Do you let your child sip alcohol? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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Yes for me. DH and I don't drink often but when we do we will occasionally give a small sip to our girls. I grew up with my parents doing the same thing and since I was used to that I never went to any parties or drank because I saw alcohol as something to be used in moderation for celebrations not to get drunk on.

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#182 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 03:11 AM
 
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We drink maybe a couple times a year, if that, & the kids are allowed a sip or 2.

I don't know if my parents gave me sips as a kid, except for when a guy who was rooming with us brought back champagne from Europe. They were big wine drinkers, though & quite often had a glass with supper. Starting around 16/17 (legal age here is 18), they (ok, dad, but mom never said anything about it) would buy me alcohol for special occasions. I think it maybe happend 3 or 4 times. I remember once when we had a French exchange student, my graduation bbq & my grad party, for sure. And we could have a half glass of wine with dinner occasionally if we wanted. Never have liked wine, though. Yuck.

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#183 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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So here I am with a glass of wine reading the thread finding myself singing "Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo". DD stops by asks why I was singing that particular song so I explain the thread.

*DD eyes the glass of wine*
Me: Want a taste?
*Dd tastes it*
DD: nope, still don't like it.

She had her first sip of wine at about 5, she spit it back in the glass. The next time she asked was tonight. So yes, we allow a sip of wine if she asks.

My dad never had to deal with it because I never really asked. I was 7 when I had my first "sip". The quotation marks are because I got a hold of someones Rum & Coke and took a big swallow. Dad told me I might feel a little funny because of the alcohol. When I was a teen, alcohol wasn't much of a mistery because we had talked about alcohol before and I was offered chance when I showed interest. He did tell me once to never by the cheap crap because the only thing you get out of that stuff was a buzz and that's not what alcohol is about. That was an interesting conversation, I relaize that day my dad was big on enjoying wine as one would enjoy a fancy dinner. It's not about the eating, it's about enjoying the flavour and the specialness. I did my share of binge drinking as a teen, that was always thought out before hand and I accepted the fact that if I came home drunk enough to have a hangover the next day, my dad would make no consessions for the hangover.

I do enjoy a glass of wine most nights, so does DH. We have other alcohol in the house, but that's more for our private together time (I will admit with only limited shame that I enjoy body shots but not for the buzz).

Would I allow her drugs? Well, if she came to us wanting to try MJ, then yes we'd allow it. Why? Because one way or another she's going to try it if she really wants to and at least I know what's in the stuff we have (yes dh and I smoke it occasionally when dd is staying with mom or dad for the night. No flames please.) unlike what any of her friends can get which could have anything from pesticides to hard drugs laced in there.

In BC it's legal for us to give DD alcohol in our home.

I truly do not understand the parents who will give their children the cheap horrible tasting alcohol to trick them into thinking it's all gross. It's not all gross and the kid will find out eventually. Trust is also a very important think in our house, and lying to dd is not something DH or I would ever do.

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#184 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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Not a chance in : me and dh do not drink at all. Though dh has in the far distant past.

I personally have only had a sip of beer and 1 wine cooler in my nearly 37years. I was 17 for both the beer and cooler.

Not only does my religion forbid it but both sides of my family have alcoholics. I dont see a reason why anyone would want to give it to their child : What is the point?

They grow up fast enough anyway being exposed to alcohol that young is jumping the gun big time.

 
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#185 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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This has been an interesting read. I fall in the camp that when my DD is older (I'm not sure of the age, but I've got a few years to figure that out) I will allow her to have a sip or small glass if she asks for it. Even at this point she has had alcohol twice in Rescue Remedy. Alcohol is alcohol regardless of what the bottle or glass looks like.

I just wanted to offer my own experiences as a child. My parents were "T-Totalers" as they called themselves. No alcohol at all, not even on holidays or celebrations. In earlier childhood though, I do seem to remember the men having beer out in the garage away from the children. I did not see drinking modeled in anyway really (except maybe that you should be sneaky with it). I did hear lots of negative scare tactic stuff surrounding alcohol and it's real dangers, I have a few uncles that are alcoholics. But at some point when I was maybe 15 or so, alcohol was brought into the home, mostly for cooking (I was told) and I don't remember seeing either parent drink it at that time. When I was 16 at some point it occurred to me to start taking shots here or there. Then I'd drive. I also encouraged a friend to sneak alcohol from her parents cabinet too. I was the child out drinking with my friends and driving around on gravel roads in the country so we would be less likely to run into cops. I would drink to the point of vomiting, so I was not being responsible with it in anyway. Then after 18 I ended up traveling overseas and living in a country where the legal age was 16. My irresponsible drinking behaviors continued minus the whole driving thing. It took me way too long to become a responsible drinker. And I am amazed that I survived my experimentation period. I would drink to the point of incoherence and for an 18yo woman that is very dangerous. One time while living in a dorm situation I had been out drinking heavily. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and he made sure to get me back safely to my place in bed. He went down to his room for a while. But for some reason he decided to come up and check on me. I was choking, lying on my back unable to vomit and unable to roll over. He rolled me on my side and I'm sure he witnessed more of me than he wanted to see. Then he cleaned me and my mess up. And wouldn't you know he cleaned it so well that I didn't believe him when he told me about it the next morning. And this bit of knowledge still wasn't enough for me to change my habits either. Really, it wasn't until my mid-late 20's before I calmed down and begin to develop an appreciation for different kinds of alcohol. Now in my mid-late 30's I would consider myself a responsible drinker, but it was a long and dangerous road despite my parents well intended actions.

I just wanted to add my experience in there. I did exactly what my parents were afraid of and trying to prevent by not having alcohol in the house. My parents are not drinkers in anyway. Very very occasionally dad will have a beer, or mom used to drink a tiny glass of blackberry wine. But I didn't ever see them model such behaviors with alcohol until I was well into adulthood. I think if I had seen them doing their normal behavior of occasional drinks (in this case sometimes not even monthly) while I was still an impressionable child things might have been different. Pure speculation of course. Just my 2 cents.
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#186 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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I don't see how there could be a law against it considering the church my daughter does choir with has open communion and has been offering her a sip of wine at each service since she was a young four year old and joined the choir.

I don't think it matters much either way.
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#187 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I have let my kids have sips, my mom let me have sips when I was a kid, and dh's parents did the same, and we are far from alcoholics... I don't want it to be forbidden or cool to drink to get drunk at 18 like it was for so many when I was in high school, and I think be allowed to drink it, in controlled amounts, is a possible (I doubt it's 100% effective, or the only way) way of avoiding that. When they are older and bigger I will allow them to have their own glass with a small amount in it at special occasions, like nye.

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#188 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I wanted to add that my dad used to drink before he married my mom she refused to marry him until he promised not to any more because she grew up with and alcoholic father and her life sucked because of it. Well shortly after I was born my mom caught my dad hiding a beer outside and she got me and my older half brother dressed and took off walking down the road she has never drove. My dad decided that day that my mom and us kids where more important to him than having a beer. He never drank again and actually became a preacher

So I was NEVER exposed to drinking growing up and heard the stories and knew I would also follow my mom's example and not marry someone who drunk and I didnt and I would never drink (curious I took a taste yes but that is as far as it went).

My dh on the other hand grew up in a drinking family not alcoholic but drinking socially and on special occasions he did end up drinking on occasion and getting drunk a few times. He was never taught drinking was bad so he didnt see it that way.

Now everyone is different and some can be taught something then go on to do it anyway while others learn from being taught and never make the mistake.

For me I will be teaching my kids as I was taught and hope they follow my example.

So if you dont see drinking as a problem then giving your child alcohol isnt a big deal I guess.

 
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#189 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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i do not have children, however, i would allow my child to have sips of alcohol but only if they asked.

my dh's family allows teenagers to drink at family gatherings, sometimes 2-3 whole drinks (usually beer) i do NOT agree with this.

just my 2 cents.
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#190 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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nope. my dad is an alcoholic... i also dont let them sip soda on a regular basis. i have played up on how gross carbonation is. They have had.... 1 or 2 sips of soda in their lives and hate it......
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#191 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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nope. my dad is an alcoholic... i also dont let them sip soda on a regular basis. i have played up on how gross carbonation is. They have had.... 1 or 2 sips of soda in their lives and hate it......
Why is carbonation gross?
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#192 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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Why is carbonation gross?
well.. I dont think its gross... which is the problem , I grew up drinking a ton of soda, and really dont want my kids to get hooked on it like I was. If my kids decide they like soda, it will be allowed on special occasions, etc... but Id rather they not like it, personally. A friend of mine did that with her dd and to this day she hates soda.. she is 16. I just remind them how gross and "spicy" they thought it was the last time they tried it, usually this makes them not want to try it again.
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#193 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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Ahhh I see. That wouldn't fly in my house because I'm always drinking naturally carbonated mineral water which I am sort of almost addicted to.
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#194 of 213 Old 11-25-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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Ahhh I see. That wouldn't fly in my house because I'm always drinking naturally carbonated mineral water which I am sort of almost addicted to.
heh, well if only i could like that stuff, it turns out i like the sweet of the soda PLUS the carbonation...LOL

Also, i have terrible teeth and so far so good, but its sooo bad for their teeth, which is another reason I try to avoid it altogether..

i dont keep soda in the house...
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#195 of 213 Old 11-26-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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In our house we rarely drink alcohol. Holidays, special occasions, an occasional nerve soother, that's it. There is almost always a bottle of wine or a beer or 2 in the fridge and a stocked bar in the house though (we still have the leftover booze from our wedding...7 years ago!)

We do drink a few beers at BBQ type get togethers with friends.

I have no problem with my 5 year old having a few sips. When we are drinking beer from the backyard cooler we stock some IBC root beers for her.

We were at a family wedding last month and I let DD finish the last 4 sips of champagne from my glass. My sister (who PARTIES) was super pissed off and chewed me out for it. I think the scene she made was more harmful than the champagne.

It's up to each family to decide for themselves what is best. Only you know your family history and your kids. Only you should make the decision. What I do in my house really does not matter.

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#196 of 213 Old 11-26-2008, 07:34 AM
 
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No way! Its against our religion and its not allowed in our house. I also come from a family where there are a lot of alcoholics.

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#197 of 213 Old 11-26-2008, 09:15 AM
 
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And alcohol laws here are 18 yo. for beer/wine and 20 for liquer, so nobody can give anyone under that age alcohol, including parents. It's not something we would do here either, different cultures I guess, and I'm very happy it's like that here.

(We're scandinavian.)

I`m Norwegian (part of Scandinavia, ofcourse) and that`s the law here, too.
I feel that the difference in the laws regarding children here, and in USA, is that most scandinavian laws are to protect the child from EVERYONE who does something that is considered a bad thing for the child. But it seems, from my limited knowledge, that the focus in USA is more on the FAMILY? That in a family you are allowed to do "what you want" because it is your children, and thus your deciscion? In Norway children are their own in a much bigger way, it seems like. The focus is more on childrens right, not on parental rights. This can be both positive and negative, depending on the issue, I feel.

Ooh, and about Europeans and drinking: Norway is part of Europe, and I can tell you that we don`t drink in the way you typically talk about European drinking. Not at all. I think what you guys label as Europe in this thread, is more like Southern Europe, like Italy, Greece, Spain etc. It is definitely not the way Norwegians, and most scandinavians, drink. Here it is not normal to give kids alcohol at all. And I have seen plenty of research to back up this, so I will not give my child alcohol.

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#198 of 213 Old 11-26-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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I don't have time to read through this whole thread, so I hope I'm not posting something that's now completely off-topic. I just wanted to say that there is alcoholism on BOTH sides of my family, and my sisters and I grew up drinking (watered) wine at dinner when my parents did - maybe a couple times a week at most? I don't think we started as young as five, but I'm sure we were allowed sips then.

None of us has a problem with alcohol, none of us abused it as teenagers. One sister has similar depressive problems and mental health issues as one of my alcoholic uncles, yet she has no difficulty drinking responsibly and I have never even had a suspicion that she used alcohol for any purpose other than her hobby of wine-snobbery.

Honestly, I don't think that childhood exposure to responsible alcohol consumption, and the odd sip or taste, could have a negative impact on whether a person develops alcoholism later on in life. Overindulging peer groups in high school? Sure. But sips with mom and dad, no. I don't think it's a sure-fire preventative, but I don't think it can hurt, either.

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#199 of 213 Old 11-26-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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I truly do not understand the parents who will give their children the cheap horrible tasting alcohol to trick them into thinking it's all gross. It's not all gross and the kid will find out eventually. Trust is also a very important think in our house, and lying to dd is not something DH or I would ever do.
I don't understand the lying part either. I don't lie to my children. But telling your child that alcohol tastes gross isn't lying when it comes from me... because I really believe it tastes gross! I don't like the taste at all, in fact I find it gag-inducing. I can't even stand the smell of alcohol.

Each to his own, I guess. I don't think its a big loss, as alcohol has more negatives than positives in my eye.

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#200 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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My kids are only 2 and 4, and I hardly ever drink. DH has beer sometimes and drinks socially, so they don't see us drinking that often. DS, when he was maybe 1, picked up an almost empty beer can when we were having a party and my dad thought it would be really funny to let him have a sip. My mom nearly had a fit.

I would be OK letting them have a sip or two when they're older - haven't really given it much thought, but I do think that having an easy going attitude about alcohol and letting them have small amounts at home in our presence before they are legal is probably a good thing so they're not obsessed with it.

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#201 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 04:57 AM
 
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I live in hops and beer country, and DH really enjoys a good beer and will often have one with dinner. I don't drink much. We've gotten into the habit of buying non-alcoholic beer for me, and I don't even have that everyday. It has 0 alcohol content (kombucha would have more) and it's unpasteurized, so it has all the goodies from the hops.

DS is 3.5 and so far he knows that alcohol is only for adults and that he can have non-alcoholic beer.

Dunno when we'll start giving him sips. Probably not til he's much older, like closer to 10.
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#202 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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My parents were Catholics from New Orleans with recent European family roots, and they often had wine with dinner and that sort of thing. They actually have a full bar in their house -- they do a lot of entertaining. But I have never seen them drunk, with the possible exception of being maybe a bit aglow with holiday cheer at their annual New Year's Eve party. But I've never seen them for-real drunk.
They let me sip wine when I was little, and maybe from the time I was 14 or so they let me have a little half-glass of wine with dinner, that sort of thing. I think I grew up with a very sensible relationship to drinking. I really didn't
drink in high school unless it was wine with dinner with my parents, and when I got to college, I think I was a lot better off that some kids who were raised to think alcohol was the devil.
About four years ago, before my current partner, I dated an alcoholic and saw first hand how ugly and miserable true alcoholism is. There's nothing romantic about it, and it opened my eyes to why some people are so anti-drinking. It made me reevaluate my own relationship with drinking, and it solidified in my own mind what is acceptable for me -- a glass of wine or a beer or two here and there, a happy hour cocktail sipped and slowly savored, and the rare, rare night of cutting loose (like my grandpa said, moderation in all things, including moderation.)
So I guess at some point I'd let DS interact with alcohol in the same way I did. But I wouldn't push it on him. I've seen some, y'know, kind of trashy looking parents goading their kids into taking a swig of beer and then laughing at them. That's pretty appalling. But if DS asks for a sip of wine at the dinner table, I think I'd give it to him.

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#203 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I grew up with parents who were very relaxed about alcohol. Early on we were allowed tastes and small glasses of what the adults were drinking. As we got older into teen years, we were allowed to drink whatever at home.

The only thing I found it did for me was to demystify alcohol. When all my teenage friends went through the big 'let's steal some of our parent's booze and sneak out' I was 'meh'. It didn't do anything for me.

Funnily enough, neither dh or I drink (more that we don't enjoy the taste of most alcoholic beverages) although dd1 is allowed a taste of whatever any adult at the table is having (if they're willing to share! lol)

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#204 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I grew up with parents who were very relaxed about alcohol. Early on we were allowed tastes and small glasses of what the adults were drinking. As we got older into teen years, we were allowed to drink whatever at home.

The only thing I found it did for me was to demystify alcohol. When all my teenage friends went through the big 'let's steal some of our parent's booze and sneak out' I was 'meh'. It didn't do anything for me.

Funnily enough, neither dh or I drink (more that we don't enjoy the taste of most alcoholic beverages) although dd1 is allowed a taste of whatever any adult at the table is having (if they're willing to share! lol)
This is more or less my story also. There is alcoholism on both sides of my family, but my mother and father have managed to escape it and my brother and I are not afflicted. They taught us by example what it was to drink responsibly.

I allow my 6 year old the occasional sip of an alcoholic beverage. He's tasted it maybe 3 times in his life. I'm comfortable with that.

I also allow him the occasional sip of beverages sweetened with aspartame.

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#205 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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#206 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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nope. there is a reason that there are legal drinking ages. its just not good for you in any amount at that age.
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#207 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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absolutely not.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#208 of 213 Old 11-27-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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My grandfather let me suck the foam off of his beer. I am not sure exactly how old I was, but younger than five.

My family are pretty big social drinkers. Not wild parties, fall down drunk kind of drinking, but beer on a hot day, wine with dinner, sort of thing. I was allowed to try drinks growing up, but wasn't allowed to have a full beverage of my own until I was legal age (19).

My dad always used to tell me that learning how to drink responsibly is an important part of becoming an adult. I couldn't agree more.

So when my babe is old enough to ask, I would let her have a sip of what I was drinking. If I felt like she was asking too often, I would be more inclined to cut down on my own drinking, rather than starting to say no. I can see letting her have one (ONE!) drink of her own as an older teenager, say 16+, while at home. I would never supply alcohol for her friends.

I think it is really a cultural thing. In Canada the legal age is 18 or 19 depending on the province, not 21, and it is perfectly legal to give your own kid alcohol in your own home.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#209 of 213 Old 11-28-2008, 03:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
My grandfather let me suck the foam off of his beer. I am not sure exactly how old I was, but younger than five.

My family are pretty big social drinkers. Not wild parties, fall down drunk kind of drinking, but beer on a hot day, wine with dinner, sort of thing. I was allowed to try drinks growing up, but wasn't allowed to have a full beverage of my own until I was legal age (19).

My dad always used to tell me that learning how to drink responsibly is an important part of becoming an adult. I couldn't agree more.

So when my babe is old enough to ask, I would let her have a sip of what I was drinking. If I felt like she was asking too often, I would be more inclined to cut down on my own drinking, rather than starting to say no. I can see letting her have one (ONE!) drink of her own as an older teenager, say 16+, while at home. I would never supply alcohol for her friends.

I think it is really a cultural thing. In Canada the legal age is 18 or 19 depending on the province, not 21, and it is perfectly legal to give your own kid alcohol in your own home.
I really like this post.

I was taught that aclohol was EVIL and that people who consumed it were EVIL as well

My first experience with alcohol was when I was 12 yo and my friend's parent's (Hard core bikers) gave us Mad Dog 20/20
I didn't understand at the time how messed up it was. I certainly didn't understand that people could drink responsibly. I thought it was alcoholic or nuthin' because that is what I was taught. So I got in a lot of trouble with alcohol, before I learned how to consume responsibly.

I have given DS #1 sips of wine in the past few months. He doesn't like it... easier for me

nak crazy octopus boy so gotta go:
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#210 of 213 Old 11-29-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I second this... there seems to be some waffling here that might be confusing or sending mixed signals. OP asked how we think she's doing, and I think sending mixed signals is setting one up for unnecessary struggle...

Alcohol in and of itself actually has not been empirically proven to have "health benefits." Of any kind. However, moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to cardiovascular health, and largely, it's believed that the European penchant for wine accounts for the link there... It's the grapes that have the anti-oxidants found to improve cardiovascular health... and one can get the same "health benefits" from grape juice.

Here is a link to a Harvard study on Alcohol and Health Benefits

There are also studies with data showing that cigarette smoking has some health benefits, too...

I'd say smoking in moderation and drinking in moderation are totally in the same family, and comparable. And I'll not be giving my child previews of either vice before she's old enough to make an informed decision about it herself. She trusts me to take care of her health and best interests... 5 is too young, IMO.



I think this is an interesting pov. Maybe there are some few exceptions, but for the most part, I imagine many mothers know that alcohol in even the tiniest dose, at any one of a number of crucial developmental points while in the womb, can cause FAS. And until about 36 mo, the brain is creating and destroying upwards of 50,000 synnapses a day. It seems a safe leap to make that alcohol introduced to that brain at a "wrong moment" could trigger developmental issues, and just because folks do, it or have done it, legally or not, doesn't speak to the rightness of it, or how that child will view, process, and carry forth with those decisions later.
Nice post. I agree with it all.
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