Drinking with Your Kids at Home Not a Good Idea, Study Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Teens

Thinking of having a few brewskis with your teenage son?

After all, if a kid's going to learn how to knock 'em back, he might as well learn from his old man, right?

Probably not a good idea, according to a study coming out of the Netherlands. The latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reports parents who drink with their kids put the teenagers at a higher risk of alcoholism.

Researchers looked at 428 Dutch families and found that teenagers who drank at home with their parents were more likely to drink away from home as well. Then there's the heightened risk of alcoholism and other drinking-related problems.

These problems reflected themselves in trouble at school, including cutting class and getting into brawls.
ScienceDaily reports that some experts recommend parents drink with their teens to teach the kids how to drink responsibly. Dutch researchers dispute that advice, according to the Web site.

Parents in the Netherlands often are told to drink with their kids, lead researcher Dr. Haske van der Vorst tells ScienceDaily, but that advice is not based on on scientific evidence.

"The idea is generally based on common sense," van der Vorst, who works at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, tells ScienceDaily.

"For example, the thinking is that if parents show good behavior -- here, modest drinking -- then the child will copy it," she adds. "Another assumption is that parents can control their child's drinking by drinking with the child."

Her study begs to differ.

"I would advise parents to prohibit their child from drinking, in any setting or on any occasion," van der Vorst tells ScienceDaily.

Researchers looked at families with two children between the ages of 13 and 15. Parents and teens completed questionnaires on drinking habits -- at the beginning of the study and then two years later.

The more teens drank at home, the more they drank elsewhere, van der Vorst tells ScienceDaily. The bottom line, she says, is drinking begets drinking.

"If parents want to reduce the risk that their child will become a heavy drinker or problem drinker in adolescence," she concludes, "they should try to postpone the age at which their child starts drinking."

Related: Teen Alcohol And Drug Abuse: Is Your Teen Using Alcohol Or Drugs

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.