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You already know my answer.
When and where I grew up, drinking at a young age was a given. Wine and beer were served to eighteen year olds legally, and hard liquor, although not legally served to anyone under twenty one, was served to anyone who looked old enough to walk into a bar. I had no problem walking into a bar at sixteen and ordering a gin and tonic, and my parents allowed me to drink alcohol at home, as well as my friends. Clearly this was a LONG time ago, but I really do think that there is merit to allowing a teen some leeway in this. I never became an alcoholic or had a traffic accident due to drinking. I did, however, choose a fiance’ in my twenties who had a terrible drinking problem, and I think the fact that drinking was so much a part of the culture caused me not to recognize this as a problem until I had invested myself into the relationship. I had seen so much crazy behavior that it was normal to me to see a person really loaded. I think it will be easier to teach kids about appropriate timing and behavior of drinking in our home, as we don’t really drink unless we are having a party or it’s a special occasion. I don’t really care what the law is – parental behavior and the company the parents keep are going to be the ultimate influence.
Total agreement with you Jessica…and I tried to teach my kids when they were teenagers about the effects of drinking …I even took them on a field trip to the liquor “supermarket” and showed them the adult aisle and the aisle devoted to “mudslides”, wine coolers and “lemon drops”. I explained the differences in these and how the kid drinks “catch’ up with you eventually if you drink enough of them. It was an education for me and for them in the 1990′s.