Many parents believe that teen drinking is an inevitable "rite of passage" and there is nothing they can do about it. Some of these parents believe that it is better to have their kids drinking under their roof than to have them drinking elsewhere or driving. Most of these parents turn a blind eye and some even completely give up and party with their kids. Others believe that the best way to teach their children to use alcohol responsibly as adults is to start teaching them when they are young.
There is no scientific research to support the idea that allowing children to drink at home will prevent them from binge drinking outside the home. While taking the keys away or hosting a sleepover after allowing drinking or other drug use in the home may achieve these goals in the short term, the research shows these actions are counterproductive in the long term.
An NIH paper published in July 2014 examined 22 studies on the issue of parents providing alcohol for youth or providing a place to party. The paper concluded that “there is little research evidence to support the notion that it is even possible to ‘teach children to drink alcohol responsibly”.
The paper quoted three studies in 2004, 2010 and 2012 and found that “parents might believe they are keeping their children and their children’s friends safe by allowing them to drink in their home. This is not the case. Adolescents who attend parties where parents supply alcohol are at increased risk for heavy episodic drinking, alcohol and related problems and drinking and driving.” For an excellent article on the effects of different parenting styles, see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/how-helicopter-parents-cause-binge-drinking/492722/
The European Myth. In Europe, many countries have no minimum drinking age; in those that do, the minimum age range from 16-18 years old. Studies have shown that in virtually every European country except Turkey (which is Muslim) teens binge drink at higher rates than in the U.S. The rate of binge drinking among teens in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland is more than twice the rate of binge drinking among teens in the US. The rate in Denmark is even higher.