Should You Let Your Underage Kids Drink With You?

Learn if it's a good idea to let your underage children drink with you from Dr. Paul Hokemeyer in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Should you allow your underage kid to drink at home? The short answer to this question is no. The long answer to this question is no, for the following reasons.

First of all, we know that the teenage brain is a developing brain and that it's developing its capacity to move away from impulses and emotion and towards the logical part of the brain, where the teenager can make intelligent decisions. If you put alcohol or drugs into that equation, you're compromising their ability to develop the part of the brain that enables them to make smart, intelligent decisions. Anybody who lives with a teenager or an adolescent knows that kids are ruled by their emotions and not their logic. Alcohol compromises their ability to develop that logic. So physically, parents should not be allowing their underage kids to consume alcohol at home.

From a cultural, family standpoint it's also important that families establish boundaries with their children. They need to teach children boundaries, and kids need to know that certain behaviors are acceptable and certain behaviors are not acceptable. This is a way that we can teach our kids how to be successful in the world around them. Listen, they're going to go out into a world that has rules, and it has behaviors that are acceptable and not acceptable. The best place for them to learn this is in the home.

So the short answer, again, is no. The long answer is no, because your kids' brains are developing, and alcohol compromises that capacity of the brain to develop in a healthy way. It's also important to teach our kids boundaries and to have zero tolerance for certain behaviors.

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