Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: RubySlippers on January 04, 2007, 03:13:32 PM

Title: Underage drinkers
Post by: RubySlippers on January 04, 2007, 03:13:32 PM
I am at a loss as to how to handle this.  I feel that I handled it poorly at the time, but I'm not sure what I should have done.
Christmas eve my friend, her husband, and kids came over for our traditional get together.  We do a small gift exchange (it used to be a way to let the little ones open a present before Xmas day) and have a glass of wine & some nice snackies.
This year she brings over some Bailey's (for coffees) and 4 vodka coolers.  Her older children (both over legal age of 19) took 2 of the coolers and then she gave the other coolers to her daughter & my son - both only 15!  I balked at this.  We don't usually even have alcohol in the house.  My husband does not drink at all (due to a dodgy family history with alcohol) and I just don't bother much except on special occasions, and my friend knows this.
I was made to feel like the Grinch because I didn't think 15 year olds should be drinking. ("but it's only 7%???)  I finally gave in with stern warnings to youngieson that he had better make it last because there would be no more coming.  We then dropped the subject and went on to have a nice evening.
I don't know what to do now.  I feel like I gave in to peer pressure and set a bad example and now I feel like crap.  But now I am also wondering if the kids drink at her house when they go there.  I can't forbid my son to visit his friend, and  I don't want to lose my friend. 
I already seem to have a bit of a reputation with this friend as a "prude" about raising my boys but I don't think this is a negotiable area.
Help!
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kingsrings on January 04, 2007, 03:29:57 PM
Holy cow. She has absolutely no right to be giving your children alcohol in the first place, and most definitely is out of line for acting like you had a problem  when you protested. What she is doing is illegal and is setting a bad example for her kids that they can participate in illegal activities. She sounds like one of those parents who thinks it's okay to let her kids drink, do drugs, etc., as long as she is there with them. Yeah, just give in to what the kids want to do rather than teach them right and wrong.

I understand you don't want to lose your friend or deprive your kids of their friendship with her kids (it's not their fault, after all), but like I said, what she is doing is illegal and potentially dangerous. You can have a serious, heart-to-heart discussion with her and explain your rules to her, and hopefully you will both come to the agreement that no alcohol is to be served to your children at her house. Or if you don't think she will honor this, or if she refuses, you will have to set the rule that your kids are forbidden to be in her house without you present. And is she wants to end the friendship over this, it will be very sad, but it's not worth compromising your kid's safety and well-being over.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on January 04, 2007, 03:34:43 PM
MrsYoungie, I sympathize with being caught off guard.  It sounds like you are really against your 15 year old drinking, so perhaps next time being firmer with your 'no' would be appropriate.  If she wants to let her kids drink, it shouldnt be in your house (yes, you are liable for that, just ask the parents that held a post-prom (read:drinking) party at their house, who were then arrested.  Yes, they took everyone's keys, but underage is underage).  A simple "no drinks for the underage people"  should suffice, and if she presses, a "if you would like your children to have alcohol, please do it in your own home.  I cannot condone those actions or accept liability for them.'

If you are worried about your child drinking at her house, ask her, and ask your child.  Have a talk with both of them - separately - about what is appropriate.  She should abide by your wishes, and if she doesnt, I suggest monitoring your son's contact with that family more closely, and limiting it, if it goes too far.  

I am glad you continued to have a good time, and whether she thinks you are a prude or not, dont be afraid to have a backbone on this one.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Gileswench on January 04, 2007, 03:39:23 PM
In addition to kingsrings excellent points, I'd like to note that in a lot of places if the underage drinkers were caught, the host of the party would be considered legally responsible for the fact they'd been served alcohol.

If I go to a vegetarian's house for dinner, I do not expect to be served meat. If I go into a dry house, I do not expect to be offered liquor. If someone comes into my house, they'd best not expect to be allowed to smoke indoors. Just because your friend brought her own doesn't mean she has any business offering alcohol to minors in your home.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Lunadiana75 on January 04, 2007, 03:42:11 PM
Back up the truck!  Way way way out of line on your friend's part!  She should have asked you first, and respected your wishes.  Period.  You were not a Grinch, you were a Parent!

My parents allowed my brother and I small amounts of wine or champagne at special occasions when we were teenagers.  But that was their decision, as our parents, and it was never more than a small amount. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Lisbeth on January 04, 2007, 03:42:33 PM
I think you need to have a firm talk with your friend and set some non-negotiable boundaries:
1) She is not to serve alcohol to your children at any time.  Period.
2) She is not to bring it into your home without your permission.
3) If she is not willing to abide by those boundaries, your children will not be permitted in her home or in her company unsupervised.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: RubySlippers on January 04, 2007, 03:54:17 PM
This is going to be hard.  I am a very non-confrontational person.  I plan on talking to my son.  Actually we have talked about this already.  I make no bones about it - I very deliberately sniff him when he comes home from anywhere.  I sniff for alcohol, smoke, pot, whatever.
Hopefully this problem won't arise for another 12 months, at which time she wil be warned in advance not to bring drinks for the kids.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: hobish on January 04, 2007, 06:05:28 PM
Wow, i can totally understand how you were caught off guard, too. Isn't it odd how you expect things like that & "peer pressure" to just sort of be gone by the time you're an adult?

I think i am one of the more liberal e-hellions & even i agree that your friend was out of line. You've got every right to be peeved. Talking to your friend about it doesn't have to be confrontational, and hopefully she won't make it out to be. A gentle but firm "Next time please ask before you offer children alcohol in my home & listen to my response w/o arguing with me about it. It's my roof & my kids, please respect my wishes," sort of thing could do it, maybe?

I am guessing you are in Canada, since you said legal age of 19? Odd how down here in the US it would be an even bigger deal because 21 is "of age," and i think most of Europe doesn't even have a drinking age, so it would be a non-issue. ( I could be wrong there, just conjecturing.) Not trying to thread-jack; it's just kind of interesting.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: sammycat on January 04, 2007, 06:30:12 PM
I agree with all the other posters.  We rarely have alcohol in our house either, as I don't like the taste and DH isn't fussed either way.  I don't care if legal age (18 in Australia) people bring alcohol to our house and drink it but I would very definitely put my foot down if they offered it to my underage children, or any underage children actually.  (Considering they're only 6 and 10 now that hopefully won't be arising in the near future. lol).

Also too, I'm assuming you're in either the US or Canada, where driving lessons seem to be taught in schools from the age of about 16?  What happens if this friend offers her child, or someone else's, alcohol and they drink and drive?

I know it can be hard when you're caught on the hop like you were, but hopefully this "friend" will listen next time you say no to something as serious as this.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Musicwoman on January 04, 2007, 07:24:59 PM
She was so far out of line you'd need a telescope just to find the vapour trail.

If your house is usually dry she needs to respect that.  And if anyone offered alcohol to my 15-year old AGAINST MY EXPRESS WISHES IN MY OWN HOUSE I would throw her out. 

The first place to start is with your son.  Does he know about his father's family history with alcohol?  Does he understand that makes him more likely to suffer alcohol addiction himself (it's hereditary - I am the widow of an alcoholic and know that of which I speak!).  If not, it's probably time he does. 

In my experience teenagers do respond to logic and reasons.  "Don't drink alcohol because I say not to" is probably not going to fly.  "If you choose to drink alcohol, these are the likely consequences" works better.  Their mouths (and part of their brains) says "but that won't happen to ME" but the information sinks in, swirls around and often does come out as changed behaviour. 

Sit down with your son and husband and together thrash out a Drug and Alcohol Policy Agreement.  The key word is TOGETHER.  Your son needs to have his chance to have input, and to have his suggestions treated with respect and consideration.  If his suggestions are not possible, he needs reasons why; "because we say not" will probably not be accepted as a good reason.  Of course you will have non-negotioable areas and these should be made clear in advance of any negotiation.

The Agreement should contain penalties for infraction.  This includes penalties for you and your husband if you break your part of the agreement.  You should also make it explicit that this agreement is made In Good Faith; that is, no party will try and weasel out of their obligations by sticking to the letter and not the spirit.

You can protect him against peer pressure to drink to a certain extent, but you need to train him to be his own policeman.  That does not necessarily mean allowing him alcohol on the grounds that it teaches him to drink sensibly (a common practice) if you object to it.  It does mean teaching him to consider the consequences of his actions, to himself and other people. 

You also need to tell your friend not to bring alcohol into your house any more.  Your house, your rules.  Also tell her that if you can't trust her not to defy your parenting wishes right in front of you, no more unsupervised visits to her house for your son.  Have her son over instead.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Suze on January 04, 2007, 07:41:29 PM
In Ohio (USA) it is only legal to give alcohol to YOUR child and only in your presence.  If you hand it to a child who is not yours. it is illegal. Period. End of statement.

Saying that, this woman had no right to liqure up your son, and you could have had her arrested for it.

We had a "graduation party" (high school) in our area last year where the PARENTS of the graduating child had several kegs of beer for the party.  At a rented hall, needless to say, police showed up and every child that was underage (21) was counted up and the parents were given a $1000.00 fine PER CHILD.  If I remember correctly it was somewhere in the neiborhood of 100 children. 

Yes $100,000.00 fine.  And for once the judge didn't suspend it.

But - Man it was some Party!!
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: sammycat on January 04, 2007, 08:53:49 PM
Good on the judge. :D  Good to see one that has some common sense.

Here in Australia the end of year 12 is marked by a thing called "Schoolies".  It's where a lot of kids go a particular beach suburb and party hard for a week or so  (drink, drugs etc).  The thing with being in Queensland is that most kids are still only 17 when they graduate.  Parents go and buy their kids alcohol to take with them, as 18 is the legal drinking age.  I don't care how uncool I seem (to the kids) but I will not under any circumstances be buying my underage children alcohol at any point.  My younger child will only be 16 when he graduates and I doubt I'll be letting either of them actually attend schoolies. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Venus193 on January 04, 2007, 10:24:25 PM
This year she brings over some Bailey's (for coffees) and 4 vodka coolers.  Her older children (both over legal age of 19) took 2 of the coolers and then she gave the other coolers to her daughter & my son - both only 15!  I balked at this.  We don't usually even have alcohol in the house.  My husband does not drink at all (due to a dodgy family history with alcohol) and I just don't bother much except on special occasions, and my friend knows this.
You are absolutely right; 15-year-olds have no business drinking and this friend appalls me because she knows of your DH's family history. 

Alcohol is very bad for a developing brain as well as body.  There are all sorts of studies about this.  There is also good news:  If a person with this family history abstains from booze until after 20 years old, he is at relatively little risk of becoming a full-blown alcoholic.  Hold the line as long as you can!
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Clara Bow on January 04, 2007, 11:53:39 PM
You should not have bent on that one, sorry. But you cannot give alcohol to a fifteen year old, especially when it violates your principles. It is against the law. I don't care how low the percentage is, alcohol is alcohol. If you were caught you could have faced serious legal trouble.
I'm glad you discussed it with your son, and I hope that will be the last you hear of it. But I think that you need to talk to this friend also. I mean, what if she were to serve alcohol to your son in her house? Tell her that you do not condone underage drinking and that you cannot allow your children to partake in it. Period.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: MadMadge43 on January 05, 2007, 12:03:54 AM
I would give an underage soldier a beer in my house, with or without her mothers permission.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: hobish on January 05, 2007, 01:27:53 AM
I would give an underage soldier a beer in my house, with or without her mothers permission.

I would, too, in principle; but the OP & host had expressed her wishes when the alcohol was offered. As she was the host, her wishes should have been followed.

In Ohio (USA) it is only legal to give alcohol to YOUR child and only in your presence.  If you hand it to a child who is not yours. it is illegal. Period. End of statement.

Saying that, this woman had no right to liqure up your son, and you could have had her arrested for it.

We had a "graduation party" (high school) in our area last year where the PARENTS of the graduating child had several kegs of beer for the party.  At a rented hall, needless to say, police showed up and every child that was underage (21) was counted up and the parents were given a $1000.00 fine PER CHILD.  If I remember correctly it was somewhere in the neiborhood of 100 children. 

Yes $100,000.00 fine.  And for once the judge didn't suspend it.

But - Man it was some Party!!

I didn't know that. Good for Ohio for having some sense. I have no idea if NJ has simlar laws about that, but by the time i was 15 or 16 i was allowed to have a wine cooler at family bbq's, or a glass of wine with special dinners. It was nice to feel grown up & i think actually taught me more responsibility than if i had been unleashed at 21 having never had a single drink before.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Hawkwatcher on January 05, 2007, 03:27:53 AM
I would give an underage soldier a beer in my house, with or without her mothers permission.

There is a big difference between serving an underage soldier, who is an adult, and a fifteen-year old who is still living at home.  In this case, the OP's guest was rude for not checking with the OP before offering the son alcohol and she was rude arguing with the OP.  Even if she thought that the OP was a prude for not saying "no," she should respect the OP's right to make that decision. 
 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: L1NDSAY on January 05, 2007, 09:30:05 AM

I didn't know that. Good for Ohio for having some sense. I have no idea if NJ has simlar laws about that, but by the time i was 15 or 16 i was allowed to have a wine cooler at family bbq's, or a glass of wine with special dinners. It was nice to feel grown up & i think actually taught me more responsibility than if i had been unleashed at 21 having never had a single drink before.

[/quote]

I have to agree with this reasoning. Here in the UK the legal age is 18 (lower in continental Europe 15/16 I think) and being 18 coincides with leaving home to go to uni. Children of stricter parents did seem to go more off the rails during the first semester compared to those who had been allowed greater freedom.

However it is correct that alcohol should not have been offered to your children especially after you said no the first time. I would say that is beyond rude and venturing into disrespectful.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: RubySlippers on January 05, 2007, 10:08:01 AM
The other thing is that I had even thought of offering the younger ones a very small glass of white wine (or a very weak spritzer) later on in the evening, but certainly not an entire 7% cooler.  I don't think beer has that high of an alcohol content, even up here in Canada.
Think I'll just get a T-shirt that says "I'm a prude - so sue me!"
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: ClaireC79 on January 05, 2007, 12:26:38 PM
Lindsey also add to that that in the UK you can drink, under parental guidance, in private residences from the age of 5.  Of have a glass of wine (or A beer or some other drinks) witha  meal in a pub/restaurant from the age of 16.

I have to say if I was giving my 15 year old a drink on new years, I'd probably offer if to whichever of their friends were there as well)
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Bethczar on January 05, 2007, 12:33:41 PM
.[/fon
by the time i was 15 or 16 i was allowed to have a wine cooler at family bbq's, or a glass of wine with special dinners. It was nice to feel grown up & i think actually taught me more responsibility than if i had been unleashed at 21 having never had a single drink before

That was my parents' attitude as well. We could have a sip of what they were drinking, or, when we got older, could have a beer, glass of wine, etc. on special days. I learned early that most alcohol tastes nasty (except tequila, dang it!)

I have to say if I was giving my 15 year old a drink on new years, I'd probably offer if to whichever of their friends were there as well)

True, but I would have asked their mom first. Her house, her rules.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kingsrings on January 05, 2007, 12:49:16 PM
My parents also offered my brother and I sips of alcohol growing up on special occasions. We could have a sip of champagne with toasts, for example. That's quite a bit different than handing son or daughter a full can or bottle of something to indulge in along with the adults.

One of the saddest stories I remember from high school was a drunk-driving accidents involving a bunch of local kids, several from my high school. They had all gotten liquored up and drove around in a pick-up, crashed, two were killed, the rest were seriously injured. The alcohol had been supplied to them by the mother of one of the kids, and she was right along in the pick-up (which was also hers) with them, partying along with them. One of those 'cool' moms. When the crash occured, she was more concerned about how her truck had been damaged rather than the fact that there were a bunch of dead and injured kids lying around. It was a huge local story for a while, and everyone was in an uproar over it. I can't remember the technicalities of the case, but unforuntalely, she wasn't punished as severly as she should of been.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Venus193 on January 05, 2007, 01:00:17 PM
I probably put this on the old board but it bears repeating.  My etiquette-challenged friend grew up in an alcoholic family where there was tremendous pride in being able to "hold" one's liquor.  Children as young as three were given full dixie cups of sweet wine at family gatherings.  I can't imagine what that did to their brain cells.

I don't know if any of her relatives still do this, but I think it's reckless endangerment.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on January 05, 2007, 03:14:55 PM
I feel like I gave in to peer pressure and set a bad example and now I feel like crap.  ... I already seem to have a bit of a reputation with this friend as a "prude" about raising my boys but I don't think this is a negotiable area.

You know what really annoys me regarding alcohol, sleeping around, drugs, whatever? The fact that the people who do it try to coerce others into doing it as well. "Oh come on, don't be square!" "It's fun, you'll like it!" "You're a prude, why don't you loosen up?" etc. But the fact that they feel the need to try and involve others in whatever activity it is tells me that they know there's something wrong with it, and that they want others to participate so they don't feel bad about it.

And you know what? Frack them. It is very hard to resist peer pressure, but in some cases, for your (general you) health, for your children's sake, whatever, it must be done. What's the worst thing that can happen if you resist peer pressure? You're called a prude? Been there; done that: "I AM a prude; what's your point?" Your friends leave? Well, if they're encouraging underage drinking, I wouldn't want them in my house in the first place.

Don't let them make you compromise your morals. So what if they think you're a prude? At least your child isn't going to be arrested for underage drinking or caught driving while under the influence. Stick to your guns. I'm not sure I would be able to continue a friendship with someone who didn't share my morals.

... That said, I don't have a problem per se if a parent lets their child have a sip of wine or a drink of champagne at a wedding or something. My parents let me have sips, and I don't think they were prepared for the gagging noises and the, "I can't breathe! Are you trying to kill me?!" that resulted. :) Aside from one or two sips (and I mean sips that I spat out!!), I only drank an entire glass of alcohol for the first time when I was about 26. I'm 37 now and still have never drank more than one or two glasses of liqueur or sangria in my life. Wine makes my chest close up, and champage is nasty stuff, never mind harder stuff. Yuk.

A few years ago when I had a birthday dinner, I invited my cousin who was about 15 at the time. I was with my brother, SIL and some g*a*y friends of ours. One of them ordered some sherry or liquer or something for the table, and the waitress did not realise my cousin was not 18, so she brought her a glass as well. Cousin got this "deer-in-the-headlights" look. I said, "It's one glass (it was a shot glass), so drink it if you want to, or don't, but I'm telling the waitress not to bring you any more." Cousin drank it (our laws about drinking are not as strict as in the States) but didn't like it. "Ew, I'm never drinking THAT again." I just smiled inwardly because I knew the stuff was vile and she'd hate it. Heh heh. At least now Cousin has a cool story to tell about the g*a*y men who bought her alcohol! And she doesn't drink now even though she's turning 19 next month.

I meant to add: My point in that last paragraph was, if you make alcohol (or any "vice") seem like a "forbidden fruit", teens are going to want to try it. However, if you act like it's not a big deal at all within your moral code, then teens will likely not see why everyone gushes over drinking when it tastes horrible or whatever. It's a fine line, but it can be done. My parents managed it with myself and my brother, and I try to adopt that attitude with my cousin (or at least I did when babysitting her - she's too old for that now!).
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Twik on January 05, 2007, 03:39:02 PM
I have to say if I was giving my 15 year old a drink on new years, I'd probably offer if to whichever of their friends were there as well)
Does this mean that you really don't care whether the other children's parents approve or not? There may be a very good reason (from genetic predisposition to alcoholism to the fact that the kid just got out of rehab and no one told you) for the parents to prefer that if anyone makes decisions about "Oh, it's ok just to have one drink", it should be them. You know your own kids - you really don't know more than the surface details about their friends.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Musicwoman on January 06, 2007, 12:39:55 AM
You know what really annoys me regarding alcohol, sleeping around, drugs, whatever? The fact that the people who do it try to coerce others into doing it as well. "Oh come on, don't be square!" "It's fun, you'll like it!"

One I heard a lot of was "If you've never tried it, how do you know you won't like it?"  I always replied that that was what my mother had said about broccoli.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Hawkwatcher on January 06, 2007, 01:26:33 AM
I have to say if I was giving my 15 year old a drink on new years, I'd probably offer if to whichever of their friends were there as well)
Does this mean that you really don't care whether the other children's parents approve or not? There may be a very good reason (from genetic predisposition to alcoholism to the fact that the kid just got out of rehab and no one told you) for the parents to prefer that if anyone makes decisions about "Oh, it's ok just to have one drink", it should be them. You know your own kids - you really don't know more than the surface details about their friends.


If people are going to complain about parents who do not discipline their children or establish rules for their kids to follow, it only makes sense to support parents when they do set rules.  Arguing over whether or not they are prudish or giving their children alcohol without getting permission first is not the best way to show support.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: ClaireC79 on January 06, 2007, 10:23:36 AM
If their parent was also there then they would have the right to veto it and if they said no, then I'd respect their wishes but in general if they came to my house it probably wouldn't occur to me and would treat them like my own (This is probably at the age from 15/16).  If they said no I'd take it at that and not push it, but I would offer. (If I knew the parents had rules over drinking then I would follow them)
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Evil Duckie on January 06, 2007, 01:09:30 PM
She has quite a bit of gall to give your underage children a drink without your permission.

This is something that people should not undermine the parents on ever. She was no friend to you or your family.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kingsrings on January 06, 2007, 01:37:20 PM
If their parent was also there then they would have the right to veto it and if they said no, then I'd respect their wishes but in general if they came to my house it probably wouldn't occur to me and would treat them like my own (This is probably at the age from 15/16).  If they said no I'd take it at that and not push it, but I would offer. (If I knew the parents had rules over drinking then I would follow them)

Alcohol consumption is a very controversial issue to some people as stated in this thread reason-wise, and you should never serve alcohol to anyone's kids without first checking with their parents.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kiero on January 06, 2007, 02:28:50 PM
It sounds like the OP is in Canada where the legal age is 18 most places. 

I know that where I live it is legal to give a minor alcohol if the parent/guardian agrees.  There is nothing illegal about it. 

Also most of the teens I grew up with started drinking once in a while at about 15/16.  It's kind of like 18 year olds drinking in the US.

Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: RubySlippers on January 08, 2007, 12:38:32 PM
It sounds like the OP is in Canada where the legal age is 18 most places. 

I know that where I live it is legal to give a minor alcohol if the parent/guardian agrees.  There is nothing illegal about it. 

Also most of the teens I grew up with started drinking once in a while at about 15/16.  It's kind of like 18 year olds drinking in the US.


Yes, I'm in Canada (Ontario actually) and the drinking age is 19.  But I disagree about 15 year olds drinking being like 18 year olds drinking in the U.S.  I still feel a 15 year old is a 15 year old.  It doesn't matter how far away the legal age is. 
We had a long talk this weekend about why I felt the way I do about his drinking.  His brain & body are still growing and he doesn't need to put bad things into his body at such an early age, etc.  I even said to him (in front of his friend) that I felt I had set a bad example by caving in to peer pressure.  He is already a little too socially advanced for my liking, so I don't want to be standing there smiling and condoning things that he really shouldn't be doing. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Sterling on January 10, 2007, 11:03:55 AM
My Bf's mother is no longer friends with several people because of this issue.  She and another woman were hosting a 50th birthday party for another friend.  the birthday girl became angry when she found out that the 2 hosts would not be allowing her 2 teenage daughters to drink.  she had invited the girls and several of thier friends to the party to drink where she could keep an eye on them and didn't think that the 2 women had any right to tell her she couldn't do this even though it was being held at on of thier houses.

It actually ended up with people taking sides and things got ugly. 

I personally think you would have been ok to tell her that you do not allow your son to drink period.  If she doesn't want to be your friend over something like that she isn't worth having.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Sophia on January 10, 2007, 11:12:31 AM

Bringing alcohol into your house was the first rude thing.  Offering it to your children was the second.  My personal opinion is that we set kids up for trouble by linking alcohol with being an adult, because that makes alcohol more desirable.  BUT, your house, your rules.  I really don't blame you for being shocked. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: sparksals on January 10, 2007, 11:13:14 AM
In addition to kingsrings excellent points, I'd like to note that in a lot of places if the underage drinkers were caught, the host of the party would be considered legally responsible for the fact they'd been served alcohol.


You're right, but it also varies by province in Canada.  In Alberta, parents can make the decision to allow their children to have a drink under their supervision.   My parents let us have a glass of wine on special occasions like Xmas and Thanksgiving.  Even though we were underage, the law is such that they have no business in the private home.  In the US, this is completely illegal.  You're not 21, you can't drink anywhere, even in your private home.

In this case, the guest was completely wrong to assume the kid was allowed to drink.  I don't see anything wrong with her bringing the alcohol since the OP said she sometimes does serve it, despite her dh's past.  She absolutely should not have served it to the minor, although serving it to those of age was perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: fklwmn on January 10, 2007, 11:20:19 AM
If their parent was also there then they would have the right to veto it and if they said no, then I'd respect their wishes but in general if they came to my house it probably wouldn't occur to me and would treat them like my own (This is probably at the age from 15/16).  If they said no I'd take it at that and not push it, but I would offer. (If I knew the parents had rules over drinking then I would follow them)

I'm sorry, but I find your attitude frightening. I think that the general rule of thumb with giving kids alcohol should be that if you don't know that their parents DO allow it, then you don't offer it to them. I also think you shouldn't offer it to your kids in front of their friends if you don't know that their friends are allowed to partake in your presence  (ie, their parents may allow a bit of alcohol at home, but ONLY at home). That just seems to me a general rule of thumb about not partaking of refreshments that your guests are not allowed to share.

If I found out my child was at a friend's house and their friend's parent gave them even a sip of alcohol... I'd press charges.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: fklwmn on January 10, 2007, 11:23:43 AM
It sounds like the OP is in Canada where the legal age is 18 most places. 

I know that where I live it is legal to give a minor alcohol if the parent/guardian agrees.  There is nothing illegal about it. 

Also most of the teens I grew up with started drinking once in a while at about 15/16.  It's kind of like 18 year olds drinking in the US.


Yes, I'm in Canada (Ontario actually) and the drinking age is 19.  But I disagree about 15 year olds drinking being like 18 year olds drinking in the U.S.  I still feel a 15 year old is a 15 year old.  It doesn't matter how far away the legal age is. 
We had a long talk this weekend about why I felt the way I do about his drinking.  His brain & body are still growing and he doesn't need to put bad things into his body at such an early age, etc.  I even said to him (in front of his friend) that I felt I had set a bad example by caving in to peer pressure.  He is already a little too socially advanced for my liking, so I don't want to be standing there smiling and condoning things that he really shouldn't be doing. 

I just want to applaud your for sitting down with your son and telling him you mde a mistke and what the mistake was, and also detailing the reson why you do not want him drinking.

Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Gileswench on January 10, 2007, 11:58:36 AM
I'd like to join fklwmn in her applause.

By the time they're teens, most kids know their parents aren't always perfect, but a lot of parents are afraid to admit it. This just sets the scene for so many teens deciding that all adults are ignorant hypocrits whose word can be safely ignored. By keeping the lines of communication open in an honest way, you're helping your son see that while you aren't always perfect, there's plenty of reason to listen to what you say. I think that's healthier for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Gwywnnydd on January 10, 2007, 04:48:37 PM
 In the US, this is completely illegal.  You're not 21, you can't drink anywhere, even in your private home.

Unfortunately, blanket statements like this tend to invite responses that contain the exceptions :).
In the state of Washington (which is the only state I am certain of the laws for, but I believe Oregon has similar laws) a parent may serve their minor child alcohol *in the parent's home* and under the parent's supervision. No one *else* can serve a minor, anywhere, that I am aware of. But, before I turned 21, I could be served a drink by my mother or father, in their house, while under their supervision.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kingsrings on January 10, 2007, 05:16:51 PM
This happened about ten years ago near my area. Four friends got together to party, got drunk, crashed their car into a wall, and all four of them died in the crash. They were all between the ages of 18-20. Their parents sued and pressed charges against everyone these young adults had come into contact with that night, holding them responsible for what happened. For instance, the friends had been to one or more parties at houses that night where alcohol was served. The hosts/owners of the houses and all the attendees were named as defendants. Of course all this was just ridiculous given that at those ages, these should of known better and were responsible for their own downfall. And I think that the friends may have been sold alcohol at stores as well which of course was wrong, but I don't remember the details. Reading that story sure put the fear of God in me about whom I drink with and allow to be in my house when alcohol can be served, if I can be sued like that.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Peaches737 on January 10, 2007, 07:24:01 PM
I believe that you should have been asked, before any alcohol was offerred to your children.  That being said, I also believe that the stigma and "verboten" aspects of drinking alcohol lend themselves to the trend we see in binge drinking. 

In my family, we had wine on special occasions, the children would have theirs watered down, but I remember being 8 and being able to sip from my own glass.  I didn't much like the taste, but it wasn't a horrible, awful thing.

To OP--I believe that by allowing the responsible consumption of alcohol, under adult supervision is ok.  I know that laws may differ.  I think that the "bringing" party was inappropriate, to offer children that were not her own, anything that the parent may object to.

I think that you handled the situation gracefully, and I believe  that you will likely have a talk with your teens in the future.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: fklwmn on January 11, 2007, 06:59:03 AM
I was reading an article last night that made me think of this post and how many people are saying that kids binge drink b/c it's forbidden, and they agree with allowing kids a small amount of alcohol to prevent this.

The study was based in Australia where it is common for adults to allow their young children to have small sips of alcohol, and contradicts this theory completly. According to the study, binge drinking in 15 - 18 year olds in Australia is 3x more common than it is in the US where parents are much less likely to allow their children sips of alcohol.

It was an interesting perspective, though I am not sure how accurate it was. I'd link it here, but I don't have the link any longer.

In any case, I think blanket statements on either case are inaccurate. I'm sure there are kids who drink more responsibly b/c they were allowed to try it at home. Personally? I am 29 and I have never had a sip of alcohol. NEVER. It was NOT allowed in my house, and I was TERRIFIED of the consequences of being caught drinking as a teenager.

Had I been allowed to drink a little at home, I wouldn't have seen it as 'off limits' and therefore I am sure I would have been out getting trashed with my friends (they all DID drink, btw). but it wasn't allowed and I was not going to test those waters to see my dad's reaction if I got caught.

By the time I turned 21 I was mature enough to make certain evaluations that I would not have been able to as a teenager. Like the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and I don't want to turn into someone like him. Or the fact that I DO already have obsessive tendancies, and I'm sure a predisoposition towards alcoholism. Or the fact that I HATE the feeling of not being in control of myself and my surroundings at all time and would likely HATE being drunk.

But those are realizations that came with maturity, and I am SO thankful that my parents had such a strict stance on us drinking when I was too young to make those determinations for myself. I can almost guarantee that if I had started drinking as a teen I would be an alcoholic now. I can also almost guarantee that it would have led me into trying other substances when my judgment was impaired.

My point here is that all of these stories are purely anecdotal, and just b/c having small sips of alcohol as a child/teen made you feel it was less desirable, that doesn't mean that will work for all kids. Some kids NEED to have it forbidden, and need to be afraid of the consequences of trying it.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on January 11, 2007, 08:34:52 AM
I am 29 and I have never had a sip of alcohol. NEVER.

Do people think you're nuts for not drinking? I don't drink 90% of the time either (maybe I'll have a bit of sangria or one shot of Sambuca but I see it more like a dessert than something to do to be social) and until I was about 29 I had never had alcohol except a sip here and there that I spat out.

People always make fun of me and act like I'm crazy for not drinking. But I've never seen the point of it and still don't. "You've never even been DRUNK? You haven't lived!" they say. I can think of some choice responses but I usually just zip my lip.

Still... do people treat you differently when they find out you don't drink?
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: willow08 on January 11, 2007, 08:37:45 AM
Oh, HECK no. This person would be tossed unceremoniously out of my house and onto their butt. you do not make me feel "uncool" because I'm a good parent. She does not have your best interest or your child's best interest at heart. She just wants to keep her underage drinking 19-year-olds happy. (Which by the way, her giving them alcohol in your home with your implied consent, also could have caused some liability issues for you.)

This person would not be allowed back in my home. You seen her true nature, now try not to get any of it on you or your kids. you also need to have a very thorough discussion with your son where you admit that letting him drink was a mistake. You folded to peer pressure, which could lead to some good healthy discussions with him about how hard it is to face. Good luck.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: fklwmn on January 11, 2007, 10:26:46 AM

Do people think you're nuts for not drinking? I don't drink 90% of the time either (maybe I'll have a bit of sangria or one shot of Sambuca but I see it more like a dessert than something to do to be social) and until I was about 29 I had never had alcohol except a sip here and there that I spat out.

People always make fun of me and act like I'm crazy for not drinking. But I've never seen the point of it and still don't. "You've never even been DRUNK? You haven't lived!" they say. I can think of some choice responses but I usually just zip my lip.

Still... do people treat you differently when they find out you don't drink?

I notice that the older I get, the more people tend to think it's crazy that I don't drink and never have. Once they get over the whole "You've never had ONE SIP???" shock they usually shrug and nominate me as the designated driver, lol.

When I was younger and all my friends were drinking, no one ever thought it was a big deal that I didn't and I was NEVER pressured to try it. I think that for the most part, peer pressure is perceived rather than actual pressure. As in, everyone else is drinking, they'll think I'm a baby if I don't" rather than someone acutally pushing a non-drinker to drink. For the most part they always seemed to take a "more for me!" attitude when I told them I didn't drink.

The Marine once confided in me that when I go out to clubs the fact that I don't drink is a turn off for guys b/c they are out there looking for a girl they can get drunk and convince to go home with them. Yet another bonus, IMO... though I must say, I have had no shortage of guys bugging me while I'm sipping my cokes while I'm out either ::)

ETA: Drinkers do tend to be overly pushy offering me non-alcoholic drinks though. It's as though they assume I am not having a drink b/c i think everything contains alcohol. Some friends of The Marine's (and now mine..) actually went out and bought little Crystl Light packets to keep at their house for me, even though I have probably only accepted a beverage form them TWICE ever. lol.

would you like a drink?
no, thank you
we don't just have beer. We have water too.
No, thank you.
We have coke in the fridge, would you like me to get you one?
No, I'm not thirty right now, but thank you.
Okay, well we also have apple juice, so let me know if you want anything.
(laughing) Thanks, I will.

LOL.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: sparksals on January 11, 2007, 10:37:23 AM
 In the US, this is completely illegal.  You're not 21, you can't drink anywhere, even in your private home.

 
Unfortunately, blanket statements like this tend to invite responses that contain the exceptions :).
In the state of Washington (which is the only state I am certain of the laws for, but I believe Oregon has similar laws) a parent may serve their minor child alcohol *in the parent's home* and under the parent's supervision. No one *else* can serve a minor, anywhere, that I am aware of. But, before I turned 21, I could be served a drink by my mother or father, in their house, while under their supervision.

Ooops, I should have quantified that it varies by State.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: lisambb on January 11, 2007, 01:40:07 PM
I almost had the same thing happen on new years eve.  Our hosts were talking about champagne and their kids both piped up that they couldn't wait to have some like last year.  The kids are 8 and 10.  Mine are a bit younger and there was absolutely no way I was letting my kids have any champagne.  It ended up not happening anyway but my dh and I talked later about the situation and I know I would have said no but my kids are a heck of a lot younger than yours.  Anyway, your friend was quite wrong.  It's scary how some people think.

L
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Xanthia, Maker of fine Tin-foil hats since 2007 on January 11, 2007, 01:48:49 PM
My parents also offered my brother and I sips of alcohol growing up on special occasions. We could have a sip of champagne with toasts, for example. That's quite a bit different than handing son or daughter a full can or bottle of something to indulge in along with the adults.

One of the saddest stories I remember from high school was a drunk-driving accidents involving a bunch of local kids, several from my high school. They had all gotten liquored up and drove around in a pick-up, crashed, two were killed, the rest were seriously injured. The alcohol had been supplied to them by the mother of one of the kids, and she was right along in the pick-up (which was also hers) with them, partying along with them. One of those 'cool' moms. When the crash occured, she was more concerned about how her truck had been damaged rather than the fact that there were a bunch of dead and injured kids lying around. It was a huge local story for a while, and everyone was in an uproar over it. I can't remember the technicalities of the case, but unforuntalely, she wasn't punished as severly as she should of been.

Something similar happened in my neck of the woods several years back, and the MOM was the one driving, she tried for several years to escape going to jail because she was now mentally unfit to do her time because she was an allocholic and she suffered from depression over causing the death of her child and some other children.  I think she was finally sentenced last year after 4 years in court, but I do not hink she is in jail yet as she has checked into a rehab/mental health facility.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Eleanorq on January 11, 2007, 04:17:37 PM
  In the US, this is completely illegal.  You're not 21, you can't drink anywhere, even in your private home.

Unfortunately, blanket statements like this tend to invite responses that contain the exceptions :).
In the state of Washington (which is the only state I am certain of the laws for, but I believe Oregon has similar laws) a parent may serve their minor child alcohol *in the parent's home* and under the parent's supervision. No one *else* can serve a minor, anywhere, that I am aware of. But, before I turned 21, I could be served a drink by my mother or father, in their house, while under their supervision.

Heck, in Missouri, underage drinking isn't technically illegal at all.  Just underage purchasing, possession, and BAL greater than .02.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Sharnita on January 17, 2007, 09:07:00 AM
Claire, doesn't the fact that the government has rules against 15/16 year olds consuming alchohol qualify as enough of a rule to make you refrain from serving alchohol to minors?
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: L1NDSAY on January 18, 2007, 08:01:18 AM
Claire, doesn't the fact that the government has rules against 15/16 year olds consuming alchohol qualify as enough of a rule to make you refrain from serving alchohol to minors?

I don't know for certain but I think Claire is from the UK like me in which case it's not against the rules, they can order it themselves if they have a meal in a restaurant at 16. I realise this is controversial especially with all the international/personal differences but offering mid-teens an occasional alcoholic drink is not shocking behaviour here in my experience. Parents prefer to at least know where they are otherwise the teens are on the playing field with the white lightning and it all goes downhill from there.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: shadowfox79 on January 18, 2007, 08:23:42 AM
Quote
I don't know for certain but I think Claire is from the UK like me in which case it's not against the rules, they can order it themselves if they have a meal in a restaurant at 16.

This is true - I made a point of knowing this when I was growing up. As long as it was with a meal we could order a glass of wine or half of something. It was no great shocker to let teenagers try alcohol, provided it wasn't excessive.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: RubySlippers on January 19, 2007, 09:21:24 AM
Quote:  I just want to applaud your for sitting down with your son and telling him you mde a mistke and what the mistake was, and also detailing the reson why you do not want him drinking.
Thanks for the support.  It's nice to hear that I did something right.  A lot of the time we're doing the mommy thing without a clue as to when we are screwing up and when we are doing it right.
My friendship with this woman was once a very close one, but it has faded over the past 2 years.  I think I will just allow it to continue to fade.  Sad.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Peaches737 on January 24, 2007, 04:55:14 PM
I think most posters are in agreement that giving alcohol to a minor who is not ones own is off the charts.  DH and I often host open houses where sometimes 70 odd people come.  Some have teen children, and we normally just set out a cooler of beer/wine, and another with non-alcoholic drinks. 

I am very aware of peoples' different rules for their kids, and would never dream of offering a drink to a minor.  I would let that be initiated by the parent.  AND--you bet your bippy that if i saw young "Tzyphaknee" walking around with a wine cooler I would approach the parent and ask if that was ok.  (Maybe parents offered, maybe she was sneaking it)

If the parent says it is ok, that is their business, but if not, I would explain to the teen that it was not ok, and I would suggest a lovely iced tea.

Even in my own home, I respect the parents judgement regarding the child. 

A friend of mine has a son, who is 16, that wants to invite 2-3 friends over, and see what being drunk is like.  She asked me for advice, and feels that if the kids are in the home, not driving, etc. that they will be safe, and under a (not too intrusive) eye.  I told her to call the parents of his friends that he would like to invite, and ask how they felt.  Involve them in the discussion, and let them know that there will be alcohol.  I also warned her that she is taking on a huge liability by serving alcohol to minors in her home.  I suggested that maybe she and the other moms may wish to have a party of their own in the kitchen, while the boys "do their thing" in the den. 

Another karma moment for me happened this New Years eve.  16 year old girl, (the hosts niece-in-law) her dad said it was ok for her to have a glass of champagne and one drink/beer/glass of wine.  He told her that two was her limit throughout the night.  The host and I were sitting near the bar, and did a pretty good job of enforcing that she would be drinking diet cokes after her second.  She batted her eyes at the hosts brother who snuck her a third drink, without anyones knowledge.  The hosts brother was also the one covered in throwup shortly after she finished the drink.   I think that may teach him to respect the wishes of others.  Hee hee
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Sirius on January 27, 2007, 11:02:58 PM
She was so far out of line you'd need a telescope just to find the vapour trail.

If your house is usually dry she needs to respect that.  And if anyone offered alcohol to my 15-year old AGAINST MY EXPRESS WISHES IN MY OWN HOUSE I would throw her out. 


I agree with this 100%. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Sharnita on January 29, 2007, 10:58:19 AM
Peaches I hate to be the little black raincloud here but i would think verbal OK from a parent or not - kid drinking alchohol in your house, bought by you - courting disaster.

In the case of your friend, it seems likely that if it went to court it would be considered furnishing a minor - whethter the parents of the minors in questioned cared or not. It would aslo send the kids the wrong message that being drunk is a risk only if you are driving. Any parent who called to extend such an invitation to me would no longer be trusted anywhere near my kids.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: kiero on January 29, 2007, 11:28:19 AM
I almost had the same thing happen on new years eve.  Our hosts were talking about champagne and their kids both piped up that they couldn't wait to have some like last year.  The kids are 8 and 10.  Mine are a bit younger and there was absolutely no way I was letting my kids have any champagne.  It ended up not happening anyway but my dh and I talked later about the situation and I know I would have said no but my kids are a heck of a lot younger than yours.  Anyway, your friend was quite wrong.  It's scary how some people think.

L

My parents always allowed us a tiny bit of champagne on new years.  As young as 6 I can remember getting maybe 1cm in my very own champagne flute.  There is probably more alcohol in a ripe banana than the tiny amount I was allowed to drink.  But it was understood that it was a very special occasion. 

I don't understand the prohabtion on small amounts.  I rmemeber having my first full cooler at around 15.  My cousin and I were allowed one for a full afternoon/evening BBQ.  I am sure that given how slowly we consumed them (had to make them last right) that our BAL probably never changed.  And these were 7% things.  But boy did we feel grown up and we also stayed out of trouble.  We figured that if we were noticed being anything other than on our best behaviour the coolers would be taken away.  So we were extra helpful and watched the smaller kids and were super polite to everyone. 
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Peaches737 on February 05, 2007, 09:01:31 PM
Sharnita--I'm with you.

My parties give an expectation that kids won't drink, except for a sip or two condoned by the parents. 

The whole "well--they're safe" is what I am trying to rub onto her.

It's not my house, but I don't think that the boys drinking in the treehouse is safe.  (16 yo boys 10 feet off the ground----not good)

I'm trying to knock some sense into her one blow at a time.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Chivewarrior on February 08, 2007, 10:20:07 AM
I begged and begged and begged, and finally was given a tiny sip in our hotel room at the age of eight or nine during our vacation to France. I immediately dashed for the bathroom for water to get the awful taste out of my mouth, much to the amusement of my mother. So now I know it tastes bad.

I'm also in my school's SALSA group. (Students Advocating Life Without Substance Abuse, but really it's a non-use group.) I was informed by a girl in my dorm that SALSA people are crazy and that drinking is really great. Upon hearing the story about my trip to France, she told me that I should try the ones that taste like juice. Um, hello, both of us are underage?

But here's a surefire way to keep your kids out of the alcohol: explain to them what goes into the making of it. My sister now calls wine "moldy grape juice" (which, technically, it is...) after we tried that on her.
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on February 08, 2007, 11:09:50 AM
I begged and begged and begged, and finally was given a tiny sip in our hotel room at the age of eight or nine during our vacation to France. I immediately dashed for the bathroom for water to get the awful taste out of my mouth, much to the amusement of my mother. So now I know it tastes bad.

My dad had a similar philosophy.  I will repeat what my dad told me when we had much the same interaction (though I was a bit older). 

"It's an acquired taste. Like coffee."

Still cant stand beer, but wine? Give me a good heavy Merlot any day...
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: RoseRose on February 08, 2007, 11:10:28 AM
I'm a 19 year old college student in America, and I only drink at home or at a religious event where wine is an important part of the ceremony.  I don't go to parties and stuff.  The only exception to this was my recent vacation to Israel with a group of college students/young adults, due to the fact that the drinking age in Israel is 18.  I happen to like the taste of some alcohol (not beer, though) but, that's the only reason I drink it at all, I like the taste, or it's religiously important.  I don't go out partying (I have a strong fear of recieving a MIP), but I have the feeling that when my friends start turning 21 (this summer), I will have a few drinks with them, in private.  I happen to feel that if at 18, you are considered an adult, then you should be an adult when it comes to drinking.  And if you're not an adult, then why are you allowed to vote?  And I may not even have a drink then, when my friends are 21, because it IS illegal (though I will still have them get cooking wine for when I make dinner :) )

But, until I graduated high school, I never had a drink of alcohol without my father knowing about it, and being there.  Parents are the ones who should decide for their kids, especially if it is illegal in their country.  (I haven't formed views about other countries, where the drinking age is below 18, I haven't spent enough time considering it.)

I hope that made sense...
Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: Pixie on February 09, 2007, 01:56:05 PM
In my home NO ONE under 21 gets served alcohol.  No exceptions.  I don't care if they are active duty military, if they are under 21 the answer is no.  My Hubby is going to be 44 in a few weeks, there have been plenty of times he's been in overseas locations were alcohol is not allowed.  The law is the law, I didn't make the laws, and I won't break them for anyone.  Of course I'm also the hostess who takes car keys at the door.

I'm totally uncool, and I'm fine with that, all my friends are still alive.





Title: Re: Underage drinkers
Post by: johelenc1 on May 03, 2007, 11:10:23 PM
I'm not sure how you approached the sitaution afterwards with your son, but it might be a great opportunity to talk about how real peer pressure is and how even you, an adult, gave in to your friend even when you didn't want to and thought it was wrong.  You could apologize for setting a poor example and talk about how important it is to really be willing to stand firm in your convictions and do the right thing.  You could also tell him how you are going to talk to the mom and tell her how you feel even though it will be hard and awkward and you are afraid of risking the friendship, but it's the right thing to do.

Although, a hard conversation, it could really be one of those great bonding life lesson moments.  I would lovingly also be sure to mention to him that he shouldn't think that because mom made a mistake he would be off the hook if he came home with alcohol or drugs - just so it's clear the conversation isn't about a free pass.  But I think acknowledging how hard it is to stand up for what you believe in under pressure could open up a really nice dialogue for all kinds of things.