Research does not yet exist to prove whether or not its “your fault” when your child develops an alcohol addiction after you encouraged their underage drinking by buying them alcohol. It’s a personal choice parents make. Here are the pros and cons.
When they start going to parties, there is always a risk with drinking alcohol purchased by other people. It could be laced with drugs or contain alcohol which has a much higher amount of alcohol than what they think the drink is. For young girls especially, there is a risk of being dosed with “date rape” drugs which cause severe incoherence. By purchasing them their own alcohol to bring with them and keep them at the parties they are inevitably going to, you have the chance to know how much alcohol you’ve bought for them and that they’re agreeing to practice safe drinking.
Buying your kid alcohol means you are enabling their decision to drink and possibly drink to excess. Though you have the best intentions and your child is giving you all the responses or answers you want to hear, it doesn’t mean that they’re only going to drink what you bought them. You give them the opportunity to bring extra alcohol to the party and talk about how “cool” it is their parent is okay with them drinking and even bought alcohol.
One of the main reasons parents cite for buying their children alcohol is to help them avoid getting into an illegal situation. Getting caught with a fake ID or having someone older buy alcohol can result in legal problems for your child and someone else involved. Buying for a minor is an illegal offense.
Underage drinking is also illegal. Buying alcohol for your underage kids is still illegal and the drinking they will be doing with said alcohol is still illegal, even though you are the parent. Alcohol consumptions is so normalized that underage drinking is normalized. By bending the rules and tip toeing around the law, you’re setting the example that it’s okay to do that because everyone else is doing it.
Inviting children and their friends to drink at the house might sound like a way to encourage safe drinking. Since you are sure they are going to drink eventually, you can at least know that they will be drinking safely in a safe place. Your home is not the only place they will ever drink. Drinking will not always be safe.
Problematically, you are still encouraging your child to drink. Drinking in adolescence can cause a stop in brain development and set the groundwork for a chemical addiction later in life.
Navigating the recovery process is hard to do as a parent when you’re wracked with guilt about choices you made for them. Hired Power is here to help you recover, too, by taking care of the details in recovery planning. Our goal is to empower the family to bring recovery home. Everyone deserves a chance to heal. For more information, call us today at 1-800-910-9299.
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