Deciding whether to let your under-age kids drink alcohol in social situations can be fraught, says The Spinoff. Parents play a key role in providing teens with the tools to make healthy life choices. They’re also one of the main sources of alcohol for teenagers. Earlier parental supply and supply from peers have previously been linked with greater alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems (with the risk increasing for each year earlier supply occurs). While it is safest to not supply alcohol in adolescence, if parents do, providing “sips only” in early to mid-adolescence, and delaying supply of whole drinks for as long as possible, is likely to result in less harm.