Should Parents Let Kids Drink Around Them?

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There is an ongoing debate over whether parents should allow their underage children to drink alcohol around them. While it is illegal in the U.S., many parents still do it, claiming supervised drinking at home could lead to more responsible drinking as adults.

But it is not illegal in Australia and the practice there is common. But does it make for more responsible drinking? According to one report, the answer is no.

Time magazine reports on a study that compared the drinking habits of ninth graders in the United States and Australia.

The study found that children in Australia who were allowed to drink with their parents as seventh-graders reported more fights, blackouts and binge-drinking than kids in the U.S. who did not drink.

In fact, regardless of where they lived, the young drinkers tended to drink more and have more alcohol-related problems as they got older.

So maybe the United States policy of zero tolerance and "Just Say No" actually works in this case.

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