It has become almost commonplace to hear a parent say that she would allow her teenage children to consume alcohol in the home, on the grounds that she would rather her kids had a "safe place" to drink than be out somewhere drinking with other teenagers. This reasoning, while it may seem like a sound idea at first glance, has one glaring flaw in that it presupposes that teenagers are not responsible enough to handle alcohol without adult supervision, which is, of course, the reason that the law forbids them from drinking it.
Parents who allow their children to drink in the home are not only breaking the law and endorsing teen drinking, but they are also sending the message that not drinking is simply not a viable alternative. Essentially, they are telling kids, "You probably shouldn't drink at all, but I know that you are going to, so do it here instead of out somewhere." This message is destructive in itself, and, anyone who has ever been a teenager can tell you that the teens whose parents allow them to drink at home still go to all the parties and drink outside the home, as well.
Being a parent means making tough decisions and sometimes enforcing tough rules. Parents cannot be buddies with their children all the time. That does not mean that parents and teenagers cannot have good relationships, but it does mean that, when difficult issues arise, parents must stand up and use their experience and wisdom to help their children make good decisions. Kids will not always listen, but do not assume that they will not ever listen, either.