At what age - if ever - do you plan to allow your child to drink alcohol at home?
Let me rephrase that.
Would you consider letting a child under the age of 14 drink alcohol in your home?
My mind is boggling that this is even up for debate but it's been prompted by a recent survey which revealed that half of parents with children under the age of 14 allow them to drink alcohol at home. HALF! AT FOURTEEN!
Am I completely out of touch with other parents here, or does this nugget of data baffle you, too?
It's something of an urban legend that permitting children to drink small quantities at home with their parents can reduce the risk of them turning into problem drinkers and – who knows – maybe that's based on something more than anecdotal evidence. But there's no way I'll be handing my lads a beer when they're barely even teenagers.
But that's not even the most mind-boggling bit of this study. Some 11% of parents with kids aged between five and seven said they allowed them to drink alcohol at home. And among parents of children aged 14 and under, 34% said they used alcohol as a bribe to encourage good behaviour. I. Just. Can't. Even.
I'd like to think the parents who were answering this poll were momentarily distracted by flying pigs whilst trying to respond, and that this accounts for the sheer lunacy of these answers.
Now I get the theory that allowing children to drink at home is a way of keeping tabs on your child's drinking habits but, quite frankly, if any of my kids start boozing at 13 I think the last thing I'll do is make it easy for them by handing them a beer from the fridge along with their fish fingers.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance said: "The relationship between children and alcohol in Britain always seems more fraught than for our continental cousins. Many parents want their children to have a responsible attitude to drinking and introduce alcohol in a safe, controlled environment. The challenge any parent will recognise is how to prevent excessive drinking, especially amongst teenagers ... Whenever people are drinking in the home, there is a greater risk of injury or property damage as alcohol has a significant impact on co-ordination."
Well, quite. But that's surely the tip of the iceberg.
We'd like to hear your views on this story. Do you plan to permit your children to drink alcohol at home and if so, why? Or do you think it's irresponsible to allow a child to drink alcohol? Leave us a comment or join the debate over on our Facebook page.