Underage drinking in your own home..

C. - posted on 06/26/2010 ( 63 moms have responded )

4,125

35

238

So this stemmed from Sharon G's thread about alcohol.. Something caught my attention.. I saw where someone said if their teenager wanted to try alcohol, they would let them. Is this something many of you plan on doing? How far would you go with letting your teen drink? Would you let them get drunk, just have a few sips, a few glasses, a little taste..?



Keeping in mind that under the age of 21, it's illegal to drink (in the US. I think AU is 18 or something like that). I would have to say that I would never ever allow my children to drink in my house if they are underage and if I ever caught my children drinking at a friend's house under the supervision of a parent, I would call the police on that parent for serving my child alcohol w/o my parental consent. It seems like many of you don't feel the same way and I'm left wondering why?



Your thoughts?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

I am in South Carolina, US. In our state, it is legal to give alcohol to your own child (or child for whom you are the legal guardian) in your own home as long as the child is supervised by their legal guardian who is 21 or over. (Like an 18 year old who has gained legal custody of her siblings could not give them alcohol until she is 21).





I will teach my son to drink responsibly. We have wine with dinner almost every evening. We do not get "buzzed" or drunk, but I enjoy the wine very much. If my son ever asks for a glass, I will give him one. I would much rather him learn his tolerance level in our home, where he is safe, than at some party surrounded by a bunch of drunk kids who didn't know when to stop drinking either. Everyone's alcohol tolerance is different--what gives one person a buzz could get another totally wasted. It takes some practice before we know how much we can drink and of what before getting too drunk to function, so I want my son practicing at home so when he goes to college, he doesn't go to some stupid party and die of alcohol poisoning. (We have someone at one of the colleges die of alcohol poisoning almost every year here--If their parents had taught them how to drink, they would have known.)



There is also the driving home part. If alcohol is forbidden and he goes to some party and gets drunk, I doubt he is going to want to call me and say "Mom, I got too drunk to drive home, can you come get me?" Instead, he will get in his car and try to drive home to stay out of trouble.



He is going to drink, I know that. It is my job to make sure he knows how to drink without killing himself or someone else.

Aliska - posted on 06/29/2010

170

6

20

What puzzles me about the people who say that alcohol shouldn't be consumed until the legal drinking age is reached (which seems to range between 18 to 21 yrs) is what changes overnight??

They go to bed an irresponsible under-age kid the night before their 18th, 19th or 21st birthdays and miraculously wake up the next day a responsible, mature drinker? I don't think so!

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

Christina, I love how you are happy to pull someone else up on a snide comment but not recognise your own......I agree it was snide, and I shouldn't have, but at that moment, your comments had been pissing me off, so I reacted. My apologies. But I will also say, never say never.



On the police thing, if your child is drinking underage, it is a HUGE probability he has obtained that alcohol himself. Do you know when I drank underage, not ONCE did an adult supply that for me. Either myself or friends managed to get hold of it. Your view on the matter is possibly a really big reason, however, it will be done behind your back.

Jodi - posted on 06/27/2010

26,021

36

3891

Oh, just for the record, I would NEVER allow someone else's underage child to have a drink in my house (not with my approval anyway). I think that is MY decision for MY children, and I would freak out if someone else made that decision for my kids, so I would never do it to someone else's.

Johnny - posted on 06/26/2010

8,686

26

318

I will allow my teenager (around 15 or 16) to have a small drink at a special occasion dinner. But only if they are responsible, getting good grades, etc. My family toasted my 16 birthday with Champagne & I intend to carry on the tradition.

Our drinking age is 19 here, and until that time, I will not serve alcohol in my home (or anywhere else for that matter) to another person's child. Even with their permission. I think it is really a legal mess if something were to go wrong. I have no issue with other family members serving my teen alcohol in a similarly responsible manner. It is commonplace in our family and has never been an issue.

Why do I feel that way? It was the way I was raised. I do not come from a family of alcoholics, so fortunately, I never have had to deal with those issues. In my father's extended family there were many alcoholics which is why he monitored his own drinking so carefully.

I strongly believe moderation and teaching respect for the dangers and health risks of alcohol consumption are a must. But it is an enjoyable substance that has many health benefits when taken in moderation. It is my role as a parent to teach my child how to consume it properly, rather than running willy nilly around with his/her punk friends getting drunk on Rock-a-berry cooler in the bushes.

Basically, I want my child not to see alcohol as verboten and forbidden fruit. It isn't scary and it's not some extreme thrill ride to be taken in rebellion. If they find it commonplace, they will be less likely to abuse it or use it inappropriately.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

63 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Its legal here to serve your teen alcohol in your home under supervision, but they can't leave the property I believe. 21 is the drinking age but some states make exceptions to the rule for a reason.

I remember a few occasions when my parents picked me and my brother up drunk as skunks, they were irritated but we never got in trouble for calling them at 3am.
And most of the kids we hung out with had open minded parents and they respected mine for taking responsibility and letting ten or more extra teenagers stat over night. They realized it was gonna happen so why not allow in a safe setting.

Sherri - posted on 10/12/2010

9,593

15

387

I 100% agree I will NEVER serve alcohol to anyone elses child ever in my home or anywhere else. I will let my kids have a sip to try something it they asked. I think it teaches them everything in moderation. My kids have NEVER seen my husband or I drunk ever and it is quite a rarity to see us drinking at all.

Not in the US Erin if you are caught serving your child alcohol even in your home you would be arrested for supplying alcohol to a minor.

[deleted account]

I'd allow an underage child have small sips of alcohol from a young age. My parents did this from when my sister and I were about 5 or 6 and we were even allowed a tiny glass of champagne at Christmas. This made it clear to us that alcohol is not a bad thing, it's all about drinking in moderation. They never let us drink full cans/bottles until we were about 17 and therefore one year away from the legal drinking age (UK). I would never buy alcohol for their friends to drink and would never serve alcoholic drinks at their parties.

[deleted account]

Well yes with parental consent. Most parents are pretty open as long as its done responsibly and my parents made us figure out how to get our own alcohol.

Paige - posted on 10/12/2010

206

10

7

My parents always figured that if they let us kids drink with our friends at our house (with their parents consent of course), at least that way they could keep an eye on us. They could make sure nobody got hurt, and that we didn't do anything stupid. It also seemed that we weren't wanting to drink as much as our same age friends, because if we wanted to, we could. I think when my kid is old enough, I'll adopt that rule as well. If only so that I can make sure there are no drunken misdemeanors or injuries.

ME - posted on 10/12/2010

2,978

18

190

I forgot...I will not buy alcohol for my children to serve to their friends, nor will I serve it to anyone elses underage children for any reason without their parents consent.

ME - posted on 10/12/2010

2,978

18

190

My husband and I drink in our home, but we do so within reason. I think it's important to show children what it means to drink for enjoyment, but not to get drunk. I will probably begin offering my kids a small glass of wine with their dinner at age 15 or 16...I want them to learn their limits early...and I don't want the experience to be totally mysterious and exciting for them, or something they feel they must do in secret. I have friends from Canada, and their high school age child drinks with them occasionally...he doesn't see it as a big deal at all...That is the best possible circumstance imo!

[deleted account]

I was allowed to drink at home to what ever extent I wanted for the most part. We had parties and my parents took keys nobody was allowed to leave until morning. I learned how to drink responsibly and I would teach my kids the same. If they decide to drink as teens, but I would rather not have the party house.

Tara - posted on 10/09/2010

2,567

14

107

If my kids are going to drink whether it's underage or not I would prefer them to do it in a safe place where there are people who are not drinking. If that means it's my home and he has a couple of friends over and they share a six pack and hubby and I are home, than yes I would allow that. I would not allow my underage or above age teen (still living at home) to drink to the point of being shit faced fall down stupid drunk at home. But the way I see it is the more taboo you make it, the more rigid you are, the more likely your kids will find another way to try things, to push back a little and do things behind your back rather than being open and mature about it.
My parents let my brother and I drink with our friends at home at about age 16-17. Neither of us ever had a drinking problem, we never took advantage of the leniency and our friends were always respectful too. Oh and it was always my best friend and my brothers best friend and both their parents knew they were drinking at our house. My mom called them to let them know that was how she rolled and was it okay to allow their child to have a couple of beers.

Stifler's - posted on 10/09/2010

15,141

154

597

I agree with Carol. I think it's okay to let them have wine/beer/an alcoholic beverage with dinner or after dinner. Drinking in moderation is what we want to teach teenagers. I grew up in a home with no alcohol. Alcohol was evil, blah blah blah according to my parents. I want to combat them drinking alone like I did, drinking so much that I made myself sick and looked like an idiot, drinking every day, using alcohol as a crutch to get through the day is not something I want for my children.

Brandy - posted on 10/08/2010

1,353

0

157

My children are only 2 1/2 years and 9 months old and I don't really know what I am going to do when I get there yet but I can tell you that my brothers and I were given no restrictions when it came to alcohol and drugs. We were extensively informed about them and they were available to us, never offered to us by our parents but they would also never say no if we had asked if we could bring a couple coolers to a party. When they did drink (which was on occasion), they did so in front of us in an attempt to show us how to do it properly and in a responsible manner rather than sending us away for the night. In a small town where the teenagers liked to get drunk on the backroads for entertainment (pretty much their only form of entertainment), we drank alot less than the other kids did and we knew that even if we had a couple drinks, we weren't going to get in trouble if we called our parents at 2am for a ride home rather than get one of our drunk friends to drive us to the end of our driveway like the other kids would do. The 3 of us rarely drink now (I think I've had a 4 pack of coolers in the past 2 years) and we've all grown into successful, happy human beings. I don't know if I would feel so comfortable using their approach but I do know that it really seemed to work and I know that the kids who had to sneak out because their parents would never think of letting them go to a party where there was going to be alcohol, were the ones getting puking drunk and sleeping around and dabbling in the drugs. I realize that most of you probably didn't grow up in the kind of town that I did so it may be hard for you to understand letting teenagers drink but to our parents, it wasn't whether or not it was going to happen, it was whether or not we were going to do it safely.

As for the age thing, I live in Canada and the limit for alcohol here is 18 and I have noticed that up here, most of the kids I knew in high school cut back their drinking substantially after their 18th birthdays. I guess it wasn't as exciting once it was allowed.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2010

8,942

36

754

I had my first sip of wine at home when I was about 15 during Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't like it much so I didn't finish it. Later on in years I would try beer, try a brandy or a scotch (I hate scotch) and even a liquor. I sampled champagne when I was about 17-18 in California and did a wine tasting tour during the same trip. Exposing an older child to small amount of alcohol I don't think is a bad thing. It helped me learn that alcohol is for special occasions and should be enjoyed in moderation. I got drunk a total of 5 times while I was in college and the novelty just wore off. When my daughter is older (around 14-15) and on a special occasion like Thanksgiving or Christmas I'll let her try some champagne or wine. I see no harm in letting her try it. Alcoholism doesn't run in my family and my family drink so rarely it's hardly a big deal to me.

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2010

2,694

52

168

I would just like to add this, so many keep raising the question about WHY the drinking age in the US is 21, I can't say this is the legal reason why, but science has proven that the temporal lobe (the decision making part of the brain) doesn't fully develop until the early to mid 20's. Meaning, a teenager literally lacks the ability to make truly educated and fully comprehended decisions regarding important matters. It's one reason why I think voting, enlisting, marrying, driving etc etc etc should all be raised to the age of 21. Just something to maybe give a reason behind a seemingly arbritrary law?

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2010

2,694

52

168

I can't say for the rest of the country, but in Wisconsin, you can drink underage under the supervision of a legal guardian. That being said, neither my husband or I drink...maybe an occasional beer if we head to the bar to shoot pool or throw darts, but that's it. We don't plan on letting our children drink and we certainly would never provide them and/or their friends with alcohol in or out of our home! I would be willing to let my child have a glass of champagne or a wine cooler at an event like a wedding or a very special occasion like that if I felt they were old enough and mature enough and wouldn't take it to mean they could drink whenever they wanted! BUT, my oldest is only 19 months! lol. Also, I didn't have my first drink until I was in college...still under 21, but my parent's had nothing to do with it...and weren't any happy to find out regardless!!!! ;)
Underage drinking will not be tolerated in my house, neither will smoking (until they move out regardless if they're over 18), driving under age, or drugs at any age. Teenagers get a lot of independance and there's plenty of time for drinking later, a few rules need to be in place for their safety IMO.

Serena - posted on 10/08/2010

453

10

55

I agree with the idea of giving your 16 or 17 year old a drink on a special occasion. I had my first beer (given by my parents) at the age of 18 for turning 18. I would do this in part of demystifying the wonder of alcohol. From the age they understand the word no, people in general seem to make it a goal to do the opposite, especially teenagers. I can't see myself letting my children get drunk or drink socially under my supervision. I can say that now though because my oldest is 4 and I have high hopes for a lot of parenting issues coming my way.
I would hope though that my children's friends parents respect my wishes and don't provide alcohol to my child. I don't think I would go as far to call the police on the first time (depending on the situation) because I don't want to interfere with my child's friendship. But I would definitely have a talk with their parents and explain my stance. I just hope that I raise my children right and they make the right decision for themselves under 21 and beyond.

C. - posted on 06/29/2010

4,125

35

238

@Jessica

"I agree that if you are adult enough to fight and die for your country you should be adult enough to walk into a bar and have a drink. Intead of lowering the drinking age they should raise the enlistment age. I have always found this kind of silly as well, you can carry a rifle and shoot people but if you walk into a bar you can't get served, ridiculous."

Ok, what some of you are failing to realize is that for one, if you do enlist in the military, you are TRAINED how to properly handle, shoot and clean your weapons. Nobody trains you on how to drink responsibly. Parents should, but unfortunately most fall short.

And Jodi, yes my son is a toddler. That's still no reason for you to make such a snide comment. And NO, my opinion on the matter will most certainly NOT change. I think it's wrong and I will always think it's wrong. If my child feels they are old enough to drink and they are still legally underage, they can move out and just see how ready they are to be an adult. My husband also feels the same way. Say what you want, but my mind will not change and if someone is caught serving my child alcohol, of course I will talk to them, but I will also call the police so they are aware that the particular person/parent is serving minors alcohol- which, BTW, they don't take that lightly.

Now, continue posting.. I have things I have to do before we move, so I can't stay on for forever like I used to.

Lyndsay - posted on 06/29/2010

2,008

19

175

Personally, I think they should lower the drinking age and raise the age you can get your license. Young adults 16-24 are the highest group for collisions involving alcohol. I started drinking when I was quite young, by the time I reached the legal age of 19 it kind of lost its luster for me. I didn't get my license until I was 20, and I would never DREAM of drinking and driving! If I know I'm going out somewhere where theres the possibility of alcohol, I will leave my car at home and take a bus/cab.

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

And Holly, as it turns out, it was Nancy Reagan who pushed for that.....prior to that, a lot of states still had the drinking age as 18.

[deleted account]

Did you all know that individual states have the right to make the legal drinking age whatever they want? They are all 21 because of a government stipulation that says any state that has the legal drinking age under 21 will not get any federal money for highways and such...

Hannah - posted on 06/29/2010

66

1

0

My parents never allowed us to have alcohol and that only made me want it more. I went to quite a few parties with alcohol and could have been seriously hurt. Because of that, I promised that I would have an open door policy with my children. I want to make sur that not only do they respect me but they also trust me enough to come to me with things such as alcohol, sex or whatever it may be. I will allow my childrent to have alcohol on special occassions and things like that. At least I will be albe to monitor and regulate how much they have. I will never allow another child to have alcohol without permission from the parents.

I think too many people in America have this fear of things and it tends to make things worse. You cannot shelter your kids from everything. Most of the time, it only makes them want to do it more!

Jessica - posted on 06/29/2010

345

39

51

Absolutely not. There is no reason for them to have a drink special occasion or not. I think it teaches kids that as long as you have a good enough reason you can drink.

@Krista
I agree that if you are adult enough to fight and die for your country you should be adult enough to walk into a bar and have a drink. Intead of lowering the drinking age they should raise the enlistment age. I have always found this kind of silly as well, you can carry a rifle and shoot people but if you walk into a bar you can't get served, ridiculous.

Lyndsay - posted on 06/29/2010

2,008

19

175

I don't know, I'm kind of torn on this. My mom used to drink but she always made it seem like it was such a bad thing for us to do, which is very hypocritical in my opinion, and it never stopped me. Once when I was 13 I stole her bottle of vodka from under the counter and got totally smashed in a forest with my friends. Well, one of my friends rolled stumbled and rolled down a hill, and could've continued rolling down a 50 ft. waterfall if she wasn't stopped by a boulder. Luckily some hikers found her (and me passed out in a bush) and called an ambulance. I think of things like that and it makes me feel that its a lot safer for my kid to be drinking at home, where he is supervised and I can make sure hes safe.

Sarah - posted on 06/29/2010

5,465

31

331

Damn Cathy! Maybe I just look old :(
Although I've been for ID buying alcohol in the supermarket! YAY!!!

I can remember having sips of my Dad's beer when I was 5! I used to like having the froth off the top!

[deleted account]

They've tightened up on asking for ID in most places now Sarah. The fines aren't worth it.
Last month I got ID'd twice out in Bristol (only went 2 places) ... made my evening!!!

I would allow my kids to try alcohol before 18. It's actually legal in the UK for any child over 5 to try alcohol in the home. I would never allow more than a sip for taste. 5 is a bit young to be drinking pints!
From 14 I think an occassional drink, on special occassions, in a safe parental environment, can teach a child to drink safely and responsibly.

Lindsay - posted on 06/29/2010

3,532

26

266

I will also allow my kids to have a drink on special occassions when they are older much like my parents did with me and my brothers. I wouldn't ever provide it for anyone else's child nor would I provide alcohol for my kids to take some where else to consume. We will also have many many talks and reminders about when they drink with their friends. (yes, I'm sure they will, as do most if not all kids at some point or another). They will know that I am available no matter the time or place to come pick them up if they are not able to drive home. I found this invaluable as a teen. I saw far too many kids too scared of their parents' reactions to them drinking to attempt to get home themself and hide it. I'm far more concerned about my children returning home safe to me than I am if they have a drink or too. But hey, that could just be me! =)

Sarah - posted on 06/29/2010

5,465

31

331

I'll let mine have a drink at special occasions once they're older.
I used to have some from about 14 I think. (maybe I can't remember coz I was drunk!!! J/K!!!!)

I think 18 is the right age to be able to drink legally.
Don't know what it's like now, but when I was 16/17 I didn't have much trouble getting into pubs and clubs. So I think maybe being more like the US and asking EVERYONE for ID could be a good idea. :)

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

Toni, don't worry. Christina isn't calling any police. Her oldest child is just a toddler, I have a feeling her opinion will change with experience. Its really easy to judge when you don't have to face it in reality.

[deleted account]

Christina, I was raised to follow the law and abide by it - as has already been stated on this post in the UK the age to purchase alcohol is 18 BUT teenagers can drink alcohol with meals in restaurants and they can drink while in private residences (supervised obviously).

I feel it is extreme that you would want to involve the police for your child having a drink at a friends house - yes the parents should have asked your permission but everybody makes mistakes surely it would be better to talk to them about it, and then if they were really blase about it and just disregarded your feelings maybe involve the police - but to be honest IMO the police have better things to do with their time than arrest someone for giving a minor a drink (and I do mean one drink).

I would never give any child (other than my own) a drink without first having explicit permission from the parents and I'm sure most people would be the same.

Krista - posted on 06/29/2010

12,562

16

842

Um no, I wasn't being closed-minded about it. I was just saying that it really seems silly. You say that you will not serve a child alcohol until the legal age. And that's fine, I respect that. But I also find it really bizarre that in your country, a 20-year old is considered a "child" for those particular purposes.

Thank you, Jodi, for that link.

And Christina, one thing you should know about me is that I am always willing to change my mind, IF presented with compelling evidence. In this case, the evidence is not compelling. If someone is considered too immature to drink until they are 21, then everything should be raised to age 21 -- what age you can enlist, what age you can marry, etc. The idea that someone is mature enough to go to war and kill another human being, but they're not mature enough to be trusted with alcohol is just completely nonsensical to me.

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

@ Krista, here is some info on the history. I chose this one because it was nice and succinct, some of them are full of legal crap, LOL.

As you can see, it is based on an antiquated notion from way back when the legal age of an adult was 21 :)
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archive...

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

Christina, that wasn't a defensive post. I have nothing to defend. I just thought your comment a little rude and superior to be honest.

C. - posted on 06/29/2010

4,125

35

238

Jodi, why are you getting so defensive? I didn't mean anything by it at all. Krista's attitude towards it ('I mean, seriously?') made it seem like she already had her mind made up about the situation, no matter what anyone said to her. That's all I said, that's all I meant. I wasn't trying to offend anyone.

Anyway, I do know why. It's partly to do with the fact that they lowered the drinking age back down to 18 some years ago. The number of alcohol-related deaths rose. It proved more fatal to teens/young adults than raising the age had done, so they raised it once again. I'll have to find some more on it so I can show you. But right now I am tired and I am headed back to bed :)

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

Fiona, I'd have to check to clarify, and the laws in each state are different, but I believe minors ARE allowed to have alcohol when on a private premises. However, it is illegal to actually provide alcohol to a minor. SO basically, if the minor raids your liquor cabinet, no-one is doing anything illegal, go figure :)

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

26,021

36

3891

@Christina
"There's a reason for that, but it seems you have a pretty closed mind about it right at this moment, so there's no point in me trying to explain it right now."

Good GOD!! Krista was NOT close minded about it all!! In fact she never said she didn't care WHY, just that she thought it was silly that you can vote, go to war, etc, when you are 18 but you can't drink. What a ridiculous things to say. Personally, I think you made that comment because you have absolutely NO idea why the legal age is 21 in the year 2010.

[deleted account]

Christina (or anyone who knows), I am curious what the reason is for 21 being the legal drinking age in the US? Please enlighten me, also could someone also tell me what age you are able to enrol to vote in the US? I am sure I could look it up, but would rather someone else did the hard work for me, thanks :).

Here is Aus, where the legal age is 18 if my teenage child wanted to try alcohol then I would probably allow it in the safety of my home where I could monitor that it was 'trying' it, no more than a glass of wine or beer. I do not doubt that my teenage children will engage in underage drinking, I know I certainly did, but I will not be supplying them with alcohol for parties. If I found out they were drinking I would counsel them about the dangers of alcohol in young people and if I knew another parent was supplying my underage child with alcohol I would certainly be having a 'discussion' with them about it. A glass of wine for my own child at a special occasion dinner is fine with me but no drunken teenage parties at my place, no other teens will be allowed to drink in my house etc. I am sure some parents will justify their reasons for allowing their children to drink at home as being that they would rather their child was doing it somewhere safe and supervised. Fair enough, but that is not a decision you can make for another's child without clear expressed permission.

For some reason, I always thought that here in Aus it was legal for a parent or guardian to supervise a minor (their child) drinking alcohol on their own private property but not to supply a minor with alcohol. Not sure about the law, maybe that was an urban myth I picked up while growing up, or wishful thinking.

C. - posted on 06/28/2010

4,125

35

238

@Toni M..

"But I would not call the police that is a rather extreme reaction to a minor incident"

It's not extreme b/c I would never give anyone permission to serve my underage child an alcoholic substance. It's against the law and if someone does that, they deserve to be handcuffed for breaking said law, IMO.

@Erin L..

Not sure where you live, but in the US, it's illegal. They even have campaigns/ads/commercials against people serving alcohol to underaged children b/c they can be thrown in jail for it b/c it is against the law. I saw one of the commercials for it just today and I've been seeing them just about everyday (whenever I have the station turned to something other than Nick/Nick Jr).

@Krista E..

"but I think it is beyond ridiculous that the drinking age in the U.S. is 21. You can get married, have a kid, fight and die for your country, run a business, but you can't be trusted to drink a beer? I mean, seriously?"

There's a reason for that, but it seems you have a pretty closed mind about it right at this moment, so there's no point in me trying to explain it right now.


Maybe it's the fact that I was raised to obey the law no matter what. I was raised with a high respect for our country and for the laws they pass. I don't have to agree with them, I just have to obey them. If I find something that's 'not right', we fight for whatever is right. And perhaps b/c my husband wants to be a policeman once he gets out of the military.

My husband and I have already talked about this and we've decided underage drinking will not happen in our home. If our child/children cannot be trusted with the very little bit of alcohol we keep in the house, we will simply only buy it when we want it.

I just don't think it's right to serve a child alcohol until the legal age. My parents instilled that in me and I thank them for it. I was raised that alcohol is not important at all, you can have a good time w/o having a hard drink or using any substances. I have had a couple of drinks while underage, and a part of that was b/c my mom and I were going through some rough times and I wanted to rebel against her. It's not something that I'm proud of at all, in fact it disgusts me. I just don't see the point in giving your child alcohol. That is probably b/c of the difference in families, countries and traditions, and that's fine- but it just doesn't sit right with me at all and it's not something that I or my husband choose to do when our children are older.

I would like to thank you all for your comments, though. You've given me the answer I was looking for. If anyone else would like to continue commenting on this thread, please feel free to share your take on this subject.

Aliska - posted on 06/28/2010

170

6

20

I grew up always being allowed to taste my parents' drink, having the froth off my dad's beer etc. I was always given my own small glass on special occasions. As I got older the amount in my glass increased. I would have the odd, full social drink with my parents before I turned 18 (legal drinking age in Aus). My husband had a similar upbringing. No-one in our families has a drinking problem. This attitude to drinking and children is quite common in European households. I liked the way I was brought up and am doing the same with my children. I want them to learn to drink responsibly and enjoy it but to remain in control.

I would be happy with under-age drinking in my home but only if I knew that the other parents' attitudes were similar to my own. I wouldn't serve alcohol to under-age kids otherwise as much to cover my own backside as anything else but also I believe it's every parent's right to handle this the way they see fit which may differ from me. I think that it is safer if the adults serve the drinks to the kids because at least the adults are in control of exactly what is being drunk, how much is being drunk and by whom. If the parents are the ONLY source of alcohol at a teen's party they have some control over what's happening. If they don't serve alcohol and the kids 'sneak' in their own then you don't know what's happening until potentially too late and can't control the pace of the drinking. I don't think many parents share my view though.

If we are inviting other families to our family events where we would let our kids have a small drink I always advise the other parents beforehand. They then have time to think about whether they would like their kids to have a drink or not and aren't caught in an embarrassing situation. If they decide that they don't want their kids to drink they can prepare their kids before hand to minimise any issues.

I stilll went out drinking with my friends as a teen without my parents knowing (or so I thought) but at least I didn't drink to suicidal levels like I saw other kids do because I knew it wasn't my only opportunity to have a drink. I was also a bit more prepared about the effects of alcohol on my body to was able to regulate my drinking much better than a lot of other kids.

I don't think there's any easy answers to this one!

C. - posted on 06/27/2010

4,125

35

238

I want to thank all of you ladies for posting.. I'll try to get back to you in a day or two. The internet is crapping out again (it literally took me 10 minutes to post on the 'Silly Debate' thread b/c I kept losing the signal).. Anyway, I want to encourage you all to keep posting and I'll try to read and get back to you all soon! Thanks for your input!

Charlie - posted on 06/27/2010

11,203

111

401

"We used to drink Tequila straight up because it was cheap"

It was cheap ??? Hot dang , i missed out LOL .

Alcohol .........Special occasions ? yes , for a toast or what not , not to get drunk , id rather my child learn to enjoy alcohol ( if thats what they choose) responsibly as an accompaniment then learn their drinking habits off other teens by seeing how much they could chug out of a beer bong in 20 seconds .

I would never supply alcohol for anyone else's underage child , not my child , not my decision .

Nikki - posted on 06/27/2010

1,524

23

151

here the legal age is 19. When my son is 16 and if he is responsible I will allow him to have a drink on special occasions, but everyone knows at that age he will go to parties where without a doubt alcohol will be served. Im 28 and I remember just how easy it was to get liquor as a young teen. I will teach my son to be responsible and to be honest if he is going to drink anyways Id much prefer it to be done under my roof then elsewhere, and driving drunk will be the biggest discussion I will have with him NO MATTER WHAT WHEN WHY OR HOW I want him to be able to call me during any situation if he has been drinking and thinks he is going to drive home or is going to allow a friend, I have lost way too many people to drunk driving I WILL NEVER LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN as much as we want our kids to wait til they are 19 to have their first sip of alcohol unless you are planning on locking them in the basement til that day its going to happen whether you like it or not, so why not teach them to be responsible about it.

[deleted account]

Like others have said, a sip here and there when the child is older (13 or 14ish) isn't going to hurt them. Like I said in the other thread, it's about teaching the child(ren) respect for alcohol. I do not want it to be a "forbidden fruit," nor do I want it to be someting they are afraid of touching. Either extreme is not healthy.

Honestly, I am sure my mother and my best friend's mother spoke before my BF's mom gave me a glass of wine with dinner (starting when I was 13) and I am sure my mother gave her the go ahead, but I didn't know that at the time... It wasn't really taboo or anything though, and I have never really liked the taste of alcohol anyway (ever since my dad's friend gave me a taste of his beer when I was 7 - yuck! It has turned me off so bad that I haven't had any since).

I WOULD NOT give any of my kid's friends alcohol without explicit written consent from their parents (and I mean something that says "I, ____________, parent of _____________, give Holly permission to give my child (insert amount allowed here) of alcohol while in her care. Signed, _________" WITH a notary on it so it can't be claimed to be a forgery. I know that sounds extreme, but unfortunately these days one can never be too careful, even with friends and such.

Jodi - posted on 06/27/2010

26,021

36

3891

"I personally think most alcohol tastes pretty feral so maybe a little try of a really strong wine will be enough to deter them from drinking too early"



Probably not - when I think back to the crap I used to steal from my parent's drink cabinet when I was 16-17......like SHERRY. I wouldn't touch the stuff now, but back then it didn't matter. We used to drink Tequila straight up because it was cheap, and I can't even go near it now without feeling ill.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/27/2010

1,858

12

174

I think if they raise the drinking age to 21 it won't stop underage drinking at all. Those who are determined to drink will find a way.
As for the question, I think a few sips at special occasions may teach them to drink responsibly. But only at above 16. I personally think most alcohol tastes pretty feral so maybe a little try of a really strong wine will be enough to deter them from drinking too early (gqtm). And I agree with Joanna that it depends on how mature my kids are at that age. Also I would never let any one else's kid do it in my house.

Krista - posted on 06/27/2010

12,562

16

842

I agree, Jodi. That is obscene that someone could be conscripted, but not have the right to vote.

Jodi - posted on 06/27/2010

26,021

36

3891

Krista, there are people pushing for Australia's legal drinking age to be RAISED to 21!! It is believed it will reduce the incidence of alcohol related violence.



Australia lowered the voting and drinking age from 21 to 18 during the Vietnam War on the grounds that if 18 year olds could be conscripted, they should also have the right to vote and drink.

Krista - posted on 06/27/2010

12,562

16

842

I'm pretty much of the same mind as Kati. A sip here or there, some champagne for a special occasion, or a bit of wine if we're having a nice dinner? Sure. But I would not allow another person's kid to have alcohol at my place, unless the parent was right there to say okay.

And slightly OT, but I think it is beyond ridiculous that the drinking age in the U.S. is 21. You can get married, have a kid, fight and die for your country, run a business, but you can't be trusted to drink a beer? I mean, seriously?

Tracey - posted on 06/27/2010

1,094

2

58

I beleive in the UK the legal age to buy alcohol is 18 but under that age they an drink in the home. A child over 12 can drink a glass of wine in a restaurant with their meal. We let our children try whatever we were drinking except spirits over the age of 12 so they get used to the taste, and know what they like and don't like.
I don't let them drink if they have friends over and I would not give alcohol to someone else's child.

Rosie - posted on 06/27/2010

8,657

30

315

i will let my kids have a sip here and there, and maybe a glass of wine or something for christmas. i will not have anybody's kid at my house drinking. crazy, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen. i won't have parties or let my kid sit around drinking beer after beer, but i do want to show them how to drink responsibly as good as i can.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms