giving children alcohol


Believe it or not, most adolescents and teens are exposed to alcohol for the first time through a close family member, often a parent. Giving children alcohol is never a smart thing to do.

A sip of dad’s beer or a taste of mom’s wine usually serves as the introduction to alcohol. Many parents may think this is a harmless practice – but this is absolutely false.

Children have developing brains and bodies that may be negatively affected by early drinking. Additionally, doing this sets a dangerous precedent, normalizing alcohol abuse from a very young age. Regardless of what your parents did with you when you were younger, nothing good can come from giving your children any amount of beer, wine or liquor.

Contact our Port Saint Lucie rehab today at 772-774-3872 if you have questions about family resources.

Giving Children Alcohol Leads to a Host of Problems

giving children alcohol during celebrations

There’s a reason that the national legal drinking age is 21. People under the age of 21 still have developing brains that may be negatively impacted by early alcohol abuse. Still, alcohol is the most widely abused substance among minors in America and can lead to the following problems:

  • Brain Impairment
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes
  • Academic Difficulties
  • Alcohol Poisoning
  • Suicide
  • Unintentional Injuries
  • Risky Sexual Behavior
  • Alcohol Dependence

As you can see, there is not one single positive outcome of giving children alcohol. Yet, many parents are allowing their children to drink from an early age. One study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that as many as 40 percent of parents believe that giving children alcohol at home will protect them from engaging in risky abuse  later on.[2] This may follow a logical train of thought, but it’s completely false.

Research has shown that children who taste beer, wine or liquor before middle school are five times more likely to have a full drink by ninth grade when compared to children who never drink at all.[3] Other research has found that 90 percent of Americans who have an addiction to tobacco, alcohol or any other substance began using before age 18.[4]

Please contact our Port Saint Lucie rehab to go over health insurance here!

Don’t Create an Environment that Promotes Alcohol Abuse

alcohol abuse and children

As much as parents should be concerned about giving children alcohol, they should also be concerned with the examples they set. Parent’s Alcohol abuse and children should not be in anyway present.

Children who are exposed to alcoholism are more likely to become alcoholics themselves and have a host of other behavioral and psychological problems. You don’t want to set a precedent in your home that abusing alcohol is okay and acceptable. This also applies to going to family celebrations and driving home when you’re “a little tipsy.”

“Children whose parents misuse alcohol are three times more likely to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused and four times more likely to be neglected than their peers.”

The things children see and experience will most likely have an impact on their adult lives. If after a rough day at work you unwind at home with a six-pack, that behavior will become normalized to your children. Just like if you come home and decide to read a book and exercise instead. In fact, children whose parents misuse alcohol are three times more likely to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused and four times more likely to be neglected than their peers.[5]

Unfortunately, one in five American children live in homes with parental substance abuse. Being that it has been conclusively proven that this leads children to using drugs and alcohol themselves, this may create a destructive, multi-generational cycle. In addition to the impact they have on their children developing future substance abuse problems, parents who abuse alcohol at home are also often unable to provide basic physical, psychological and emotional needs for their children.

In short, giving children alcohol is never a good idea. You aren’t going to reduce your 10-year-old’s desire for alcohol by giving children alcohol during the holidays or special occasions. For more information about alcohol abuse and children, alcoholism or addiction treatment, you are invited to contact Behavioral Health Centers at any time. We are open 24-hours a day to answer your concerns. Call us at 772-774-3872 to have your questions answered.


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