No booze zone? Opposes sis' kids drinking

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: My sister and her family are arriving soon from out of state to spend a week during the holiday. We don't see them often and always have fun and lots of laughter. This family will be staying with our elderly mother, who does not drink alcohol. Their two oldest children are in their very late teens. Our son is 21. We would like to invite the entire clan to our home for a day of fun. I'm concerned my sister and her husband will want us to allow their oldest children to drink, which they sometimes permit at their own home. I'm opposed to this. While I feel I should not speak up about what goes on at our mother's home, I don't want our home to become the alternative "party central." Neither do I want to start a row with my sister and brother-in-law. Our son was not permitted to drink in our home until he turned 21 last year. Should I speak to my sister in advance about this? I'm afraid that bringing it up will imply judgment about their parenting choices. And what can I say if they offer to serve their older children beer or drinks while visiting us?Worried About WhiningDEAR WORRIED: You are overthinking this. It is not your business what these parents allow their kids to do when they're at home, but if any underage drinkers are offered alcohol in your home, you just have to say "I'm sorry, but we don't allow underage drinking here." It should not be a big deal.

If they think you're a prude or a hypocrite, so what? If alcohol is consumed in your home, you might be held legally responsible for any negative consequences. You don't need to make proclamations ahead of time. Any parent who believes strongly in "parental rights" would, by necessity, have to respect your parental right to control what happens in your own home.

And if this family can't manage a "day of fun" at your mom's house or your house without offering their kids alcohol, they have a problem.