Underage Drinking

Dear Mr. Dad: We’ve suspected for some time that our 15-year-old daughter has been drinking with her friends. Last night she came home, after curfew, with alcohol on her breath. When we confronted her, she said it’s “no big deal” and “everyone” in her group of friends is doing it. What should we do?

A: Your daughter is right about one thing: a lot of her friends probably are drinking. But she’s very, very wrong about it not being a “big deal.” According to the American Medical Association, the average age of a child’s first drink is 12. And nearly 20 percent of 12-20 year-olds are considered binge drinkers.
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