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Would you let your child taste alcohol?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Aescopri, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    Okay, don't freak out. One of the main reasons people become addicted to wine is because it has this "forbidden" feeling when they first taste it, and so get addicted to this sensation of "being a rebel." One of my older friends, actually, did quite a good job and sabotaged the chances of her son getting addicted to "being a rebel" because she lets him taste wine (a sip at a time, once every one or two weeks).
    This strategy makes him think that wine is nothing different than other drinks, and it shouldn't be a holy grail to adulthood and maturity.
  2. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I used to sip my grandpa's beer when I was young and thought it was horrible. I do not like beer to this day. I am not sure whether it was because of tasting it back then, or I really just never developed a taste for it.
  3. llfsa

    llfsa Member

    Yes, I would. When I was a child I remember hating it with every bone in my body, so I feel this was an experience that even furthered my already negative opinion about alcohol or even tobacco.
  4. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Active Contributor

    Probably not. The way my parents taught me to avoid alcohol consumption was by way of explaining it's effects and providing horror stories of the effects. Showing how it isn't worth to consume it, there are better ways of relaxing and calming oneself down.
  5. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    This is a double edged sword topic. I have seen parents who tried both approaches to this topic. I have learned that it depends largely on the individual child and the way the scenario is presented. I totally agree with you about taking the mystery and rebellious nature out of the whole forbidden fruit situation. We just have to be careful not to let our children view us as the ones being a rebel by doing something that is against the current laws. A lot of thought and communication with our children is needed when approaching this scenario.
  6. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    Of course. There's really no bad thing in alcohol unless excessively drinking it. I actually used to drink a few glasses of beers here and there with my parents in my younger ages, and never really got any further issue from it, so I don't see where the problem is if you don't subtly tell your kid "Hey, look ,we want you become a stupid alcoholic who doesn't have any point in life".
  7. hubertjames

    hubertjames Member

    I don't see that there is anything wrong with a small drink on special occasions with friends and family, but I don't really like the idea of someone drinking anything at all until they're at least 16 or so. I'm not sure that any amount of alcohol is healthy for a young teenager, no matter the well wishes.

    I'm of the opinion generally that if you tell your child not to do something, they will rebel. I know I did! However if you sit them down and explain things, and let them use their own mind to make decisions for themselves, then that empowers them. They begin to get a sense of control over their life (from within, not using external methods) and I think we can all agree that's a big part of avoiding drug issues.
  8. btatro

    btatro Member

    Well, I don't believe the causation that you are suggesting between sipping wine every few weeks and somehow not ever becoming an alcoholic in the long term. I don't believe that alcoholism is a result of never having alcohol and then seeing it as a 'forbidden fruit' in which to over indulge on and then feel good about. I think certain people are predisposed to addiction, especially those that experienced some type of pain in their life. Substance abuse so often is related to 'covering up' emotions, and not related to never having (or being allowed) to taste alcohol.

    With that said, I have allowed my children on occasion to literally dip their finger in my wine after they were curious as to what it tasted like. Each time they think it is horrible (though that is not the intention). It opens up a conversation between us and allows us to discuss openly they why's how's and everything's in between of alcohol, drinking, peer pressure, etc.
  9. CrowdedHighways

    CrowdedHighways Active Contributor

    Just in my personal experience...
    My dad sometimes let me taste the foam of the beer when I was younger. I did not have any positive/negative opinion about the taste of the foam, it was just sort of this exciting, forbidden thing. Up until I was 18(I'm in Europe, so that's the age when we can start consuming alcohol here) I had drunk maybe a liter of alcohol, including secret sips from wine glasses when my mom had guests over. I just did not enjoy the taste and I thought that I would never drink, socially or otherwise (not because of any religious/moral reasons but because I did not enjoy the taste and saw no point in drinking alcohol if all it did was make me depressed). It was actually at my graduation party at high-school when I felt the positive effects of alcohol for the first time, because until then it had only made me depressed, at times even suicidal. From then on, I started using alcohol a bit more, but only socially and nowadays I drink it about once in 2 or 3 months, and I know my limits very well.
    As for tobacco, the one and only time I have smoked, I went straight for a pipe that my uncle had left behind, and I have never touched another tobacco-related product in my life. It was just disgusting and I feel no need to ever do it again.
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I agree with you. I don't want children, but if I had, I would let them taste alcohol, and not make such a big deal from it. After all, humans are curious beings and if we forbid them something they are more likely to try it later. I would like my children to know how reality is like, and not hide anything from them.
  11. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    My folks also allowed me to taste wine during my early childhood. However, it's more of a family tradition and they were never expecting me to either be put off or become addicted to alcohol. Truth be told, never warmed up to alcohol and I'm a bit of a teetotaller, for the most part. I've always stayed away from any strong alcoholic beverages.
  12. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I always stole sips from weddings, but maybe. I don't really know. I might let my kid have a sip of something.
  13. sbatz72

    sbatz72 Active Contributor

    This is probably a good thing. My parents did not drink too much, but once or twice I went up and grabbed a sip of their drink, thinking it was just plain Coke, and the taste was horrible. I think it has been big in me not becoming an alcoholic.
  14. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do not have a child yet but I would not allow him to taste it on his childhood or teenager years.
    In the household even some adults are drinking, the kids were not allowed and told that it was for adults only. I first tasted beer when I was 19 and I did not liked the taste.
  15. henry

    henry Community Champion

    This has always been a frustrating topic for me, because no matter what you tell your kids at home, society is going to tell them a different thing, and they usually go whith what society tells them, because one of the things society tells them is that parents aren't cool. I know we still have to warn them about the danger of alcohol and drugs, but we still have to be prepared for when things don't work.
  16. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    I would never let them get drunk, or have any large amount of alcohol, but I don't think there is any harm having small amounts when with family. I think if you try to stop children from having certain things, it is only going to make them want those things all the more, and as a result of which they may rebel when they're older. Of course I would never encourage any child of mine to get drunk (and, in fact, with all things considered we're not likely to have alcohol in our home anyway) but I do think that controlled consumption can be helpful sometimes.
  17. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Allowing kids to taste alcohol could either make them hate it or [ this rarely happens but it does] they'll develop a taste for it. What would you do if that happened? Since one can't too sure of what the outcome might be, it would be best not to let kids taste the stuff.
  18. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    @Rainman @sbatz72 @llfsa Definitely. I really agree with you guys on that part, because when I was a kid, I was always allowed some sips of wine or beer from my parents. I especially hated the taste of it, which was one of the main reasons I'm not an avid drinker of alcohol today. The thing, though, I suppose, about letting your children have a sip is the off-chance that he or she will actually like the bitter taste and become a precocious alcoholic.
  19. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    What I was trying to say about the relations between letting them taste alcohol and somehow not becoming an alcoholic is that children, most likely, will not like the bitter taste of it and avoid becoming an avid drinker in the future. I was allowed sips when I was a child and I've grown to hate the taste of it, which played a huge part in me not becoming an avid drinker when I grew up.
  20. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I have two kids, ages 19 and 25. I didn't let them taste alcohol when they were kids. Personally, I am totally against it.

    My wife and I also quit drinking almost 7 years ago when our son was in treatment for heroin addiction. The family therapist at the treatment facility told us to "Be the change you want to see in your son." In other words, if you want your son to stop self-medicating, then you should stop self-medicating, too.

    Quitting drinking was probably the best example we could have given our kids. If you have kids, I highly recommend it. Sure, it might seem radical to some. But kids see what their parents do and learn from it.

    Feel free to call me crazy. ;)
    Rainman and Joseph like this.