Allowing adolescents to drink alcohol, even under adult supervision, could increase their tendency to drink more as they grow up.
This is according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, which found that parents tend to take one of two approaches towards teenage drinking.
They either deliver a zero tolerance approach to alcohol or they allow their children to drink alcohol in small amounts occasionally if there is an adult present.
However, more parents may want to consider the first option, since the survey of 1,900 teenagers showed that youths who were allowed some alcohol had an increased level of alcohol use in their later teenage years.
They were also more likely to experience harmful consequences in their later life.
Barbara McMorris, leader of the study, commented: "Kids need black and white messages early on.
"Such messages will help reinforce limits as teens get older and opportunities to drink increase."