Katie Couric's Notebook: Young drinkers

Christmas party table with glasses of wine iStockphoto

In The Sound of Music, 16-year-old Liesl sings: "So long, farewell, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen! I'd like to stay and taste my first Champagne."

But if she lived in modern-day America, chances are she'd already have tasted Champagne, beer and probably Four Loko. By 21, Liesl and half her friends would be binge drinking.

As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, some parents even offer their kids alcohol in the hopes of teaching them to drink responsibly.

Sometimes it works. One study found that kids who drank with their parents were half as likely to be regular drinkers. But those who drank at parties where parents supplied alcohol were twice as likely to become regular drinkers.

Teens are prone to risky behavior and their brains are still developing. So don't be afraid to set limits and talk with your kids. Being "under the influence" can be a good thing... if the influence is yours. And parents have a lot more of it then they may think.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.

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