Dad Asks If It Was Wrong To Let Son Get Drunk As A 'Test Run' After Wife Tears Into Him

A toast with two glasses of beer
Unsplash | kazuend

Drinking culture is an ingrained aspect of society. From a young age, we're inundated with ads for alcohol, and many of us can't wait until we're old enough to buy alcohol legally.

One dad took things to the limit when he let his underage son get drunk. No one was harmed in the end, but the incident caused a bit of a kerfuffle with his wife — and he took to Reddit to ask if he was in the wrong.

Underage drinking has always been a thing.

Smiling woman holding a cocktail
Unsplash | Aleisha Kalina

Whether it's a matter of kids getting a fake ID and buying alcohol, or the cultural practice of allowing minors to drink in some settings, underage drinking is something that isn't going away anytime soon.

High schoolers frequently engage in this behavior.

High school classroom, viewed from the back
Unsplash | Sam Balye

A 2019 study found that, within the last month, 29% of high school students had drank alcohol, while 14% had binge drank. More worryingly, 17% said they'd been in a vehicle with a driver who'd been drinking.

"Am I the [jerk] for suggesting/letting my 17 year old son get drunk?"

Hand pouring a bottle into a metal cup
Unsplash | Nick Rickert

This is the question posed by a 46-year-old dad on Reddit. For background, his wife has been out of the country for the past month, so it's just been him and his 17-year-old son holding things down at home.

They have a close relationship.

A father and son at a lake
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

OP writes that his son confided that he was nervous about going to his first party. He knew he'd be drinking at least a little bit at the party, but didn't know what his tolerance might be.

"I asked my son if he wanted to have a few beers with me."

A toast with two glasses of beer
Unsplash | kazuend

Framing it as a 'test run', OP says his logic was that his son could test his tolerance in a safe environment, rather than winging it at a party.

His son had six beers before OP cut him off.

Six beers in a row
Unsplash | Jon Parry

"He was pretty drunk but he was okay, and slept it off," wrote OP. "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."

Man using a phone
Unsplash | NordWood Themes

OP was feeling good about things until he talked with his wife on the phone.

"She was livid," he wrote. "She thinks it was reckless and irresponsible."

It was at this point that he sought guidance from Reddit.

It isn't the first time this has happened.

Shaker of salt with lime wedge and shot glass of tequila
Unsplash | Francisco Galarza

"Did the same with my kids. One kid had tolerance of 2 and 1 kid had tolerance of 5 drinks," wrote a Redditor. "We even did it again with tequila because that one is tricky. It's not normalizing drinking, it's helping them know their tolerance so they don't lose control."

Should he have told his wife beforehand?

Man in a thoughtful pose
Unsplash | Ludovic Migneault

This is really the only critique of OP, but otherwise, most people sided with him.

"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," wrote another Redditor. "You've been doing something right."

The verdict is in.

Multiple people in a group, all holding drinks
Unsplash | Kelsey Chance

Redditors overwhelmingly agreed that OP wasn't in the wrong.

Have you ever done this or thought about doing this with your kids? Does it make more sense to let them give alcohol a test run? Let us know what you think in the comments section.