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#1 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For context I am a newly ex-Mormon, I was raised Mormon.  I drink occasionally (New Years, etc.), always lightly.  I don't feel the need to hide drinking from my children since I'm responsible and I feel it's important for them to see responsible drinking.

 

But along with their tea and coffee parties they will sometimes pretend to drink alcohol.  And I have no idea if I'm supposed to discourage this type of play.  My gut says it's totally fine, but I have to admit I'm afraid what others may think if they witness such play.

 

So, what you do you ladies do?  I don't have any experience to draw upon since my upbringing was very anti-alcohol.  What's normal?


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#2 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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Well, I was raised primarily by a bipolar alcoholic.  Talk about opposite end of the spectrum, right?

 

I would probably not react to it, but instead, engage the kids.  Ask them who they are imitating? (which is better than asking "where they got that from" which often signals "trouble" or "bad").  I would take the opportunity to have a lot of good talking about alcohol.  Do they know what it is?  How it's different from coffee or tea?  Did they know there are laws about it?  Do they know why?  Do they know what can happen if they drink to much alcohol vs. drinking too much tea?  Things like that.

 

I think if they really understood those things, it might be less attractive.  And these are things that may take more than one chat opportunity to cover.  My husband's family is Italian and as he grew up (here in the US) wine was pretty much available--always (he also spent 9 summers over there, where it was also readily available).  When my son was 2yo, dh's gma dabbed her finger in wine and rubbed it on my son's lips.  I seriously didn't even know how to respond to that.

 

He's now 9yo.  We don't drink often, but occasionally have wine.  We try not to make it taboo.  If they ask, we let them smell it. They have each dipped a finger in to taste.  But they know that it will hurt a growing brain and they know that it will hurt an already grown brain if there's too much, and how it makes people unable to control their actions because it numbs their brain--which can mean they don't realize they shouldn't drive a car because they CAN'T drive a car and people get killed a lot that way.  But unless it comes up naturally, we don't talk about it.  We've had it come up naturally enough that my 9yo is pretty well-versed on what alcohol is used for in our culture and how it can be harmful.  I don't think he'll never drink, but I don't think he'll be irresponsible.


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#3 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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Hi there! I am a very light drinker (2-3 month). And the fun for me is saying "cheers" etc. I frequently serve lemonade in cordial glasses and kids make toasts. I think it is ok. I don't think placing judgment on any food is helpful. We do discuss how foods and drinks make us feel. My kids are mostly careful about sugar bc they've learned through trial that it can make you feel yucky. I would apply the same principle to alcohol.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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I think it depends on what they are playing. Playing "fancy" party and clinking glasses would be OK with me. We let the kids use wine glasses for their pop and clink glasses, family members make toasts, etc. on special occasions, so that would be a normal thing to imitate. Depending on their ages, a discussion of the pros and cons might be in order.


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#5 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Their play is identical to a tea party, but substitute alcohol.  It's along the lines of, "I'm drinking some alcohol, would you like some?  Let's add some salt and milk to that."


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#6 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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I would say go with your gut!

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#7 of 16 Old 03-06-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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It wouldn't bother me at all. It doesn't. My ds does it. We do drink at home. He knows about beer, wine, liquor. He knows if you drink too much sometimes you feel sick. He learned 99 bottles of beer on the wall from reading Ramona books. He learned a beer related version of "do a dear" at the renaissance faire (the Simpson version). He's had wine at Passover (he hated it).

So around here it wouldn't be a big deal to me if a kid was pretending to drink alcohol or coffee or anything I deem a grownup beverage. I was a little more appalled by him pretending to smoke one day (again Ramona books have a long smoking storyline) and we talked about why smoking is dangerous and I mostly ignore it. Or roll my eyes at him.
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#8 of 16 Old 03-07-2013, 12:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

Their play is identical to a tea party, but substitute alcohol.  It's along the lines of, "I'm drinking some alcohol, would you like some?  Let's add some salt and milk to that."

 

I would have no problem with this. I find that incredibly funny TBH! LOL. Sounds to me like they haven't quite got a grasp on what it is at this point.


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#9 of 16 Old 03-07-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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Well, I'm also an ex-raised-Mormon. My kids sometimes pretend they make beer in the bubble bath (this is more to mimic dh, as I'm more of a few sips of dh's drink drinker than anything more than that -- residual anti alcohol guilt, probably wink1.gif )

I've never felt it a concern, we've spoken to the kids in different ways and multiple times about alcohol and why it isn't appropriate for kids, or how it can affect people in negative or un-healthful ways. And the manner they play about it is all in just being like dad or other people they see drinking or doing grown up/other things. They do act differently than they do in play if anyone were to seriously be "hey, dd, you having a beer too?" Or anything like that. If its sometimes and seems real casual, like you seem to describe, I'd not be concerned. Just grown up 'acting' play.
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#10 of 16 Old 03-07-2013, 08:38 PM
 
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I think it sounds very normal and healthy, but maybe that's just the montessori lover in me.


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#11 of 16 Old 03-08-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Alright, I won't stress about it unless it becomes less....innocent is the only word I can come up with right now.


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#12 of 16 Old 03-08-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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It sounds like they are just referring to it as another adult beverage. I do think there's nothing wrong with gently (and warmly) explaining more about alcohol as they are ready, at an age appropriate level, and not in a way that's grave or shaming. 

 

For comparison, I was raised within an extended family that absolutely loves to drink (not alcoholics, that's the other side - just boisterous, loud, Italian-Irish people smile.gif).  We would all go to the beach together when we were little, and watched the adults do shots - so my cousins and I came up with our own version, using the same salt, limes, and...Sprite, hahaha. We thought it was great fun!

 

I don't drink, so hopefully DS won't be THAT exposed, but just to show you that I think what you described is truly harmless fun and totally normal.


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#13 of 16 Old 03-08-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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I think they're just pretending to be adults, which is what kids like to do, and they recognize alcohol as something only for adults. I wouldn't stress about it.

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#14 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 06:41 PM
 
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I sometimes feel a little uncomfortable when my son pretends to drink or smoke, (I don't do either) which he will do occasionally, but I know it's just pretend play. He used to play a very funny game sometimes in the bath with his cousin where they would pretend jugs of water were jugs of beer and pretend to get drunk and slur their words! I guess it shows that the conversations we've had about the effects of alcohol must have sunk in for them to be able to mimic it! I think children process most of their information through play so I really wouldn't worry.

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#15 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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My kids occasionally offer beer amonst the list of drinks when they are playing-it is not a big deal to me.  I went through one of those books with picutres and the word describing it and he points to the glass of juice and yells BEER every time.  Heck, he even tries to insist on drinking my beer if I have one (obviously I don't let him though, don't worry! :) The funniest part is, actually, that I have a beer maybe...once a month?! 

 

I remember pretending to smoke when I was little because my mom did.  We even had those candy cigarettes!  That would make me uncomfortable, but luckily it hasn't been an issue yet.

 

So long as my kids are not pretending to, say, stagger around drunk or something, I am okay with it and think it is pretty innocent.


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#16 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 07:33 PM
 
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I think that's pretty normal, as long as they're not doing it all the time.  Kids test out what they think adults do and they know alcohol is something you use, to celebrate special occasions.  Let's say they act drunk or irresponsible - if they haven't seen that in your home, then they've gotten the idea somewhere else.  You might act playfully disapproving, so you're not interrupting their play with a lecture about something they're not actually doing; yet at the same time you'd get across that such behavior isn't something real adults like or are impressed by.  But if they're just saying, "Sweetie, would you like some champagne with your felt cheesecake?  It's New Year's, after all!", let it go.

 

My mother is a bit neurotic and extremely uncomfortable with drinking.  She seems to feel any drinking is overdoing it.  I'm the only one of my siblings who didn't go through some period of binge drinking in teens/young adulthood.  If you're raised to think something's bad, then you decide to try it, I guess you may as well go hog wild?  Even in college, I always thought binge drinking and the way people lost control was embarrassing, but was quite happy to drink with my friends once everyone was old/mature enough to have a glass of wine or two with dinner and no one wound up puking in the bathroom or bragging the next day about how many beers they drank.  Obviously, I want my kids to be like me!  So, like you, I've never hidden drinking from them.  But they've also never seen me or anyone I hang around with drunk.  As they've gotten older, on special occasions I'll let them taste wine.  This past New Year's, I let the older ones have a glass of champagne.  Only two of them cared to finish it.  The third drank his too quickly, then decided he didn't like it.  I don't want them to see alcohol as some secret thing to sneak with their friends and hide from their parents.  I want them to associate acting like grown-ups with drinking.  So far, my oldest are 17 and I'm pretty sure they're not experimenting with alcohol, with friends.


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