You may know of parents out there who believe that it is ok to allow teenagers to drink at home as long as they are supervised by adults. You may even be one of those parents.
These adults usually have the very best of intentions. They believe that they are teaching their children how to responsibly use alcohol. They believe that by exposing their children to alcohol, they are reducing the likelihood that their children will face problems with alcohol in their future.
The problem is that too many adults decide to use this approach because of misinformation. They form their beliefs based on what they’ve heard, but what they’ve heard is just the same myths that are repeated over and over. However, there can be some very serious ramifications about this – for both the teens and for the adults involved.
Myth: Providing alcohol to teens will decrease the risk that the teen will continue drinking or start abusing alcohol in their adult lives
Truth: Statistics show that giving alcohol to teens will actually increase their chances of continued use and abuse of alcohol.
Myth: Teens from countries in Europe learn to drink more responsibly because their parents give them alcohol.
Truth: Studies have shown that more teens in Europe reported as having used alcohol in the last 30 days than in the U.S. Studies from the World Health Organization also prove that the earlier people begin drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become dependent on alcohol at some point in their adult lives.
Myth: If parents are too strict about letting kids drink while they’re at home, the kids will “go crazy” once they leave home and don’t have parents to stop them.
Truth: Studies have shown that the more likely kids are to believe their parents have lax attitudes about alcohol use, the more likely they are to abuse alcohol.
Myth: If parents allow their children to consume alcohol at home, they won’t drink in other, less controlled situations.
Truth: This is also not true. Allowing your children to drink at home will not stop them from drinking at other places. It actually gives them a false sense of security about the risks of alcohol and makes them more likely to drink more often outside of the home.
If you are a parent who believes that exposing your children to alcohol in a controlled, home environment is good for them… please take some time to reconsider this idea. It is doing more harm to your children than you are aware of.