Karen is a mum of mixed sex, 15-year-old twins. And knows it. Each week she shares with us what her teenage two have been up to.
'Teenie One was going to her first ‘proper' party the other week. The outfit was laid out on her bed, the travel arrangements were in place and a pick up time negotiated. Stress levels were manageable. Until, that is, she came downstairs at around 3 in the afternoon looking agitated. "What's up?" I said as she hovered at the kitchen door, clearly building up to asking me something.
"Everyone's taking alcohol to the party", she blurted out with a degree of panic. She looked anxious and I got the sense she wanted my help. Now I understood that she didn't have a burning desire to go out and get bladdered but what she did have was a deep rooted fear of being out of step with her peers.
"If I buy you a bottle of low alcohol cider, will you promise not to drink anything else at the party?"
One of her school friends came round and the pair spent an age getting ready. Her anxious father bit his tongue as she tottered into the room in her first pair of heels, a small bottle of weak cider in her handbag.
"Now you are on no account to drink any spirits," he ordered.
"Oh, I've got vodka and coke," her rather ditzy friend volunteered. "But it's OK, my mum has measured it out. It's just I get really sick if I get drunk on cider."
I could see the colour draining from my husband's face...the words vodka, drunk and sick were all too much for him to take in one sentence. But before he had a chance to react I'd ushered the pair out of the room and into the car.
Daughter was picked up at 11.30pm. I was instructed to stay in the car and text her when I arrived. I watched as a stream of kids trundled out into their waiting parents' cars. All were walking unaided and none appeared worse for wear. In she hopped entirely sober. There was not the slightest smell of cigarette smoke and she had had a very nice time. I felt relieved and reassured.
I still do not feel entirely comfortable buying alcohol for my teenage daughter. Perhaps I should take a hard line and simply forbid her to drink at all. It's a difficult line to tread and I am not sure I've got the right approach. But I do believe that teens are going to try these things regardless and really strict parents are only going to end up with children who lie to them.'
What do you think about teens and drinking? Tell us in our comments section below or on Facebook.
Phew, looking after teenage twins is hard work, so Karen's blog will now be published fortnightly. Don't forget to check back for more funny tales of Karen and her terrible teenage two.
Karen's other blog posts...
- Karen's previous blog - My terrible teenage two: Teens on internet trolling
- All of Karen's blogs