April 16, 2007

Change the Drinking Age.

Either that, or defer legal adulthood and voting rights to 21. We can't have it both ways.

Insty has more.

As far as I'm concerned, if you are old enough to die for your country overseas, you may drink. Period.

Discuss among yourselves: at special family dinners, at what age would you give a teenager a little wine&mdash:say, on Thanksgiving day? Sixteen? Seventeen? (Assuming that this is not a teenager with a chemical dependency history, of course. Just a normal kid, to whom you want alcohol to be as neutral an issue as possible.)

Posted by Attila Girl at April 16, 2007 11:13 AM | TrackBack

Whan I was 13 or so, I was allowed to take a few sips of wine at Thanksgiving and Christmas. At the time, it was red wine, and I rally didn't like it. I did not like red wine until I turned 25 or so in fact, so a few sips did not turn me into an alcoholic.

Posted by: Mark at April 16, 2007 06:53 PM

As far as I'm concerned, if you are old enough to die for your country overseas, you may drink. Period.

AMEN. I've been saying that FOREVER. It's ridiculous to say someone's too young to drink while at the same time old enough to fight for the lives of his brothers (and sisters) in arms as well as his own.

About drinking with the parents: I think I remember getting wine on holidays occasionally, and I was probably around 12 or 13. We didn't get it as older teenagers, though. It wouldn't have mattered either way--I really doubt getting it more often at home would have made a difference in my drinking away from home, which I did a lot. I'd probably have tried to sneak more at home if they'd given it to me. But that's just me.

I know when I was stationed in Germany, I'd see kids get off the school bus and go straight to the bar to shoot pool and drink beer (actually beer and Coke, which is unbelievably disgusting). You never saw them get shit-faced like I did at 16 or so, though, and you didn't see them hanging out at clubs at night where adults were--unlike here, where kids are always sneaking into bars with fake IDs.

That said, I don't think arbitrarily lowering the drinking age to 16 or whatever like in other countries is a good idea until the culture and the immature mentality is changed. I totally disagree with Epstein's dismissal of teenage brains being less capable of wise decisionmaking, but that's because we've raised them to be immature (which is essentially what he's saying anyway). Raising the drinking age isn't going to make them more mature, nor is giving them any other adult "luxuries" or rights, until they've actually borne some adult responsibility. Laws won't change that; only parents and a cultural shift will.

And honestly, I really don't think adolescents, even when faced with adult responsibility and raised to handle them, are at the same mental/emotional level as mature adults. They've simply not had the benefit of a wide variety of experiences that someone with more years has, and their brains haven't formed those connections yet. And then there's the whole hormone-based insanity on top of that. Certainly we can raise more mature teenagers, but I don't think they can be raised to think as adults when they're still teenagers (I'm talking 16 or so, not necessarily 18).

You know, it wasn't long ago when getting married and having kids at 18 wasn't a big deal, and they did fine for the most part. Now it's almost shocking, and is almost always an accident or a mistake. There's definitely a cultural problem to blame, and I put the blame on the baby boomer generation (worst generation ever) for the massive cultural shift.

/curmudgeon ;-)

Posted by: Beth at April 16, 2007 10:15 PM

HAHA, here I go again with the long comments while I don't post squat on my own blog! ;-)

Posted by: Beth at April 16, 2007 10:16 PM

My parents allowed me to have some beer and wine when I was 8 or 9, as I recall. Yes, I know child abusers. But then again, my mother used whisky on my gums when I was teething, too.

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at April 17, 2007 07:18 AM

My kids had beer and wine at the dinner table at 8, and Scotch Wiskey (but not 12 year old Scotch) for teething. They survived, drink responsibibly now. But that condoned underage drinking was at home. (I know that there was un-conconed drinking, but was generally responsible)
As for old enough to serve in the Army, old enough to drink; I hold that anyone in the Army should be alowed to drink on base. If you are 18 and want to drink, join the Army. Otherwise, if you don't want to join the Army, don't give me that $H!T. Ya aint earned your beer.

Posted by: Dave at April 17, 2007 10:31 AM

i dont think that it should matter when ur kid has his first drink but they shouldnt be aloud to have tons like a full glass of wine for a 12 year old is not good i started drinking at age 12 and i still drink and alot at it im not sure that should be aloud im only 17 and i love to drink i go through voda like its water so yea

Posted by: juggalette at April 27, 2007 07:08 AM

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