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Is it okay to let your kid have a taste of wine or beer?

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Is it okay to let your kid have a taste of wine or beer?

Old 06-30-06, 08:46 AM
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Is it okay to let your kid have a taste of wine or beer?

When I take the BandoFamily(tm) out to dinner, sometimes I'll let one or more of my sons take a sip of my beer or wine because they like the taste. I always figured that one sip wouldn't do them any harm, and it might help de-mystify alcohol. I had heard that in some areas of Europe, where minors regularly have a glass of wine with dinner, there is less alcoholism.

I just heard a PSA on the radio which said in passing that children who are allowed to taste their parents alcohol are more likely to abuse alcohol.

Which is it? Am I doing my kids a disservice? Should I never let them taste alcohol?
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Old 06-30-06, 08:47 AM
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You are wise beyond your Bando-years, Bando.

Alcohol is no big deal in Europe because it's not taboo like it is here. If you are allowed to have a drink at 13, you don't have to make up 8 years of drinks in one night like our 21 year olds do.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:49 AM
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I've got a 6 year old, and I've never offered him a sip. He's come by while I was drinking a Beamish and sniffed it and said "yuck", as he's done with wine and cocktails. I don't see any harm in the occasional sip. I've got some friends that offer each of their children (8 - 12 - 14 -17) a glass of champagne after their traditional Christmas Eve dinner to get them to wind down and go to bed a little earlier.....
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Old 06-30-06, 08:51 AM
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That's what I thought, Vin. I'm not going to buy my kid a beer, but if they have the occasional taste and see that it's no big deal, then hopefully it will be no big deal to them as they get older. That doesn't mean they'll never get trashed, but maybe they'll be less eager to try to go out and drink with friends before they're legal.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:54 AM
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Whats next, letting your kid snort "just a little bit" of your Coke, or shooting just a tad of heroine or copping a feel off one of your hookers? Thats it, I'm calling Family Services...
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Old 06-30-06, 08:54 AM
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If I did let them have a drink it would be the nastiest alcohol I could find. Like a cosmopolitan or something
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Old 06-30-06, 08:58 AM
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My Uncle Paul let me taste his beer once when I was nine. I completely lost interest in beer and stuck with my pharmecuticals.

(It was Pearl beer)
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Old 06-30-06, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
That's what I thought, Vin. I'm not going to buy my kid a beer, but if they have the occasional taste and see that it's no big deal, then hopefully it will be no big deal to them as they get older. That doesn't mean they'll never get trashed, but maybe they'll be less eager to try to go out and drink with friends before they're legal.
I agree with your approach. My parents did it with me. I did it with my kids. But just know that it is part of the "old school" parenting and you'll probably get the stink eye from more "progressive" parents in those situations.

I believe that this approach DOES demystify alcohol. But I think more importantly, you by your example, demonstrate and model moderation.

Unfortunately, it probably won't have any appreciable impact on going out with friends to drink before they're legal. But as they mature, they'll remember Dad, and remember that there is another, more moderate and more responsible way of consuming alcohol.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
You are wise beyond your Bando-years, Bando.

Alcohol is no big deal in Europe because it's not taboo like it is here. If you are allowed to have a drink at 13, you don't have to make up 8 years of drinks in one night like our 21 year olds do.
Is that merely an assumption you're making, or something that you can actually back up with a factual study?
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Old 06-30-06, 09:25 AM
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To speak purely anecdotally, I grew up in a very conservative, Christian family where even being around alcohol was considered somewhat wrong (i.e. we left a couple large family gatherings because the adults were having alcohol, would avoid going to restaurants that served alcohol, etc.). I grew up exposed to a lot of kids in similar situations and also was around a lot of kids whose parents had a much more moderate approach to alcohol. Almost without exception, the kids who had super-protective parents developed some variety of alcohol problem later in life. While there were still bouts of heavy alcohol consumption for a lot of the others in college, most of those with more permissive parents never let it develop to what I'd consider to be a problem.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:26 AM
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Eh, When I was a kid I always took a sip of my dads beer or moms cocktail... Once my grandma had me gargle with a shot of whiskey for a sore throat and I swallowed it afterwards.... I agree it demystified the whole alcohol thing. Not that I don't drink now, but i'm not an alcoholic... I don't see the harm unless a parent is giving thier kid a six pack to shut them up..
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Old 06-30-06, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
Whats next, letting your kid snort "just a little bit" of your Coke, or shooting just a tad of heroine or copping a feel off one of your hookers? Thats it, I'm calling Family Services...
Are you telling me I should take their cigarettes and condoms away? That's just mean.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:31 AM
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A-okay.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:47 AM
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That sort of technique could go either way. I remember when I was eight or nine someone gave me a sip of a Bartells & James wine cooler that tasted sort of like orange soda. I thought it was delicious. Another time a year or so later my friend and I drank punch at his parents' party that unbeknownst to us was spiked. I got buzzed for the first time, and it was fun. In both cases I had a positive idea of alcohol implanted in my head at an early age.

So when it came time to be 'pressured' into drinking, I said "bring it on!"

Originally Posted by mosquitobite
If I did let them have a drink it would be the nastiest alcohol I could find.
Yeah, a sip of beer or wine doesn't prepare them for the horrors of Three Wise Men, Prairie Fire, Everclear, etc.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
Are you telling me I should take their cigarettes and condoms away? That's just mean.
Condoms on the cigarettes....?

You clever bastard!
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Old 06-30-06, 09:54 AM
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I used to try my father's beer and even tried whiskey with him. It was him letting me try my grandfather's cigarette at age 5 that cured me of that forever. My kids have tried my beer several times. One hates it, the other acts like he likes it. He asked if he could have a beer with me (he was 4) so I opened another can for him. He made it through one drink and let me know he was done and then had some juice. They haven't gotten brave enough to drink whiskey yet.

We hang with friends who enjoy drinking beer, and so it seems normal to them. But from what they can tell, after you turn 14 you don't get to try it anymore until you are an adult.
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Old 06-30-06, 09:58 AM
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My parents didn't drink for the most part; with five kids, they just didn't have the money to spend on liquor. But I do fondly recall my very first taste of alcohol. I had a glass of champagne with them on New Year's Eve 1983, when I was eighteen. It was a true rite of passage.

I don't see a problem with demystifying alcohol by allowing your kids a taste now and then. They probably won't like it anyway, particularly if it's something nasty like rye or Scotch.

Just don't give them a sip of your Pink Squirrel or any of those foo-foo drinks that are loaded with sugar. Then they'll be bouncing off the walls AND drunk.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
My parents didn't drink for the most part; with five kids,they just didn't have the money to spend on liquor
I fondly remember the time my kids caught me breaking into their piggy banks, and my screams of "Daddy needs beer money!" Good times, good times.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I fondly remember the time my kids caught me breaking into their piggy banks, and my screams of "Daddy needs beer money!" Good times, good times.
You're twisted, and you speak that Latin thang. God, I'm in love.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:13 AM
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My mom use to give me a sip of her beer now and then, and i don't have a problem with alcohol, I don't even drink that much.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I just heard a PSA on the radio which said in passing that children who are allowed to taste their parents alcohol are more likely to abuse alcohol.
I would like to see the data on this. It would seem like a high percentage of parents let their kids take a sip of a beer or such. It's almost like saying parents who let their kids taste food end up with weight problems.

There are far too many other factors that contribute to someone having a problem with alcohol later in life. They're barking up the wrong tree with this one.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
You're twisted, and you speak that Latin thang. God, I'm in love.

Et tu Vibiana?
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Old 06-30-06, 10:23 AM
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I think it's ok. My husband's sister lets her 18 year old drink whatever he wants as long as it's done at home and in front of them, meaning no mixing yourself a drink then heading off to your room. They claim he's now totally uninterested in getting drunk so there you are.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:25 AM
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I think it's definitely okay so long as you make it clear that alcohol (and other substances) are only okay when done with some degree of moderation and they don't interfere with other, more meaningful, parts of your life. I don't have kids though. While I plan on taking this sort of approach in the future, who knows how I'll feel when I'm really faced with a child that I'm responsible for.

When I was growing up, the family who lived two houses down were VERY strict Christians. It's interesting that all three of their children ended up as very irresponsible young adults in high school in college. Their parents had to pull both of the older children out of college and bring them closer to home because of failing grades and excessive partying. There are many similar stories from the conservative area I grew up in. This alone makes it clear to me that zero tolerance and strict rules don't work. People need experiences to learn.
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Old 06-30-06, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Nausicaa
When I was growing up, the family who lived two houses down were VERY strict Christians. It's interesting that all three of their children ended up as very irresponsible young adults in high school in college. Their parents had to pull both of the older children out of college and bring them closer to home because of failing grades and excessive partying. There are many similar stories from the conservative area I grew up in. This alone makes it clear to me that zero tolerance and strict rules don't work. People need experiences to learn.
It's about the right experience, at the right time.
That's the problem with being hyper-restrictive. Those parents retarded the development of their children. They failed to prepare them for the realities of the world. They raised "bubble boys" who, once let out of their bubble, had no clue on how to handle their surroundings.
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