As the holiday season is in full swing, it may become a very welcoming idea to share holiday drinks with with your child. There are several reasons why providing alcohol to a minor is not a bright idea. The drinking age is 21 for a reason.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “young people react differently to alcohol. Teens get drunk twice as fast as adults, but have more trouble knowing when to stop.” During 2009, an estimated 23 traffic fatalities and 862 nonfatal traffic injuries were attributed to driving after underage drinking.
Not only is providing alcohol to a minor against the law, providing alcohol to minors puts the minor in danger while also sending the wrong message. The consequences of providing alcohol to a minor are strict. In Tempe, AZ, parents can still be liable for underage drinking within their home, and adults who furnish underage drinking will face criminal charges according to Tempe police. Letting minors drink alcohol even in the presence of an adult sends the message that it is ok to break the law, regardless of whether adults are around. According to the Roper Youth Report, 75 percent of teens ages 13-17 say their parents are the number one influence in their decisions about whether or not they drink alcohol. Providing alcohol to a minor sends contradictory messages.
There is a 40 percent likelihood of becoming an alcoholic for those who drink alcohol regularly before age 15 rather than a 7 percent chance for those who begin drinking at age 21. Many people believe that they can teach their children how to drink alcohol responsibly by giving them small amounts. However, there is evidence to contrary. When teens feel they have their parents’ approval to drink, they do it more and more often when they are not with their parents. When parents have concrete, enforced rules about alcohol, young people binge drink less.