At what age do you allow your children to drink?

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It's not right for a person below 18 to buy and drink some booze but there are a lot of minors out there who are still able to do so. Anyways, if you're a parent and your child was 17 and you found out that she/he drank some booze, would you get mad?

What if your children already turned 18? Would you then allow them to drink all they want? When do you allow your child to drink alcohol?
 

Ellyn

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May 8, 2014
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I had my first glass of wine when I was 11. My family was on a trip to Italy, it was a special occasion, and the wine was really dry and I hated the taste. Since I liked cooking, a few months later I tried out this eggnog recipe, and good cooks know the taste of what they're serving, so of course I tried a little with the rum in it. I still preferred virgin eggnog, but I supposed that alcohol was an acquired taste that I could decide not to make the effort and if the grown-ups liked it, then fine.

I didn't get brain damage from a glass and thimbleful of alcohol with a span of 10 months between. I didn't drop dead of liver cirrhosis the moment the liquid touched my lips. I didn't even get drunk.

So, no, I wouldn't be angry at my child for underage drinking because I know that merely drinking is different from drunkenness. Maybe this is the difference between the laws of the respective countries we live in, or the culture.

My sister developed an alcohol addiction when she went to university. It lasted until at least shortly after my mother died, and I don't know her present state because I cut ties with her (we'd moved in together after my mother died, and my sister was a terrible roommate with her drunkenness--I couldn't stay without enabling bad behavior.)

So, I am aware that some immature people-- could be teenagers, could be university-age or older-- really can't handle themselves well around particular substances.

I don't blame the substance itself or the availability. I think it's a matter of character and society. When alcohol is touted as this super-secret grown-up food that teenagers aren't allowed to drink, then an immature teenager will go for it and take in more than they can handle. I think this might be in an effort to seem grown-up, mature, and respected--the goal is to outdo their peers in that, though, so it doesn't really work. This was, at least, the case with my sister...that, and she was a "good girl" in her teens but she wasn't honest with herself, so at university she just had to break loose to the extreme. I'm sure that the story is different for every alcoholic, but either way there was nothing I could do to separate her from the harmful company that she keeps, or convince her that she didn't need to get drunk to live authentically. Maybe I misunderstood, too, because if I'd pegged her correctly then you'd think she would have stopped...but this is the theory that I'm sticking with!

Basically: If a child or teenager is drinking against the rules of the parent, I would rather get to the emotional and situational root of the issue than dismiss it as a phase, a causeless rebellion, and so on.
 

Priya32325

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May 8, 2014
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NEVER... That's what we practice and will preach too. Kids follow what they see their parents doing . I don't recommend alcohol and smoking.My view no offence please.
 

calebmelvern

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I don't have kids yet, but my parents allowed my to drink when I turned 18. Well, they really didn't allow me, I just sort of started drinking and they didn't mind. I think I will do something similar when I have kids already, but for sure I'll be a little stricter.
 
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My children are 6 and almost 4. I definitely agree with Ellyn "When alcohol is touted as this super-secret grown-up food that teenagers aren't allowed to drink, then an immature teenager will go for it and take in more than they can handle."

I don't have an exact age I would allow my children to drink, I tried a shot when I was 16 and lived in Germany (grew up in the military) because culturally it's custom to do that after you eat. My mom let me and my sister have half a wine daiquiri or so and of course I didn't feel anything from it. I think it's important to teach them moderation and responsibility. Just cause someone turns 21 doesn't mean they are ready to handle alcohol! I will have a policy with my children that if they are ever caught in a situation I would get them no matter what and not be mad, but I would talk to them about it.

Great question!
 

Sharon

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Sep 25, 2015
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We let our daughter drink at 17. No, she didn't go out and party hard. We go away for a 3 week holiday at a beach camping. She has a tonne of friends there and we know all these kids and their parents. She was allowed just a couple of (mixer) cans to take with her and her friends. I think we introduced her well as I can remember myself doing it very differently with bad results. She isn't quite 18 yet, she goes to the occasional supervised party with only 2-3 drinks and is really responsible.