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JaneRobson JaneRobson 2 years

Maybe its because I'm in the UK so, of course, drinking alcohol is legal from the age of 18, not 21, but I actually advocate the approach to drinking and smoking that my mother took with us. We were allowed to drink at home, but never outside of it. I also smoked in the house from the age of 14 as mother said that, as she smoked she couldn't be a hypocrite and tell me not to. Of course I gave up smoking years ago and so my son would never be allowed to smoke (he hates even the thought of smoking so it's not an issue). However, my son has long been allowed a glass of wine - heavily diluted with sparkling water or lemonade of course - with special dinners like Christmas since he was about 7. He's now 15, he has no interest in drinking at all. On his birthday I asked if he wanted some light beer for him and his friends (max 2 bottles each) and he got some but none of them drank it - they all had coca cola! My mother did the same with us when we were kids - one brother doesn't drink at all, the other only occasionally and, whilst I drink fairly regularly in that I drink every weekend, it is a maximum of 3 bottles of wine between myself and my partner, so not really a problem! My mother's approach allowed me to experiment with alcohol in a safe environment and taught me to be responsible. My ex-husband came from a background where he was forbidden to drink and he ended up an alcoholic (hence the divorce). A complete ban does not, in my experience, work. But each to their own of course! Whatever works for your individual circumstances.

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