Parenting & Family

Teaching teenage children about the dangers of drinking... by drinking!

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  • Dec 5th, 2017 7:32 am
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain

Teaching teenage children about the dangers of drinking... by drinking!

Would you give your older teenaged children a drink to teach them about drinking responsibily? Say your kid is 17 or 18... its christmas. Would you give them a single (and only 1!!!) drink and explain to them this is something only to be enjoyed within moderation and for special occassions?

I read an article about it. I wanted to hear your take.
26 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
7653 posts
Better at home than they sneak around and do it and end up in tragic accident etc.
Treating them like an adult may help you get through to them on the dangers of drinking and driving,abusing drugs etc.
It may also deter them because there is no novelty or thrill from having to hide from parents to do it.
Reverse psychology that may or may not work, but worth a try.
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Aug 16, 2010
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My parents did that for me. My dad would pour me a glass of wine during special occasions starting in my mid teens. Fact is, I liked it ... maybe a bit too much. Now, in my adult years, I feel like I indulge a little too much a little too regularly. Is that my parents' fault? Unlikely.

I don't have a problem with my son deciding he wants to partake in the occasional social drink. However, I've made a decision not to be the one to put a drink in front of him. I have and will continue to talk to him about responsible drinking but I'll leave the decision to him.
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Mar 10, 2010
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This was common in my family growing up and let's kids 14-19 learn to start drinking responsibly at big family gatherings.
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Mar 18, 2005
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I would bet by that age they already know what it tastes like so it might not be a bad idea to try and break the ice by sharing a drink with them and giving them one of the talks.
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Aug 15, 2015
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Markham, ON
Didn't read thread.

I tasted my first cigarette at the tender age of 4. I coughed after one smoke and didn't like it and never smoked after.

After that I became a 24/7 commercial and repeated the message "Smoking is bad for you!" over and over again. In my pre-teen years, I took the annual cigarette from the mouth of the non-smoker and ripped it in half.

By the age of 17 to 18, it's pretty clear whether the young "adult" can drink responsibly. The question is how much can such person drink and how much can his "peers" drink.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
679 posts
Every kid is different but my parents offered me alcohol (usually wine) from the time I was around eight at special occasions. I actually hated the taste of it and would ask if I could have juice instead. A little older, they offered me a beer on occasion and rum & egg nog at Christmas. Occasionally I'd try a sip of my dad's beer or have one egg nog & rum but because it wasn't forbidden or a big deal, I never really cared whether I had it or not. And today I very rarely drink at all. It's just not my thing.

We did the same with our daughter, offering her sips of any alcoholic drinks we had when travelling (because we so rarely had it in the house) and she tried once or twice but didn't like the taste - and we also offered for her to try any drink she wanted before heading away to university so she would know how she reacted to alcohol (she didn't drink in high school) and again, she had no interest. Now she's in university and doesn't drink at all. She's underage so that's especially good but I don't picture her ever really developing a taste for alcohol.

We also had talks with her about responsible and safe drinking and designated drivers and calling us at any time in the middle of the night regardless of any stupid decisions made, etc. Plus watching over her own drinks (alcoholic or not) and those of her friends.

It worked for my parents and for us but I guess it would also depend on the example set by the adults offering the drinks. Are they getting drunk? Are they doing stupid things? Or are they drinking responsibly and enjoyably (as opposed to getting into fights or getting nasty) and choosing not to drive when they've had too much.
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Mar 23, 2008
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My youngest was 16, eldest was 17 last Christmas, and they had rum in their eggnog. Didn't make a big deal of it, even to bother to point out it was only for special occasions.

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Nov 15, 2004
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I actually plan on getting my future teenagers falling down drunk the first time while I'm around so they know how it feels and how quickly it affects you. They need to learn alcohol has a delay before it reaches your bloodstream and that severe drunkenness will hit you like a truck if you don't control your intake while you're still relatively sober. They're also going to learn about how hangovers are made much worse by sugary drinks, and how to remedy one when you wake up.

I had my first drink at 6 or 7 (small sips given to me by my grandpa) and hated the taste of it, but nobody ever taught me about drinking safely growing up. I had to learn via trial and error with my friends, which led to some bad nights.

I always felt schools should have cops or nurses come into class to supervise kids in this process one day in their senior year, maybe during home ec or driver's ed. Get them good and drunk in a controlled environment so they all learn how it really is instead of thinking it's how it's presented in the media and learning on a night out somewhere sketchy.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
15034 posts
I think how you teach your children depends entirely on you deal with alcohol in your family. If, as you suggest, you mention it is for "special occasions" yet your child sees you drinking a beer after work a couple times a week, you are just lying to them. This is why how you teach your children about alcohol is truly dependent on you deal with / view alcohol.

I think what's important is that you set a good example for your children when it comes to alcohol (or any other vice). Your view on a "good example" may be different than others, but as a parent you're teaching them what you believe it right and you should embody that too.
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
769 posts
Ottawa, ON
My parents very rarely drank alcohol when I was growing up, 1 or 2 glasses of wine or champagne twice a year at most. So my brother and I were never interested in alcohol. My husband and I don't drink either so I wouldn't be surprised if my kids have no interest in alcohol. We only get beers and wine when we have guests and all are gone when the parties are over. We don't keep any at home.

One thing that my husband and I do is that if we're listening to the news and there's an accident involving drink driving for example, we'll seize the opportunity to talk about it. Anything that comes up, we like to seize the opportunity to talk about it, could be on drugs, crime, etc.
Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2009
875 posts
I read a story once (not sure if it's real or made up) of a dad hitting the bars with his daughter. They would drink as much as the daughter wanted. The next day when the daughter woke up she had a massive headache. But what they were able to determine is her limit of toleration. At least the kid is aware of how much she can/can't drink.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2009
679 posts
Stock R wrote:
Nov 29th, 2017 10:59 pm
Can you legally give someone underage alcohol in Canada?

Haven't decided how to tackle this one yet. Luckily I still have quite a few years.
The Liquor License Act says you can legally provide alcohol to your own minor children in your own home:

Relevant section:

Supply by parent

(13) This section does not apply,

(a) to the supplying of liquor to a person under nineteen years of age in a residence as defined in section 31 or in a private place as defined in the regulations by a parent of the person or a person having lawful custody of the person; or

(b) to the consumption of liquor by a person who is supplied liquor in a manner described in clause (a), if the liquor is consumed at the place where it is supplied. R.S.O. 1990, c. L.19, s. 30 (13).
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May 22, 2016
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17 or 18 is way too old. It should be 12 or 13 . Parents should always let their kids know that they won't be mad if they call at 3 in the morning drunk needing a ride home.