Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I found this on the interwebz and found it VERY interesting: 40 states that allow underage alcohol consumption.

As a mother now, I have come under some heat at different points, whether be on online forums or in person, for enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage. In my house or at a party or at a bar. Without my child. In front of my child. With my child asleep in the other room. Because obviously, if you don't have children, please feel free to drink irresponsibly and harm yourself. Having a child somehow makes me held to a completely different set of loftier standards.

But, all that was meant to point out why this site caught my eye. As a parent, at some point it will also be Jeff and my responsibility to educate our child about alcohol, its effects, responsible handling of alcohol, decision making, and everything else that comes along with the decision to drink. The US government thinks 21 is a good age to start letting a person drink. Canada thinks 19 is fair enough. Some European nations don't have any age limit. When I grew up, there was no age but a girl just didn't drink, it wasn't done. I didn't get a conversation about alcohol, what it can do, how to drink responsibly ... it was socially unacceptable for me to drink so I didn't, till I got to college at the ripe age of 20 in Canada. Then, I went crazy! And had 4 years of downhill behavior. (I am sorry mom, dad, chuhiya, mamu, mamiji, bade mama, my friends and whoever else I hurt by my behavior back then for what I put you through). I'd like to avoid that in my child, to whatever extent possible.

It helps that MD law states that "alcohol may be possessed or consumed by an underaged person in a private residence so long as it is furnished or allowed by a member of that person's immediate family (typically a parent)." Let's be clear, we don't think we'll let our 13 year old sit on our porch with a bottle of beer, shooting the shit with us. But, we also know we want him to understand responsible drinking before he goes off to college, which will definitely be before the US legal drinking age and I am in no way disillusioned that he won't drink there. We'd rather he learn how to be responsible while at home instead of binging the first time he goes off to college. Now, we'll have to teach him that it is still illegal when he goes off to college, but I am hoping that since there will be no mystery around it at home, he'll be less likely to want to be irresponsible at college. but, then again, I am trying to dissect the mind of a teenage boy ... years before he gets there. So who knows? I will probably change my philosophy a dozen times before we get there :-)

What say you, other parents on the internets?


Meticulous Mom said...

I agree with you! I only ever saw my parents drink moderately and though I've had a few good times (haven't we all?) I have NEVER been a heavy drinker and have never driven while under the influence of alcohol. I have been fairly responsible for the most part and I'm proud of myself for doing so.

I never liked the taste of alcohol until I went to Europe in college, but my parents were always willing to let me sip or try it. They educated me about everything, too. I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18.

I would have no qualms serving my child(ren) MINISCULE amounts of alcohol at family dinners, if they asked.

I guess maybe that's flameful?

Syl said...

I love that you used "flameful," haha. Not at all because obviously, I agree with you.