Should Teens Be Able to Drink at Home with Parental Supervision?

Should teenagers be allowed to drink at home with their parents present?

Well…Oh boy.


This is a controversial question that has an array of different answers. Some parents think it is fine since the kids are drinking in a controlled environment, while other parents believe that allowing their minor child to drink at home will lead to alcohol abuse down the road. It is not only a moral issue, but a legal one as well.

The Legality- While all 50 states have a minimum drinking age of 21, 45 of those states allow some exceptions. The 5 states with no exceptions are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, New Hampshire and West Virginia. There are 29 states that allow underage alcohol consumption on private property with parental consent and 6 states that allow it without parental consent. In addition, 25 states allow for religious purposes, like as part of a church ceremony and 11 states allow for educational purposes, like culinary school.

The Morality-
While the legal drinking age is 21 in the 50 states, parents are foolish to think their teen will not drink alcohol before then. Many parents believe that by allowing their teen to consume alcohol with their consent, they are teaching them how to responsibly drink alcohol, rather than abusing it. This is done by allowing a glass of wine with dinner on occasion and not allowing it to be an everyday occurrence. Also, by letting their teen drink at home, it allows the parent to teach them about the dangers of alcohol.

Some parents choose not to allow their teen to drink in their home, no matter what. These parents believe that by allowing this behavior will only encourage them to drink in the future. No matter which side parents choose for their teen, both sides want to teach their teen responsibility and wants what is best for them.

What About Other Teens? There is a huge difference between letting your teen have a glass of wine now and then and letting them drink when friends come over. You are the parent of your teen, not their friends. Nearly half of the states have imposed laws that may hold you responsible if one of your teen’s friend’s drinks alcohol in your home and later sustains some type of alcohol-related injury.

My thoughts? No. Okay, not no…but Hell No!

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  1. I’ve never thought teens should be allowed to drink at home with supervision, even when I was a teen. There were plenty of kids that I went to school with that had parents that would let them throw parties and would buy them alcohol, but I could never fathom doing that.

  2. I feel that by not allowing your teen to try alcohol at home, you make it something forbidden and more appealing. My parents are from Poland where the legal drinking age is 18, and I was considered an adult at 18. I was allowed to have a glass of wine or some beer at home and I honestly never liked the taste at that age, so it took away a lot of the novelty for me.

  3. I think you can justify both sides but as a parent you have to check your motivation. I know too many parents that try to be “the cool parent” and allowing your kid, or your kid and their friends to drink at home is teaching them that you are not a secure attachment that they can trust. As much as teens push back, they WANT boundaries!

  4. I do not condone drinking, my daughter is 16 but the situations do arise. I think by allowing her to drink at our house she can not get into trouble. Honestly she has stated she really does not like it, to be continued.

  5. This is a hard one for me, and I think a lot depends on the individual situation. I know when I was a teen, about 16-17, I was able to have a beer or a drink at home with my dad. I never had the desire to go party or anything, and would just have a glass of wine or something at home when I knew I wasn’t going drive anywhere.

  6. I would NEVER let my children drink in my home underage with supervision or not. Why introduce them to alcohol? Have a soda and call it a day.

  7. When I was in my teens, my parents would let me try alcohol so I know what it tastes like and if I can tolerate it. It’s something they used to teach mo so I won’t drink too much and know when it hits. I think it will always depend on the parents.

  8. I think it depends on the parents. As for me and my kids. *Bleep no!* We don’t drink alcohol at our house. I wouldn’t want them trying it either until they were of age.

  9. That is a hard no. There is plenty of research out there on the effects of alcohol on a developing brain. Just because kids may try to drink doesn’t mean that as a parent I have to go along with it.

  10. I don’t drink much alcohol, you can call me a social drinking, drinking only in social events and that’s it. I’d like to wait for my kids to be in the legal age before they drink and I don’t mind if they do it at home, I want to know that they can handle themselves in case they’re out with friends the next time. It’s their safety that I’m after.

  11. I don’t feel under age drinking should be allowed even with parents BUT I do feel that their first drink should be with parents. I would want to see their tolerance, their control, etc before allowing them to drink outside of my home or presence.

  12. This is so controversial! I know parents who do allow their teens to drink with them in their own homes at family parties, etc. I really think it depends on your child.

  13. This is such a heated topic, isn’t it? I can understand some of the reasoning from both sides of the argument, but personally, don’t agree with allowing teens to drink. Alcohol is a potentially addictive drug.

    Plus, recent research has shown that letting your teens drink at home can cause more problems, rather than prevent them:

    These are tough topics, for sure. I think keeping the lines of communication open with your teens and having honest conversations with them can go a long way. Then when they turn 21 they are legally free to choose.

  14. My parents let me try out their wine/beer fairly frequently when I was growing up and it honestly made me realize how gross alcohol tastes. Because it was available at home, I didn’t feel any cooler by trying to sneak alcohol. It gave me a fairly open relationship with my parents about drinking and I think that helped me into college!

  15. I really do believe children that get to do more with their parents tend to do less when they get their own freedom out of the house. But a big NO on this question! I don’t want my children comfortable drinking alcohol then confident to do it out on their own.

  16. I absolutely don’t think you should allow your kids to drink at home when their friends are around. But I also don’t have a huge problem with an occasional glass of wine or a beer when they are older, like a senior in high school or in their early college years. If you can teach them to responsible about drinking and not make it a huge deal perhaps they won’t be as inclined to get wasted and drive.

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