Wednesday, August 24, 2005

No Liquor In My House

It's not just liquor; my house does not contain any alcoholic beverages at all.

This was a decision by my wife and I from the time we were married. Outside the house I would have maybe one beer and one glass of wine every 12 months or so.

When our first daughter turned 2 years old I gave that up, too. Parents set a very important example for their children and we wanted to set an example of a good life that did not require alcohol to have "fun" or to be "happy" or even to "celebrate" things.

Neither of us passed any judgment on others we knew (whether members of a Christian church or not) who either had a beer or glass of brandy once in a while. That was their decision but, if they came to our house for dinner and brought a bottle of wine along as a gift, we would quietly thank them but explain our household policy without seeming to be critical of their own.

Today, the newpaper printed the results of a national survey made by the American Medical Association. It is a very small sample (701 U.S. Teens) so I would not be comfortable describing the survey as "authoritative." Even so, the figures were very interesting:

In response to a question concerning where & how they, as teens, get alcohol....
At a party: 80%
From their home (w/out parents' knowledge): 67%
From relatives or a sibling older than 21: 65%
From someone else's parent(s): 40%
Using a fake ID: 36%
From their parents (w/their parents' knowledge): 32%
It seems to me that having alcohol sitting around your house will all too often wind up being too big a temptation for many teens to walk away from.

If a person has a genetic predisposition to alcohol addiction, a few drinks at a young age could lead quickly to a life of misery. Even one overdone binge with parents out of the house could lead to serious threats to both health and life.

My wife and I decided that it would be better to remove that temptation from our home, at least as long as our children were growing up. Our oldest is now 23 and can choose to buy or not to buy alcohol on her own as an adult. Daughters number 2 & 3 are 19 and 16.

Perhaps the day will come when I will share a beer or a glass of wine with one or more of my daughters. Should such a day ever come, they would have learned long before that it wasn't something I needed to have in order to enjoy life.

Hopefully, they will learn to do the same.