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Madonna draws fire for posting picture of her 13-year-old son holding liquor bottle

Rocco Ritchie, centre, and friends.

Instagram

Is Madonna the worst parent on the planet or the world's coolest mom? Either way, the Material Girl still knows how to court controversy.

E! Online reports on the stir created by Madonna sharing a photograph of her 13-year-old son Rocco Ritchie on Instagram last Saturday.

The outrageous part: Taken on a family trip to the Swiss Alps, the photo shows Rocco brandishing a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin.

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Rocco is flanked in the picture by two young friends, names and ages unknown, each holding vodka bottles.

But was Madonna, 55, intentionally attempting to ruffle feathers with her caption for the picture? "The party has just begun! Bring it! 2014."

Even though the drinking age in Switzerland is 16, Rocco, the only biological child from Madonna's eight-year marriage to British director Guy Ritchie, is still three years short of legal tippling.

And it even feels out of character for Madonna to post such a picture. When mother and son appeared together on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012, a then-11-year-old Rocco said Madonna was a strict disciplinarian.

"She's a good mother. Yes. That's all I have to say," Rocco responded to the host's probing. "She's very strict, but in a good way."

Not surprisingly, reaction to the pop icon's move was less than accepting. In less than 24 hours, the picture generated more than 1200 comments, very few of which took her side.

Wrote one Instagram user: "You gotta know what kind of signals it sends not only to her son, but also to kids around the world."

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Noted another: "Booze is not something to make jokes about. Period!"

Among the sparing signs of support, one Instagram user said: "Rocco is adorable and I think it's really cool that Madonna and her family post any pics."

Whatever the public reaction, it appears Madonna was made aware that she hit a nerve. On Sunday, she went back on Instagram to address the backlash.

"No one was drinking we were just having fun!" Madonna wrote in her follow-up caption. "Calm down and get a sense of humor! Don't start the year off with judgement."

Let's recap: First, Madonna sends out a picture of her 13-year-old son posing with a bottle of booze, and then she tells us to calm down and get a sense of humour?

Mama, don't preach.

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