Do you let your child sip alcohol? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-14-2008, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DD is 5 yr old and reallylikes to sip alcohol. Both DH and I enjoy a glass of wine or beer at dinner and will occasionally have 2 on the weekends. I'm of the philosophy that alcohol shouldn't be the forbidden fruit, but a well explained drink that my daughter is neither ignorant nor intrigued by. With that said, I allow her to sip my wine or my hard cider when I have it. Up until lately, this has been a very random event, maybe 10 tens. However, now, each night she asks for a sip and occasionally she will ask for a second sip. She understands (or at least can repeat back to me) that these drinks are "grown up" drinks b/c they have alcohol in them and that alcohol can make your head funny. I always say no to the second sip (giving the above reason of "grown up" drink/alcohol lesson. My question is, how do you think I'm doing? Should I limit the sips now that they are several nights a week? I don't want to start saying, but I feel a bit unease about how frequent they are happening, but that could just be that I'm new at this. I was raised in an alcohol free home and I'm not exactly sure how to raise a "responsible drinker." thanks.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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That sounds perfectly fine to me. She probably just wants to be like Mommy and Daddy and drink the "grown up" drink. I agree that forbidding alcohol only makes it more desirable and likely to be abused. Five may be too young for this, but as our kids get older we plan to let them have their own tiny glass of wine or beer for special meals (like 2 oz or so, no more). That's the way it was done in DH's family growing up, and he turned out just fine.

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Old 10-14-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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Yes, on Friday nights (Shabbat) when we say the blessing over the wine, they each have their own (tiny) glass filled about 1/4 inch.

We used to give them sips whenever, but they really like wine and doing something the grownups do; it became a hassle and something they whined about. So we decided to restrict it to Fridays only, which has cut down on all of that
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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My 3yo dd helps her dad brew beer so naturally she gets to have some sips of the finished product. I am like you, op, I do not want to make alcohol the forbidden fruit. We have not yet had to limit her sips as she takes one and is usually disgusted
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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I'm not sure if I started at five, but close to. I would ask my mother for a 'lip' of wine, which was I could get my lip wet and lick it, but not drink the wine. This was my own idea, by the way.

I loved the taste. And have turned into a very responsible drinker.

I totally agree that alcohol shouldn't be a forbidden fruit, but I would try to maybe limit how often her has her sips. Or, offer her a lip and a glass of grape juice, and explain where they both come from, and what makes alcohol, and continue to include the alcohol is for matured people!


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Old 10-14-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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I'm going to be the party pooper I guess lol, I say NO!!!

Us kids were all allowed to sip beer or whatever, but we never liked it and thought it was gross. Two of us are now alcoholics (not saying the sipping caused it).

I don't think alcohol is for children, I don't think it's healthy for their bodies (and really isn't very healthy for ours either past an occasional glass) so I think it sort of sets them up if they end up enjoying the taste, as your dd seems to.

It wouldn't bug me if my friend/relative allowed their child sips, but I really don't feel comfortable with it for my kids. It's also illegal.

I should note I come from a raging alcoholic background so maybe I'm more touchy about this than others. I've never encountered much "healthy" drinking in my life. I can count on one hand the number of people I know that consume alcohol regularly and responsibly.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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yep sure do. Its something they can taste if we have it. Most of the time they don't like it but sure are getting a good life lesson on good beer and wine! LOL I agree on not letting it be the forbidden fruit. Growing up we were allowed our little glasses as well (if it was wine it was watered a bit)
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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Not a chance.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I don't think I'd let DS sip alcohol. Perhaps once or twice but not daily or even a few times a week. Like a PP, my family is filled with alcoholics so I may have a warped view about it.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I don't see a huge problem with it, but I wouldn't advertise the fact that you do it. Sometimes people can take stuff like that and blow it way out of proportion. For me, I wouldn't start as young as five, but I do like your attitude towards alcohol. I don't think it should be a forbidden fruit at all, but rather something that is enjoyed as a family in moderation. Teaching children to be responsible about alcohol is something that should start while they are very young, so by the time they are older it isn't something "new".

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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I hope I can live in a state where this is legal when my kids get a bit older. Some states it is legal to give your own children alcohol, some like PA it is not.

I was given sips when I was 4 or 5ish. But it was my aunt and uncle, and it was the nastiest cheap beers (genessee, heinekin, busch, etc). I grew up thinking I hated beer because it was so disgusting. Then after I met DH he finally convinced me to try some decent beers (Guiness, Harp, microbrews, Yuengling) and I realised it was pretty good after all.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Sips are fine, IMO. She hates beer but likes a rare sip of white wine. I see no reason to forbid it in our life.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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I do let my children sip alcohol. If we're celebrating something and having champagne, they even get a small glass of it.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
I'm going to be the party pooper I guess lol, I say NO!!!

Us kids were all allowed to sip beer or whatever, but we never liked it and thought it was gross. Two of us are now alcoholics (not saying the sipping caused it).

I don't think alcohol is for children, I don't think it's healthy for their bodies (and really isn't very healthy for ours either past an occasional glass) so I think it sort of sets them up if they end up enjoying the taste, as your dd seems to.

It wouldn't bug me if my friend/relative allowed their child sips, but I really don't feel comfortable with it for my kids. It's also illegal.

I should note I come from a raging alcoholic background so maybe I'm more touchy about this than others. I've never encountered much "healthy" drinking in my life. I can count on one hand the number of people I know that consume alcohol regularly and responsibly.
That about sums up my background as well. My children have fairly heavy alcoholism on both sides of the family and it's known to be genetic. I kind of feel like it would be the equivalent of tossing them in a pool and just hoping they make it out okay.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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My dh and I disagree on this one. He wants them to taste as much as they will at home so that they have no need to "sneak it" later. He had parties growing up in which his parents provided the drinks to all the teens. This is now illegal, BTW. And I'm sure that it made him and his brothers cool to be around. I see his point but ... I come from a long line of adults with drinking issues... so I'm more conservative on the tasting thing.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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Totally fine.

Alcoholism isn't caused by early exposure to alcohol. If that were true all of Europe would be alcoholics.

I'd give DD a sip of wine before I ever gave her a sip of a soft drink or fruit drink. YKWIM?

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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My DD is still very young, so I can't say with complete certainty that I won't allow her sips, but most likely I won't. DH and are more social drinkers though so she probably won't be around it that often in the home.

I read an article around the holidays few years back that warned about allowing sips to children. The study conducted showed the younger a child was introduced to alcohol, even a couple sips during the holiday season, the more likely that child would become an alcoholic. Add that to the fact that alcohol is hard on an adult liver (much less a child's) and the fact that I grew up with an alcoholic father is what makes it unlikely for me to allow my child any alcohol at a young age.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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Nope, that would not happen in my house. DH has a few alcoholics in his line, and my side of the family has several. Alcohol is not something commonly around our house. We limit it to a glass of wine on Christmas or something like that.

If we were to have wine, I'd probably buy the kids sparkling grape juice so they could have their fancy drink while we had ours. I'll let them have "kiddie cocktails" when we go out. But they won't have alcohol in my presence until they are legally old enough to do so.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I don't have a problem with it personally, but it seems to be setting yourself up for some hard questions from CPS if your child talks about it to the wrong person. Unfortunately, even if you're being responsible, it could be seen in a very bad light and possibly result in your children being taken away.

If it's not in a religious setting, or something like that, it seems better to err on the side of caution. While it's probably not dangerous and all of you mamas seem responsible with it, it's also giving needless ammunition to people who might wish to take your children away. If it's not a deeply held belief, it's too big a risk, IMO.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BaBaBa View Post
Totally fine.

Alcoholism isn't caused by early exposure to alcohol. If that were true all of Europe would be alcoholics.

I'd give DD a sip of wine before I ever gave her a sip of a soft drink or fruit drink. YKWIM?

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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I don't have a problem letting my kids have a sip now and then. Dh and I have a beer or wine with dinner regularly and don't think that hiding it from our kids will do them any favors.

I don't think exposing or not exposing your kids will make them alcoholics. I do think hiding alcohol and making it some evil thing will make them more likely to try it on their own.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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We have let ds sip wine or beer. I think it was only once though, he hated it!
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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I would allow it, but it hasn't come up. I don't drink very much and ds(4) has never asked to try it when I do. I'm sure it will happen as he gets older though.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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DH is of Italian heritage so he grew up with the watered down wine with dinner (although in his family it was only about once a week or less). My parents also were pretty okay with us having the occasional sip, but when we were older. So we both have pretty relaxed attitudes about it.

With that said, we both don't drink often at all. I might have a glass of wine in the evenings but normally after the kids are in bed. I've found that my oldest really doesn't want a sip of my drink but rather wants a fancy wine glass. So if I give her a bit of apple juice (with a dash of Sprite in it to make it bubbly) she thinks it's pretty cool. When they are older we'll probably let them have sips though.

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Old 10-14-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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No. While early alcohol doesn't equal alcoholism, alcoholism and drug addiction do run the in the family of my older two children. I've never let the younger ones have any either.

Amy - mom to Anna-Rebekah 14, Logan 13, Christian 8, Ethan 7 and Adan 07/15/08
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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My children are allowed sips of our alcoholic drinks occaionally, although not every time we drink. We have no alcohol issues in our family.

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Old 10-15-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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I am of the same mindset as the OP. I will always let them try it when they ask, dd hates the taste of alcohol. DS loves it, and I usually let him have a couple sips, he is super responsible and barely even wets his lips. I don't just let him keep drinking it or anything, but with this open attitude I guess, he doesn't even ask every time he sees me with a glass.

We often do mineral water with lime in a fancy glass, and that feeds the need for specialness. And on special occasions i will pour about a 1/4 inch of wine in a glass for them to have.

Funny thing, DS (6) is the one that regularly asks, and loves it, and the most responsible. DD (7) doesn't like it so she never sips it. THe one time she tried a fruity, pink wine I let her do the whole 1/4 inch glass thing and she tried to down it. I think ds is already learning to me moderate and respectful of it.

Anyhoo. My personal opinion.

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Old 10-15-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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No. I like wine here and there, and DH likes beer once in awhile, but we always drink when DS has gone to bed.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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No, my bio mom was/is(dont know if she's alive) an alcoholic and I was told my bio dad was/is( i dont know if he's alive) was one too AND my baby's father is an alcoholic as well...
So, the answer is NO!
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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I think alcohol is an acquired taste and what you are letting her do is slowly, gradually acquire a taste for alcohol and she already likes it. I don't like the taste of any kind of alchohol, even when it is masked in a fruity drink and will never understand why people drink it. Tastes kind of burning/rancid to me. I might think different if I had had a taste here and a sip there as a child and got used to it, but that never happened and I'm glad for it.
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