Alcohol for kids

Jakki - posted on 05/22/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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When is it OK to let kids have a drink? I was at a picnic with my sister in law a few days ago and she poured her 12 year old a couple of inches of sweet alcoholic cider. I was horrified coz I always thought it was a big no no until later on.

But when is it OK?

My SIL said that stuff about the French and Italians giving alcohol to kids and it being all fine, but I'd read that in fact that starting early leads to more alcohol dependency, not less.

What do you think?

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Kimberly - posted on 05/23/2012

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I really dont know about this one because there are alot of things to consider, like how mature the teen is and if they can be trusted with having a drink. I would say the odd drink, very low levels, once in a blue moon doesnt hurt but it would be very rare. I was a kid that partied from a young age and drank a lot being under age, probally did most of my drinking between 14-17 so once I turned 18 it wasnt some big crazy thing going into bars where my older brother didnt start partying til he was 17 and he totally derailed and ended up in alot of trouble because of drinking. I think kids need to be shown that when you have a drink it is a social thing and not something you do to write yourself off and start fights, have a go at police and be rude and disrespectful. When my daughter gets to be a teen we will decied then what she will be allowed but I know it will only be limited and I will not support underage parties and such

Amy - posted on 05/22/2012

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My parents didn't let us drink at 12 but they did let us drink at home with them under their supervision probably starting at the age of 17. I know that because I was allowed to drink at home when I went away my freshman year of college it wasn't a big deal to me, but there were other kids who led a sheltered life and took full advantage of not being around adult supervision and some even ended up in the hospital getting their stomachs pumped.

As far as becoming alcohol dependent I can't really say if drinking at a young age makes someone more or less dependent I think there are a lot of other factors that contribute. I think addictions are hereditary and if one isn't careful they can easily fall into an addictive pattern.

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Studies on early exposure to alcohol under parental supervision are inconclusive to date. Right now, there is no indication that early exposure to alcohol with supervision will have any effect--positive or negative--on a person's future alcohol intake. There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is that a flawless study has yet to be invented--too much relies on heredity and other life factors to narrow alcohol consumption down to early exposure or not.

That said, alcohol consumed in moderation after puberty is not shown to do any more damage to the brain than alcohol consumed in moderation after the age of 18 or 21.

Also, interviews suggest that allowing children to try alcohol under parental supervision once the child becomes interested leads to more open communication about alcohol between parents and children. This, in turn, means of teens who drink with their friends (near 80% of US teens, if I remember correctly), those who's parents allow them to drink on occasion at home, have been taught how to drink responsibly, and have an open line of communication about alcohol with their parents are less likely to drink too much (they are more likely to know when and how to stop after a light buzz) and are less likely to try to drive after drinking (because they know they can call their parents), than those teens who's parents strictly forbid alcohol all together.

Based on my research, I do intend to allow J to have a drink at home when he is a teen so long as it remains legal in my state. Here, it is legal for teens to consume alcohol in their home under parental supervision. I will teach him to drink responsibly, not funnel beer down his throat. I want him to know how his body reacts to alcohol so that he will not be stuck at some wild bush party in a strange place the first time he discovers what it does to his body.

Jakki - posted on 05/23/2012

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I've been doing a little googling and found an Australian website discussing this issue. They reckon that you shouldn't introduce kids to nalcohol because it is a neurotoxin and why would you give that to your child even if in the long run it might make them have a more sensible approach to alcohol.

Hmmmm. I'm still not sure. I'm actually surprised how there didn't seem to be all that much advice around on the issue.

Check this link:

http://drinkwise.org.au/parents/parents-...

Amanda - posted on 05/23/2012

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I remember sitting round my nan's table for Sunday lunch with my cousins with a small glass of wine at around that age, maybe a little bit older. It was only a once a year thing when we stayed with them for a week over summer.

I don't think a small drink here and there will hurt, as long as it is a very small measure and only bery occassionally.

[deleted account]

A sip now and then won't kill them so to speak, but if it is a regular thing I would be more worried about the damage it may be causing to their brains. The brain is still developing until the age of 21 and studies show that drinking on a regular basis as a teen (yes, even small amounts) can cause damage to the growing brain.

That being said, I started to drink alcohol in an adult capacity from the age of 18 and up until then I was allowed an occasional half glass of an alcoholic drink. That started when I was 13 or 14.

Stifler's - posted on 05/23/2012

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One drink won't kill them is what I think. At 12 letting your kid regularly have a beer after tea same as adults or indulge at parties... no way.

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