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Dad Called Out For Letting Son Get Drunk With Him As ‘Test Run’ Before His First High School Party


Learning one’s limit with alcohol is a lifelong issue.

Limits and tolerances change with age and weight and several other factors.

So is it good to test those limits so we’re aware?

Do you start people off young?

Is that safer?

So many questions.

Case in point…

Redditor SonBeer wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for suggesting/letting my 17 year old son get drunk?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (46 M[ale]) live with my wife and my 17 year old son.”

“My wife has been on a different continent for about a month taking care of her dying mother, so it has just been me and my son for that time.”

“My son and I have a very close relationship where he tells me almost everything going on in his life.”

“On Saturday, he told me that he was going to his first ever high school party this upcoming weekend.”

“He was a bit nervous since he had never really drank before, but he knew that he was going to on that occasion.”

“I’m not sure if this is relevant, but this is in Canada where the drinking age is 19 (in my province), and teenage drinking is very common.”

“I asked my son if he wanted to have a few beers with me while we watched a sports game that night, as a ‘test run’ of sorts.”

“My logic was that if he goes into the party with zero awareness of his tolerance then it could end badly.”

“And it would be best for him to find out his limit in the safety of his home with me.”

“We had some beers over a few hours in the night, and I cut him off at 6 (he has had beer in the past, but never more than one at a time).”

“He was pretty drunk but he was okay, and slept it off.”

“We talked about it the next day, and we agreed that six was a bit much for him, and now he knows to have fewer than that at the party.”

“I was actually pretty content with this whole situation, since he had his ‘first experience’ drinking in a safe environment, and I feel much more comfortable with him going to a party now.”

“However, in an effort to be transparent I told my wife about it the other day over the phone, and she was livid.”

“She thinks it was reckless and irresponsible.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. sounds like your intention was to teach your son not to binge drink.” ~ REDDIT

“If it was over the course of a few hours that’d be what, 1 to 2 beers per hour?”

“That is much much safer than any high school house party nowadays.”

“And now that he somewhat knows his limits he will be much safer if he chooses to be responsible.”

“In addition to this, when I was in high school only a couple years back, people who hadn’t drank before would routinely drink so much to the point of vomiting everywhere or blacking out.”

“Because ‘one of their friends drinks X much and is fine so they’ll do the same.'”

“When in reality that friend is a heavyweight, has built a tolerance, a different weight, or a number of reasons that can spell disaster for the inexperienced drinker.” ~ Twiinz

“Yeah agreed, and in Canada most of the time the beers are small cans, 330 mil or sth and here in Ireland if you have 6 beers it’s 3 liters of beer.”

“I think OP is doing something that a lot of parents are afraid to do in case it ‘encourages drinking.'”

“Where in reality, he has encouraged safe drinking and knowing your limit, and also opened up a pathway for trust and discussion with his son.”

“Parents often forget that if something is forbidden, it doesn’t mean their kid won’t do it.”

“It just means if they are in danger due to the forbidden thing they may be too afraid to call an adult for help.”

“If OPs son gets too drunk at a party I believe he may be okay with calling dad and asking for a lift home, and talking about it.”

“I sure as hell would never have called my parents in that situation, because there was no alcohol discussion to be had other than ‘No Alcohol.'”  ~ bowlbysaur

“I wish my parents had done this for me. I was a naive idiot with alcohol and had 10 shots my first time ever drinking.”

“OP is a hero.”

“He helped his son establish his limits in a safe environment.”

“OP also doesn’t expect or encourage his son to have 6 beers — he’s just teaching his son his limits.”

I see nothing wrong with this at all.” ~ REDDIT

“That depends how he explained the situation to his son.”

“If he just gave his son 6 beers, sure he normalizes it.”

“But if he actually had a conversation with his kid about everything, and making sure the kid understands that this experience is not something that will happen all the time.”

“It will teach his kid where his limit is (which honestly a lot of people could stand to learn before their first big party) and not normalize binge drinking.” ~ SonOfAMe

“NAH and honestly if you have raised a 17 year old who felt comfortable having that honest conversation with you before going to the party, good for you.”

“You’ve been doing something right.” ~ buttcheeseahoy

“NTA only time Ive thrown up because of alcohol is at a supervised ‘vodka night’ at a friend’s house.”

“I made it to the sink and her parents never said anything about it to mine because they considered it my choice if I said because I was of legal age.”

“To be honest they were actually happy I found my limit in the safe environment of their house rather than alone on a night out.” ~ reddituser701

“NAH. I was raised with this mindset and I absolutely think it was the right choice!”

“A safe environment, someone who is 100% looking out for you, you being able to test the waters, and knowing what you’re in for when you’re on your own.”

“This is the perfect opportunity to see if it’s even for you or if you feel like you can handle it (I know a lot of people always think they can though they’re about to pass out but you know).”

“Sure, I get why the wife didn’t like him drinking, but if it was going to happen either way, why not let him be aware of how/when it takes effect and how hard each added beer hits?”

“Depending on how she was told, her reaction might also be somewhat justified although seeing red over something like that seems a bit much to me.”

This is absolutely responsible and not reckless in my opinion.” ~ CrazyDrDuck

“NAH is a good vote instead of NTA.”

“Dad is doing his son well by understanding that teens are gonna do irresponsible s**t and preparing him to do irresponsible s**t responsibly, rather than outright banning it.”

“Because we all know how well that works.”

“Wife isn’t an a**hole either, because she’s got a decent reason to be upset.”

“Some better communication between her and OP would be in order, but I don’t blame either of them.” ~ CockDaddyKaren

“NAH. It was perfectly responsible to help your son understand the affect alcohol has on him in a safe space.”

“That said, you should have discussed it with your wife beforehand.”

“A lot of people have very strong opinions on alcohol and her feeling that she was of the loop is valid.” ~ Notmiefault


“She thinks it was reckless and irresponsible.”

“Nothing about what you did was irresponsible or reckless.”

“Your son had a few beers at home, he didn’t get ‘wasted’ and he also didn’t throw up or end up in a ditch.”

“You were there with him, nothing too terrible could have happened.”

“That being said: it might not stop him from getting very drunk at that party, especially if they have stuff other than beer.”

“But at least now he has some experience and knows when he’s starting to feel the effects of alcohol.”

“This is coming from a German though.”

“In Germany the drinking age for beer is 16, so I might be a bit biased.” ~ emmasdragons

OP came back with an update…

“INFO: I understandably am getting flack for not telling my wife beforehand, but I figured she had enough going on and I didn’t need to bother her with something that seemed pretty trivial at the time.”

“Also, thanks for all the comments, I am reading every single one!”

“I appreciate the different perspectives.”

Well OP, it sounds like Reddit understands your logic.

It’s great you have a relationship like this with your son.

That trust will be so important going forward.

Maybe next time, just let the wife know a little sooner.

Good luck.