Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Underage drinkers

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RubySlippers:
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!

kingsrings:
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.

ShadesOfGrey:
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!

Gileswench:
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.

Lunadiana75:
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. 

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