Our Family Nest & It's The Donnellys: Vloggers Film Their Underage Children Drinking
Updated: Jul 30
In the world of YouTube family vloggers, Our Family Nest (OFN) and It's The Donnellys are pretty big names. OFN and The Donnellys are both pioneers in the field of family vloggers, having started their channels 10 years ago and 6 years ago, respectively. They have also both surpassed that coveted 1 million subscriber mark. However, this also means that they are in the category of YouTube family vloggers with careers that are starting to wind down. This is largely because their views are almost solely derived from featuring their children and now these children are growing up and moving out. OFN parents, Candi and Ken, have three adult sons (Andrew, Blake, and Chase) who are moved out and one daughter (Karli), living at home, who is a high school senior. The Donnelly's oldest son, Brennan, is moved out and attending college. Their two remaining kids at home, Katie and Ryan, are a high school senior and sophomore, respectively. However, these two completely unrelated family vloggers are gaining attention for a very odd and concerning reason - featuring underage drinking in their vlogs.
Our Family Nest underage drinking: Blake
Our Family Nest matriarch, Candi, seems to pride herself on being the "cool mom." This "coolness" included allowing her 16-year-old son and his 16-year-old girlfriend to live together during covid-19 quarantine and also includes letting her children drink underage and on camera. The underage drinking first started with their second oldest son, Blake. He could be seen frequently drinking on the vlogs and referring to getting drunk at age 20.
Now, yes, nearly all teens and 20-year-olds do drink. However, most parents don't film their kid drinking at home and being gifted alcohol on Christmas. During the annual sibling gift exchange in 2020, when Blake was 20, he was openly filmed sipping on a Truly. Not only that, but he was gifted alcohol by his older brother and, more concerningly, by Chase's 17-year-old girlfriend, Asha. How she even got the alcohol to gift to Blake is unknown, but a high schooler acquiring alcohol and gifting it to another under-age individual in a parent's home, just isn't really appropriate. Especially not for a family vlogging channel. Letting their 20-year-old seemingly drink whenever he wants and to even be gifted alcohol for Christmas, is going far beyond, for example, a parent letting their adult child have a glass of wine on a special occasion or drink a beer with their dad. Anything more than that just really makes you question the kind of attitude towards alcohol they are fostering in their kids.
Our Family Nest: Karli
Where OFN's lax rules on alcohol really gets concerning, though, is with their high school daughter, Karli. Late in 2021, Karli began frequently posting on her personal channel, Karli Reese, about drinking. She openly advertised that she drank and she even debuted a trap room with her friends. Meanwhile, instead of being concerned about her 16/17-year-old daughter drinking excessively, Candi didn't do anything. She insisted that all teens drink so it wasn't a big deal. She was also suspected of supplying Karli and her underage friends with alcohol. During a 4th of July celebration on OFN, Karli is filming her family's grill-out and pans the camera to the counter where several bottles of hard liquor are sitting, stating that the alcohol was "for later" (1:57 mark in the video below). It could've been Candi and Ken's liquor, but they have reiterated many times that they aren't really drinkers. Meanwhile, if Karli's friends brought it, why would they have just left it on the counter upon arriving? It definitely seemed as if Candi bought alcohol for Karli and her teenage friends for their July 4th celebration.
Meanwhile, Karli also opened up in a recent video about how she got blackout drunk once. The really weird part is that she stated she got blackout drunk at her own house. She had her friends over and then allegedly screamed at them and made them all leave, then called them crying and screaming, and then didn't remember any of it the next morning. The fact that this is happening in her house, likely when her parents are home, is just disturbing. Yes, your teen is probably going to drink, but that is not an excuse to let your teenager get blackout drunk in your own home.
Candi has only continued to advertise her kids' underage drinking. Just this month, she held an Easter egg hunt for her adult children. The kids hunted for eggs that had numbers in them and the numbers corresponded with prizes. Of the 20 prizes, four were alcohol, and of the children playing two, Karli and Chase, are not 21. Karli won two of the alcohol prizes and Candi filmed her grinning as she opened up a bottle of wine and a pack of beer, gifted to her by mom and dad. Needless to say, there is no reason whatsoever to be gifting a 17-year-old a full bottle of wine and a pack of beer to drink at her leisure. Candi is openly supplying her teenage child with alcohol and allowing her to drink freely in her home. There is absolutely nothing "cool" about that and if she really is supplying Karli's teenage friends with alcohol, too, there are big repercussions she could face.
It's The Donnellys: Brennan
The Donnellys are nowhere near the extremes of OFN's underage drinking, but they're definitely partaking in it. Recently, their oldest son Brennan, who is 19, came home for Spring Break and the Donnellys went on a sailing trip. On the trip, Brennan could be seen at one point sipping from a Miller Lite can, which Jill, the mother, motioned for him to hide and which he did hide, but not before we all saw it (seen at the 11:00 mark of the video below). He was also spotted in an Instagram story raising his beer to the camera.
Now, Brennan having a beer with his family on vacation isn't really that big of a deal. However, it is still underage drinking which is technically illegal... so not something you would feature in a vlog and on social media. Additionally, the sail boat was pretty small and was only utilized for a few days. Meaning that the family packed and planned for those few days and thought to specifically pack and supply beer for their underage son to drink on vacation.
Underage drinking has no place in vlogs
If you want to let your child drink, that's your decision and at your discretion. However, when you regularly advertise your lives to the world, you can't just film an illegal activity. OFN and The Donnellys' decision to film that, is basically advertising that they support underage drinking. That's really not a great message to send the kids and families that watch their vlogs, is it? Candi sounds like a broken record with her mantra that all kids drink so she doesn't have any responsibility when it comes to her minor child and alcohol. Yet, that really doesn't matter. She has a minor child. It is illegal for those under the age of 21 to drink. Candi has a duty to not help her minor child break the law by seemingly supplying her with limitless alcohol, letting her get blackout drunk at home, and gifting her wine and beer for Christmas.
Same as The Donnellys - if they want their 19-year-old to have a beer on a vacation, that is their business. However, instead of ineffectively trying to hide it while on camera, it should be cut altogether. Again, just because they're cool with it, doesn't mean its not illegal and doesn't mean that it couldn't impact Brennan to advertise that he drinks underage.
As a parent, you should, of course, have common sense. Your kid is probably going to drink so you need to teach them safe and responsible drinking. You need to make sure they aren't so afraid of being in trouble that they don't contact you if they're in a dangerous situation or need a ride home. However, teaching your kid responsible drinking because they will inevitably drink, is absolutely not the same as allowing your underage child to drink whenever, wherever, and however much they want, with you contributing to their drinking habits. Also, if you do decide to let your kid drink on special occasions, the entire world doesn't need to know.