A woman was happy to hear that her daughter had enjoyed a sleepover at a friend’s house, but was later appalled to learn that she’d been given alcohol to try by the child’s mum
Image: Getty Images/F1online RM)
Many parents will of course deliberate as to when and how to speak with their children about enjoying alcohol safely, perhaps allowing them a small taste with dinner once they believe them to be old enough.
When looking after other people’s children, however, it’s important to make sure that full permission has been granted before a youngster is given so much as a sip of alcohol, even if those in their friendship group are already allowed.
Unfortunately, sometimes this line can be crossed, creating tension and distrust among parents who should feel able to rely on each other for support and understanding.
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In a recent post on Netmums, mum Susan explained that her nine-year-old daughter had recently attended a 10th birthday sleepover with five of her school friends. Being ‘very friendly with all the mums’, Susan naturally felt confident that her daughter would be well looked after.
The little girl returned home ‘exhausted but in good spirits’ and Susan was pleased to hear that she’d had a ‘great time’.
However, this is before she learned the full extent of what had gone on.
Susan recalled: “During the day she told me bits and bobs of what they got up to and it all sounded lovely until she mentioned that she tried a snowball (advocaat and lemonade) and I’m furious.”
Although Susan’s daughter had been permitted “the odd sip of bucks fizz with me and my husband”, this mum’s fury lies in that her child was given alcohol without her express permission.
Susan continued: “Worst of all my daughter thought it was her fault and got v upset. I’ve challenged the mum, she has apologised but also basically blamed it on my daughter/the girls saying they were keen to try it and she didn’t know she wasn’t allowed etc. She’s nine!”
Questioning why exactly booze was brought to a sleepover in the first place, Susan admitted she’s now “struggling with now being able to trust this parent again” and sought the opinions of other mothers on this sensitive topic.
Many agreed that a degree of basic trust had been broken in this instance, and that – while the amount of alcohol drank wasn’t too bad – the birthday girl’s mum should have checked with all parents before bringing it out.
One fellow mum remarked that “there are plenty of non-alcoholic mocktails available that they could have been given instead”, while another described the breach of trust as being “actually disgraceful”.
However, others could see both sides of the situation, with a third mum sympathising that she finds it “really hard” to say no to her kids’ friends “when my daughter is allowed to do something and they are not”.
What would you do in this mother’s situation? Let us know.