Although this topic has been & gone in the media recently I thought I would add my 2 cents’/pennies’ worth as it does relate to my thinking on Wine Culture.
Should “children” under 15 be allowed to drink at home whilst supervised?
Unequivocally YES! The whole discussion is ridiculous. The alternative is unenforceable, a complete over-dramatisation, focused on the wrong problem and also, simply put, wrong.
They key is supervision and sensible parenting. Do we want to start assuming parents are not generally sensible and issuing “baby licences” before allowing anyone to have a child? Sound like an invasion of privacy to you?
What are they trying to address? Stopping reasonable people from educating their children or increasing teenage alcohol and drug abuse? Does anyone really think that home consumption is to blame? If you are trying to involve parents in the issue, is positive support not better than meaningless threats of legal action?
We cannot remove the allure of getting pissed on too much alcohol to try and impress peers or as escapism from boring lives. However, we can demonstrate our own mature attitude to alcohol by talking about it and sharing it, with an understanding of its negative effects on children of course. Hopefully this will then encourage the younger generation to have a more sensible and mature attitude to alcohol.
We are bombared routinely by nanny state style announcements like this which are encouraged by the media, then further sensationalised for their own purposes. They only serve to further enflame extremist commentators, which of course gets even more media attention. Eventually they move on leaving confused parents in their wake.
I will leave others to discuss the power and responsibility of the media, but it makes me wonder, both as a parent and a member of the wine trade, how we can have sensible and positive discussions about alcohol without such silly headlines.
Which brings me on to wonder about the legal drinking age. What should it be? 15? 18? 19? 21? Can anyone remind me of the justification for Americans being the only ones to have to be 21 to drink (but not join the army, vote, pay tax, etc.)?
Alcohol really does get people to lose their senses, but it seems that it has that effect on some people whether they are drinking or not!