimented with drugs and are teetotal.

I know under 18s are not meant to drink, but certainly in the past many did.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 11:31:48

That's very encouraging M0nica. Good to hear that.

loopylou Wed 13-Jan-16 16:19:53

I think the mother is being very irresponsible- I've seen too many comatose teenagers who've been drinking underage. It neither smart nor clever.

If it's a mixed sex party then consequences could be even more serious- I've known and supported pregnant 14 year olds who can't identify the father because they were drunk.....very, very sad.

I'm not anti alcohol, mine could have a very small glass of wine occasionally when mid teens and luckily they didn't like it!

Luckygirl Wed 13-Jan-16 18:40:20

I think loopy is right to point up the dangers of acting irresponsibly under the influence of alcohol. When I was working we had mothers from the age of 11 upwards and even all that time ago it was often alcohol that had been implicated.

loopylou Wed 13-Jan-16 18:47:11

It reminds me of when I delivered a 12 year old girl who didn't even know she was pregnant, or how it happened because she had been drinking cheap scrumpy cider with a group of friends.
That was 35 years ago, and the experience still haunts me, dreadful.

Luckygirl Wed 13-Jan-16 18:51:48

Yes - I worked with a lass who did not know she was pregnant and delivered the baby herself on the floor of her bedroom - she then wrapped it in a plastic bag and put it under her bed. Needless to say it died. All ghastly.

Iam64 Wed 13-Jan-16 19:36:10

Bags - I wonder what the mother organising the party would make of all the true examples of the impact of alcohol on young women?

Elrel Fri 15-Jan-16 02:11:35

The birthday girl saying that if your granddaughter didn't have permission to drink no one could sounds so manipulative. Also worrying that the other girls have been drinking since they were 12. I'm sure you, and Mb, are doing the right thing!