I admit I've let Dd have a couple sips (and they were just that, a couple sips) of wine, she was curious about it. She didn't like it, but she was satisfied that she got to try it and has not asked since. We talked about it frankly, the effects of alcohol and why by law, only adults are allowed to drink it. She's little, of course, so it was in a way she understands, but it was a good lead in to a good discussion that I think with kids today, needs to start early. If I don't talk to her about it, I can be sure her peers will, even as a homeschooler, and I'd rather it be my version of what's okay and reasonable about alcohol that she hears first than a friend or someone from my dad's side.
I've been drinking wine occasionally since I was a kid myself. No drinking to drink or to get drunk, like wine with a really nice meal, once or twice a month. It remains that way today, just a treat with a nice dinner. There's a line between giving your kids alcohol as just a taste and giving your kids alcohol to drink to get drunk, just like there is drinking yourself. I think making it this big forbidden thing might be counterproductive, it just makes it that much more attractive so that when they can get it, whether that's at 12, 15, 18, or 21, they run the risk of going overboard on the forbidden fruit. But obviously giving a 12 year old jello shots isn't the way to go either.
A few sips here and there, with some good discussions and openness, can be a little leeway that prevents a lot of problems later.
Edited by IrishWristwatch - 12/28/12 at 2:58pm