Parenting & Family

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 5th, 2017 7:32 am
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Sep 21, 2004
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jrbb0309 wrote:
Nov 29th, 2017 11:37 pm
The Liquor License Act says you can legally provide alcohol to your own minor children in your own home: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90l19#BK34

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).
Thanks! Good to know. Don't have to worry about CAS coming after me if someone finds out I gave my teenager a tablespoon of beer.
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I don't know if I am in the minority here but my parents and I never had a big or lengthy discussions about alcohol. They instilled in me basic values. I know myself and my parents trust me. I don't understand how people can drink themselves to the point of passing out. I am the friend that get asked to hold people's hair for them when they are vomitting.

I enjoy a good beer once in a blue moon. I am pretty sure any alcohol I get from the bartender is watered down a lot. Lastly, I will have to visit the washroom way to much if I drink too much. With all these things in mind, how can I get drunk?

It's fun to relax and enjoy a good drink. Listen to your body, it will tell you when you had enough.
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 2:54 pm
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.
For us it was having a glass of wine or champagne starting in the low teens or so when in the house. We did the same for our oldest this year.

We have always taken our kids with us to parties and they see us at the trailer or vacation having drinks. Sure there are times when we have to much...that too is a teachable moment as they learn that there is a place and a time...and that if one does have too much, you have to plan for an alternate method to get back home.
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That was a really long post. I couldn't get to the end.

Don't go overboard with thinking about preparing your child for alcohol. Just let them know some drinks are stronger than others. Your child should know what he or she likes to drink, the taste and the smell.

It's not rocket science.
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webshark wrote:
Nov 30th, 2017 1:10 am
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.
I put 17 or 18 to seem more conservative and not get flamed. Its the internet... so people always find a way to bust your balls.
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At 17 and 18, they're already drinking. So either give them a drink so they can enjoy it with you, or don't, but don't act like your'e going to be teaching them anything at that age.
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 2:54 pm
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.
I have allowed my kids to drink -- and in fact, have given them small bottles of booze (like Bailey's).

Recently I found a bottle of booze that I had given my daughter when she had turned 15 years old, a 200ml bottle of Kahlúa. So she's almost 17 -- and there was about 120ml left. The same with my son, who was 13 at the time with a bottle of Bailey's...I found it in our cupboard, so it's been open for about a year and a half, with about 100ml left. Unsure if it's still good (since it's milk based).

On the other hand, I know of strict parents who would never do what I have done. Meanwhile, their kids have gotten wasted at parties. I also worked with this lady who DID give her kids booze. They went to a party where kids started drinking, they called their parents up to be picked up because "things were getting out of control".

My son love Disaronno, after tasting some of mine, so I bought him a 750ml bottle last month. There is about 680ml left, including the 40ml I took for myself. He figures it will last him a year, which is probably accurate.

My parents allowed my a drink now and then when I was a kid, as did my grandma. Never got wasted in my teen years, unlike my peers who's parents forbid alcohol in their house. Novelty wears off fast for young kids, so by the time they're in the mid-teens, they don't care.

Obviously small doses for children, as alcohol isn't good for a growing brain. Really, anyone under 25 should avoid for than a drink or 2.

I'd say a few sips at a young age (like 4 or 5) and maybe work it up from there...
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jeff1970 wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2017 11:50 pm
I have allowed my kids to drink -- and in fact, have given them small bottles of booze (like Bailey's).

Recently I found a bottle of booze that I had given my daughter when she had turned 15 years old, a 200ml bottle of Kahlúa. So she's almost 17 -- and there was about 120ml left. The same with my son, who was 13 at the time with a bottle of Bailey's...I found it in our cupboard, so it's been open for about a year and a half, with about 100ml left. Unsure if it's still good (since it's milk based).

On the other hand, I know of strict parents who would never do what I have done. Meanwhile, their kids have gotten wasted at parties. I also worked with this lady who DID give her kids booze. They went to a party where kids started drinking, they called their parents up to be picked up because "things were getting out of control".

My son love Disaronno, after tasting some of mine, so I bought him a 750ml bottle last month. There is about 680ml left, including the 40ml I took for myself. He figures it will last him a year, which is probably accurate.

My parents allowed my a drink now and then when I was a kid, as did my grandma. Never got wasted in my teen years, unlike my peers who's parents forbid alcohol in their house. Novelty wears off fast for young kids, so by the time they're in the mid-teens, they don't care.

Obviously small doses for children, as alcohol isn't good for a growing brain. Really, anyone under 25 should avoid for than a drink or 2.

I'd say a few sips at a young age (like 4 or 5) and maybe work it up from there...
On the flip side there are always kids who are surrounded by alcohol growing up and spend their lifetime fighting alcoholism because they started drinking at an early age, some even drinking with their parents. How come you never mention these examples?

There is no right or wrong method - otherwise there would be no discussion. But I find it odd that you only highlight the positives of bringing alcohol into a young child's life while ignoring the negatives that are all around us from that same method. Let's not ignore that because it is important to acknowledge the approach you suggest has many failures as well. This is what enables the discussion to take place - what can we learn from the successes and failures. While you mention what can be learned from the success of your approach, there are clearly things we can learn from the failure of your approach as well (which may or may not happen with your children).


I think regardless of what people choose to do what is important are the values and principles instilled in the child. The knowledge that we, as parents, will always give them a ride home without judgement if they need. The idea that you never get into a car within someone who you feel shouldn't be driving. The fact that alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, etc. while legal can be addictive and even when used in moderation may be difficult to stop.
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Jan 2, 2015
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I don’t think there is totally a right age. For some kids 16 or 17 is too late, or just right. My friends started young (at about it 11 or 12). I was ‘late’ compared to my friends at 13. I wouldn’t want my kids to start that early, as there were some really bad choices made that young, and some got into a lot of trouble.

In terms of giving a 4 or 5 year a few sips, it can totally back fire too. Our close friends are European and let their kids have a few sips when they were young (about 4). The older child never really care for alcohol however, the younger one who is now 7 LOVES it. We were there for a dinner party, and to our surprise the youngest walked, took a chug of beer out of his dads beer. The dad had to tell him to stop chugging, them he came back when we were all chatting and finished t(e beer with It us not. He also asked when he can have his own. I personally think they have opened up a whole can of worms.
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TrevorK wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2017 2:55 pm
On the flip side there are always kids who are surrounded by alcohol growing up and spend their lifetime fighting alcoholism because they started drinking at an early age, some even drinking with their parents. How come you never mention these examples?

There is no right or wrong method - otherwise there would be no discussion. But I find it odd that you only highlight the positives of bringing alcohol into a young child's life while ignoring the negatives that are all around us from that same method. Let's not ignore that because it is important to acknowledge the approach you suggest has many failures as well. This is what enables the discussion to take place - what can we learn from the successes and failures. While you mention what can be learned from the success of your approach, there are clearly things we can learn from the failure of your approach as well (which may or may not happen with your children).


I think regardless of what people choose to do what is important are the values and principles instilled in the child. The knowledge that we, as parents, will always give them a ride home without judgement if they need. The idea that you never get into a car within someone who you feel shouldn't be driving. The fact that alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, etc. while legal can be addictive and even when used in moderation may be difficult to stop.
There is a science behind addiction.


Most people can quit. A good proportion of our society can quit anything really. Even something like cigarettes. Its tough but it can be done.

The type of person who falls into true alcoholism has a tendancy to do so. I'm talking someone who actually had withdrawl symptoms from not having any alcohol.
These types cannot even enjoy moderately. Most have to abstain completely.

These types of people compromise a small proportion of our society.

Then there are alcohol abusers. This stems from a combination of factors. Poor coping mechanism either due to poor upbringing or peer/life influences. Your parents can teach you good. But if your teenage/young adult angst turns you into a weekend every fri/sat night binge drinker bc you had a bad breakup... thats something in your heart.

Theres also cultural factors. Drinking is part of Canadian culture. Imagine all his buddies after that break up/rough time "lol... lets go have a drink bud. Get smashed after these exams!".

Its never "lets... go meditate my comrade. We can do yoga in the park and release our inner negativity".
No one does that. Ok some people do... so good for them they must have a really strong core & fabulous flexibility!
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Dec 11, 2008
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My parents gave us a drink when we were growing up. We drink now but only socially and at weddings. We don't get drunk, never had DUI and never partied hard in that way.

I don't know if it worked on us or whatever.
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You're right. I never took the perspective of a child growing up in a home with alcohol issues. My parents were occasional drinkers. My dad occasionally took too much -- which prompted him to go into hiding, literally. Always in the house, but hiding none the less. At the end of the day, I really didn't think of alcohol anymore than something that tasted good. Kinda like putting salt on your fries, or cream in your coffee. Or chocolate -- which in every case (except for coffee) -- a treat. A flavour enhancer of drinks, if you will, or a good tasted carbonated beverage (beer) -- a treat.

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