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The Transition House, Inc.

The dangers of letting your children drink under your supervision

True or false? Allowing your underage child to drink alcohol in your home does not carry any significant consequences.

False – on a number of fronts.

For starters, it’s illegal in Florida. Some states allow parents to give alcohol to their children in their home, but the Sunshine State’s only exception is allowing minors to taste, but not consume, alcohol in a classroom setting like a culinary school.

The dangers of letting your children drink under your supervision are very real.
The dangers of letting your children drink under your supervisionResearch shows that allowing children to drink alcohol at home will lead to further problems down the road. Teens served alcohol are more likely to experience alcohol-related injuries, become dependent on alcohol, or use other drugs. Teen drinking is also linked to depression.

Teens who consume alcohol are more likely to be the victims of a violent crime, such as rape, aggravated assault, or robbery.

Teen alcohol use is blamed for about 4,400 deaths annually, which is more than all illegal drugs combined.

Other teen drinking facts are:
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, and 1 in 4 are alcohol-related.

  • Binge drinking occurs in 1 of 6 teens, but only 1 of 100 parents believes it occurs.

  • Teens using alcohol and other substances are 5 times more likely to drop out of school than those who don't.

  • Teens drinking early are 7 times as likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash, and have a greater chance of getting into trouble at school.
Some parents think their children will find consuming alcohol more enticing if they aren’t allowed to drink at home – the so-called “forbidden fruit” argument.

However, a recent study found that 5th graders who are given alcohol by their parents are more likely to be drinkers in the 7th grade.

Considering the downsides of encouraging teenage drinking – and the fact that parents face one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – the dangers of letting your children drink under your supervision are actually quite high. Don't fall for the "forbidden fruit" argument. Teach your children about responsible alcohol consumption by example – by practicing moderation and having a designated driver – not by allowing them to drink under your roof.

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