Why I'll Give My Kids Alcohol
Observant Jews, for example, traditionally serve children small glasses of wine during Friday night Sabbath ceremonies. Other cultures also begin socializing children into drinking at an early age--including Mediterranean societies such as Italy, Greece and Turkey (and non-Mediterranean societies such as China).
As for the second, two international surveys--one conducted by the World Health Organization--revealed that these Mediterranean countries and Israel had the lowest binge drinking rates among European adolescents.
Several studies have shown that the younger kids are when they start to drink, the more likely they are to develop severe drinking problems. But the kind of drinking these studies mean--drinking in the woods to get bombed or at unattended homes--is particularly high risk.
Research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2004 found that adolescents whose parents permitted them to attend unchaperoned parties where drinking occurred had twice the average binge-drinking rate. But the study also had another, more arresting conclusion: Children whose parents introduced drinking to the children at home were one-third as likely to binge.