Is it OK to let your kids try wine?

Michele - posted on 03/22/2012 ( 125 moms have responded )

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http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink...



Disclaimer: I live in wine country and have a vineyard, from which I make wine. We own a wine-related business.



I tend to agree with the author that letting them try wine is OK. They see us drink in moderation (actually my husband hasn't drunk wine in a few years except for tasting for work purposes). I would never supply alcohol for a party for them and their friends, however.

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Johnny - posted on 04/13/2012

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In regards to the "always obey the law" issue, I think this is something that not everyone agrees on. There are laws that I find immoral for instance. Like the age of military service being set lower than the drinking age. I would never obey that. Anyone who has served their country in war is welcome to a drink in my house regardless of whether they are of legal age. If they can be sent to die in a foreign field, they can have a freaking beer.



There are other laws that I disagree with on a practical standpoint, and while I would not openly oppose them, I may not follow them. I disagree with the logic of a strict drinking age, so it is just not something I would enforce in my home. I strongly believe in responding to the specifics of a situation. When I was growing up, it was the cultural norm for young people in our family to have a small glass of wine on a special occasion. However, if you were irresponsible or had been in big trouble for something, it was not offered and you would know why. Being allowed to do adult things was dependent on demonstrating adult behavior.



I was not raised to blindly obey all laws. Yet somehow I've managed to never commit a crime more serious than smoking a joint and having a glass of wine on my 16th birthday. Most intelligent individuals are capable of discerning context and reason. I hope to raise my children with those same skills. I fear blind obedience. It has lead many societies down dangerous paths in the past.

Kristin - posted on 04/09/2012

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My parents let my sister and I have a taste of whatever we wanted. It turned us off a lot of stuff for a LONG time.



That being said, we really need to learn moderation here in the U.S. We need to figure it out as adults and teach our kids how to be moderate in their behaviors as well.

Jenni - posted on 03/23/2012

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I think part of the reason is; if you stop drinking at a party let's say, you begin to crash. You get tired feeling. At least that was my experience. Plus, as your inhibitions go down it's easier to say yes to the next drink. The best way to drink (for fun) and probably something I will drill home to my kids if they decide to drink as teens... is to sip at something virgin in between drinks. Something that still tastes good and they enjoy. But a filler. So they're not continually drinking alcohol, no?

Janet - posted on 04/13/2012

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My husband and I were both alcoholics and were given beer and wine sips as kids. I'm not saying that is wht we became alcoholics BUT I will never let my kids sip alcohol.

Isobel - posted on 04/08/2012

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It is legal in Ontario and Alberta, and 30 states allow parents to serve alcohol to their children...just to clarify.



Once again, not a federal issue ;)

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Julie - posted on 05/16/2012

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I understand what you're saying Michelle. Thanks for helping me understand better the purpose of this site. I don't think most of us do, which is probably why so many people get offended. I guess if the purpose was to get a lively debate going then mission accomplished. There certainly is no shortage of controversial topics on here that's for sure. Everyone that knows me knows that if I have an opinion about something it's hard for me to keep it to myself. I try to respect other's opinions though and hope I don't offend anyone when I "debate". I recognize there are a lot of great mothers out there who do things differently than I do.

Michele - posted on 05/15/2012

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@Julie, I posted this because the community is debating mums and I thought it would be an interesting topic to debate. Apparently it was :)
Usually when I am looking for advice, I post in a different community that relates to whatever the topic is (e.g. moms of teenagers or children of 2006).

Julie - posted on 05/14/2012

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Well I've never had 100 gallons of grape juice at my house at one time so I wouldn't know about that:) Anyway my husband and I don't drink and we talked about it a lot with our kids at home and yes our oldest daughter went off to college and occasionally partook at frat parties and wound up dropping out of college. She doesn't think drinking mixed drinks had anything to do with it, but I do. Anyway she's back at home trying to figure out what to do with her life. She chose to come back home to be in a better environment so whether she admits it or not she must have thought that being in that environment was causing her to drink and if she was going to stop, which she wanted to do, then she needed to get out of it. She's working as a food court supervisor at a movie theater and paying her bills and looking at enrolling in a surgical technician program in the fall. I'm glad you talk with your kids about it, because that's the most important thing, but a sip IS letting them drink. So I'm not sure why you asked what other people think if you're already doing it.?

Jenny - posted on 04/14/2012

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I agree Johnny. The only law I follow is not to harm others. I don't give a shit about any of the other ones.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/14/2012

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I just want to throw out there, that when I was a teen, my parents marked the bottle. Guess what I did. I made sure it was still at that line by adding some water or another alcohol into it. ;)

Not saying my parents never eventually figured it out but by the time they realized it was rather watery tasting, it was too late. ;)

Just to give an example of what kids can and may do and you would never be the wiser until they did it one too many times....

We keep our alcohol in our garage fridge, the garage is non-kid territory and has a lock.

[deleted account]

Maybe I am a bad mom or a grieving daughter but yesterday after the funeral brunch, I was passing around a bottle of 18 year old Jameson's Black Barrel Irish Whiskey. We all said a salute and took a swig. My 15 year old asked if he could too. I asked him if he was absolutely sure butr he wanted to make a toast to Papa too the way that Papa would have done for anyone. I let him have the bottle, he sniffed it uncertainly and took a tiny sip. After the face he made, the coughing and the begging of a piece of gum, any gum, I think I'm safe from him not wantting it again.



Besides, I told him I'd mark the bottle, it's too expensive for a kid to be sneaking.

Michele - posted on 04/12/2012

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100 gallons of grape juice will turn to wine all by itself in short order:)

I actually do not let my children "drink" wine or any other alcoholic beverage at home. The oldest has tried it at home a few times (a sip from my glass) and my second oldest maybe once. My husband and I talk about the wines in kind of a clinical way to be honest.

We discuss responsible drinking for adults and making good choices in all kinds of areas. Do I believe she will move off to college and not get drunk? Probably not, but there is no guarantee whichever decision you make. I knew plenty of people who didn't drink a drop before college and that didn't stop them.

I tend to agree with Tracy R. They see how to enjoy food and wine at our house from watching how we act.

Julie - posted on 04/12/2012

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Michele, If you have a vineyard why do your children have to taste wine? Why can't they just drink grape juice? Just wondering. I believe in obeying the law at all times and not making exceptions because it sets a bad example for children. So I guess if the law in your state says it's o.k. for your child to consume alcohol as long as they are in your home then the choice is yours to do what you feel is best. I would at the very least ask your pediatrician's advice on the subject before exposing a child's body to alcohol which I've read gets into their bloodstreams and intoxicates them at a much lower amount than when an adult consumes it among other things. I have also found in raising children that if you allow your children to drink in your home, even though you tell them they are not allowed to do it anywhere else, they will take it as license to drink whenever they want. Essentially I feel that children follow more what they see than hear. You give your child alcohol and that is condoning underage drinking.You can try to control something all you want, but children have minds of their own. So why would you expose them to something that potentially could be very dangerous to them? Our community is very sensitive about this subject right now because a boy from our high school died from alcohol poisoning when he consumed only a small amount, but it was enough to impair his judgement and he went outside and fell down and it was very cold so he got hypothermia. His mother participated in an underage drinking seminar at our school so that our community could avoid future tragedies like this and she said that it started with her son being allowed to drink at home. Children just don't have the maturity to understand moderation and so I don't think they should be exposed to anything that they could potentially abuse and be hurt from. Their bodies are still growing and developing and scientists are finding out more and more all the time about the affect alcohol has on their still developing brains, even in the smallest amounts. I just don't think it's worth all that. So in the end I think you have the freedom to do what you want, but I would just make sure I really educated myself and prayed about it before making a decision on something so important.

Tracey - posted on 04/11/2012

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You know, the law is 21. But people decided on and set the laws, so debating whether or not it would be wise to let your kids try wine or beer lower than that age, in order to teach them moderation, is ok. If enough people decide that letting kids have sips of it when they're so young it tastes awful to them, perhaps the law would be changed to accomodate it.

Kate CP - posted on 04/02/2012

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*shrug* I'm okay with it on special occasions and as a very small amount. My kids are only 6 and 1 so they haven't tried it yet. When my eldest is closer to, say, 8 or 9 if she wants to try some she can. I think she's tried some wine or beer once before (thanks to her crazy aunt) but she hated it.

Patricia - posted on 04/02/2012

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My kids love the taste of wine. My hubby drinks his glass in the evening and they come in a row and ask for a sip and the little one gets the fingertip :o) We DO NOT give them strong alcohol - like Vodka or Whiskey, but Wine or Beer is in our house allowed.

Tracey - posted on 04/01/2012

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I would prefer to introduce my kids to drinking wine as part of a leisurely family meal, so they get the idea that



*You should always drink with food

*You shouldn't drink alone or try to hide drinking

*You should care about the quality of what you drink

*You should drink at home or at a restaurant, not when you need to drive

*It's not a big party contest to get drunk and impress your friends with your capacity

*It's not binge drinking

* It's not "bad" and you're being stupid if you think you're pulling something over on someone or on society by drinking



At this point, my kids have tasted wine (good wine) in food, because I cook with it sometimes. They *don't* like it. I hope I have introduced them to it in such a way as to prevent them from having the typical mindset that gets so many college kids killed.

Sandra - posted on 04/01/2012

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Though I live in Germany, my american ex-husband let my daughter drink vodka-red-bull when she was almost 13! Boy is he lucky I am on an other continent!!! She will be 14 this summer and for the first time she was allowed in my house to drink alkohol about 2 weeks ago! She had half a bottle of smirnoff ice at a party at my house! Some of her friends in school do drink beer at "partys" and I made it clear that I don not want her to drink any alcohol in public! Over here you are allowed to drink beer - and buy beer - at 16 and "hard" stuff at 18. So I think it is smart to let her try at home, since she does have the chance to get to it without me knowing! As with everything else I think talking about it is important! We talk openly and I feel I can trust her! My little kids I don`t think I will let them try alcohol until they are in their teens!

Shawnn - posted on 03/28/2012

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To Brittney:



You posted: @Little Miss Can't Be Wrong





"It is against the law:

to be drunk in charge of a child under seven in a public place or on licensed premises

to sell alcohol to someone under 18, anywhere

for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18

for someone under 18 to buy alcohol, attempt to buy alcohol or to be sold alcohol in any circumstances (unless acting at the request of the police or a weights and measures inspector)

for someone under 18 to drink alcohol in licensed premises, with one exception - 16 and 17 year olds accompanied by an adult can drink but not buy beer, wine and cider with a table meal

for an adult to buy alcohol for a person under 18 for consumption on licensed premises, except as above

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/parents/your..."***



However...Little Miss was pointing out that in the US, NOT the UK, it is illegal in ANY circumstance to provide alcohol to a minor. Whether or not you are their parent does not matter.



Yes, it certainly is legal, in the UK for a minor aged 16-17 to consume alcohol. What we're pointing out is that we feel that it SHOULD be ok for a parent to offer alcoholic substances to our appropriately aged minor children.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/25/2012

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Kelly---If that is the way you see it, we can just agree to disagree. I don't see how telling a kid, I know you might drink one day, and when you do I want you to call me, is any less consenting.



The big difference is 1: It is NOT legal where I live for a parent to give their child alcohol EVER, while under the age of 19. 2: I tell my daughter to call me ANYTIME, not just if she has drank. In the same breath I have drilled into her that it is NOT OK to drink underage BUT I know it happens. Therefore, I want her to know I would NOT send her on her way if she found herself in a poor situation. Although, I have never specifically said "If she is drunk/drinking", simply if she is in a poor situation and needs to come home. Rest assured there would be consequence if the day comes and she is any age. If she over does it, there will be some words exchanged and further education on the matter.



Me giving her drinks is definitley telling her undeveloped brain it is OK to drink. I dunno, I know how a preteen and teen girl thinks. I am living it right now. They do not comprehend what you say or do the way you always intend it to come across.



As I have provided earlier. My husband was NOT condemned from drinking. His parents are not big drinkers but his dad does have a beer here and there. They do however have get together's frequently. They have a bar in their rec room. His mom, who does not drink makes wine and his dad makes his own beer, with carbonation. My husband has been hammered more times than one can count. He has driven drunk.



I also grew up with several friends that were allowed to drink at home. Hell, this is where we would go before going to a bush party. They still drank just as much as me or anyone else for that matter. We would barf side by side.... ;)



In the end, I think what it boils down to is what type of child you have personality wise. Some are going to get hammered regardless other's are just not set out for it. So, IMO, if they are heavily educated on the affects alcohol has on the brain and what happens when you drink too much to fast, that is all we can do. I mean, you are not going to prepare your son for every different way of drinking. He is also going to figure out how alcohol makes him feel with or without you. If you want him to "feel" it all, you will have to let him chug drinks, sip drinks and over drink. Otherwise, he is only going to know how it makes him feel and personally when I do drink, it is to feel good. The more you drink the better you feel. This is why all people drink, otherwise they would just drink non-alcoholic drinks. Even if they like the taste, which some drinks are really tasty, you are still drinking because it makes you feel good.



I drank a caesar the other night, I surely felt it after one. I quite. I am 36. 10 years ago? I would've polished off the 26 of vodka. It takes experience, lots of experience and age before some people actually get it. Not a mother giving them alcohol to show them how they "feel" when they drink. Everyone that has drank knows how they feel and they know how many until they are intoxicated. Which is why they know how much to buy from the liquor store or how much money to bring to the bar. ;) Just some don't stop, like me on most occassions.... So, I stay clear of it. Mainly because I have to be up every morning at 6am and take care of a 17month old. Otherwise, I may just get smashed right now. ;)

Beth - posted on 03/25/2012

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I haven't read the numerous other responses so I don't know what the climate on this board is, but here's my opinion. The moment you forbid something from a child, especially a tween or teen, it becomes very desirable. Which I think is why so many young people in this country have such an unhealthy attitude toward alcohol--the sort of drunk or nothing approach. That's how I was raised, and when I went off to college...good Lord, I'm lucky to still be alive. My in-laws on the other hand, they often have a bottle of wine with dinner, and at around age 10 or 11 or so, the kids got to have a small amount in a glass of their own. And those kids, while they did still have their "fun" with alcohol in late high school and college, were much better with it and understood it better, and had more of an appreciation for the other aspects of drinking (i.e. not drinking to get drunk). These are just two examples of different approaches to alcohol, but I hear similar stories from people all the time. The point isn't to make it this mysterious, magical, special thing that *only* adults can have. The point is to teach children what alcohol is, what it does, and how it should be handled. You don't have to give them their own wine like my in-laws did, but allowing them to taste it or have it on special occasions can go a long way I think, under your supervision of course, and as you said NOT providing it for house parties or the like.

*edit* I read some other responses, and I must add, I don't think at all that teens are "just going to drink anyway". I think that's a sad outlook, and it's like you're giving up. My parents had rules about drinking, and I obeyed them. I didn't have my first drink of anything until I was almost 20 years old. I went a little nuts after that, because I had never been taught how it would feel, what it would do, etc. But before that, I, and many of my peers, were not drinking. And I grew up in northern Wisconsin!

Tracie - posted on 03/25/2012

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I'm Italian. It is standard practice to let kids have small amounts of wine. Emphasis on "small."

[deleted account]

So we agree that teens are going to drink regardless of the warnings we give them not to.



Where we differ is that you think that telling your daughter that she's not going to get in trouble for drinking if she calls you to brink her home after she's drank too much is in some way NOT condoning underage drinking with her peers, but that giving her alcohol at home to teach her how it effects her body and stressing that drinking is ONLY legal in the home with a parent present IS somehow condoning underage drinking with peers.



If that is the way you see it, we can just agree to disagree. I don't see how telling a kid, I know you might drink one day, and when you do I want you to call me, is any less consenting.

Toni - posted on 03/24/2012

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I had my first alcoholic drink when I was 13. I got hammered. Myu older brother was drinking that night too and he kept giving me his drinks. I ended up drinking about 2/3 of a bottle of Jim Beam.

I dont really remeber much of the night, except waking up in the bath with my mum washing me.

My mum later told me that I started projectile vomiting everywhere.

My brother got grounded for a month for giving me his drinks, and since then I have hardly ever drunk alcohol.

Last time I had a drink was my 21st birthday. I waited until my son was asleep and then had a few drinks with my husband while we watched Mr Bean.

I am not sure if I will introduce alcohol to my son as early as my mum did with me, but that is still a few years away, so Ill see when we are there.

Tracy - posted on 03/24/2012

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Not really to excited about introducing wine or any alcoholic beverage there is a reason why states have a legal drinking age limit, I wouldnt do it and I have 10&15 year old children.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Now if you let him get hammered and see how that feels while he is tossing his cookies, that may deter him... ;)



Then make him a bunch of eggs and bacon in the morning. lol



ETA: Doubtful yet still though, since I have been drunk many times and spued... Didn't stop me any.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Kelly---Meme, that's exactly what I'M trying to say too! They are going to drink whether we let them drink at home or not. I just want MY son to have experienced the effects before he decides to drink with his friends so that when/if he does, he will make responsible decisions.



Right and all I am saying is I disagree, you doing that is not going to change anything but make him aware that is OK in your eye's to drink underage. There are so many other factors required, in making them responsible. Letting them drink or showing them what happens, is not a part of that. It was what you taught them as children, before they became teens.



As soon as I first got drunk I knew how it made me feel. I loved it. I didn't think next time, well I know I may get drunk so I had better stop at two. ;) I was a teenager. I wanted to get drunk. We were not drinking to be social. We were drinking to get hammered. Teens do not think the same as an adult. No matter how hard or badly you wish they did. Self control, that is key. That is taught from a young age.



Kelly---There IS evidence that teens who are allowed to drink at home are less likely to feel the need to hide drinking from their parents (thus reducing the risk of getting into a car drunk), or engage in risky drinking habits such as binge drinking.



I said, even to my daughter, that she may want to drink. If she finds herself needing out, to call me. I am not asking her to hide anything. I am just not going to condone it under my roof.



There is also evidence that contradicts what you say there is evidence supporting your opinion. Meh. We will have to agree to disagree.



Kelly---Yes, so far so good, but she's only 13 right? I certainly hope she is not tempted to drink yet (and if her friends are drinking at that age, I would certainly separate them and end those relationships).



It is not her friends drinking. However, I would rarely, if ever, tell my daughter she could not be friends with someone. She is a very smart girl and she needs to learn how to choose those things on her own. I trust her. ;) She has let friends go in the recent past because they were to provocative and she didn't like that.



I also have firm rules in my home. My daughter has to check in frequently and is in the house by 9pm on weekends. Not much of a chance for her to get into crap.

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Kelly---Yes, you did, but you also said his parents were drunk, which is irresponsible.



What?? No I didn't. They were not drunk. I think you misread. ;) The mother had to drive him to the hospital. She was NOT drunk. They didn't drink a lick that night. It was his 18th birthday and it was not the first time he was allowed to drink at home. That started at a young age, including smoking dope.



MeMe---I also have had friends that have had alcohol poisoning. Thank god, they did not die. One was while in his mother's presence. It was his 18th birthday, in AB, where 18 is the legal age. We were ALL there drinking. He almost died. His mom had to rush him to the hospital.



By ALL, I meant his friends, not his parents....

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Yes, all I mean is you more than likely did not go to the extent that Kelly is worried about. Always over drinking. You were understanding that a drink can be used as social means. However, I agree too, that a good role model is not going to be a definite that your child will NOT ever go overboard. Kids do this due to outside pressure and interest.



It is just less likely to become a habit if there has been good role modeling in place.



Like I had mentioned my husband was allowed to drink at home from age 15. His mom does not drink at all. His dad enjoys a beer here and there but is not an excessive drinker by any means. My husband still drank heavy on several occassions. He did partake in drinking and drviing, as well as, getting into a vehicle with a driver that had been drinking.



Teaching self control in all area's of life, is a big part of helping them later in life, whether it be drinking, drugs or obsession with anything. Educating them heavily will also help. However, letting them drink at home and showing them how they "feel" when they drink is not going to make them drink any less when out with their friends. It is the taught self control and education, that will help with this. Although, it is not a guarentee either. Kids have to test the waters and see how things occur for them. We as parents have to trust that we did our best and at some point, allow them to figure things out on their own.

[deleted account]

"Exactly! This is all I am trying to say. ;) If it is going to happen it is going to happen, whether you were allowed or taught how to drink at home or not. " --Meme



Meme, that's exactly what I'M trying to say too! They are going to drink whether we let them drink at home or not. I just want MY son to have experienced the effects before he decides to drink with his friends so that when/if he does, he will make responsible decisions.

[deleted account]

"Kelly, I specifically said he was under his parents supervision. They were Hippies, he WAS taught to drink properly. "--Meme



Yes, you did, but you also said his parents were drunk, which is irresponsible.



"I think what I find odd here, is that you seem to really think what you plan on doing is really going to keep your son a responsible drinker. When there are many parents that feel and have done exaclty what you are saying. Their kids STILL go out and get trashed." --Meme



I think it's odd that I'm thinking the exact same thing about what YOU plan on doing. You seem to think that having your child write an essay on drinking alcohol will keep her a responsible drinker, yet many, many parents have done exactly what you are planning to do, yet their kids STILL go out and get trashed.



I'm sorry, horror stories and statistics are not going to keep kids from drinking. We have to expect they will drink and hope they know enough about it to drink responsibly.



Yes, so far so good, but she's only 13 right? I certainly hope she is not tempted to drink yet (and if her friends are drinking at that age, I would certainly separate them and end those relationships). It is easy to tell mom that you're going to be responsible when out with friends, it's an entirely different story actually following through with that. It's also easy to say what you SHOULD do when drinking while you are sober, but that knowledge gets really fuzzy once intoxicated.



There IS evidence that teens who are allowed to drink at home are less likely to feel the need to hide drinking from their parents (thus reducing the risk of getting into a car drunk), or engage in risky drinking habits such as binge drinking.



"Children who drink alcohol in moderation at home with their parents are less likely to go on to become problem drinkers. A survey of 10,000 teenagers aged 15-16 in the North-West of England, found that 75 per cent had drunk alcohol, but that those who were first introduced to it at home were less likely to binge-drink, to drink frequently or to drink in public places."



"a federally-funded study of over 6,200 teenagers in 242 communities across the U.S. found that young people who drank at home with their parents tended to drink less often and were only half as likely to engage in heavy episodic or “binge” drinking."



"Drinking alcohol with parents “may help teach them responsible drinking habits or extinguish some of the ‘novelty’ or ‘excitement’ of drinking” according to senior researcher Dr. Kristie Long Foley of the School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. Dr. Foley describes drinking with parents as a “protective” behavior."

Johnny - posted on 03/24/2012

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Actually Meme, both of my parents were very responsible in their consumption of alcohol. My father quit drinking completely between when I was 7 and when I was 21 because he was struggling with his blood pressure (retirement fixed that finally, lol). My mom probably had a glass of wine with dinner on most nights, and never more than two on special occasions. No on in my family drank very much at all aside from wine with dinner. So I certainly didn't learn binge drinking or getting out of control from them, quite the opposite really. They were actually models of moderation. I saw binge drinking lots outside my family, although not even much in my own group of friends.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Johnny--I tend to think that whether my child has strong self control that extends into handling alcohol and drugs with peers hinges more on how I handle and teach an array of things rather than whether or not they enjoy a glass of wine at a special birthday dinner



Johnny--- I grew up enjoying the occasional drink in a family setting.



Johnny--- I've let my drinking get out of hand on a few occasions since then.



Johnny---I truly do not believe that my drinking with my family as a teen made any difference in how I handled peers and substances.



Exactly! This is all I am trying to say. ;) If it is going to happen it is going to happen, whether you were allowed or taught how to drink at home or not.



There are so many other factors involved. Especially, learning from your own parents and how they consume alcohol.

Johnny - posted on 03/24/2012

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I will be allowing my child to enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage in small quantities with the family because I want to share the appreciation and enjoyment of the tastes and the pairings with foods. I tend to think that whether my child has strong self control that extends into handling alcohol and drugs with peers hinges more on how I handle and teach an array of things rather than whether or not they enjoy a glass of wine at a special birthday dinner. I grew up enjoying the occasional drink in a family setting. I did not get drunk with friends at all during my teens. Rockaberry cooler just didn't do it for me after I'd tried a fine Cabernet. The first time I got truly intoxicated was my last weekend at college. On ouzo. An event I will never forget, lol. I've let my drinking get out of hand on a few occasions since then. But fortunately, I've always had a DD and got home safe. I truly do not believe that my drinking with my family as a teen made any difference in how I handled peers and substances. Frankly, it depended on my mood and my situation at that particular time.

[deleted account]

I posted because that link was used earlier without giving full exceptions and I wanted to clarify. I AM in the UK so it's as relevant to me as Canadian laws are to you (pretty irrelevant to me).

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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That is like saying that giving your child birth control is sending out the indirect message that having sex before they are ready is OK and that they have their parents tacit approval for sex.



Ummm, no. My daughter is on BC because of her heavy and frequent periods.



EXACTLY!! If he had been taught to drink responsibly, he would have recognized the signs his body was giving him WAY before he reached the point of poisoning. Unfortunately, the inexperienced often ignore those signs because they do not recognize them for what they are until it is way too late, and in this situation, there was no one around to watch out for him because everyone there was getting irresponsibly trashed.



Kelly, I specifically said he was under his parents supervision. They were Hippies, he WAS taught to drink properly.



Anyhow, the fact it is there are several studies showing it is detrimental. You are indirectly telling them drinking underage is OK. I have yet to see a study that says it is a "good" idea to give them drinks. Meh.



I think what I find odd here, is that you seem to really think what you plan on doing is really going to keep your son a responsible drinker. When there are many parents that feel and have done exaclty what you are saying. Their kids STILL go out and get trashed. There is a BIG difference between at home and with peers. I honestly think you are being very naive, when you are trying so hard not to be.



Regardless, it is up to you of course how to you do it. I think it is an incorrect way to do things and so does the Surgeon General and many other psychologists. It really is not recommended. Just like smoking. It is legal at age 19 but it is not recommended to teach them before hand, nor is dope. I fail to see how any of these are different.



ETA:

I am not about to make it a big deal. I KNOW they will drink. Which is why I have already started educating my daughter, while including stories of MY own history.



She told me last night, 'Mom, I do not like alcohol. I do not like what it does to your brain. I will be the designated driver for all of my friends. I do not want to drink. I have fun with my friends now and I do not need anything to help me." My response, "I hope so, I think that is a wonderful idea, to be the designated driver. Although, I know that feeling may change as you get older. If it does, make sure you call me if you are stuck." Also, "It is OK to have a drink or two when you are out (and older). It is just silly, though, to drink too much, you never know what can happen to you." My daughter, "Yes, I know Mom. This is why I really only want to drink Rootbeer, I LOVE Rootbeer!". LOL There ya go. SO far so good. Spoken from an almost 14 year old....;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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That is the UK. However, it is not the States and it is not Canada.



In addition, I cannot see how it affects their brains ant different than in other Countries. In my opinion, that is absurd.

[deleted account]

I feel the need to reiterate something since Brittney posted a link from the UK and missed off one very big point made on that page. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/parents/your...



Drinking at home

It is not illegal for a person under 18 to drink alcohol at home or at a friend’s house. Parents can choose to give young people some of their own alcohol when at home.




Any child aged five or over can drink alcohol at home or on other private premises but children under the age of five can only drink alcohol on a doctor's advice for health reasons.

Sylvia - posted on 03/24/2012

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I've tried to let DD try wine (and beer, once or twice), but she won't -- she doesn't like how it smells. I think it's generally better to take that approach than to make it this huge big taboo/mystery, but YMMV.



We're not big drinkers; we'll buy a six-pack of Grasshopper or Rickard's and still be drinking it 3 months later ;) For wine-requiring occasions, we usually drink "children's wine" (i.e., grape juice), because everybody likes children's wine but of the 3 of us, only I like the grown-up kind ;)

[deleted account]

You specifically said "I should also mention that via stats, most kids that have tried alcohol did this in gr7,8 and 9." In actuality, stats show, less than 25% tried alcohol in grades 7, 8, &9, which is a far cry form "most" which would be more than 50%. and only 2% before age 12, which would be gr 7 & 8. I'm not going to argue exact percentages, I just wanted to explain that MOST kids don't try alcohol until age 16 or more. In the context of this argument, that's all that matters.





"The main flaw in allowing teens to party and drink even under supervision is that parents are sending out the indirect message that underage drinking is OK and that they have their parents’ tacit approval. " Quote?



That is an opinion, and it differs from mine. That is like saying that giving your child birth control is sending out the indirect message that having sex before they are ready is OK and that they have their parents tacit approval for sex. It is possible to approve of drinking in certain LEGAL situations, and still disapprove of drinking in dangerous situations. I do fully intend to tell my son that it is ILLEGAL for him to drink anywhere but at home, and that it is very dangerous to do so, but I cannot guarantee that he will be part of the 45% or so who avoids it. I just want him fully prepared IF he falls into the 55% that does not avoid it.



As for the level of responsibility in teens. By age 16 over 50% of teens have tried drinking, regardless of relentless education. Are you saying that less than half of our teens are responsible? I beg to differ, I think most are fairly responsible overall.





"I also have had friends that have had alcohol poisoning. Thank god, they did not die. One was while in his mother's presence. It was his 18th birthday, in AB, where 18 is the legal age. We were ALL there drinking. He almost died. His mom had to rush him to the hospital. "--Meme



EXACTLY!! If he had been taught to drink responsibly, he would have recognized the signs his body was giving him WAY before he reached the point of poisoning. Unfortunately, the inexperienced often ignore those signs because they do not recognize them for what they are until it is way too late, and in this situation, there was no one around to watch out for him because everyone there was getting irresponsibly trashed. There should ALWAYS be one sober person present if people are getting "trashed"--ALWAYS--because when people are THAT intoxicated, They won't know they are overdoing it until it is too late, whereas if a sober person is present, they can see those signs before it is too late. And I stand by my statement that it is completely irresponsible and stupid to drink one alcoholic drink after another to the point of being "trashed". One should ALWAYS sip a water or sports drink in between drinks, or at least a soda, to space drinks out and give the body time to process the alcohol. I'm sorry, but that story does nothing but support my argument that people must be TAUGHT to drink responsibly, and not just through books because I can guarantee everyone at that party had been taught the dangers of excessive drinking.

Barbara - posted on 03/24/2012

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My girls took a drink of something if they wanted anytime I had a dribk, and whatever it was. Let me clarify that I rarely ever drank, and only a glass or two if I did, so we are not talking about living with a drunk. They never saw me drunk, but they had seen other people drunk. We discussed things like how stupid it made people look to be like that. But it was NEVER forbidden. On the other hand, smoking was always forbidden. When they were teenagers and their friends drank, it was no big deal to them, they didn't care about it. Teenagers like to do the things that make them feel grown. They had been able to have wine and such forever, it didn't seem like a "grown" thing to do. On the other hand, both of them started smoking by the time they were grown. I smoked, but rarely drank. Now they smoke, but rarely drink. Children learn what you show them, not what you tell them. I NEVER would drive or ride with someone who had even one drink. On the couple of occasions when my girl were out with someone who did, they called Mama for ride home.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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alcohol poisoning



This is when you drink too much in one shot. You don't have time to even feel the affect until it is too late. I have researched this too. ;)



I also have had friends that have had alcohol poisoning. Thank god, they did not die. One was while in his mother's presence. It was his 18th birthday, in AB, where 18 is the legal age. We were ALL there drinking. He almost died. His mom had to rush him to the hospital.



So, regardless of what you do, it can still happen. Kids are not able to comprehend how something affects them in one scenario to the next, unless they have been raised to be responsible. Grades mean nothing, it does not mean their parents were there for them to listen or have an ear to talk too. ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Kelly---

According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 2.4% had tried alcohol before their 12th birthday.



The stats I gave are after the 12 birthday. ;)



By age 14, 41 percent of children have had least one drink.



Kelly---

Furthermore, being a responsible teen overall does not guarantee that a teen will be able to make responsible decisions while intoxicated.



No, it means they will be responsible enough to NOT drink or to not drink too much. ;)



This has been proven. There have been studies.



I am sorry but if you condone drinking at home, you are indirectly telling them it is OK to drink while underage. I think a bit more research is required on your part. It is simply NOT a good idea.



I believe in showing by example of myself. We are their best role models. Letting them do something that is illegal and when their brain is NOT developed is absurd. Sorry, you can partake. I will keep my children educated and believe in them to make the right decisions.



Alcohol has dyer affects on a young persons brain. Their brain is still developing. I am not going to be a part of helping that happen.



ETA:

I research everything to the point of over analyzing. Ask my husband, I am an over analyzer. However, in the end, I end up in a very informed position and understand all pros and cons. I am able to make a very educated decision on what is best for my children.



I should also state, you cannot look at this the same as driving. They are allowed their learners at age 14 and drivers at age 16. So, having them read a book is one thing, they can do that in regards to alcohol too. However, driving does NOT impair their thinking nor does it cause detrimental affects on their brain development. Driving is legal starting at age 14, in the presence of an adult that has a valid license. The drinking age in the States is 21. It is 21 for a very valid reason. It should be 21 here too. This is one law our Government in slack on. *sigh*

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Kelly---



One of the stats comes directly from the Surgeon General. Which is the states... ;)



I honestly do not think they are wrong.



When I was in school, age 13 was a very normal age indeed. I highly doubt that has changed. Other than many try illicit drugs first nowadays. They tend to give alcohol a shot as well, though.



My daughter has seen them smoking dope and they are in gr 7,8 and 9. She has witnessed them drinking at school dances. How the hell they get it in, is beyond me.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Something happened to my post. Here it is again...



Parents' drinking behavior and favorable attitudes about drinking have been positively associated with adolescents' initiating and continuing drinking. Children who were warned about alcohol by their parents and children who reported being closer to their parents were less likely to start drinking.



http://www.focusas.com/Alcohol.html



http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/...



http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/und...



Research shows that letting teens drink predisposes to alcohol problems later, even if they are supervised. Kids who are not permitted around alcohol till they are 21 are best off, it was found.



Many parents counter this by saying that it is possible to teach their teen responsibility by offering them an occasional glass of wine or beer with a meal and so on. This takes care of the curiosity that most teens feel about alcohol and it also allows parents to supervise how much their teen drinks and what he or she does as a result of that drinking.



The main flaw in allowing teens to party and drink even under supervision is that parents are sending out the indirect message that underage drinking is OK and that they have their parents’ tacit approval for further experimentation and even other irresponsible behaviors.



And the simple fact is that a teen is unequipped with the maturity and self awareness that is required to stop once the drinking starts. Possible consequences may include violence, accidents, unprotected sex and other irresponsible behaviors.



So in conclusion, no matter how many reasons there are, while allowing your teen to party at home may seem like a good idea, it just isn’t a good idea. The cons quite simply outweigh the supposed pros.




http://www.theparentszone.com/teens/lett...



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42807670/ns/...

[deleted account]

Meme, I never said I didn't intend to fully educate him through statistics and examples (I'm a research addict!) I just intend to take it one step further than you are and give him some controlled experience to go with his education--like learning to drive: We make them study the book for the written exam, then we drive WITH them until they are well trained, THEN we trust them on their own.



I never said I thought NONE of the drivers in the statistics were taught how to drink responsibly, I'm not sure how you got that from my post. My point was that all US teens were educated through programs at school, which look at statistics, mangled bodies, and kids imprisoned for killing someone in an accident, but despite that education, our teens choose to drink and drive anyway.



In the US (I know you are in Canada, so maybe this is different there) most parents treat alcohol as forbidden fruit--they tell their kids not to drink, they fill their minds with all kinds of terrible scenarios and tell them they are grounded for life if they ever get caught drunk. So their teens, who are going to drink one way or another, go out and drink with no idea how it will effect them other than info from commercials making it look fun and horror stories from their parents and school. Then they have too much, think "I'm okay to drive, I don't feel as off as mom said I would, plus she'll be pissed if I call." and they drive into a tree.





I don't know where you got stats that said that most kids start drinking in middle school, but they are wrong. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 2.4% had tried alcohol before their 12th birthday. You may have been one of those 2%, but you have said yourself that you were a rather wild teen with little real supervision. 22% tried alcohol at 16 yrs, and 56.7% had tried alcohol at some point before their 20th birthday. So, most kids start drinking between 16 & 20 because that is when they have the freedom to be away from their parents or other guardians long enough to do it. Those stats can be backed up in two additional sources: the 2009 study Understanding Underage Drinking, and through the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse.



Furthermore, being a responsible teen overall does not guarantee that a teen will be able to make responsible decisions while intoxicated. Alcohol alters the brain, it effects everyone differently. In the past, I have known a valedictorian, a class president, and a straight-A star athlete who would have been considered very responsible teens die from alcohol poisoning, drowning, and drunk driving (respectively). They had too much to drink because they did not understand the signs their body was giving them. I'm quite sure they "felt" drunk, but they did not know HOW drunk they were, or how impaired their mental states were because they had no experience to teach them.



Once a person is in their 20's, alcohol has a less severe effect on the brain--that's why we ideally want all of our teens to wait--but they don't wait, so we have to do everything in our power to prepare them for what happens when they drink before they are physically matured to that level.

Bonnie - posted on 03/24/2012

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Coming from being married into an Italian family, they make their own wine. My husband use to be allowed to drink some wine as a child. I, personally, am not okay with children drinking wine or any alcohol for that matter as in having a glass with everyone else. But, I don't see a problem with tasting it on occasion.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/24/2012

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Why do they do it, despite knowing not to? Because they do not know how to feel their bodies reacting to the alcohol--ie. they don't know how drunk they are, and the only people around to tell them are other drunk kids who don't know how drunk they are. But if a kid has had drinks before with someone who can guide them, they will be more aware that they are not capable of driving whether they can feel the effects of the alcohol right now or not.



Kelly, that is so far from the truth. They darn well know they are intoxicated. Teens have the "It will never happen to me" mentality. They will do things even if they know better, simply because they do not believe it can happen to them. They're not stupid (most anyhow), they know if they are drunk, or tippsy. Why do they drink otherwise?



How about all the people that do drink and drive? Adults, ones that HAVE been caught? I think they know better. They think they can drive better drunk. They think they will never ever kill someone.



You can teach someone by giving them drinks all you want and tell them all you want, as you said. That is not going to guarentee they will not drive. Now, make them research it. Show them pictures of mangled people after being struck by a drunk driver, show them statistics of how many people are injured and/or killed, that is going to weigh much heavier on their brain. That is going to give them an indepth look that it CAN happen to anyone.



Out of those stats you provided, do you honestly think NONE of those teens knew the implications of driving drunk or after a few drinks? If you truly feel that, then I would have to say your method of teaching J, would only be done by yourself. Since, if it was a good method and truly taught these kids, it is obvious no one else does it. Otherwise, the rate of teen drinking and driving would be lower, right? Seriously, I believe there are several parents out there that do allow their child to drink at home, yet drinking and driving is still a big issue. They know better, they still do it. Over drinking as a teen is also a BIG issue. I guarentee, some of them have been allowed to drink at home. I dunno, I am just using my common sense here.



They are going to know how it feels to have a few drinks whether it is in your presence as a mother or not. It's crazy to think otherwise. You can make sure they don't drive after (when in your presence) but are you always going to be there?



Education, Education, Education. By example, By example, By example. Important stuff there. This is what is going to get through to them. You showing them "how" to drink, meh, that is only your opinion. I do not think it is going to make a big difference, unless you do everything else too. Which I can do without "showing" them what happens when they are drunk. They are going to know how they feel after drinking regardless of where they are. Now if they "only" drink at home, OK, you may have something there. I highly doubt this though. Unless you feel inclined to make a rule, that they cannot drink elsewhere? That won't go over very well, I don't think.



We have to educate and trust our kids understand when they get out the big bad world.



ETA:

I don't see your method as a terrible thing. It is just not going to make them more responsible, in my opinion. They are going to be responsible if they are taught to be such, with everything they do. Not just drinking. You have to raise a responsible child from childhood, not teach them in particular circumstances. If you have a child that has never learnt to be responsible, it is highly unlikely they will be while drinking. Regardless of how hard you try to teach them. ;)



If you teach them to be responsible children, they will be responsible teens. In most, if not all, things they do. This includes all those things you cannot "show" them how to do. You will just need to trust you did a good job with raising them and let them figure things out from there. Unless coddling them is a method, which I do not recommend. At some point in their lives they have to be set free to the big open world and we as parents have to sit back and trust how we raised them was good enough.



I should also mention that via stats, most kids that have tried alcohol did this in gr7,8 and 9. This is BEFORE the age of 16. So, when do you plan on giving your son a drink or helping him to learn how alcohol affects his body? If you want to get to him before the average kid tries alcohol, you should probably do this by age 12. I know I was 13 the first time I got drunk but I was 12 the first time I drank 3 shots from our fridge. ;)



The average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls.



By age 14, 41 percent of children have had least one drink.



The average age at which Americans begin drinking regularly is 15.9 years old.

[deleted account]

"I have to disagree. As me, not being shown by my mother "how" to drink responsibly. I still knew it was wrong to drive OR get in a vehicle with a driver that has drank. We learnt this in school." --Meme



I understand that YOU knew not to, and trust that you didn't, but statistics show that the majority of teens who drink, despite having this rule repeatedly pounded into their minds by teachers, parents, and other well meaning adults, STILL risk driving after a few drinks because they do not feel fully intoxicated.



You are right, "everyone" knows not to drink and drive, yet people do:



Teenage drunk driving kills eight teens every day.

In 2003, 31% of teen drivers who died in car accidents had been drinking.

40% of alcohol-related fatal car crashes involve teens.

60% of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related.



Why do they do it, despite knowing not to? Because they do not know how to feel their bodies reacting to the alcohol--ie. they don't know how drunk they are, and the only people around to tell them are other drunk kids who don't know how drunk they are. But if a kid has had drinks before with someone who can guide them, they will be more aware that they are not capable of driving whether they can feel the effects of the alcohol right now or not.





A good exercise is to play the game "Perfection" where you try to fit all the little pieces in the holes before the timer goes and the board PoPs.

Play sober and note the results, then have 1 drink and play again, noting the results. Drink a glass of water, then have a 2nd alcoholic drink, play again, and note the results. Repeat up to 4 drinks. This helps to teach teens that even though they do not feel much effect from the alcohol, the effects are there, and will have an impact on their ability to drive.

Another night, play sober and note the results, then drink as much as you are going to drink all at once, the way a teen might drink at a party (not too much though, that is dangerous) and play again right after you finish the drinks. Wait about 20 minutes and play again. Note that the game is much more difficult now even though no new drinks were consumed. This helps to teach teens to wait for the effect.



(Just to be clear, I'm not talking about 12 year olds here, I'm talking the 16 and up crowd.)

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