In an article for CNN, Allison Gilbert has looked into the subject with some interesting perspectives.
Editor's note: On Labor Day and other holidays that call for cheerful gatherings, many parents wonder whether to allow their underage children a celebratory sip of beer or wine. Allison Gilbert asks experts if giving kids a taste of alcohol is asking for trouble or preparing them for the real world.
(CNN) -- Before dropping off his son at Colgate University a few days ago to begin his freshman year, New York advertising photographer Robert Tardio went on one last summer vacation with his family. While his wife and youngest son were out exploring the quaint streets of Montreal, Robert took his eldest, college-bound teen out for a beer. "My son is an incredible, conscientious young man. But at 14, 15, 16 -- alcohol was out of the question. We made it very clear what our expectations were and that he would not be drinking."
The rules shifted for Tardio's son Ames when he turned 18. Now, a beer here or there was no longer out of the question.
"In our minds, he became somewhat of an adult, and we were willing to set new limits. He understood that if he was going to have a drink he had to be responsible and in control at all times. We also had many discussions with him about the consequences of his actions if he wasn't under control."
So the Tardio's did what many parents across the country do: They made up their own rules, inside their own home, when it came to alcohol consumption and their underage children. As a mother of a 10-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, I've often wondered if it's OK to give my children a sip of wine at dinner. Would I be sending an irresponsible message, or demystifying alcohol and thereby weakening its allure later on?Read more at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/02/living/labor-day-underage-drinking/index.html
The last point is when the spring break time arrives, this is the first real test for a young person out on their own. Peer pressure and the want to be a part of the crowd is real important at that age and some will do what ever it takes to be a part of the group.
I just hope that a lot of parental preparation has been instilled in the new group of freshman college students that are breaking away for the first time this year. It is a tough age, to young to be allowed to drink, but old enough to be a voter and a soldier that will defend the country. I remember that age very well, but we weren't allowed to vote back then. Keep your head on and let the adult in you be your guide, I won't be the one to say yes it is OK to be drinking, but if you get yourself into that situation, be responsible for your decisions and your actions. ;o)