Letting Kids Sample the Booze

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

'Tis the season! Actually, I come from a family where no one is a really drank at all. We never had beer/wine/booze at the table. My dad had a beer occassionally, my mom the occassional glass of wine. I always remembered 'trying' a sip whenever we went somewhere that my parents were offered a drink. I know in Europe, kids having a sip or 2 is not a huge issue as it is here in the states. But around the holidays my dad always received bottles of booze/wine that seemed to just sit there forever! He cooks all the time with alcohol, and as a kid I'd cook with him. He would let me have a taste of this or that, and I do remember being pretty young. Fortunately, my son is not interested at all in what I am drinking, whether it is a beer, wine, or mixed drink. Last week I had company over and I was drinking Absolut & cranberry. So I made him his own mixed drink of cranberry & OJ-stuck an orange slice in it and he thought it looked so cool in a SpiderMan cup! (I think that's a Tequila Sunrise-minus the tequila!!!)


[deleted account]

Quoting Melissa:

 Our daughter always had little tastes. She loves it.


Your daughter LIKES the taste of alcohol?!   I suppose I am shocked to hear you say that.  My son thinks alcohol is just so nasty, and he is almost 5 years old.  What exactly do you offer your daughter to sip that makes it so appealing?  Even the sweetest of alcoholic drinks have that alcohol taste to it.  I sure hope you don't make a habit out of offering her sips!

Sara - posted on 12/23/2009




I don't think there's anything wrong with a taste...I can remember getting a taste of beer or wine here and there when I was a child, and I'm not some alcoholic maniac. I think the more taboo you make drinking, the less you will talk about it and then the more likely your kids will be lead astray by friends when they're older. I say, remove the mystery for them and let them have a sip and talk about it when they're old enough to understand.


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[deleted account]

I don't see the harm if it's only a small amount. Our parents used to let us have a sip when we were little and they lets us have a glass at the dinner table as older children.

You also have to take the law into consideration too. They are much stricter on that sort of thing here in the States and each state enforces the age limit differently. Most people I've met here are unsure whether it's legal or not to let a minor drink under the supervision of parents.

Rosie - posted on 01/14/2010




i think it's alright if it's a sample, my parents did it with me and i see no problem with it at all. and my parents weren't raging alcoholics by any means, they would make these things call tom and jerrys for christmas and i always enjoyed them, they gave me s sip of theirs and then they'd make me mine without alcohol. my husbands grandparents make grasshoppers for christmas (ice cream, creme dementhe and creme de cacao) soooo good and the kids love them, but they only get about 2 bites.

[deleted account]

The other night we all went out for a family dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday. My sister & I ordered fruity frozen margaritas. Of course they looked like pretty slushies and the kids wanted a taste. My son is almost 5, nephew #2 is 5 1/2, and nephew #1 is 7 1/2. Each boy was able to take a tiny sip and then we simply explain that it's a grown up drink because there was wine in it. Then, my dad insisted that each boy gets a virgin margarita! It was a festive occassion and nephew #2 even commented "The kid drinks are so yummy!!" No kidding-no booze=yummier!

Johnny - posted on 12/30/2009




I remember when I was under 7 (my dad quit drinking when I was 7), being allowed to sip the head off the beer. I thought it was fun but tasted gross. When I was a teenager, my uncle, who spends a great deal of time in Europe, would pour me a glass of wine with dinner. My parents were pretty laid back about it. I was allowed the occasional sip at home too. I never liked it, too strong. In fact, when I was 16 a friend gave me a case of beer for my birthday and I hid it under my bed. I didn't drink a single one. When I moved out when I was 17, my mom was cleaning my room and found the case, still full, under my bed. She asked me about it and I told her when I'd gotten it. They brought it with them for me the next time they visited, LOL. I think they figured I wouldn't get around to drinking it. I was very aware of alcoholism issues, it runs in my family. But my extended family has been involved in AA for a long time, so there is not a lot of drinking going on anymore. I plan to be fairly relaxed with it for my daughter. I don't plan to offer her a sip, but I will indulge her curiosity. I believe that kids get themselves into the most trouble pursuing the forbidden.

?? - posted on 12/30/2009




It's illegal here in BC Canada. Anyone of age that is caught providing alcohol to an intoxicated minor, or even a minor with an open alcoholic beverage will be held legally responsible for that minor and charged accordingly. Well I shouldn't say that they will be.... legally they should be, police use their own discrection (sp?) regarding that. But any open alcoholic beverage will be poured out and all other alcohol is usually confiscated. There's HUGE fines and I even know of a guy who spent 3 months in jail for providing alcohol to minors at a party. Obviously there were circumstances that didn't help his case, but it sure as hell ain't worth the risk to me - a cop with a chip on his shoulder or needing to fulfill some quota's could very easily throw the book at you here for allowing a minor to have booze.

Jodi - posted on 12/30/2009




Quoting Jo:

And if I EVER find out that anyone other than myself or my sons father gives our son alcohol without asking us- his father better ask me first too or he'll have hell to pay - they better hope they can run faster than me cause I'll beat them to a bloody pulp.

This is a really good point Jo.  In most states in Australia, it is not illegal for you to allow underage children to drink alcohol in your own house, and that includes that it is not illegal to buy alcohol for other people's children as well as your own.......wrong, very wrong.  I would be furious if I found out that any of my kids were drinking at someone else's house without MY permission when they are underage.  They really need to change those laws to make it illegal, because it makes it far too easy for underage children to have parties with alcohol when they have a permissive parent (and yes, I have seen this going on).  We allow my step-daughter to have a drink with us (as long as she isn't driving) on occasion, but she is 17, and will actually be legal in 6 months anyway, but the other kids, no way. 

I remember I was allowed to have a drink on special occasions with my parents from the time I was about 16 - you know, Christmas, New Year, birthdays, that sort of thing.  But only ever a small amount. 

?? - posted on 12/30/2009




My son is only 14 months... so he doesn't ask for drinks of anything cept w/e we put in his sippy cup - water, milk and maybe an oz of juice in his water for a lil flavoring is all he gets.

I won't hide it from him, I won't offer it to him, we'll cross that bridge when we come too it. Right now, all I know is that I was exposed to alcohol all my life and I never had an inclination to try it until I was 13 and I hate beer. Alcoholism runs in both of our families so he will learn about booze, when he's old enough to understand, until then.... he's a kid and he gets beverages for children, not adults.

And if I EVER find out that anyone other than myself or my sons father gives our son alcohol without asking us- his father better ask me first too or he'll have hell to pay - they better hope they can run faster than me cause I'll beat them to a bloody pulp.

Esther - posted on 12/28/2009




I personally don't like the taste of alcohol and therefore I never drink. Since my husband doesn't want to drink by himself, he only drinks when we have guests over and even then he only has a glass or two of wine or beer. I wouldn't offer my son any sips until he's older and even then I would not offer them up voluntarily. If he has an interest I might let him have a taste but he'd have to be closer to 10 I think before I would even consider that. Also, my husband has a history of addiction in his family. His grandfather was an alcoholic, his father a gambling addict. My husband is a smoker (a pack a day) and I've never seen anyone more addicted to cigarettes than him (and that includes my father who smoked 5 packs a day until he quit about 10 years ago). Considering that, I would be careful to expose my son to anything without him at least being old enough to understand that you don't drink alcohol the way you do applejuice.

Kylie - posted on 12/27/2009




My almost 5 year old has asked for a sip of dads beer..we let her smell it and told her alcohol isn't for children because her brain is growing and alcohol is bad for brains. She understands and thinks beer and other alcohol smells bad. Maybe when she is in her teens she can have a taste. I never tasted alcohol until i was 17 and my parents always had alcohol and parties at home..it didn't make me want to drink because it was forbidden and when i tried it at 17 and thought it was ok...I'm not much of a drinker, never have been.

Mel - posted on 12/27/2009




no I dont make a habit. My partner/ next door neighbour or other family will every now and again but I dont bother anymore

Debbie - posted on 12/27/2009




My hubby and I have 8 kids and I agree with Sara "remove the mystery" We have allowed them to taste our drinks and allowed them to drink at home in thier teens, we did this so when they went out with friends and got drunk they knew what to expect and we knew how they handled it. Funny thing is they didnt drink when out with friends as there was no excitement in it as we took that away. We also have allowed our late teens to try 'pot' for the same reasons...thankfully they didnt like it.

Heather - posted on 12/27/2009




ehhh...I dont know how I feel about it...I dont drink at all and either does my sons father. I dont like the taste of alcohol, so the few times I have drank, it was only for the purpose of getting drunk. So I guess the chances of him being exposed to it by either of us is slim to none.

Mel - posted on 12/26/2009




yep my mum let me have some of her wine and lemonade and sometimes my own glass when I was a kid. Our daughter always had little tastes. She loves it

La - posted on 12/24/2009




This link explains the length of time and cooking method needed to lessen the amount of alcohol retained in foods while cooking. Jackie is right- it doesn't "cook off" completely.

I have no problem letting kids have a sip or taste provided they are not TOO young. My daughter is 11 months old...she will NOT be tasting or sipping any alcohol or foods containing it (nor will I since I'm pregnant).

Jackie - posted on 12/24/2009




There is nothing wrong with a taste. If you cook with booze you have already given a taste anyways. Cooking does NOT cook off the booze. Which is actually important to know at this time of season.... eat enough food with booze in it and you will end up drunk!

JL - posted on 12/23/2009




Shoot I remember getting to taste beer, wine and liquor as a kid thinking that stuff is NASTY why would you want to drink that crap. My daughter just smelled a mix drink once and thought that is NASTY. My husband jokingly asked her once,hey you want a drink and she responded with Ewww Liquor is NASTY. She also thinks beer looks like pee pee.

I think it is also about curiousity and the mystique around what mommy and daddy are drinking, but they get over that fast once they smell and take a little sip and realize it tastes and smells NASTY and that there is no big whoopie to be made about it. My kids know about alcohol it is not some hidden thing but they also know that it is not appropriate for kids to drink and the older they get the more I will explain to them about moderation and abusing alcohol.

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