March 15, 2011 at 8:02 AM ET
Some parents think allowing the occasional glass of wine at dinner teaches teenagers how to drink responsibly. Others believe it sends the wrong message about underage drinking. What do you think?
A recent government survey found that nearly 6 percent of 12- to 14-year-olds said they had drunk alcohol in the past month – about 700,000 kids. Of those, 16 percent said they got it from a parent or guardian. Speaking to a group of college students, NBC’s Lee Cowan found that drinking with mom and dad isn’t all that unusual.
“They would give me alcohol at home first, in small doses, a glass of wine or a beer with dinner or something like that,” one said. “It taught me responsibility for the most part, because I knew my limits personally."
But some parents aren’t buying it.
Dad Terry Moran says his kids won’t drink until they turn 21 – not in front of him, at least. “Because kids start thinking that, 'Hey, if my parents think it’s OK, then I can just go experiment, hang out with my friends and drink.' I see it happen all the time," Moran told NBC.
What do you think? Does allowing your teen a glass of wine or beer with dinner teach them responsibility, or does it just teach them to drink? Vote, and share your thoughts in the comments. Do you let your teenager drink at home?