letting kids drink

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Ladies,



An opinion garnering conversation here: Should you let your teen drink at home, in certain circumstances, etc...I'm including an article I read the other day. (OK, this isn't the original article, but most of it) The link is included below the quoted text.



"Some parents believe that allowing their teens to have an occasional beer or glass of wine makes alcohol less taboo -- and therefore less enticing to those under 21. Others think that giving drinks to teens at home is dangerous, teaches the wrong lessons and may lead to addiction problems later.



As many as 700,000 kids ages 12 to 14 -- or 6 percent of those in that age group -- said they drank in the past month in a recent report conducted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).



Of the 45 percent who said they got the alcohol for free at home, 16 percent said it came from a parent or guardian. The poll didn't ask for details about how much alcohol they consumed or in what situation they had a drink.



One father, Terry Moran, said he won't let his kids drink alcohol until they're legal, according to the "Today" show.



"Because kids start thinking that, 'Hey, if my parents think it's OK, then I can just go experiment, hang out with my friends and drink.' I see it happen all the time," Moran told NBC.



One teen who spoke to NBC said his parents sometimes give him small amounts of alcohol at dinner.



"They would give me alcohol at home first, small doses -- a glass of wine here, maybe a glass of beer with dinner," he said. "It taught me responsibility, for the most part."





Psychologist Elaine Moore says that many teenagers are going to experiment with drinking no matter what, and they're typically not mature enough to handle it well. Mothers and fathers can help, but declined to speculate on whether giving alcohol to teen children at home is the solution.



"I don't think there's a right answer," Moore told NBC. "I think it's really, really important for parents to teach their kids to drink responsibly."



Peter Delany, the director of SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, said the earlier that teens start drinking, the more likely they are to become alcoholics.



"When kids under age 15 start drinking and drinking heavily, they are about six times more likely to end up with alcohol problems," he told the Wall Street Journal. "This report isn't designed to say, 'Bad parents!' It's designed to say, 'Here's an issue you should pay attention to.'"



In fact, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 50 percent of young people in America are binge drinking by they time they're 21 and 86 percent of them have consumed alcohol.



"Twenty-five percent of 'Seventeen' readers say their parents let them drink at home," the magazine's editor-in-chief Ann Shoket told "Today." "But what they're learning is not necessarily how to drink. What they're learning is trust."



The research to date is inconclusive on the potential perils of letting your kids drink at home. But no matter what, psychiatrist Janet Taylor believes parents should at least be talking to their children about drinking, especially about the hazards of binge drinking.



"It gets back to the quality of the relationship and how much communication is happening at home," Taylor told the show.



Related:

Teen Drinking at Home: Helpful or Harmful?"



http://www.aolhealth.com/2011/03/15/shou...

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/16/2011

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Now, my own opinion is that I'd rather have my son try something in my presence. I kind of had that taken away from me this summer, however.



He went to Germany, where the drinking age is 16. Before he went, we discussed the possible situations, and my hubby and I both told him "it's their culture. It will be offered. If you do not wish to try, do not be embarrassed, just politely decline." We also told him that, as long as he was in the company of a responsible "family" member, he had our permission to experience the culture fully, including having a drink.



He told us the morning after he'd had his first beer. He wanted to make sure we wouldn't be upset with him. I asked what he thought, and he said he liked it better than the couple of sips of American beer...(not surprising), but that he preferred soda or water. The whole time he was there, he consumed maybe $20 worth of alcohol, and was very responsible about it.



My firm belief is that we have made so many behaviors "taboo" in the US, that it is coming back to bite us in the butt. If you look around, most other countries have younger drinking ages, and actually have less problems with underage consumption.



So, ladies, opinions?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/21/2011

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So, Cindy, I take it you would rather your kids not experience ANYTHING while under your roof? In regards to "replace 'drink' with 'sex' or 'fire a weapon'."

Personally, I feel that, you, as a parent, have a responsibility to introduce your kids to anything that they could possibly run into. Whether it's discussing drinking, drugs, sex, firearms, etc, the knowledge should ALWAYS come from the parents first. And in regards to your post, really, it's not the same thing. I'm fairly certain that most of the ladies that have posted that they've let their kids try a sip of beer, etc, have most definitely NOT told them to go out and be promiscuous at the same time. And in regards to firing a weapon, here in the US, it is not illegal for a child to FIRE a gun, only to OWN one under the age of 18. Which, by the way, both of my sons have been able to shoot from the time they were about 5 years old. The concept, however, is the same. I want my kids to KNOW what to expect. I want them to understand that firing that gun is a potentially dangerous action, and what the potential consequences could be. Therefore, they saw at a VERY young age what a bullet does to a groundhog. In regards to sex, again, both of my children have been "in the know" (age appropriately) since they were old enough to knock on my bedroom door. Now that they are in their teens, it becomes more situation specific. However, we have ALWAYS told our children that we would rather they didn't engage in sexual activity prior to marriage. Knowing that they individuals, we have also included the caveat: If you absolutely MUST, then you also must protect yourself, and your partner. I honestly don't think there's going to be a problem, because they have a living example of what happens when they screw that up, with paternity suits, child support, etc. I've also made it VERY clear to them both that if they do screw up, they will not be allowed to pay for an abortion, since that is against our beliefs. If their girlfriend thinks that is her only option, then she and her parents will be paying for that, as I will not pay to have a child murdered. If they want to play, they will be expected to go through 9 months of pregnancy, and decide whether to keep the child or give it up for adoption.

And, a side note, my son, who went overseas, was given unlimited access to alcohol on his trip, NEVER exceeded his limits, and hasn't assumed "Cool, I can drink" since he got back. I believe that if you have raised your kids well, they DO understand the difference between permission to do something with a parent around and restriction from the same activity in the absence of parental supervision.

Cathy - posted on 03/20/2011

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Try reading that article and replacing "drink" with "sex" or "fire weapons" Really? Permission is permission -- if mom and dad say it's OK occasionally, then you've given your child the permission to drink, period. Remember, you have to look at it from the teen's perspective. Adults can rationalize the reasoning all they want, but kids will just think, "Cool! I can drink!"

Heidi - posted on 05/30/2012

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The research out there shows that a teenager's brain is still growing until around age 18 or 19. Since alcohol is a teratogenic substance, it dehydrates the brain. Think of a wet sponge being wrung out or throwing water on circuts, causing sparks and fizzles. Why would we not educate our teens about that and tell them the issue goes further than the law, or drinking/driving, because it would not be responsible of them or of us to give them even a small quantity of something that can cause permanent damage to any part of their brain. It usually affects the frontal lobe cortex the most, which is where diplomacy, tact, understanding cause/effect, and controlling your temper all exist. So the answer to me is very simple. No benefits are provided, and in fact harm can be caused, so there is no way I would help them have access to even a small amount of alcohol.

Marlene - posted on 04/15/2012

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Actually, alcoholism runs ramped in our extended family. Both myself and my ex have decades of recovery from alcoholism, so my son has never seen us drink. My son is diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and several co-morbid issues like ADD, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. He is at extremely high risk. So it is no great virtue or soap box that I speak from. It's simply years of my own disease, recovery, and then having a child and coming to the realization that I had to educate myself on a whole other level to try to protect him.

In our case we had to make it very clear that any amount could be dangerous for him. The longer he waited into adulthood to drink responsibly the greater chance he could actually do so without becoming an alcoholic. I'm not a teetotaler. For those who can drink in safety, socially, as an adult, it's a pleasurable thing. In the mean time your brain is developing, get your education, stay alive, and realize life can be fun without booze.

So, our message is very clear. He finally tested some old wine I had for cooking in the back of the frig.. I'm sure it didn't taste good. He said it didn't. I didn't make a federal case out of it. I probably won't buy more wine for cooking. But my position on him drinking is the same: don't drink. If you are with people(driver) and they drink: don't ride! call.

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Lorraine - posted on 04/25/2012

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maybe i should have made it clear i lived in the UK and the legal drinking age is 18 not 21 like other countries i do not drink a lot the odd glass of wine on high day and holiday i have thrown beer away because it was out of date. I think my children are well aware of the problems drink causes they have seen enough with there friends. My boys do drink but no to the extended that they are being sick or havnt got a clue where they are

Marlene - posted on 04/25/2012

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That is just not true. Other countries with underage drinking DO have equal and even greater youth drinking problems. Get the facts! Frankly this arguement to defend drinking so that we can expose our teens and young adults to a toxin that is damaging to their developing brian while they are young and cognatively incapable of making the best decisions ~ especially poisoning their brain with a toxin, is rediculous. If we cared we would educate ourselves, each other, and our children, so that THEY have the FACTS! They are better off smoking marijuana..except it's illegal! I'm not for that either, but that's the FACT!

Lorraine - posted on 04/25/2012

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i never let either of my boys drink until. One of my friends sons worked with me he was 16 and never had a drink. It was our christmas party at work and we was all on a coach drinks was flowing and he got so drunk and had to be sent home in a taxi. So i decided that i would let my boys have a drink ie wine with lemonade it in beer ie shandy to this day both my boys drink with care im not saying they havnt been drunk yes they have but at party at home or family party where i was or a family member was. My boys are now 18 and nearly 24 i think i made the right decision when they was 15 i would rather them drink in my present that to go to the locally offy and get drunk with there mates. Im proud of my boys they are the ones that bring home drunken friends to stay at home and they alway makesure there friends are put to bed with the bucket beside them. I am one proud mummy and lucky to have to grown up boys that take care of those that arnt as street wise with drink

Faye - posted on 04/24/2012

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I agree with Lee, If the kid is old enough to fight for our country and old enough to vote for the leaders of our country, then they need to be allowed to drink at the age of 18.

In my house, I allowed my daughter to have a sip of wine a few Christmas's back. She took one sip, handed it back and said "no thanks." She will be 21 in a few months. My 17 yo son on the other hand is in trouble with the County for something he done a year ago, so he can not drink due to random drug tests.

Growing up, my dad mixed me a VERY WEAK drink when I was 15, I handed it back to him, as I did not like what was mixed. I have never liked beer.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2012

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This is a hard one to answer. I am not a big drinker. Occasional drink here or there on a holiday or a cold beer in the summer. My teen has asked for a sip here and there and I've let her, but just a sip or a extra small glass of wine on Christmas...she didn't even drink the wine because she said it was gross. :) I think the example you set as a parent is more important. I hope by my kids seeing that I am not a big drinker that they know they dont have to feel pressured to drink or even drink to have fun. We talk about teens drinking at parties etc...Ive always said NO WAY, but if she was to slip up or get herself in trouble, I always tell her to call me and dont go with or ride with ANYONE drunk, EVER! (My family owns a bar and she is disturbed by some of the heavier drinkers that go in the bar so that makes me feel alittle better.)

Carlie - posted on 04/20/2012

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Yes and No: Doesn't a child have to be an ADULT to drink? Yes. Isn't 21 years the legal drinking age for alcohol consumption in the United States? Yes.



And NO:



Forty-nine states adhere and agree that alcohol consumption is legal at age 21 and over EXCEPT Louisiana. Louisiana is the only state that adheres to alcohol consumption at 18 years of age and over. As a native of Louisiana (born and raised for 11 years), I can certainly attest to that.



I had my first drink of alcohol at age 18-in Louisiana. I was allowed to consume alcohol at that age because my parents trusted my judgement. They disapproved and would have preferred I not do it until I was older, but for the most part, they trusted I would make the right decisions involving something like this.



This is a sticky question for me to answer: I don't really believe the AGE matters so much as the BUYING of alcohol does. Meaning, children and young adults will do what they want regardless. We, as parents, can only control what they do or the decisions they choose to make, for so long. At some point, they take over and are allowed to form their own opinions and make their own decisions-and meanwhile, we sit back and watch them fall or rise. Correct? Correct.



So. They will consume alcohol with or without our approval or authority. If they want to badly enough, then they will find some way to do so-I promise. We should know. We've all been in that position before.



In my opinion, what's more important, is at what age should they be allowed to buy or purchase

alcohol? In some states, it's 18 years of age. In most however, it's 21 years of age. I feel it should be 21 years of age in all states.



To answer your question: I would FIRST sit down with the child concerned (regardless of age...we will always be someone's CHILD) and discuss the issue of alcohol consumption. I would then give her the chance to tell me her thoughts, and we would agree or disagree as a TEAM. You can't sit down with your child (for any discussion) and TELL your child what is going to happen or ELSE (they will drown you out if you take that tone). But you can let them know that every action has a positive reaction or a negative one....in other words....POSITIVE choices have POSITIVE consequences and NEGATIVE choices have NEGATIVE consequences.



I would also express my feelings about the whole thing: "Look, I would prefer it if you chose to wait until you were a little bit older to drink alcohol, but if you feel mature enough to handle it right now, then I will trust your judgement." If you abuse the choice I'm allowing you to make, then you will have to face and accept whatever consequence I have for you."



In this way, you are allowing your child to make a mature decision on his/her own and follow through with it-hopefully showing you that he/she can stick to it. You are also teaching your child valuable lessons of love, trust, making good choices, teamwork and parental support.



Tell yourself this-because it's the truth: It DOES matter what age they drink alcohol. I don't like it. I want to CONTROL what age they start drinking.



Now this is what most children are thinking: They won't let me drink? FINE. I will get it some other way THEN. I'll show them. NAZI PARENTS...always trying to CONTROL everything I do!!



You can control some things they do, and you can control this as well. It just has to be approached maturely, not YOUR maturity level, but THEIR maturity level...and isn't that the greatest lesson of all: maturity? Yes.



Mature enough to make their own MATURE decisions. From infancy to adulthood....... :)

Liza-Jayne - posted on 04/20/2012

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I think if you make a big deal out of drinking, as children grow up and get older they will want to rebel against you, especially if you say it's bad or whatever. I had friends that were Italian and because their culture is about wine, their children weren't bothered about alcohol, because they had drunk alcohol at the table for special occasions and they are more relaxed about alcohol. Our country is obsessed (UK) with drinking until you're under the table, and that's still not enough. I think a little sip here and there will not harm your kids, this shows your children, you don't have a problem with drinking, and having little doses hopefully showing them how to drink responsibily. Telling them no makes children want to do the opposite. Showing them that you trsut them should bring them closer, making them feel that they have no need to rebel against you. however, I wouldn't throw a party for the underaged, and I certainly wouldn't let them drink ALL of the time. Sips for special occasions be bad.

Lee - posted on 04/17/2012

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My kids have had a watered down drink before. And I'm not even going to go into what it was or when. It was a special occasion. They only got one. But I agree with many posters here, making it strictly off limits also makes it appealing. Believe me, I do recognize the laws as they are. I simply think 21 is a ridiculous number to throw out there as a legal age....we let them go to war at 18 and vote at 18 but they're not responsible enough to drink at 18? If that is the case, I contend they cannot be responsible enough to risk their lives in battle. Anyway, I've said my bit.

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If it was up to me, my daughter wouldn't drink until she was at least 21. But I know that it's not up to me, there is WAY too much drinking and drugging among her peers. So I have let her taste beer (which she hates) and have a couple ounces of wine on a holiday so that 1) she knows what it feels like to ingest alcohol (just in case someone slips some into a sweet drink at a party and she is unaware of it, and 2) so that she can honestly to her peers that she has had alcohol and chooses not to drink with them.



My daughter is 15 and so far this is working. She thinks people are stupid when they are drunk and doesn't want to be around them. She's seen me drink a glass of wine or a beer but has never seen me or anyone in my family drunk.



But I think it's an individual thing - this works with my kid but may not work with yours. Or it may not be necessary because your teen has enough protective factors in their life to keep them away from drugs and alcohol.

Marlene - posted on 04/15/2012

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FYI : The Wall Street Journal cites a study examining binge drinking among teens which found France, Italy, Ireland, Denmark and the U.K. to have higher rates than here in the States.

Marlene - posted on 04/15/2012

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Alcohol is a legal mind altering drug. The scientific evidence of the danger of alcohol on developing brains is now clearly available. Therefore, until the brain is fully developed it is not safe. There is a lot that science still does not know about the brain, but neurological science, if you look at the how's and why's of a developing brain, has come a long way in even one or two decades. That would explain why many parents don't understand what the danger is if they haven't been educated and can't comprehend it. Also, my concern would be a lack of understanding of the culture of teen and young adult drinking. It is not what it was one or two decades ago.

I feel I need to respond to the argument that anyone of any age will not drink because of the taste. If any individual likes the "effect" that any amount of alcohol, small or large, gives them, they can and will get past the taste if they want too. It brings to mind a 32 year old memory of a young mother of a three year old at a party where there were beer bottles on a coffee table. He quickly snatched a bottle...then chugging it! Disturbing? When it was taken away, he waited until there was another opportunity, and repeated his achievement. It seemed to me, even as a teenage myself, that this wasn't a new behavior. My personal experience... I rarely saw a friend who wouldn't drink for effect, regardless of taste, when I was a teen and youth.

What we as parents do and say matters. I don't blame my family or parents. There wasn't even much drinking in our nuclear family home. But I was introduced at a young age on a holiday. I was allowed wine before I was 18 (the drinking age in NYS at the time). I also had stories told that "romanticized" youthful drinking vs the dangers. I had no idea of the real dangers to my brain, but neither did my parents.

This is an excerpt from their BLOG: http://21reasonstalk.blogspot.com/

" The experts on “Today” cite many European countries where drinking at meals is common as models for teaching responsible drinking at home. However, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal cites a study examining binge drinking among teens which found France, Italy, Ireland, Denmark and the U.K. to have higher rates than here in the States.
"Today"'s focus group of college students presented the "forbidden fruit" argument, which says that outlawing or disallowing a behavior will make it more attractive to boundary-pushing teens. However, research shows that kids are less likely to drink if they think their parents strongly disapprove or if they think they'll be caught.
"Today" also ignores research which tells us that teen brains are still developing -- and, in fact, they'll doing so well into the mid-20s. Drinking alcohol damages young brains, which means there is no such thing as "safe" underage drinking.

Parents should take away from this conversation the knowledge that you matter -- you, more than anyone else, can affect the choices your teen will make. For great resources on how to prevent your teen from drinking, visit www.21reasons.org/parents.php."

Mary - posted on 04/13/2012

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Arent we as parents their first teachers? I want to make sure tht my children are rIeady for anything that will come up! Including drinking!!

Annette - posted on 04/10/2011

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Teaching kids responsibility.... well, would you sit down with your 14 year old and watch a pornographic movie? so they could see how it is done? or better yet, would you let them watch you have sex, so they can see how loving of an experience it should be? umm no... so the things we have to teach our kids need to be age appropriate. by letting your kids drink before the law allows only teaches them that the law is inconsenquential. that they can choose which laws are important to listen to. Teaching your children does not stop when they are 18. if you teach them to respect the law and get them involved in other things there is less likely a chance they will drink. Once they turn 21 then you can start showing them how to drink correctly. dont get me wrong i dont believe kids wont experiment. they will.. and you have to hope they survive it. I think it is better to have conversations and to lead by example then to give a taste test. my children didnt miss out on life because i forbade alcohal in my home. I personally dont bring those kind of beverages home. I do not partake very often. And since that is my belief then of course i will try to instill that into my children. my oldest is 19. She got through her high school years just fine without having to drink at home.

Jane - posted on 03/28/2011

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I grew up in a very Italian family where as long as I can remember, we youngin's were allowed a small glass of wine with dinner if we wanted it....our grandparents would put it in shot glasses for us. I have always allowed my kids to taste beer and wine and even martini's once they were around 15 because I did not want alcohol to be taboo! My daughter will be 21 in July and she does not like alcohol. She has become the designated driver at her college. My 17 year old son doesn't like it either. He'll taste stuff and then make faces and say "give me my vitamin water please". I have very responsible kids but they know that they can have a beer or wine at home if they want...but they just don't want to. You can say I'm lucky, you can say what I did worked or you can say well, it's because they just don't like it. I know one thing, the drinking age in the US is the highest in the world and we also have the highest incident of teen drinking.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/28/2011

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Just out of curiosity, Julia, what makes you say that? Kids in every other country except the US are allowed to drink at younger ages, and for the most part, those countries have less problem with underage drinking, and generally less alcohol related illness. The only reason that our drinking age has been regulated to 21 is government influence over highway improvement funds.

Julia - posted on 03/22/2011

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I think that teens should not drink, at all. There is a reason that the drinking age is 21--their bodies can't handle the alcohol and they don't have the brain development to control themselves. Not that they always do at 21, either.

Sadey - posted on 03/22/2011

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My son is now 17, very mature and quite responsible. I drink white wine often in the evenings and with dinner, especially on holidays like Christmas dinner. By age 13 he was very curious about alcohol so I allowed him to sip a bit of my wine. He was unimpressed and went back to his orange soda! By last year he had made friends with a few boys a bit his senior, and some of them had tried beer and a few had tried vodka. I allowed my son to try some beer at home, again he was unimpressed. He has always seen me drink responsibly, never driving under the influence or allowing anyone driving to leave my home impaired. My son sees alcohol as a social beverage for which one must acquire a taste which he has apparently not yet done! None of his older friends, a few who are 21 or 22 consider him less masculine or in any way a 'whimp'. He is proud to make his own choices and grateful to me for allowing him to make those choices. I am in agreement with Shawnn Lively, much better to allow a young adult child try something in your home than out 'somewhere' doing 'something'. Europe has much in common among its countries it would seem, I was in the UK a few times over the past 2 years where the drinking age is 18. I saw young people ordering beers and mixed drinks in pubs without becoming impaired or causing any problems. I believe very firmly that a child will live UP to our expectations if we lay those expectations out for them at an early age and of course monitor them so they can come to us for help if need be. Forbidden fruit is always so much sweeter it seems!

Christina - posted on 03/20/2011

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Drinking (at age 21yrs & up) is Legal in the U.S. This is something I think every kid is going to try. I believe in talking about drinking honestly. Different reasons why people drink. My top thing with my son is to let him know that you shouldn't drink because you are shy and that is the only way you can "have fun." You need to be comfortable with who you are as a person. You do not have to drink to be the life of the party! I got drunk when I was younger, then I didn't drink very much and now at 40 I don't drink at all. I let him have taste of different drinks. I think letting them try it is okay. I do not believe in letting your teen sit at home drinking with friends or you. Alcoholism runs in my son's father side of the family. So I have explained this disease and what it means with him drinking. Do I tell him not to drink, no but I tell him signs to look for when he does. He has seen how neighbors get drunk and fight and cops are called. He's comment "why do people act so stupid when they drink?" Too much alcohol makes us not care. We do things we never would sober. This is something I have talked to him about his whole life. Sex, drugs, and drinking I think should be a part of your conversations with your child through out their WHOLE life. Just talk at their age level and slowly give them the info they need. It is so natural for me to bring this stuff up to my son he doesn't think twice. I teach him all I can and hope he makes the right decision. If he doesn't we all make mistakes and I will be there. I strongly tell him there is NO excuse for Drinking & Driving! Between me his dad (my ex) and his aunt & uncles (who have always talked to him too) he always has someone to call. Yeah you might get grounded for being some where you weren't suppose to be, but I would take week/days off the sentence if he called someone! His and other lives are more important! I strongly believe in honesty from child & parent.

Tami - posted on 03/18/2011

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I think it all depends on your child and the reaon why they want to drink. Drinking in the presence of the parents should be a parents decision. Like other posters have said, Curiosity and taboo makes it seem all that much more inviting. Take that away and some of the desire to drink is gone.

I have let my girls take sips from my beer when they were 10. They hated it. when they got older and asked why people drink if it tastes so bad and why people act silly when they drink. I explained as best I knew how, very truthfully told them the effects and consequences of drinking, and drinking and driving. When they were 17 they asked if they could have real champagne for New years. I Always bought them non alcoholic cold duck before. I bought them a bottle of champagne for new years to celebrate in our house. They had a hangover the next day and I had them do noisy chores. They haven't ever asked again for alcohol and they are 18 now.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/18/2011

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When I was growing up, it was common for everyone to drink, at any event, any time. We would go to ball practice for my dad's softball team, and if they forgot the soda for the kids, we were given a beer to drink (and I will never touch coors again in my life!) This is from the time I was about 5 on.



I don't think that raising our kids to think that alcohol is equivalent to water is a good idea, but as my oldest son entered HS, if we were at an affair where alcohol was offered, I'd have him take a taste. I didn't want him blindsided when he did get to that point (and it seems like, here, they always go to one drinking party in HS). I wanted him to know what he was to expect.



I think that by criminalizing the act in your own home, where your children are under your protection, the government is sending the picture that there is something "wrong" with alcohol. I think that part of the reason we DO have so much underage drinking is because it IS taboo in the US, and we make a big deal of it.



When my son went to Germany, we discussed it extensively before he went. He was a VERY responsible young man while overseas. He did drink, but he was legal to. He found out that he does fairly well on a drink, maybe 2, but said he quickly learned 3 was too many, especially when trying to bike home (which his host family did not allow...if you drank, you walked). He also watched one of his friends spend over 1000 euro on alcohol, and chatted with me about it while he was there. It bothered him that someone would be that irresponsible.



Now, I do have to say, that I will probably not be as free with our younger son. He's the one with responsibility issues as it is, and I'm not even going to THINK about compounding that. Of course, he's the one that I am hesitant to let drive, too :) Seems like kids are almost always polar opposites of each other!

Cindy - posted on 03/18/2011

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My 16 year old daughter is allowed to have a wine cooler when we are camping in the summer. She is surrounded by her family that is supervising. She had thanked me for letting her try drinking under my supervision and said she feels very confident when confronted at a party to drink, she had told me that she has had one drink at a party but always calls me to come get her and never gets into a car with anyone after being at a party. I think it does teach responsibility to underage drinkers when taught by a parent how to control it. I guess it does depend on the age and maturity of the teenager. They are all different.

Sarah - posted on 03/18/2011

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Here in the UK the legal drinking age is 18. But the legal age for allowing your kids to drink at home, providing they're supervised is 5 years old. I do try to encourage my two children aged 13 and 16 to have a glass of wine topped up with lemonade, but they're not interested. On special occasions they are allowed breezers (an Alcopop drink) with lemonade. I am hoping this will make them responsible drinkers. We live in a party town, and if we go out in the evening, they will see a huge number of drunk people. This too seems to be helping them make their choice over not drinking.

Sharon - posted on 03/17/2011

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I would let me kids try a sip in their teens but never an entire drink. Underage drinking is illegal no where it is and allowing them to drink at home, isn't it like saying well, speeding is against the law but Ok as long as the parent is in the car?

Louise - posted on 03/17/2011

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Both my sons have a beer at home on occasions and they are sensible with it. The legal drinking age is 18 in England but most children get there hands on alcohol much younger. I have never really had a problem with my sons I know they drink when they go out to the house parties and such but they come home tipsy but not drunk and that is fine with me as long as it is not a regular thing. Funnily enough my 19 year old does not really drink yet my 17 year old is a party animal and will have a beer or two but thankfully he does not drink spirits because I think these are far more dangerous to young livers. It is a rare occasion that my sons drink and I think letting them drink at home has helped them be more responsible when they are out, whereas therre friends who are not allowed to drink at home binge and make the most of the evening and end up drunk and very sick.

Sharleen - posted on 03/17/2011

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The more you say no the more they want to do it .....If you act shocked they love that and seem to do it all the more

Let them try it in a safe home enviorment...

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