Alcohol consumption is one of those topics that is incredibly divisive for some people.
Whether it’s to drink or not to drink, or how much to drink, people have a lot of opinions.
Parents, too, have a lot of opinions about how to teach their children about alcohol and whether or not to introduce them to alcohol before they potentially go off to college, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
During a relaxed family movie night, Redditor Dazzling_Noise_8886 thought it was harmless to pour her teenage daughter a glass of wine.
But when her husband panicked over her decision, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she made the wrong choice.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for letting my 16-year-old daughter drink a glass of wine?”
The OP thought it was no big deal to let her teen try wine during a relaxed movie night.
“Last night, I (46 Female) had a glass of wine while watching a movie with my daughter (16 Female), and she asked me if she could try some.”
“Normally, I’m strict with my children when it comes to alcoholic beverages, but I didn’t think a little wine would hurt, so I poured her a glass.”
“I told her that this would be a once-in-a-blue-moon exception.”
The OP’s husband completely disagreed.
“My husband (48 Male), on the other hand, was not okay with this.”
“When he came into the living room and saw her with the wine in her hand, he lost his mind.”
“He started shouting at me, asking why the hell I let her drink alcohol underaged, and said she could easily become addicted to it.”
The OP felt terrible about his reaction.
“EDITED TO ADD: His family actually does have a tragic past with alcohol. When he was seven years old, his father ODed on Christmas Eve night.”
“I immediately felt bad and apologized, but my husband is still p**sed with me over this.”
“I don’t think he trusts me anymore.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that this kind of exposure to alcohol was the best method.
“NTA. This is the perfect way to introduce your daughter to alcohol. It’s a safe, controlled environment with people (her parent) she trusts most in the world.”
“You want her to learn healthy habits, and drinking in moderation with you right next to her removes a lot of the appeal of alcohol. You’re taking away any lingering mystique or stigma. If it’s not forbidden or an ‘adult thing’ she’s not allowed near/trusted with, then it loses a lot of the appeal.”
“I think you and your husband need to have a conversation about how you’re going to introduce alcohol to your kids. She’s already 16. If she hasn’t had it with friends by now, then she will soon. And keeping it as some kind of forbidden fruit until she’s 21 only makes it more likely she’ll hide it from you rather than feeling comfortable sitting next to you every now and then sharing a glass of wine.”
“Binge drinking is a real issue, especially in college, and a lot of it stems from how we treat alcohol as something that’s to be hidden.”
“Moreover, it’s a little alarming that your husband’s first reaction was to yell at you. We only have this scene to go on, but jumping straight to ‘she could get addicted’ from a single glass of wine shared with her mother seems like either a huge reach or like there’s something deeper behind it.”
“Edit: OP said in a comment that her husband’s family has a history of substance abuse, so I understand why her husband had such a reaction now. It must’ve brought up a lot of painful memories that he wasn’t expecting (since they previously hadn’t let their daughter have alcohol, presumably due to her age).” – kaimkre1
“Europe has entered the chat.”
“Fostering a healthy relationship with alcohol is the way forward.” – Bast**dsCryinInnit
“NTA, everyone should experience alcohol first in a safe environment. At home with her mum, watching a movie is perfect.”
“A lot of her peers either are or will start drinking soon, underaged, at parties with other underaged kids, and little to no supervision. It’s not a good environment to be learning how alcohol affects judgment, and if she’s banned from it at home, generally kids will seek it elsewhere because they want to know and they think they are super adult and ready for adult things.”
“I understand his concern, but alcohol addiction doesn’t just happen; it’s a bad coping method for problems that people become reliant on. Teaching her in a safe environment and being clear it’s not something to have all the time, and can be bad for you if it is, is a good way to introduce her to it rather than just waiting for her to be old enough to buy it herself.” – CaptainMeredith
“NTA. This, to me, should be the only way kids are introduced to things like alcohol. That way, they’re not drinking antifreeze in someone’s basement. This will also teach her what moderation is.”
“Obviously, don’t let her drink all the time, and definitely do not let her talk about it with friends. I’ve had friends who tried the ‘my parents said it’s okay’ bulls**t, and trust me, you don’t want that drama at your door.”
“Talk to your husband, though. He was a teenager once doing stuff he was told ‘no’ about. To be honest, I don’t think kids can easily get addicted if they’re in the right environment, but this is something you and your husband should come together about.”
“His blowup was unnecessary, though, so do with that what you will.” – anartistwithnoinspo
“NTA. Teenagers need to learn about how alcohol makes them feel and how long it takes for the effects to creep up on them. The safest way to do that is to let them drink in moderation at home so that they can learn how it affects them.”
“If you didn’t do that, your teenager would just start drinking spirits at a party and end up completely wasted because they wouldn’t know how to handle it or what their safe limits were.” – Yikes44
“As the parent, NTA, it’s important to teach kids about alcohol and drugs and have discussions like, ‘You are going to drink underage, but please be smart, never drive or get in a car with a drunk friend, call me and tell me so I know you are safe and stay where you are…'”
“YTA as a partner for not discussing it with your husband before allowing it to happen. I know it just came up, but you should say maybe someday soon the kid could try some but ‘not until we talk to Dad about it’ kinda thing.”
“Either way, you aren’t really an a**hole; you’re just learning things the hard way like we all do.” – Cust2020
But others felt the OP should have discussed this with her husband first.
“YTA, OP. You blindsided your partner and took an important decision without consulting their opinion. Also, alcohol is not just illegal at 16 because governments are lame. There are biological reasons why teens should not be having it.”
“ALSO, having a sip is way different from having a glass of wine. If you wanted your kid to try it, you didn’t have to offer a full glass.”
“I would be livid if my husband did this.” – thoribioanf1b1o
“YTA, and I have no problem with a parent serving small quantities of alcohol to their children while present. This was an AH move because this is clearly a new horizon for your child, and so it needs to be a joint parenting decision.”
“Very obviously, this wasn’t something you and your husband had discussed previously and already had a united stance on, so this was a parenting fail.” – Illustrious-Shirt569
“‘Normally, I’m strict…’ Well, what happened? You can’t expect your husband to know you decided to change your mind because you felt like it.”
“Do you think you made a good decision?”
“This post isn’t about teenagers drinking… it’s about parents being on the same page.” – Alarming_Reply_6286
“Soft YTA because you and your husband should make those decisions together. It’s good to guide your children in alcohol use when they’re old enough, but you should have cleared it with her father first. I hope you can work this out between you.” – Actias_Loonie
“YTA. My parents took a very liberal view of [safe] alcohol consumption when I was a kid, and I personally would see zero issues with doing this with my own kids. You’re the AH because this was a first for your kid, and should have been discussed with your husband FIRST. Clearly, based on his reaction, he had an opinion on the issue and should have been consulted first.” – quantum_gambade
While the subReddit could understand why the OP thought this was no big deal to share with her daughter, the larger issue was in the OP’s level of communication.
If she had discussed this with her husband first and talked through his reservations after the tragedy that occurred in his family, their ratings of the situation would have been far different.