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Should Parents allow their teenage children alcohol?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer


    Speedwell wrote: »
    Because you seem to believe that parents are crass idiots who don't know how to bring up their children properly with respect to alcohol. I wonder where you got that idea.

    Once again i said some parents. Some parents does not mean all parents. The people who drink excessively in Ireland did not pick it up the habit from the stones. Just because your parents were killjoys does not mean every parent is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Once again i said some parents. Some parents does not mean all parents. The people who drink excessively in Ireland did not pick it up the habit from the stones. Just because your parents were killjoys does not mean every parent is.

    Killjoys? I thought you were against parents allowing their children alcohol.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer


    Speedwell wrote: »
    Killjoys? I thought you were against parents allowing their children alcohol.

    Yes I am.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,751 ✭✭✭mirrorwall14


    We were a household with 4 kids. Weren't really allowed alcohol ever but not treated as a taboo as such. Two of us rarely touched the stuff as teenagers, two would have been out knacker drinking. In college I had a ball and alcohol was most certainly involved though I still got a first. While there was responsibility taught at home I would argue that it was the friends circle we had that influenced the different approach. My relationship with my parents was excellent-to the point that I told them the first time I was going to a house party and said I would meet them down the street at x time and I did.

    In secondary school I wasn't entirely comfortable with my group of friends, had no interest in drinking with them and the odd time when I was over 18 in sixth year that I did have a drink with them I just didn't trust them. College once I made great friends was different.

    I've no idea how we'll deal with it when the toddler is older. My guess is aiming for open ness with him and normalised drinking in the house. Id love the relationship I had with my parents with him but it might not happen


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭evolving_doors


    Gebgbegb wrote: »
    Why drink if you're not going to get drunk?
    Speedwell wrote: »
    Seriously?

    Why do you think people drink alcohol Speedwell?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Gebgbegb wrote: »
    Why do you think people drink alcohol Speedwell?

    To go with food? To celebrate an occasion? To give a toast? To be sociable with other people? Because it tastes good? Because it makes you a little warmer and more open when you have some trouble being social? Not everyone needs to get hammered every time they drink.

    Why do people eat food if they don't stuff themselves at every meal? Why do people gamble only part of their money instead of all of it every time they place a bet? Why don't I have fifty cats instead of just three? Why stop at moderation when you can push the limits?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭evolving_doors


    Speedwell wrote: »
    To go with food? To celebrate an occasion? To give a toast? To be sociable with other people? Because it tastes good? Because it makes you a little warmer and more open when you have some trouble being social? Not everyone needs to get hammered every time they drink.

    Why do people eat food if they don't stuff themselves at every meal? Why do people gamble only part of their money instead of all of it every time they place a bet? Why don't I have fifty cats instead of just three? Why stop at moderation when you can push the limits?

    Well ok then, which one of those applies to letting your teenage child drink at home?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,809 ✭✭✭Speedwell


    Gebgbegb wrote: »
    Well ok then, which one of those applies to letting your teenage child drink at home?

    To have with or in food, to celebrate an occasion, to be sociable (under supervision)? I don't understand what your objection is to reasonable moderation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer


    There ios too much moderation around.


  • Registered Users Posts: 503 ✭✭✭Vex Willems


    Gebgbegb wrote: »
    Why do you think people drink alcohol Speedwell?

    I'd rather have a few pints every night of the week than to go get hammered on a Fri/Sat night. The thought of going out to get twisted never appealed to me. Of course there'll be occasions when you'll have one two many but that would never have been the aim.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 219 ✭✭Bunnyslippers


    My parents never made alcohol a taboo, we as children were always allowed a drink on special occasions etc. if the adults had a drink we were not excluded. The first time I thought I'd sneak a bit extra was when I was 5, my grandfather gave me a glass on their wedding anniversary, I drank it pretty fast and my mother then gave me another thinking I had had none! I was a giggling wreck for a couple of hours, then fell asleep and felt awful the rest of the day, I never did it again!
    But all the way through childhood we were never denied alcohol, we'd have a small g&t on a Friday night after school while watching a movie, it was never a big deal at all. Out of all my school friends only 3 others were brought up the same way, the rest were forbidden until 18, they would go to alsorts of lengths to drink in secret and smuggle alcohol into school etc. they'd raid their parents drink cabinets and water down what was left! When they hit 18 they all went off the rails and were big into binge drinking and would drink at any opportunity, the ones who were like me never drank to excess either. My sister and I never understood the attraction and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been drunk, not to the point of being sick, but to the point where you're a bit groggy the next day, I hate being drunk! I rarely drink now, although am pregnant at the mo so haven't had any since January and I don't miss it at all! So i know with my kids I'll be taking the same approach, alcohol is to be taken in moderation at social events etc only and I will not be making a secret taboo out of it!

    I do have a couple of relatives who are alcoholics, so it is in the family, but both those people never had it as a child and would be secret drinkers as teenagers, they thought it was cool, grown up and rebellious I guess - the main reason most kids denied drink do i suppose! They only started serious drinking in the 80's business culture as it was the norm, they obviously just had addictive personalities, so it could just have easily been gambling, drugs etc. I think some people are more prone to excessive drinking wether they had access as children or not, but I do think it is a huge help to learn from when small how and where to drink and what is acceptable, that it is not this big secret attractive adult thing, kids always want what they can't have!

    As said above a lot of European cultures drink as part of normal everyday life from when small, and they never have such a problem with the binge drinking teenage culture we have in ireland and the UK? So I wonder is it because they are denied it as children or it is just a culture driven by what is deemed acceptable by a generation of spoilt brats who were never taught how to behave, and with it being glamourised and seen as funny on all these reality TV shows I don't think it helps either!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,835 ✭✭✭YellowLead


    I really think allowing older teenagers to have few when they are in your home is perfectly acceptable. I would agree from my experience growing up that when there is a ban by parents, those are always the kids that go overboard, and concoct vastly complicated lies to cover it up - and then you don't know where they are and what they are drinking. They need to be educated about different qualities of different types of drinks, alcohol percentages etc. The only thing I would say is that if you allow your teen to have a few with friends in your house, that you check with the other parents to make sure that's ok with them. It's only fair, and you don't want to get an angry phonecard!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,236 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer


    Teenage children are notoriously two faced and will run rings around a parent who tries to let them drink "responsibly".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,139 ✭✭✭witchgirl26


    Teenage children are notoriously two faced and will run rings around a parent who tries to let them drink "responsibly".

    Have to say I completely disagree with this. Myself and my siblings were all allowed to have a small bit of alcohol growing up & none of us "ran rings" around parents.

    From about 16 we were allowed have something like a west coast cooler or cider occassionally while on holidays. From about 17 we would be left have 1 glass of wine with dinner on a Sunday. I never went out drinking with my friends before 18 and even after 18 wouldn't really drink that much. The whole mystery thing of it had been removed by it being a normality in the house (not excessive drinking but having 1 or 2 once a week). I won't lie and say I've never been drunk but I barely drink now when out either.

    I was never "two faced" with my parents. They gave me trust and I responded to that with honesty. Generally if I was honest, I was let go places but it was if I tried to lie (which I did once), I wasn't let go at all. A lot of my friends were the same.

    I think parents who ban things and make things like alcohol so taboo are the ones who are more likely to have teenagers lie to them so they can go out and drink with their friends.

    I'm not a parent but if I do have kids, I think I'll be taking a lesson out of my parents books on that one.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    Teenage children are notoriously two faced and will run rings around a parent who tries to let them drink "responsibly".

    Mod:

    Calm down with the generalisations and try to contribute to the discussion in a civil manner without slagging off parents.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    When I was young, my parents were strict about me not drinking. My husbands parents were the same. When we were in college, we went out, got drunk, hungover, etc but not to excess. He has a few drinks a week but I never drink at home and rarely do at all actually.

    I had friends at school who were allowed to drink at home and to this day, they are the heavy drinkers. A bottle of wine a night and a weekend bender are normal. We are in our 30s...

    I think that my parents approach was actually very sensible. They always focused on all the good times without alcohol. We always have an alcohol free Christmas and ironically, never any arguments then. We all love Christmas. I grew up knowing that you didn't need to drink to have fun. I think that for the people who had access to alcohol and still drink hard, they got the message that you need drink to relax, have fun and celebrate.

    My husband's family have all (with the exception if him) gone wild and still drink heavily.

    Essentially, I think that what makes the difference is the message that you convey around alcohol. If you allow your kids to drink but emphasise the need to drink to relax, to celebrate or to have fun, then you are going to have issues. If you allow them to drink and give the message that it isn't necessary but is entirely optional, then that is surely good.

    I have a friend with young kids who is always talking about how she can't wait til they are in bed so she can relax with a glass of wine. While it might be true, that isn't sending those kids a good message.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,139 ✭✭✭witchgirl26


    I had friends at school who were allowed to drink at home and to this day, they are the heavy drinkers. A bottle of wine a night and a weekend bender are normal. We are in our 30s...

    I think that my parents approach was actually very sensible. They always focused on all the good times without alcohol. We always have an alcohol free Christmas and ironically, never any arguments then. We all love Christmas. I grew up knowing that you didn't need to drink to have fun. I think that for the people who had access to alcohol and still drink hard, they got the message that you need drink to relax, have fun and celebrate.

    I'd just like to point that just because my parents allowed me to have a drink at occasions when younger it didn't mean there was any focus on alcohol. In fact I think the first time I saw my mother tipsy was at my 21st (I'm the youngest) and she declared that her parenting job was done (in a jokey way)!

    Neither of my parents drank much at all. Half a bottle of wine on a Sunday was about the most. Christmas never had a focus on drink for us either - it was about family and still is.

    I still don't think you need to drink to have fun despite being allowed it from a younger age but do like it every so often.
    Essentially, I think that what makes the difference is the message that you convey around alcohol. If you allow your kids to drink but emphasise the need to drink to relax, to celebrate or to have fun, then you are going to have issues. If you allow them to drink and give the message that it isn't necessary but is entirely optional, then that is surely good.

    I agree with this. It's the message given out about alcohol. My grandmother was tee-total and while she wouldn't have like the idea of anyone drinking to excess, she did allow her children to try some growing up as it was their decision at the end of the day to drink or not. Again never mad amounts. I think it has to be the message of "a drink can go with an occasion" rather than "you need to drink at an occasion".
    I have a friend with young kids who is always talking about how she can't wait til they are in bed so she can relax with a glass of wine. While it might be true, that isn't sending those kids a good message.

    If she's saying this in front of the child, then yeah bit wrong. But if it's just to a friend then I don't see the problem. Unless she's polishing off a bottle a night, a glass isn't that bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    If she's saying this in front of the child, then yeah bit wrong. But if it's just to a friend then I don't see the problem. Unless she's polishing off a bottle a night, a glass isn't that bad.

    I can assure you that it is said directly to the kids. They refer to glass of wine regularly and I have seen them pretend to drink their own wine after a hard day while playing.

    As for quantities, according to her, each bottle contains two glasses. I suspect that 5 nights a week it probably close to one bottle but I know that there is a full bottle per adult with Sunday lunch and normally a g&t or something plus wine on a Sat evening.

    Trust me, the message is all wrong but if you said anything you would regret it.


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