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Do you drink in front of your kids?

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
For whatever reason, I have been drawn to the topic of alcohol use in families and wondering how others, who parent concientiously, deal with drinking.

My parents were not drinkers, but that did not keep my brothers or me away from alcohol before the legal age. My ds is 3.5 now and although his teen years are still a ways away, I believe attitudes about alcohol can begin very early and was wondering how other parents behave/deal with alcohol in their homes.

My husband and I drink...wine with dinner every once in a while or when we have get togethers. My husband likes "good" beer, so he drinks that several days a week, but we are not binge drinkers or drink in an unhealthy way. I've told my son before, when he went to pick up my glass, that he couldn't drink it because it contained alcohol and I feel weird about it. The subject of alcohol can be so taboo and with underage drinking and driving deaths seeming to rise again, I just wonder...how is a parent to handle this topic??
post #2 of 104
post #3 of 104
I agree that modeling appropriate drinking behavior is the best option and turning alcohol into something more serious that it is can be dangerous. I do think that kids need to be kept from getting drunk until they are fully developed. Addictions are horrible things and almost always develop before adulthood so alcohol should be treated as serious- with respect.
post #4 of 104
We share riotkrrn's opinion in our house. It was never a big deal for me growing up. My dad was a staunch non-drinker, but my mom never saw a problem with having a drink. At my maternal grandparen'ts we had wine with dinner. When we were young, it was diluted, but when we were older, say 8 or so, it was a very small glass of the real stuff. I learned to appreciate a good wine.

Ds has little interest in tasting anything, though he does like the smell of some beers. We want him to have a healthy view of alchohol. We feel that by making a big issue out of it, it won't be a big deal for him. By treating it as a horrible nasty evil thing as we have seen some parents do, that, to me, is where you are going to run into problems. Just my opinion.
post #5 of 104
we dont drink as a rule, however "grandpa" and "papa" drink beer and "grammy" drinks a glass of wine before dinner on the weekends. My Dad always drank beer in front of me, to the point that he abused it, but it was never taboo. Im not cool with this, but he used to let me take sips of his beer when I was little.

Because my Dad had/has a tendancy to abuse alcohol I am very aware and dont generally keep in the house. Occasionally we will pick up a six pack of something, but very occasionally.... like a few weeks ago I bought some Mikes Hard Lemonades bc I hadnt had one in like a year. I had one with a friend for dinner that night and then like one a week... there are still two left.

BC of my Dad, one of the things that drew me to my dh the most was that he doesnt drink... so that was a big deal to me from the beginning. My Dad is an obnoxious drunk and I cant stand it.

so yes, we do drink very occasionally in front of our kids, but not on a daily , weekly or even most of the time not a monthly basis.
post #6 of 104
We are not heavy drinkers, but yes we drink in front of our kids.

If they want a sip of wine, beer or whatever we let them. I was always allowed to as a child.

I agree that we are modeling appropriate drinking behaviors.

The friends I grew-up with who lived in homes where drinking was a big no-no went on to really abuse alcohol in college. The fall-down and pass-out in strange places nightly crowd.

I want my kids to be exposed to alcohol and think that it's not such a big and exciting thing. I don't want them to look at it as a big taboo so that when they are around peers who are drinking they are drawn to crazy experimentation.
post #7 of 104
A healthy attitude and moderation in front of children is a good thing!
We don't drink in front of the kids, but we don't drink at all anymore. They have seen their dad drinking (DH is now a recovered alcoholic) so they have seen the abuse of it too. Grandpa is an active alcoholic too.
post #8 of 104
Originally Posted by riotkrrn
DH and I drink in front of our daughter, age 2.5. It never occurred to us not to. She likes to ask for a sip of whatever we're drinking; she usually deems it "too burny!" and goes back to her own drink. When she's a bit older, I'll be fine with giving her diluted wine, and once she is in her teens she is welcome to drink it with dinner when we have a bottle.

I think the stigma & campaign against "underage drinking" in this country (US) is nuts and generally leads to the opposite effect of what it's proponents are aiming for. I hope that by modeling and allowing responsible drinking in our home, my kids won't think of alcohol as either poison or forbidden fruit.
This is exactly how we handle alcohol. My parents made a big deal of how alcohol was only for adults and we were NEVER, NEVER to touch it. The entire family have very repressed views on alcohol. My fathers two brothers both ended up in rehab and AA. I definately think there is a correlation there.
post #9 of 104
Yes, we drink in front of our ds. I don't want it to be taboo for him. For a long time my niece was under the impression that if a person had a beer, they had a drinking problem.
We don't give sips b/c he's only 18 months. Probably won't ever do that until he's much much older. Then I think if he would like it, wine on special occasion dinners.
I do not ever get intoxicated.
post #10 of 104
We drink in front of our children. I think making alcohol taboo makes it worse. Children should be able to see adults drinking responsibly and not using alcohol as a medication, or drinking to drunkeness.
post #11 of 104
We have a food circle with friends, and have dinner together every Sunday night. There is always wine with dinner, so my children see me have a glass frequently. My DH doesn't really like alcohol, so he rarely has anything to drink. We try to normalize the responsible partaking of wine with dinner (good food, good drink, etc.), no one ever gets falling down drunk or obnoxious. Thus far, my kids have decided they don't like it and understand that might be something they enjoy when they are older/adults.
post #12 of 104
We are very moderate drinkers. I agree that children should see adults drinking in appropriate ways. If you were to hide your drinking, it would become a shameful thing, which it is not. You are modelling good behaviour when your kids see you having one or two drinks occasionally. We also allow tasting by curious kids, making something taboo makes it more desireable.
post #13 of 104
I *very* rarely drink (maybe 1 drink every few months) but when I do, I drink in front of my kids. I don't want them to grow up thinking alcohol is a forbidden fruit and become closet alcoholics later on. My parents were weirdos who NEVER drank. Period. They told my brother and me that it was evil and a sin--this is coming from people who haven't even set foot in a church in 22 years. They gave me an unhealthy way of looking at alcohol, meaning I grew up thinking that only "bad" people drink and that people only drink to get drunk. Mom even stopped talking to her best friend of forever because her boyfriend brought beer into the house one time. Needless to say, when I got to high school I rebelled and started drinking.
post #14 of 104
to answer the question, yes, we drink in front of the kids, in fact, wine is part of our religious traditions. it really bothers me that DS's school has an anti-drinking thing when they have red ribbon week, because DS comes home telling us how bad wine is :

my own childhood experience with alcohol was a little crazy: i got drunk at five, with my grandmother's boyfriend (who owned the disco my parents managed). he gave me all the kahlua and creams i wanted for my fifth birthday. i don't remember that birthday my dad and stepmom let me have champagne on New Years, and my mother and stepfather let me drink beer (i liked it then, and it was PBR, go figure). they drank around me, it was never a big deal, and i wasn't interested in it at all. the *ONLY* time i drank from ages 10-25 was one night at my (other) grandma's house when i was 15, i had a bit of kahlua. i went through 5 years of college, had no drinks except one drink with my parents when i turned 21. so i didn't get drunk after the first time for 20 years
post #15 of 104
Absolutely! My drink of choice is port, and I'll have a glass or two from time to time. I don't drink to get drunk, I sip it here and there, and I'll refuse another drink when I've had enough. I'm a positive role model for my Dd. That doesn't mean she won't do stupid things around drinking someday, but I want her to have some positive models about how to drink in moderation, maybe relax a bit, but not be out of control and stupid about it.
post #16 of 104
I drink in front of the girls and will continue to.
My DH has candida so alcohol isn;t the healthiest thign for him & truthfully there isn't mush out there that he likes.

We plan on setting an example of normalty & moderation for our girls as they get older. Isabella is 2 and she has already had teeny tiny sips of beer and wine. She hated it . But when she is older is she would like a little bit then I will giver her watered wine to have at dinner with me.

My father is an alcoholic. No recovered about it - he's full blown dependant and gets sloppy drunk almost every day. He has scirosis of the liver. His sister is also an alchie and is dying right now. Thier father died from the results of alcholism also.

My mother on the other hand was staunchly anti-alcohol. Her fater was also an alcoholic and I felt that she was very angry with her self for getting locked up in an alcoholic marriage.

the constant alcohol is evil propganda vs. the constant sight of my father being a sloshed idiot shaped my view that alcohol has it;s proper place is used wisely in moderation.

I myself have been drunk less than 5 times in my whole life. I hated it and I don;t plan to ever get drunk again.
post #17 of 104
I have drank in front of my ds. He has even gone to parties with us (in a friendly home with people we knew) and although they sometimes did get drunk I only did once or twice. He was just fine b/c either dh and/or i were still fine and made sure nothing was happening. Of course he doesn't know whats going on and when he gets older he would go to a babysitter if we even went to parties anymore.

I also agree that the "laws" of the US just makes drugs/alcohol forbidden (and tho drugs shouldn't be taken, that she be made clear by parents because it hurts you not just cause the almighty law....). My mother was never really a drinker...would have a glass of wine every so often and a father figure that lived with us would have beer when he was shoeing horses, fixing stuff etc but not sitting on the couch guzzleing it. My sister (10ish at the time) tried it and didn't like it, I didn't want to try it. My mother a little wihile later let me try wine which I didn't like. Fast foward to the last few years: My mother has really gotten into wine making with the natural fruits and berries found on her property. A year or so ago she offered some to me, asked if i wanted to take any home, whether i liked it etc. Keep in mind here i am STILL underage (give me a month...not that it helps...i'm pg!!).

B/C alcohol wasn't FORBIDDEN in our home but not used very much, I don't see a huge fetish with alcohol.

So all in all I would say that when ds and dd get older they can try sips, they can taste certain wines with info about why its good etc, daddy can tell them that a certain beer is such and such and has X flavor and whatnot. They will learn that alcohol is a normal part of dinners/relaxation/occasional life but that its nothing "special".
post #18 of 104
We drink in front of our 2 yo. In fact, she likes it when we put 'wine' (grape juice) in her cup at dinner time and she can drink along with us. She knows how to toast ("cheers!" and clink glasses) and knows the difference between beer, wine and 'gurita' (margarita).

What can I say? We're irish .
post #19 of 104
We drink in front of ds. In moderation of course, that's how we handle alcohol anyway. I'll enjoy a beer at a BBQ or with certain foods, I might have a mudslide when I unwind in the evening, etc...We sometimes, but not always, have wine at family get-togethers. Ds(2yrs) has probably tasted a drop here or there, but I generally tell him that alcohol isn't very good for kids because it won't help your body grow, adults are finished growing so we drink it sometimes. I tell him the same exact thing about my morning coffee or other caffienated beverages too. I was allowed to *taste* wine and stuff when I was a kid, always thought it was gross then. We never make it a big issue, but it's part of our life and I never considered hiding it because, well, there's just nothing to hide.
post #20 of 104
Originally Posted by Joannarachel
We drink in front of our children. I think making alcohol taboo makes it worse. Children should be able to see adults drinking responsibly and not using alcohol as a medication, or drinking to drunkeness.

we certainly have the occasional wine with dinner, or evening beer in front of the kids.
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