Yes, I will allow my 16 year old daughter to drink alcohol. Not only do I allow it, I will buy alcohol for her if she asks me to.
Is that irresponsible of me? Perhaps it is.
Here’s what I know. It doesn’t matter what I say or what steps I take to prevent it, my 16-year-old daughter will drink alcohol before she turns 18.
How do I know she’ll drink before she’s legally allowed to? Because I don’t have my head buried in the sand. Because I did it. Because my mother before me did. And more than likely, you did too. I also smoked (read: bum-puffed) cigarettes and tried marijuana before I turned 18 and I am almost certain that my daughter will experiment with these too.
I had my first experience with alcohol when I was 15 and my mother most definitely did NOT buy it for me. In fact, I think to this day she is still under the impression that I had my first sip of vodka on my 18th birthday. My 'first time' was arranged and executed by my brother’s then girlfriend, with his express permission. What her motives were, I'm not entirely sure, but she being over 18, took myself and another mutual friend to the local bottle shop where I picked out a bottle of Malibu. Without going into too much detail, just know that after that night, I still can't smell coconut oil without getting the sweats.
In hindsight, it was a very stupid and dangerous thing to do. I drank so much Malibu (apparently I was drinking it straight by the end of the night) that I passed out and vomited on myself. I can’t tell you anything else about that night because it’s all a black hole for me after the 2nd drink. Now taking away the fact that my brother's girlfriend may not have realised my tolerance for alcohol would be so low, she probably wasn’t looking out for signs of me choking on my own vomit either.
It wasn’t what you'd call an optimal first experience with alcohol but it certainly didn't stop me. There were more, sometimes equally as bad, variations on that night. There were many times where I'd "stay at my friends house" overnight which was really code for dress up in fuck-off heels and a mini skirt, scam my way into a bar, drink vodka and pash random strangers.
One night, the last thing I remember was agreeing to get in a cab when walking home, alone, in the dark. I don’t know if something happened to me that night or not.