By Stacie Schroeder |

A green light is always a green light, right?

Perhaps not. Think about it in the context of underage drinking. Some well-meaning adults provide alcohol to youth in their homes thinking they are keeping youth safe and teaching them about responsible drinking. Often, an adult thinks, “If I take the car keys and control the amount of drinking, the youth will know not to drink and drive and will be safe when they are in other places.”

But youth do not see it that way. (By the way, giving alcohol to anyone underage other than your own child is always illegal.) If youth are given the green light to drink at home—with friends or with adults—they think they have a green light to drink any time.

Remember, a green light is a green light, and there is no such thing as a controlled rite of passage. Youth do not need to drink to have fun and will not automatically drink responsibly because they were allowed to have parties at home.

Yes, there are cases when a parent can legally give their own child alcohol, but make sure you understand that law fully. Please think twice about the message you are sending when you give your child the green light to drink.


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