The GEM Debate:
Should A Cocktail With Mom And Dad Be The Law?
According to Wikipedia I was probably around eleven-years-old when I first became affected by drinking laws. You see in 1984 the National Minimum Drinking Law Act was passed changing the drinking age from 18 to 21, effectively making my wait for a nice, cold beer three years longer.
Well, here we are, almost 30 years later (wait…30…am I that old?), and the Colorado Senate is set to propose a law that would lower the drinking age in the state to 18 with parental supervision. The eleven-year-old kid in me screams, “Yay!” and so does the parent in me. I’ve always been one of those people who truly believes that if you can serve in a war, you can drink a beer. We ask our 18-year-olds to vote and choose a college major so what is a little supervised cocktail every now and then? If your teen makes it to a European country they are greeted with a glass of wine or some such. Why is America fighting this? I have no idea. It could be the studies that find that the brain still develops well into your twenties, and alcohol has an effect on the regions that control how fast you move, but more importantly play a part in your self-control, how you plan, and form ideas. However, as I mentioned before there doesn’t seem to be a problem in other parts of the world so we should probably add that to the things we take into account when using that study.
There was one part about the law that does cause pause. The Colorado Restaurant Association is concerned that youngsters will find older people to pose as parents. No. Kids wouldn’t do that, right? Well, with today’s families being as blended as they are there is really no way to validate parental supervision so the association is suggesting that all restaurants just refuse to sell to anyone who isn’t 21. I get that because as it stands now all the punishment would fall on the restaurant for serving a minor.
Hopefully this new law will provide a chance for teens to learn responsible drinking habits with their parents. With 18 being so close to when children get their licenses, having them drink may be a problem, but the parents should be present and someone should be the designated driver. So if the letter of the law is followed all should be well.
So what do you guys think of this new law? Would you feel comfortable drinking with your teen?
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Ella Rucker is the mother of one of the smartest, funniest two-year-olds she’s ever met. She is currently assistant to the head GEM which means hats-a-plenty including writing, editing, and producing for Good Enough Mother. An Ohio native implanted in NYC for the last 13 years, Ella has achieved one of her many dreams by writing. Her musings (she’s amused they’d be called “musings”) can be found at other places on the web so make sure you follow her on twitter@ellalaverne for all the information.