Parenting

Cool or Irresponsible: Would You Give Your Teen Alcohol?

Some parents evidently think it is O.K. to serve their underage kids alcohol. They believe that there is some moral gray area around the subject. How they justify breaking the law (in many states) and taking an active role in their children’s corruption, I just don’t understand.

Emma Bradley of the Huffington Post presents it this way in “Would You Buy Your Teenager Alcohol? A Parenting Dilemma“:

I have to accept that she is growing up. I have to acknowledge that she is starting to want to try new things and that includes alcohol. So do I be the mum that lets someone else pass her the a (sic) bottle of cheap wine or do I choose to give her the alcohol that I am happy for her to drink? Whilst we can bury our heads in the ‘it is not legal debate’ that doesn’t really help [us] make informed decisions. Likewise it is easy to make a decision when you are rocking an infant in your arms and you set out your ideals for the future. But when that infant is now a young person who has come to you because they feel that they can ask you and listen to what you say do you hand out the Bulmers with a warning?

This feels like one of the big parenting decisions that I have to make. I want to get it right, to pave the way forward as we enter the next stage [of] independence. Therefore I have made some decisions of sorts, I have bought the Bulmers, just two bottles mind. I am not encouraging her to drink but I will make sure what she is drinking is safe. I will not buy her friends alcohol, they need to have a conversation with their parents who can make their informed choices. I hope that by doing this I am keeping the communication open that she knows I have her back and will continue to parent with boundaries and I hope that I am getting it right.

This topic has come up in our home with my teenagers and the answer has always been a strict and uncompromising “no.” I would NOT under any circumstances give my underage teenager alcohol—not in my own home and certainly not to take to a party.

Where is the moral compass of these parents who contribute to the corruption of their offspring? Is it a ploy to try and live out some fantasy that makes them “cool” because they lacked that trait in school themselves? I am really trying to understand the psychology behind it.

I didn’t become a parent so I could become my children’s best friend. They seek and crave guidance from their mother and it’s my commitment and duty to teach them right from wrong. We, as parents, have an obligation to our children to serve as their protectors and offer them up wisdom and virtue.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am under no illusion that kids may experiment, no matter how much I teach them about the ills of drugs and alcohol. But offering them something that deliberately goes against the law would be siding with what is wrong in our society today. Great kids begin at home.