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acceptable drinking age?

 
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2004 11:43 am
The drinking age is 18 here. I grew up in a immigrant neighbourhood where many families brewed their own beer and made wine regularily. Many of the shops brought in grapes for the season. Wine was present at almost every gathering. But I noticed from a pretty young age, alcohol didn't hold the mystique that it did in other areas of the city.
I remember being served a guiness in ireland at tweleve. There were more kids in the pub than adults. It seemed very natural. Most Irish that I've met don't keep spirits at home, they prefer the drink in the company of friends in a pub. It's the glue our society doesn't seem to have.
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hamlax14
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:34 pm
teenage drinking
I visited Germany this past Christmas for the first time in 5 years or so (I have friends there), and it was the first time i was legally of the age to drink. Being 18, I could pretty much drink whatever, and go wherever I wanted. The thing that amazed me is the attitude the German teenagers have towards drinking. Even some of my friends who are from England but live there are quite mature about it. There is not this overwhelming need/desire to get totally wasted as there is here in the U.S. (as I have noticed more since coming to college). I believe the reason is that there is not such a stigma with drinking there, and at 16 teens are allowed to experience alcohol for themselves. I think the 16 year-olds there act more maturely around alcohol than most 18-21 year-olds here.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:45 pm
Welcome to A2K, hamlax 14.

A slight correction from someone, who worked in this 'business': beer, wine and "wine-like" drinks are legal to be drunk for 16 year old in public (no restriction for privat rooms), 18 is the age for high percentage drinks.

Genarally, we learn here to treat alcohol as a supplement to evening activities, not as the main event.

Well, most do. And most sometimes forget this. :wink:
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 02:06 pm
In some parts of Britain (taking the example of my pal C**** from Wigan, say) people still drink to get pretty drunk, and not only teenagers, either.

It's a cultural thing (in the wider meaning of the word) and although it used to be males only who did this, now young women are doing it too.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 02:26 pm
Bookmark
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 02:58 pm
I met a couple of guys from Wigan when I was in Scotland. And I would say, they were drinking to get drunk. I couldn't understand one of them later in the night. Actually his accent was so thick I couldn't understand him when he was sober.
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sharkpower
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 07:50 pm
There is NO acceptable drinking age! People of ANY age should not drink and pickle their brains and livers! Drink fresh carrot juice instead!
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suzy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 09:38 pm
Interesting. So many points I agree with.
Firstly, I think a nation has no business asking kids, who aren't even allowed to have a legal drink to fight and die overseas.
Secondly, A Brazilian woman told me that in Brazil, clothing isn't so prudish as in the US, and baring body parts isn't very unusual, yet (according to her) the girls aren't all rushing to have sex at 13 like they are here. Because they are less inhibited, there's less mystery, in other words. The same applies to drinking.
And as someone who didn't drive until I was over 30, I felt comfortable making my kids wait until they were 18 before getting their lisences. Fear of them driving drunk was a big reason. While they waited for that magic birthday, they witnessed their friends getting in car accidents, getting tickets, and driving drunk, and they learned from those experiences of their friends. They all wear seat belts as well, so that decision worked in my favor (and theirs) quite well.
I also feel nobody should be recruited into the armed forces until they're 21. Smile
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Ed Toner
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 01:32 pm
I recall drinking hard cider whwn I was 6 in a vacation spot in the Catskills, 1937. If you could put a nickel on the bar, the barmaid would give you a glass.

I was treasurer for the 3rd grade, and we had a Halloween party. The teacher gave me the money to buy Cider at Ralph's farm stand around the corner in Franklin Square, on Hempstead Turnpike.

Ralph gave me 2 jugs of what turned out to be hard cider. That was a 3rd grade party to remember.

Legal drinking age was 18 then, and I was a Cadet at USMMA, and we used to get bombed at The Steamboat Tavern in Kings Point whenever we had liberty.

Never quit drinking. I'm 72, and my only real problem is Arthritis.


BTW, Christ's first miracle was to turn water into wine at cana, so don't knock it.
Go figure. Life is good. Enjoy.
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HSUcowboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2004 11:36 pm
Drinking in Texas
I attend a small university in Texas, and almost all of our football players, including myself, drink and to us it doesn't matter if we are underage or not.
My family brought me up by just telling me to be responsible, and if I drink just don't drive. Some of my friends binge drink every weekend and their parents brought them up with heavy restrictions.
As stated in some of the messages before I feel also that there is large amounts of drinking because teens are told not too.
I have thought of this every so often about why things are the way they are, and I feel that it's because there is a lack of trust and responsibility among parents in the US.
Both of my parents are teachers and I see that there are parents who expect the schools to teach their kids everything. All the parents do is to lay down rules to their children without discussing it with them. Humans are naturally devient, and if you show trust in your child, as my parents showed me, there will be no feeling of drinking because it's prohibited.
By showing me trust, whenever I drink, I've noticed I've watched how much I drink and what I drink instead of just turning up bottle after bottle like so many do.
The issue of underage drinking, I feel, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to growing up as a teen in the US. Raising a child has become very challenging and I just feel that one day that people will be more self-aware and responsible in the future.
There are just two words that can fix most of these problems.

Common Sense
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2004 11:57 pm
Good post, HSU cowboy. Well, good, since I happen to agree with you. There is some kind of getting blotto/never drinking thing in the US that seems to preclude simple enjoyment of good spirits around a fine meal. Cultural traits vary within various countries and cities, hey, even houses, but some people seem to need to go for obliteration, and some for enhancement of food (italians, and the french) and not going into drunken stupor.

Unfortunately the stupor message seems to have gotten hold here in the US and carried the day in the last few decades, so that one either drinks quite horribly or veryverylittle.

Not a lot of room left for someone who might enjoy the occasional single malt scotch and the glass or two of a good wine with dinner.

I am sort of sorry we don't quite get that as a group... we are either aa'ers or active drunks, it seems, or waiting to be one or the other. A culture gap, from my point of view, we could learn from italy and france and I guess, Spain.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:28 am
Re: Drinking in Texas
HSUcowboy wrote:
I attend a small university in Texas, and almost all of our football players, including myself, drink and to us it doesn't matter if we are underage or not.
My family brought me up by just telling me to be responsible, and if I drink just don't drive. Some of my friends binge drink every weekend and their parents brought them up with heavy restrictions.
As stated in some of the messages before I feel also that there is large amounts of drinking because teens are told not too.
I have thought of this every so often about why things are the way they are, and I feel that it's because there is a lack of trust and responsibility among parents in the US.
Both of my parents are teachers and I see that there are parents who expect the schools to teach their kids everything. All the parents do is to lay down rules to their children without discussing it with them. Humans are naturally devient, and if you show trust in your child, as my parents showed me, there will be no feeling of drinking because it's prohibited.
By showing me trust, whenever I drink, I've noticed I've watched how much I drink and what I drink instead of just turning up bottle after bottle like so many do.
The issue of underage drinking, I feel, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to growing up as a teen in the US. Raising a child has become very challenging and I just feel that one day that people will be more self-aware and responsible in the future.
There are just two words that can fix most of these problems.

Common Sense



Welcome to A2K HSU and Amen to that. One of my biggest fears in life was that my son and only child would sway towards alcohol, drugs, or both. I was a bartender for 5 years and have lived with alcoholics and I know first hand the damage that it can and has done to sooooooo many people, so it's something I've thought about a lot. Personally, I've never had a problem with it, but I do sit down with a six pack of beer one day every weekend, which is all good. My son will be 17 in 3 months and I'm glad to report that he doesn't drink or do drugs. A few years back I decided that I would allow my son to have a glass of wine or a beer at Christmas, New Years, and his birthday and it's never been a problem. I've told him the same thing your parents told you as far as if he's goiing to drink, just be responsible. I never ever drink and drive and I've also told him that if he's ever out and happens to have a few drinks, he can call me anytime day or night and I'll go pick him up. He thinks I'm awesome because I'm willing to do that, but that's what love is all about and I would go to the ends of the earth to protect him. You're right in saying that if parents simply tell their kids not to do it, the odds are that they will. You are also right in saying that doing lots of talking to your kids goes a long way.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 01:52 am
"Drinking relieves - but problems can swim in alcohol" :wink:
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Peter S
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 11:39 pm
My solution: stay away drinking!
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izm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2004 09:50 pm
irresponsible parents
The drinking ages in the US are too strict.

Think of it this way. A teenager's mind is a very weird thing sometimes. No parent can ever say that they know exactly what their kid is thinking all the time. There is the issue of temptation. When something is made illegal, the allure is much stronger. In the US, the reason why there are so many problems with drinking is because its the hip thing to do because its forbidden, and thus exciteing. In the other places in the world, the people grow up with it, and therefor its not such a big deal. They learn about their limits, and they learn how to deal with it well. Prohibiting drinking till the age of 18 even is just like allowing water to accumulate on one side of a dam, and then opening the flood gates. Its a huge thing all at once. Its a disservice to your children.

It was mentioned in the thread that teenagers are bad decision makers and this should not be made worse with alcohol. To this I say that children are a direct reflection of their parents. If your child is devoid of a level head in times of sobriety, than you have failed as a parent. If they go and do stupid things without consulting you its probably because you weren't there to listen, or you didn't make yourself available to listen. Their habits are a direct reflection of you. Their value system is a reflection of yours. A child can learn more from one single moment in which they are observing their parents than they can from a day in school. I always had a level head, and always consulted my parents about things, because they were always available, and always wanted to know what was going on. They were good role models, and always set a good example for me (not to say you aren't...this is just something to consider. none of this is meant to be offensive). If your kid makes a bad decision, its all on you. Don't blame the alcohol, don't blame their friends, don't blame the school. You are the root of their problem because YOU weren't there to listen, or YOU set a bad example which they learned the wrong thing from. You are the most powerful force in their lives.

Your children look up to you whether they like to admit it or not. Children aren't born bad or rebelious. They are what they are because of the way they grew up. You raised your kid. If they are screwed up, its your fault.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2004 10:38 pm
I was raised in an immediate teetotaling family, as far as I knew, anyway, in later years.

I am more attracted, as an older adult, to the way the italians (not to summarize them, they presumably have wide differences) seem to do, to not regard getting drunk as anything to pat on back about, to regard "bella figura", good presence, well, and to treat wine, etc. as a pleasurable accompanyment and digestive to the meal.

Whether this is still true, if it ever was, there seems not to be a big culture of getting swacked, tieing one on, and all the other descriptives, as there is no social reward in it (I gather).

Whatever one can quibble about re italians and politics, or anything else, they seem to really have a handle on alcohol - how to enjoy it without overdoing, neither getting blotto nor going to the other end, abstaining, either.

Walter can probably straighten me out as to this not being a correct picture for a whole country and that would not be a surprise. But, they sure seem to both control and enjoy it, compared to us here in the US, who seem to revere either drowning in booze or abstaining totally.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2004 11:27 pm
I wholeheartedly agree, osso. Much more civil there. When I was in France, it was much the same.

Reminds me of what someone wrote on another thread...that the US is a young country, somewhat adolescent in behavior. That makes sense with our attitude toward alcohol, too. The French and Italian way seems much more mature.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2004 12:23 am
In ANY of the southern European countries you'll find an - mostly - appropriate and 'mature' culture of drinking.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2004 01:31 pm
Good to know, Walter. I wish it were so here in the US.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2004 01:48 pm
The strict laws here definitely make it worse...when I first went away to college, it was like "wow, now I can get beer and liquor...let's get hammered!"
One of my friend's ex girlfriend is from Europe(I forget where right now), and she said the same thing others have above...teens can legally drink, but they have less alcohol problems then we do in the US. It's just not an issue.
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