Alright, mom and dad -- the jig is up! We now know a ton of you are slipping your teenagers alcohol. I bet it's the same group of you who loved slipping Benadryl in the Jell-O when they were tots. Well, shame on you.
Based on a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 6 percent of 12- to 14-year-olds drank alcohol in the past month and most of them (93.4 percent) scored their alcohol for FREE. Are you thinking -- how can I get in on some of that free booze action? Well, snap out of it, you lush! We're talking about your kids' well-being here. Almost 45 percent percent of those 12- to 14-year-olds got their alcohol free from their dearly beloved family or at home -- almost 16 percent (or an estimated 111,000) reported it was given to them by their parents or guardians.
Parents, parents, parents ... Getting your teenagers drunk is never going to turn out well for you, and if you're too drunk to figure out why, let us tell you.
5 Reasons You Shouldn't Get Your Teenager Drunk:
- Cause you're the parent, stupid. Set a good example, why don't you?
- Oh and it's illegal to serve alcohol to a minor. If your teen does something stupid while drunk on alcohol you provided -- and history shows us they most certainly will -- it's totally on you.
- According to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.: "People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems. Parents and other adults need to be aware that providing alcohol to children can expose them to an increased risk for alcohol abuse and set them on a path with increased potential for addiction."
- Another study in Addictive Behavior says, "Students who were allowed to drink at home during high school, whether at meals or with friends, reported more frequent heavy episodic drinking (HED) in the first semester of college than those who reported not being allowed to drink at all. Those who were permitted to drink at home with friends reported the heaviest drinking at both time points. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between alcohol permissiveness and college HED was mediated via perceptions of parental alcohol approval."
- Drunk teenagers are totally annoying -- and LOUD -- and needy.
However, if you are one of those parents who still insists on "booze homeschooling," please show your kids how to drink responsibly -- by drinking in moderation yourself and by encouraging them to do the same. A glass of wine with dinner, a little champagne to celebrate, and so on. Life is NOT a kegger, and playing Quarters with your 13-year-old is just lame parenting.
Do you buy your teenager alcohol and let them drink at home? Why or why not?
Image via greggoconnell/Flickr