Introducing teens to alcohol in a responsible manner could curb abusive drinking. Alcohol stops seeming mysterious and edgy, and instead is seen as a mundane pleasure.
"The best evidence shows that teaching kids to drink responsibly is better than shutting them off entirely from it," he told me. "You want to introduce your kids to it, and get across the point that that this is to be enjoyed but not abused."He said that the most dangerous day of a young person's life is the 21st birthday, when legality is celebrated all too fervently. Introducing wine as a part of a meal, he said, was a significant protection against bingeing behavior.
Prohibitionists think alcohol is fundamentally unsafe for teens and never leads to a good outcome. Teens are inherently reckless. Introducing alcohol to that mix is a bad idea.
The researchers say there is little research to support the notion that it is possible to “teach” children to drink alcohol responsibly. They write their review “suggests that by allowing alcohol use at a young age, parents might increase the risk for progression toward unsupervised drinking more rapidly than it would otherwise have been.” Allowing teens to drink may instill a sense of comfort in alcohol use, which could increase their tendency to drink, with or without their parents present.Parents may be giving their teens subtle messages about drinking without even realizing it, Winters notes. For instance, they may not take the opportunity to say something negative about underage drinking if they see it in a movie or TV show they are watching with their teen.