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Would you introduce your children to alcohol?

by KanchanN (follow)
Parenting (216)      Children (252)      Preference (76)      Alcohol (31)     

Would you prefer to introduce your children to alcohol by having their first drink with them or let them explore on their own?

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I would never intentionally introduce my kids to alcohol before the legal age. I am sure that they all tried it with friends before they were 18. When I knew for sure that they were drinking, I would prefer that they drink at home, rather than drink and drive, or go out partying, get drunk and have no way of getting home. Drinking at home is safer. You can keep an eye on them too. My sons tried alcohol and basically haven't had it again, apart from the occasional one. My daughter will share a bottle of wine with us at home sometimes.
At 18, sure, in a civilised way. I think even with a younger teen offering to let them share in a glass of wine with the family at dinner would probably be okay, and would show them that alcohol can be enjoyed in a context that isn't about binge drinking. And odds are a teenager probably won't like the taste of wine or beer the first time anyway.
Young teens and Alcohol Jennifer is like giving a Loaded Gun...seriously, with all due respect, please think very carefully...Your children are young now, I have been through a lot and seen what can happen, once they also have that first taste and get their P plates....you have no control.
by jonaja
I wasn't saying I would, just that I have seen people do this and it seemed to be fine. I think context is very important. I can see why people want to teach their kids how to drink responsibly. And there are churches where people under 18 are allowed to have wine for communion. One taste of alcohol while underage doesn't automatically doom a person.
Also, I will of course be teaching them not to drink and drive, nor to get in a car with anyone who has been drinking. It doesn't follow that anybody who drinks will drink and drive. That's why P plates are a thing for a start.
Jennifer the wine you talk about for communion is in all the Churches I have ever had it is non-alcoholic, and the amount we have every time is 1 Teaspoon, that is all the tiny little cup holds.In most cases it is also red grape juice, because if someone is a recovering alcoholic, the Church could be in a tad of trouble..
by jonaja
Some churches do still use alcoholic wine, especially in Roman Catholic churches. From memory this is one of the things that came up with the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) law in the US that allowed certain religious exceptions to particular laws. I'm not sure what the law is here but it wouldn't surprise me if exceptions were made in Australia too. Yes, I know the quantity is small.

Incidentally it is legal for an adult to supply alcohol to a child on private premises, eg in their own home, though caution is urged (re. the quantity etc.) What I was talking about earlier was one glass of wine or beer with a meal.

Re. the small amount though, a teapspoon, really? What we had was more like a shot glass (though filled with grape juice). A glass that only holds a teaspoon would be the size of a thimble.
Correct Jennifer, we all get a little cup that is exactly the size of a thimble.I often smile at the size, but there is no need for it to be any bigger.
by jonaja
Interesting. We never had cups that small in any church I've been to. Funny how customs vary like that.
It now common place outside of Catholic churches...mainstream churches, because of time..money..etc.
by jonaja
I would prefer to introduce my child to alcohol at legal age. Before that I will let her know what alcohol is and how it could be dangerous if not handled safely. It is important for her to be aware that we are not against it, so she doesn't feel the need to try it before legal age and hide it from us. Educating her about alcohol is more important for us and I'd prefer if it comes from us than from outside sources.
Never - Ever.

I have seen what it can do.
Has done....and before I hear someone say''Oh you can tell them in moderation''..That is not what the goal should be here.

'Why' anyone would want to do this introduction, is a significant lack in judgement.

Young people need Education first and foremost.
Alcohol causes death when they drink and drive.

I remember one young man, had a few drinks, got on his motor bike...he was just 21 that day.
Hit a Pole.
The fire brigade washed him away, we only had his legs left on the ground.
I was there for support at the time, people were in shock and young children who saw it happen, were devastated & crying.

If what I am saying in this will cause 1 parent to re-think, and deter their young teens from drinking....then that is all we need.

Educate them, and the Police will tell you that your a great Parent, just for that one lesson.

I have had this month to make a phone call to the Police, to ask if it was my son killed in an accident...as my son is a heavy drinker.

He is 40 now, and while I have not seen him drink or drive at the same time, I have no idea? what he does at times.

His drinking has been a huge issue to us, and we have tried and tried to help him.

The accident happened in my sons little town up north, we saw it on the t.v.

I held my breath, and waited for the Police Officer to ask me my sons name.I waited and waited, and he said No.

It is not you son who was killed.

I think I lost 10 yrs off my life, and can also say this to any parent....You never ever want to have to make that call.

Then I felt so bad for the mother who had lost her son.

Educate them to not want to do alcohol, we did what we thought was right 20 yrs ago, when they were able to legally drink, but people have resources now.
Much better and the Police are more than willing to give advice.

Parents can be a Significant help to prevention.
I am a great believer in 'scare tactics' when it comes to saving lives.

No! No!
Nope. Never did, never would.
by Rice
Yes. We introduced our children to a sherry glass sized drink of wine when they were in their teens on special occasions. One of the girls didn't like the taste and has not had any since (now in mid thirties), another worked in hospitality where she was frequently asked what a particular wine was like and was usually able to convey her experiences and the other also in hospitality was the same. As I have a large wine cellar the gjrls learnt to appreciate good wines and frequently raid it. They've never had a problem with alcohol and drink in moderation. I like to think it's because they were introduced to it slowly and weren't in a rush to become drunk and out of control like most of their friends.
I don't know. I know a lot of European families that have wine on their dinner tables and the kids seem not to notice anything. Maybe there is something about parents drinking with meals responsibly in front of kids being a good example. It is a big problem for parents to know the right thing to do. I only have one child and have not had any problems there but I think that was just good luck.
Regardless of when a child is introduced to alcohol, I think it's important to set the right tone and culture. Shrouding alcohol in mystery will just make it even more appealing, while letting alcohol flow freely could normalise drinking and make it seem like 'no big deal'.

Children should be taught that while alcohol is something that can be enjoyed in moderation, it is also a dangerous and addictive drug and that drinking alcohol is a choice that comes with significant responsibilities.

I don't think age is the determining factor for when a child should be introduced to alcohol, but rather their maturity and ability to understand risk and consequences. Also, introducing a child to alcohol is not the same as condoning their alcohol consumption. Consuming alcohol is a choice that everyone is legally permitted to make once they turn 18 (in Australia). Introducing a child to alcohol before they turn 18 means they will be in a better position to make an educated choice about drinking alcohol when they turn 18.
Most definitely I would. In a way that is responsible and safe. If parents don't do this properly then someone else will and in a way that is out of our control and could be very harmful.
It would have to depend on the age, maturity and life experiences of the child. There are definitely both pros and cons and no answer that fits every child best.
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