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At what age would you allow your child to try alcohol? - Page 2

post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

I model moderation, and I think allowing him to drink in real moderation (in a social context and with food)  is fine.

 

In general I think the "you cannot have a drop til you are 18 or 21 and then do what you want" is not responsible.  You know - your first exposure to  a drink shouldn't be at a frat party.  winky.gif  I think trying it out before hand in the midst of people (your family - assuming they practice moderation) who can offer verbal and non-verbal feedback on consumption is the way to go.  

 


Yes, I think this sums up our attitude nicely. 

 

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up a little at the OP's description of a 12 y.o. consuming vodka jelly. I think it's because, to me, vodka jellies are a "party hard" kind of party trick, and not a matter of a complementary addition to a meal. It wouldn't occur to me to give a 12 y.o. a vodka jelly, but I wouldn't blink if that 12 y.o. had an ounce of wine with dinner. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but I think I rationalize it in terms that one suggests moderation and responsible drinking and the other doesn't. 

 

 

 

post #22 of 90

Whenever our dd has asked, we let her sip it. She has had champagne at a wedding for first time this year as well (age 13) She has never liked the taste of alcohol. We, like some PPs dont want it to be forbidden fruit. When she asked to taste, we let her taste. I want to say the first time she had interest was maybe 9 or so?  I can count on one hand the times she has asked since. 

 

I think its dangerous to say NO NOT TILL 21...not even a taste. I would rather she explore at home then out and get into trouble. Would I let her sit and knock back a few at a party? NO. Would I give her a taste of whatever Im drinking if asked? yes.  She hates the taste of it for now.  But I also want her to be able to be socially graceful. Like lifting a toast for a wedding. 

 

 

post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




Yes, I think this sums up our attitude nicely. 

 

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up a little at the OP's description of a 12 y.o. consuming vodka jelly. I think it's because, to me, vodka jellies are a "party hard" kind of party trick, and not a matter of a complementary addition to a meal. It wouldn't occur to me to give a 12 y.o. a vodka jelly, but I wouldn't blink if that 12 y.o. had an ounce of wine with dinner.

 

 

 




Probably because an ounce of wine has a significantly lower alcohol content than most Jello shots.

post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

shrug.gif  When I was studying and working at universities, the professors tended to come from families where kids were allowed to try alcohol (and tended to allow their kids to have a bit of alcohol too), and the students being carted away by ambulance for acohol poisoning tended to come from families that were strictly opposed to underage drinking.

 


I read a study somewhere that said pretty much the same thing.

 

DH and I don't drink much, but the kids are allowed sample sips or very tiny glasses of what we drink. For the most part, they don't care for the taste. I'm really far more concerned with teaching them good habits than the actual age they start to drink with their peers when I'm not around. I'm more concerned about their safety -- less is more when it comes to alcohol, plan a safe way home, only drink around people you know well and trust until you are very sure how your body handles it, etc. I think getting up on the exact age would dim the more important issues.

 

(my kids are teens, BTW)

 

post #25 of 90

DH  doesn't drink at all. I don't drink around the house because I hate the idea of spending family money on alcohol... maybe weird, but I'm not that big of a drinker anymore, there's never alcohol at family functions except beer and wine at my one aunts, (since we have an hour drive after seeing them they don't stock what I drink). With that said, my kids will be lucky to even know what it is by the time they're 21. LOL!

 

I honestly would allow it until 21... my parents allowed us sips if we wanted to try something (on the rare occasion they had a drink) and that didn't change the fact that my brother and i both went a little nuts w/ alcohol around 19ish. Some kids get really into drinking, others don't. I don't really see that as having anything to do w/ forbidden fruit. I think it's more the group of friends you're hanging out with. We only ever drank w/ friends and my parents had a full liquor cupboard at home if we ever were interested there wouldn't have been anything stopping us from accessing that since my parents only used it when they had a lot of adult friends over for a party. I guarantee they had no clue how much was in any of the bottles.

post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'm more concerned about their safety -- less is more when it comes to alcohol, plan a safe way home, only drink around people you know well and trust until you are very sure how your body handles it, etc. I think getting up on the exact age would dim the more important issues.

 


Yeah, those are all the kinds of things we focus on, along with the constant reassurance that they can call us for a ride home, no matter what time it is or where they are. 

 

I haven't quite figured out what the consequences would be if one of my teens actually got drunk. I would probably focus on the natural consequences such as dealing with the hangover and other aftermath.   

 

post #27 of 90

I've always allowed mine to try what I'm having if they asked. A sip when they were little, more as they got older. At 17 & 19, they're both pretty responsible "drinkers". My oldest will occasionally have a mixed drink or glass of wine here or when we have dinner at my parents'. Obviously, I'm not with him at college, but it seems he's a pretty light drinker there, too. My youngest will occasionally ask for a beer, but it's not often as she's always playing hockey and she won't drink while she's training. I know that there is drinking at some of the parties she goes to, and that some of the kids have way too much to drink. But any time I've gone to pick her up, she's been stone cold sober.

post #28 of 90
OP, were you at the party? How did you come by this information?
post #29 of 90

Mine are 4 and 6. Both have tried a sip of DHs beer (I hate beer) and our wine, and decided they aren't interested right now. When they are older and interested, I would much rather they have a nice glass of wine with dinner with us, then have to "sneak off" and start with shots at some party. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I think that small amounts of wine with dinner at age 17 or 18 is fine. I might even go down to 16. French kids grow up drinking wine. German kids are able to drink beer at 16 (or is it 14, I forget). But, they're not allowed to drive until they're 18. So, they've got a couple of years to figure out that getting falling down drunk isn't all that much fun, and there's less temptation to drink and drive. I won't serve my kids a lot of alcohol, but 1/2 a glass of wine with Christmas dinner? Yes. I don't want my kids to have their first experience with alcohol at some party where they have less control over the situation and more pressure to drink too much.

 

Yes, drinking first, driving later. You want to get p*ssed, ok. But you want to drive while p*ssed and kill me and my children? No way. What kind of place allows someone to get 20 DUIs and still have their license, and their car?

 

Additionally, in many of these countries that allow drinking from an earlier age (say 14 for beer, 16 or 17 for liquor, but min 18 for driving - and that is AFTER paying 4,000 USD for the training and the drivers license), the penalty for driving drunk is severe. Like a little drunk and you loose you license for a year. You then drive without a license? Your car is taken. That makes the culture say it is cool to call a cab, or take a bus, or even call your parents to come pick you up, rather than driving drunk, as the penalty is too high. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

Dh and I drink wine weekly.  We actually have a small collection in the cellar (less than 3 dozen, probably) and enjoy pairing wines with the meals I make on the weekends.  Dd is used to seeing us have a drink responsibly and as an accent to a meal.  She doesn't see us sitting around just drinking by itself and we've never been drunk.  At this point, she doesn't like the smell of it, though, so she may never try it and that's fine too.

 

ETA:  It seems to make sense, to me, to have the drinking age lower than the driving age.  Learning to responsibly have a drink with a meal before having access to a deadly weapon (which is what a car can be) seems more logical than the other way around.  I wonder why there is such a discrepancy in the US.

 

This is us as well. We had company yesterday for leg of lamb, saffron rice, marinated asparagus and frozen chocolate marscapone. You bet we had red wine, and a dessert wine as well. If my kids want to taste it, fine. They have in the past, and are not interested. I am sure it will come up again though, and I am not going to make it a forbidden fruit, so they feel the need to sneak off, drink and lie to us about it, feel guilty for doing so, and possibly get so drunk from lack of experience, and end up not in control of themselves or their surroundings. There is a difference between a glass of wine and 5 burbons. I was never offered alcohol as a child, and I had my first experience at a spend the night party, playing liquor card games, when I was 13 and almost everyone else there was 16-18. I survived just fine, but I certainly do not think this was the best experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I let my 15 yr old have one (as in a glass) of whatever I am having if he wants it.  If it is a cooler he usually does - if it is wine he passes. This happens perhaps once a month.  No one in our family likes beer.  He only started this in the last 6 months.  

 

I model moderation, and I think allowing him to drink in real moderation (in a social context and with food)  is fine.

 

In general I think the "you cannot have a drop til you are 18 or 21 and then do what you want" is not responsible.  You know - your first exposure to  a drink shouldn't be at a frat party.  winky.gif  I think trying it out before hand in the midst of people (your family - assuming they practice moderation) who can offer verbal and non-verbal feedback on consumption is the way to go.  

 


This. clap.gif

 

post #30 of 90
Why is it that when someone parents differently than you (general "you") then it's irresponsible parenting? I stated that my children can drink when they are 21 (joking, in a way, because once they turn 18 I have no control over it). I said nothing about those who choose to parent different. But then others have to jump in and say that it's irresponsible to not allow your child to drink underage. Wtf? I'm an irresponsible parent for NOT breaking the law and teaching my children not to break the law? I'm a bit baffled right now.
post #31 of 90

I'm going with 21 also.  I will talk to my dd about calling me if she gets carried away by peer pressure and drinks before then so I can give her a ride or call her a cab.  This is what my parents did for my brother and I without anger or scolding.  They talked to us about their beliefs but also let us know that they knew that sometimes kids get carried away and they didn't want us to pay the price of something serious happening. 

post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

Why is it that when someone parents differently than you (general "you") then it's irresponsible parenting? I stated that my children can drink when they are 21 (joking, in a way, because once they turn 18 I have no control over it). I said nothing about those who choose to parent different. But then others have to jump in and say that it's irresponsible to not allow your child to drink underage. Wtf? I'm an irresponsible parent for NOT breaking the law and teaching my children not to break the law? I'm a bit baffled right now.

 

 

It is my opinion.  It is in general  -I understand  in some families there might be good reasons to abstain -  and it is just on alcohol and parenting.  It is not a statement that someone who doesn't allow drinking under 21 is irresponsible overall.

 

I am OK with it if you think it is irresponsible of people to let kids under the legal age drink - we all have out own opinion.  I can see both sides of the argument.  

 

The legality of drinking is not quite so black and white.  Most states do allow drinking in the home with parental permission or for religious purposes.  Look at this:

 

http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591

 

I don't abide laws because they are laws (would I abide by a law that said not to eat chocolate just because it was a law?  No.)  I abide by most laws because they are based on morality or safety that I agree with.  For me, modelling safe drinking practices and allowing mild exploration is a safety issue.  Even if it were illegal to allow a 15 yr old a small amount of cooler in my own home, I would still do it as safety trumps legality for me.


Edited by purslaine - 9/19/11 at 5:58pm
post #33 of 90

DD is only five, so we have a few more years to think about this one, but I have put some thought into it and it is an important subject to me for a few reasons.  I came from a family who were highly opposed to drinking...anything...under any circumstances.  That being said, I have battled depression since my tweens, but it was never really addressed when I was at home and there wasn't much support.  The drinking age was 18 when I was a teen.  When I moved out of the house, I didn't go wild and party or anything, but I did find that alcohol eased my inner pain and emotional turmoil, at least temporarily.  It is a depressent but it made me feel less depressed when I drank it.  I still struggle with this.  My concern really is not whether I will set DD up for alcohol abuse by introducing her to it, but rather my concern is her mental state when she does begin to drink, if she chooses.  Will her emotional needs have been met by us?  Is there some other thing in which I can direct her focus besides the relief that alcohol can provide when there is a void?  I will go out on a limb and say that probably a majority of people who truly abuse alcohol did not do so to party like it's 1999, but to self-medicate.  I started drinking and continued drinking not because my parents had withheld it from me, but because I felt lonely, disenfranchised, depressed.  I had found something that helped me to ease my anxieties.  Perhaps if I had taken my first drink in the right circumstances and at the right time for me, I wouldn't have developed this negative relationship to it. 

 

I know it sounds weird but I really do think that alcohol abuse can be prevented when there is a healthy state of mind and a general good sense of well-being.  Aside from some of the maturity and safety issues discussed above (which are valid), I really don't think it matters what age (whether it be 16, 21, 30 or 60) that a person begins to drink.  While I think the forbidden fruit thing is valid in some cases (i.e. some kids may go wild the first chance they get), abuse of and dependency on alcohol involve many more complex factors.  I guess I'm just coming at it from a different perspective.  I want DD to view it as something pleasant that occurs at dinner or the like.  Her emotional state and maturity will be the determining factors.

post #34 of 90

It helps to actually see others with a healthy relationship with alcohol.  Since DH and I both had alcoholic parents, neither one of us are actually comfortable with introducing it to our kids.  I know I said I would hope to be able to allow them to try it in the right setting but I just don't know if I could.  I have time before they become interested.   So we'll see.

post #35 of 90

I also have an alcoholic parent(and sibling, and uncles,...) My parent was not an alcoholic until I grew up, but as I was growing up we were not allowed around a part of my family because they drank and it was evil and they were going to hell. It took me years to get over the idea that drinking alcohol=alcoholic :( I totally understand how that can affect your parenting reguarding drinking!

 

That said, when we bought our house, the day we signed the papers we all sat at the kitchen table and had wine. Well the kids and I ended up tasting it and we all pushed ours to dh lol None of us like wine. The kids were 5, 12 and 14 I think. I have always let them have a taste if they want, but not a whole drink! When my oldest turned 16, she was allowed a whole drink when her youngest sister went to bed, but we had her drink it slowly, over about an hour. After the way I grew up, I don't believe in outright banning alcohol. In some cultures, it's normal for children to have wine with dinner some. It's the US that seems to have this all-or-nothing attitude, when it's ok for there to be an in-between. I did have a close friend whose mom let her children have wine very occasionally, and they were a very good, close family with no arrest records or drugs and all the other stuff I expected from drinkers growing up and that influenced my way of thinking.

post #36 of 90

DD, 7,  has been allowed her own watered down half glass of champagne at weddings and new years. She's had watered down half glasses of wine at Christmas. All of these experiences were at a family table, with lots of food. I think it's happened maybe 4 times. She's had a sip of beer to taste.

 

When we have been at parties, she gets a 6 pack of IBC root beer with an umbrella straw. At restaurants she often gets a Shirley Temple.

 

We don't drink wine and beer or anything else on a regular basis in our house. Not because we are against it, it's just not part of our family culture. When we visit the grandparents though, there is often a drink or 2 (at the most) involved for the adults.

post #37 of 90

Well, DH gave DD a sip of his cider to try when she was two. She wanted some and he was all "Here, I'll give her a sip and she'll hate it", and I said "I dunno, she has kind of a weird palate"... and sure enough, yep, she loved it and wanted more. Which we didn't give her. :p Now she stretches her arm way above her head and says "I have to be THIS tall before I can have cider!" (or coffee, although she did consume some pretty strong coffee panna cotta the other day).

 

We don't drink much - I can't stand alcohol and DH only has the occasional cider or rum and Coke - but I have no problem with her, say, trying a small glass of wine at Christmas at the in-laws when she's older. (Any wine we buy is $7 stuff for cooking and not really drinkable, so it'd have to be MIL's!) The drinking age here is 18, and while I don't think that's necessarily a good thing - we don't have a great drink-driving record, for instance - 21 definitely seems REALLY old to me. I mean, I was married and pregnant by the time I was 21! I'd been through Uni... worked several jobs... it just seems bizarre that I would be considered unable to responsibly have a drink at that age.

 

Now, giving her jello shots, or encouraging her to drink in a "We're all getting drunk, why don't you join in?" kind of way? Heck no. But that's a situation pretty far removed from our family life.

 

FWIW, growing up, my family drank in theory but not in practice. That is, we didn't have any moral or theological objections to alcohol (although many people assumed we did - Dad's a Reformed Baptist pastor, and it seems a lot of people think Baptist = Southern Baptist = teetotallers); but my parents didn't care much for the taste of alcohol, and we were always too poor to buy it (see above re Reformed Baptist pastor!). So far, the three of us who've reached legal drinking age (minus one with special needs, who doesn't drink) have good attitudes to alcohol. I have one sister who likes champagne and another who likes mulled wine; I don't like the taste except for cooking purposes. None of us drink to excess, and I'm extremely confident that my underage sisters aren't experimenting with alcohol. Maybe if my parents had instilled an "alcohol is evil" mentality we would have been more likely to rebel - I don't know - but as it was, it turned out fine. And Dad's side of the family does have a history of alcoholism, so - go parents, I guess!

post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

I'm an irresponsible parent for NOT breaking the law and teaching my children not to break the law? I'm a bit baffled right now.


I don't think you're an irresponsible parent, but I don't always think it's wrong to break the law. After all, Rosa Parks broke the law.
 

I don't believe that all laws should be followed rather than questioned.

post #39 of 90

I don't think it is necessarily bad to allow a small amount of alcohol to enter your child's body before they are legal drinking age.

 

I grew up being allowed to have a sip of wine or beer sometimes on special occasions. By the time I was 21 I had little interest in drinking to excess like a lot of other kids. It wasn't particularly fun, exciting or grown up to drink excessively and people who got super drunk just looked stupid and sad to me.
 

I don't really drink much alcohol these days and neither does dh. I would let dd try something in a small amount once in awhile but I would not pour her a big glass of something or let her have multiple alcoholic beverages.  She weighs 70 pounds- she definitely should not be drinking what an adult sized serving of alcohol would be. She is pretty against trying alcohol when we do have it around and that is fine.

 

limited amounts of wine or beer every once in awhile= probably not a big deal

kids consuming multiple cocktails and hard liquor= not okay

 

 

 

 

 

post #40 of 90
I think we learn moderation from seeing other people practice moderation. Therefore, I wouldn't hesitate to let a teenager try a glass of wine or a beer, at home, within the family. It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me. I'm probably going to get jumped on though, when I admit that all three of my kids (who are 7, 4, and 4) have already had tastes. They've all had drops of wine and beer off my finger, when they were curious about the taste. Only one little drop, to satisfy their curiosity. I'd rather have them indulge that curiosity under controlled conditions, at home, than have them go exploring without my knowledge and make themselves sick or put themselves in danger.
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