Sunday 3 August 2014

Alcohol responsibility at social gatherings.

I've fallen out with many a friend because they've purchased alcohol for their child, as they put it 'to control the situation' I’ve had children to sleep over who've brought alcohol with them and had my kids return from parties where alcohol has been provided by parents. I’ve seen parents sneaking a bottle of alco pops to their children as as they call it ‘it’s not proper alcohol anyway’

As a child we had alcohol in the house, my parents aren't drinkers, in fact my Mother doesn't like the taste of alcohol and even as an adult has felt peer pressure to 'let herself go, unwind and have a drink'
We also have alcohol in the house and while I enjoy a glass of wine or a spirit from time to time, I rarely drink in the week and hardly ever alone. I tend only to have more than a few when we have visitors for a braai or a party and only have an alcoholic drink when out if hubby is driving and doesn't have any alcohol. I usually volunteer to be the driver because I don't NEED alcohol to have fun and to be honest too may people here tend to think one or two drinks won’t impair their ability to drive and besides as they say ‘I’ve had something to eat, it’ll be out my system soon’

I must say for us now with no children living permanently at home we tend not to invite friends with children round to social gatherings and many of our friends have babes in arms, we have never allowed our children alcohol at home other than to have a sip to try it when they’ve pestered and every time they’ve been disgusted by the taste and ask why do we drink it?

When the eldest child turned 18, we were in America where the drinking age is 21. We bought him a bottle of cider and he didn’t drink it, I guess being given permission by your parents isn’t a lot of fun.

The legal age in South Africa to buy and consume alcohol is 18. Alcohol to under 18s is only permitted for religious reasons and can only be given under supervision of the parents.

However the legal age in the UK differs greatly, a child under the age of 5 may only be given alcohol under medical supervision, aged 5 drink alcohol only on private premises, aged 16+ with a meal on licenced premises but the adult must order and pay for the alcohol and aged 18+ to purchase and drink alcohol, unrestricted.

Do you allow your child to consume alcohol? What are your reasons?

Join in with South Africa Breweries and their 18+ campaign. There are some great tips for supervising the consumption of alcohol at social gatherings and parties.


  1. When our children were under the legal drinking age (19 yrs) they were not allowed to have alcohol at home unless we let them have a glass of wine with dinner, usually they always passed on it after taking a sip. They are all legal now, the eldest 25 will have a few beers watching a soccer or hockey game, middle child (22) rarely drinks, and the 19 soon to be 20 yr old teenage boy also rarely drinks. I may have a drink two or three times a year, but generally don't because of my meds and I don't really enjoy it. I don't understand why a 5 year old would be given alcohol, that one baffles me.

    1. no idea either Catherine why anyone thinks it's ok to give kids alcohol for any reason

  2. "jaw drops" I had no idea of the UK ages, in Australia it's the same as South Africa. Blimey blimey. Everyone always goes on about Australians and drink but the truth is Aussies are very often very social drinkers, so yes the beer flows at a barbie, but I don't think it's nearly as pernicious as here.

    1. it's a difficult one as too many people just don't realise the long term effects of alcohol