Underage Drinking? / Charley Lucy



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Underage Drinking?

Earlier on I was reading something that argued the pros and cons of allowing your teenagers to drink, I began writing a comment that soon turned into a short essay, so I thought it would rephrase it as a blog and this would hopefully get more people thinking about the issue.

Speaking as a teenager I think it's healthy to let your kids know that they can have alcohol - specifically trying your parent’s drinks when you are deliberately underage. This may sound incredibly dumb giving them a taste for something that they may later rely on. But thing is, most kids don't actually like 'adult drinks' such as beer and wine so they tend to stay away from it for longer. I remember dipping my pinky into my Father’s John Smith’s at the age of about 8 and being put off beer for life! I still can’t stand wine either and have never taken a sip since trying some from my Mother’s glass about 8 or 9 years ago!

So what became of this child who had terrible parents who let her try alcohol when she was still in single digits? Well, I had my first ‘proper’ drink (a Smirnoff Ice, about 4% - in case you were wondering) when I was 15 at a friends' party, 3 years below the legal drinking age in the UK. But I have never drank heavily and only drink occasionally now at the age of 19 as a University student and I very rarely - maybe 2 or 3 times in my life have gotten drunk and have thus far never passed out, forgotten nights or been ill from alcohol. Oh, and did I mention I currently work in a bar too?

I think by making alcohol a taboo in some cases parents actually encourage their kids to drink when they can - simply because they CAN. It’s a similar thing to telling you not to think about an elephant in a tutu – and now that’s all you can think about. As soon as they’re 18 they’re going to hop off to the shops to go get drunk because it’s this new, shiny thing that they’ve not been allowed to do. I’m not saying that parents should provide their kids with the means for getting drunk as soon as they hit their teens, just allowing the kids to know that actually, here’s alcohol, it’s not that exciting, will make the idea of alcohol in later life less appealing.

I'd love to know what you think about my experience and what's your opinion of allowing underage kids to try alcohol?

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