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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"With the thoughts I'd be thinkin', I could be another Lincoln,
If I only had a brain."
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
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.
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".
What can I say? We're irish .
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.
Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!
And our kids have also been told that alcoholic drinks are not for children. They know that alcohol is not for kids, and will remind each other of that. It's similar to the way my kids know better than to drink coke- coke has caffeine, and caffeine is not for kids
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
We've talked about how alcohol and caffeine aren't good for growing brains because it can stop them from growing right, but that it's ok to use them in moderation as a grown-up. ITA with those who say modeling healthy attitudes toward alcohol is the best course.
I really cant understand the hang up so many Americans have over alcohol, nor the ridiculous age for legal drinking. My theory is that these things increase the likelihood of alcohol abuse.
I love wine and my kids know it. I don't tell them it's only for adults and they've never asked to taste it. It's just a total non-issue in our house.
I do know people whose kids have been frightened by the whole DARE thing at school & come home thinking that their parents are about to die because they drink wine with dinner.
So...about once or twice a month, I have a cider or cooler, or a decaf coffee with a shot of kahlua or Bailey's in it. Sometimes, dd will ask me if I want a cider from the fridge (she's always offering people stuff) and I say no, so she wants to know why. I tell her that I don't feel like it or that it's not good to have a drink before driving, or that I've already had one today, and too much alcohol isn't good for babies or whatever the truth is. I want dd to learn about alcohol and how it fits into life, not just be terrified by anti-alcohol propaganda.
I'm not sure what ds1's attitudes will be like, but so far they're pretty good. He's seen a few really serious drinkers and I think he has a pretty good idea what alcohol abuse does to a person's body. He also has three biological grandparents with drug and/or alcohol addiction problems, so I do worry about any genetic component.
My mom grew up in a teetotal environment, with an unspoken "alcohol is bad" attitude...and she married an alcoholic, without having any idea of how totally bizarre his drinking was. How can dd identify problem drinkers in her circle of friends, if she thinks that anybody who has a drink of alcohol is a problem drinker?
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
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.
Being European, I grew up seeing responsible drinking. It's the 'done thing' to give the children a small amount of wine in their glass with meals.
I'm with Britishmum - I can't understand the American attitude to alcohol. I think it's very unhealthy and causes many problems.