Would You Have a Beer with Your Teenager?

Family Matters on 05.20.11


Clinical psychologist Anthony E. Wolf tackles the question of teen drinking in his most recent column for The Globe and Mail, pointing to parents who allow their underage teens -- and their friends -- to drink alcohol with them.

Says one parent:

We feel that by allowing our son to drink in our home and with us, there’s a better chance he’ll develop a more moderate, responsible approach to drinking – rather than drinking becoming this wild, rebellious thing. By the time he is of legal age – if he chooses to drink – he will better able to handle it in a more mature manner.



We feel that drinking in a controlled environment – we are always in the house – minimizes the risk of out-of-control drinking and the risks of kids driving drunk. We either drive them home, or they can sleep at our house. We feel strongly that this is the safer alternative to them drinking on their own with no adult presence whatsoever.


Wolf falls into the anti-teen drinking camp, pointing out that "alcohol is not good for brains, especially still-developing teenage brains," and that encouraging your kids to participate in risky behavior, even on your watch, doesn't mean they'll be more responsible when you're not around.


What do you think: Is letting your teens and their friends drink in your house responsible parenting -- or is it asking for trouble?



Photo: sonewfangled/Creative Commons 

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