Ex giving teenage children alcohol

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Hi All

I'm looking for a bit of perspective and advice on this!

My kids are 16 and 18. At my house the eldest can obviously drink what she likes although I drum into her the usual stuff about not mixing drinks, generally not drinking on weekdays etc.

The youngest is allowed an occasional beer or cider on special family occasions or when we have visitors.

Last Christmas when the eldest was 17 my ex allowed her to have as much booze as she liked when she was with him one day. She came home hopelessly drunk and was hungover the next day. I wasn't impressed and said so to my ex but his attitude was that it was his house, his rules and it wouldn't hurt her once in a while.

However, he allows the youngest to have alcohol most nights he is staying with him (4 nights a fortnight). Last week he allowed him to have a cider and a beer - this was on a school night - and the following night my son had to go to bed early as he was a bit hungover.

I'm concerned that on the nights my youngest is with him this Christmas/New Year he will be allowed to drink more than is appropriate for a 16 year old.

I'm sure some of you will say I am too buttoned up and it is all fine - but I really don't feel that way. Any one else agree?

M.x
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  • Izadora
    Izadora Posts: 2,047 Forumite
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    I can see why you don't want them drinking, especially to excess, but I also think that they're teenagers and if it's something they want to do then they're going to do it whether you like it or not.
    You therefore have the choice of allowing them to drink at home, where there's an adult to supervise and make sure they're safe, or they're likely to drink with friends where there's no way you can control the strength or amount of booze they're having.

    I do think that your ex is being inconsiderate though by not being willing to discuss a compromise rather than just "my house, my rules".
  • AylesburyDuck
    AylesburyDuck Posts: 939 Forumite
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    edited 20 December 2016 at 12:34PM
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    All you can do is instill a sense of responsibility, then it's down (rightly or wrongly) to your kids wether they apply it. However if you push too hard most 16 year old will rebel.
    There come a point in life where you have to trust you've taught them well, you may well find that after novelty has worn off and hangovers fail to be fun he says "no thanks Dad not tonight".
    If you make things a big deal, they generaly start to become a big deal.
    ,
    Fully paid up member of the ignore button club.
    If it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck, it's a Duck.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    He may allow them to do it in his house but it's the kids who are choosing to do it.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,341 Forumite
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    Not an ideal situation: the good thing is that you can talk about it with them, safe in the knowledge that it is not their fault (so they know that they will not be blamed and so can be honest) and they know that you know about it (so again they can be honest). So do have that conversation: ask them to describe how the alcohol made them feel at the time and later; did they enjoy the hangover; how well they coped with school... That conversation could easily lead to them deciding for themselves what limits are sensible.
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    Not an ideal situation: the good thing is that you can talk about it with them, safe in the knowledge that it is not their fault (so they know that they will not be blamed and so can be honest) and they know that you know about it (so again they can be honest). So do have that conversation: ask them to describe how the alcohol made them feel at the time and later; did they enjoy the hangover; how well they coped with school... That conversation could easily lead to them deciding for themselves what limits are sensible.

    What isn't their fault?
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    Whilst I don't agree with him letting your daughter get legless, I think that was a pretty cruel thing to do, I don't have a problem with teenagers drinking at home. It goes some way to removing the mystique and rebellion of drinking and I would far rather they discovered the good and bad effects of alcohol in the safety of home rather than walking the streets sharing a bottle of White Lightening with their mates.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • LKRDN_Morgan
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    Not an ideal situation: the good thing is that you can talk about it with them, safe in the knowledge that it is not their fault (so they know that they will not be blamed and so can be honest) and they know that you know about it (so again they can be honest). So do have that conversation: ask them to describe how the alcohol made them feel at the time and later; did they enjoy the hangover; how well they coped with school... That conversation could easily lead to them deciding for themselves what limits are sensible.

    Ah come on. You ask any teenager and they'll tell you they loved being drunk and the hangover was a small price to pay. In fact do real hangovers even exist under the age of 21? You haven't experienced a hangover until you genuinely feel near death and a fry up is the only thing that will save you. Teenagers are too young to get that!

    OP sorry I don't have anything massively constructive to add except it's better for them to be drinking at home than out with their friends.
  • Out,_Vile_Jelly
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    Drinking alcohol socially, with a meal, and in a family context is a far better introduction than necking some rough cider in the park with their mates.

    Just remind your teens that eating and drinking too much at Christmas can make you feel rubbish the next day, and that it's perfectly acceptable to politely say No to the offer of a drink, just as it is to more food if you're already full.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
  • Silvertabby
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    He may allow them to do it in his house but it's the kids who are choosing to do it.

    But they're not kids any more, are they? I started work at 15 and was in the Armed Forces by 18. They're old enough to listen to your advice re the dangers of drinking too much, and to be able to work out for themselves that they must impose their own 'limits'.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    They are his kids as much as yours. In his, he can choose how much alcohol he allows them to drink. You feel this is too much - and, to be honest, I'd probably side with you.

    It's not good being drunk, especially when you're too young... on the other hand, it's better that they learn how awful being drunk is while under his roof and then handed over to you.

    You won't stop them drinking.... they will all experiment. You could say it's a "good thing" they've experimented under his roof and not at the local recreation ground.

    However, the fact is, they will also probably drink at the recreation ground - but at least they'll go into that experience not being "egged on" by the bigger boys because they've never been drunk before.

    It's a tough world out there .... no harm done.

    Yes it's wrong; yes it's !!!!; yes many would consider it poor parenting. But what's done's done ... and only time will tell if this was good or bad for your children as they're all individuals.

    I'd be furious as the parent having a kid returned in that state. I'd feel sorry for myself if I were the teen being returned, wretched and sick.

    This is just one of those times you need to step back and breathe deeply and say "there's no point going apesh1t at him" and try to ensure your kids understand what they did, ask how they felt about it at the time and the morning after... open up the discussion about alcohol, rather than turning the whole subject into a warzone.
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