It’s an age-old debate: Should you provide alcohol to your minor children? Now, “provide” can mean different things to different people. Provide can mean let them have a sip of margarita at Mia’s. Or it can mean allowing them to have a glass of wine at Thanksgiving dinner. Or it can mean providing them with alcohol to drink at your home because, you know, they’re going to drink anyway, it’s better if you give it to them and they drink it at home. Right?
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal provides an excellent review of this topic, and provides interesting statistics for you parents to chew on.
72% of high school students have had at least one drink*
16% of alcohol users aged 12 to 20 got it from a parent or guardian*
6% of 12-to-14-year olds drank alcohol in the past month, nearly 45% of them got it from home*
All 50 states outlaw furnishing alcohol to minors, but 31 states exempt parents, gaurdians or spouses*
50% of the students who attended HPHS’s Hi-Lites dance in February were hammered**
* Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; Alcohol Policy Information System; Youth Risk Behavior Survey; CDC; National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
** Not actual data, just speculation based on anecdotal feedback of people there who weren’t hammered
I have many friends who give tacit approval to their minor children, in this case, 16-year-old new drivers, to drink, or “pre-game,” especially before dances and parties. I do not. My kids know that they cannot imbibe or I will blow a gasket or something far worse. So far, so good. What will happen when my son is a senior and he wants to have a few beers at a party? I don’t know. I hope that the values I’ve taught and the decision-making processes I’ve coached him on will kick in and he will break the law responsibly. OK, Kidding. I hope he decides it’s more fun not to drink.
What’s your position? Let them drink or just say no?