to have told my 11 year old that no he cant have alcohol(62 Posts)
after his teacher said she gives her (primary aged) children some now and then because if she doesnt then they will binge drink when they get older
Actually, I heard my Dad complaining about how, when I was little, the advice all over the news was that you should give your kids bits to drink from a young age so it gets rid of the mystery for them and they're less likely to binge drink behind your back later. Then, when I was in my late teens sat with them in the living room, it came on the news that "parents who gave their kids even little drinks when they were young are to blame for the binge drinking crisis".
The lesson is, 'expert' advice changes every few years - only you know your kids and you should do what feels right for your family in your situation.
That said, being given drinks from a young age didn't stop me embarrassing myself as a teenager.
I don't think it's neccessary (though not 'wrong') at a young age.
I do think it's EXTREMELY counter-productive however to have a total ban until 18. Having no experience of drinking and then suddenly having free range to buy absolutely anything they want is an absolute disaster and I'd go as far to say is actually irresponsible of a parent not to prepare them adequately for the dangers of too much drink
From about 14+ a small low strength beer or wine along with some discussion of how easy it is to get drunk too fast is not an issue really. Banning is very rarely the way forwards
I think 14 is a realistic age for a small baileys at christmas. Wouldn't dream of giving booze to a primary age child. I also think 'learning' to drink is bollocks.
I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys! No alcohol that tastes like kiddy drinks or is too sweet. A little wine, a bit of beer (or a sniff of whisky, thats usually more than enough).
But again at present my kids don't drink (and yes I would know) and long may it continue. We do also talk about how it feels to be drunk, why its not a good idea, about staying with friends etc. etc. We also discuss drugs and smoking, and other issues.
I don't encourage giving alcohol to them is perhaps a better way of phrasing it.
I see your point about forbidden fruit, but alcohol is not a mystery to our children! we have a wine rack fully stacked plus a shelf with spirits and apart from the toddler phase of wanting to play with the shiny bottles they never touch them.
Normally they see family and friends having a glass or 2 and not getting drunk, but enjoying it, and that teaches them the right attitude to drinking and that in moderation it is something nice and relaxing and part of life and celebrations and they can look forward to do when they are older (over 16-18 is my personal preference)
They understand that adults are allowed different things from kids and they accept it - for now anyway.
I see your point about the forbidden fruit and as I said before they pretty much all have tried sips of wine/beer/champagne thanks to DH,
Personally I don't even mind that,as they don't like it anyway, but would not want to turn it into a habit, so I say better not at all.
Am I contradicting myself? maybe, I don't know
I do cook with wine... and of course I had gotten drunk before, I'm not a saint..
I think my biggest problem is that I get annoyed at the sight of DH offering them a sip, and it's a bit of a teasing game.
<note to self, must figure out why it annoys me so much>
Maybe he is right (and some of you also) and I'm wrong, but I don't drink habitually so I don't see why should the children!
< note to self: have a chat about this with DH>
btw they have seen the effect of DH getting drunk before, so I think that's just as good a lesson to teach them about the moderation/demystifying part!
I had wine with my christmas dinner from 1 year old - half a special tiny glass, with instructions from my dad on how to drink it properly, ie use it to 'cleanse the palate' not swig it. That was enough to put anyone off drinking for life!
I have always let my children have a taste of my wine if they are interested, and they have not liked it.
Now all 3 at uni, 1 teetotal, 1 drinks occasionally but does not like most of it, 3rd has suddenly taken to it like a duck to water - has wine with meals, likes my gin and has been known to get drunk at uni. Still, a long way to catch up with the boys there who were buying armfuls of cans in intro week and sit in the kitchen drinking at the weekends! I'm sure there was not that much drinking when I was there - just a pint in the bar in the evening and more if going out on a college trip. Alcohol was not generally available at supermarkets when I was that age, and much more expensive!
I am not a big drinker, but my brother who was only a year younger is. He had lots of issues at school with social problems, being bullied and academic problems. Used to get drunk at gatherings with the neighbours - very embarrassing. Our family background is mostly anti-alcohol, so my dad's ideas were not approved of!
""I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys!""
I once did a school sewing project with a group of year 5s. They told me all about the alcohol they liked - Baileys, Irish Cream, Breezers Vodka thingies etc! Tried not to look shocked or to quiz them too much! It was fascinating.
I used to be given a small glass of port & brandy if I had a bad tummy at night from about the age of 6 - I think it knocked me out rather than settled my stomach. I was also allowed to have a sip of neat wine to taste and a glass of wine spritzer on the occasions we had it with sunday dinner (special occasions only - Xmas, Easter, birthdays).
The maximum I've ever drunk on any 1 occasion is 4 drinks (apart from my 17th birthday when I was sick in front of my DM after my friends phoned her to collect me) and at 30 years old, I only drink about 4-5 times a year.
The teacher is BVU though - I would be speaking to the head teacher as I think it's totally inappropriate.
I'm not shocked that some parents would give their kids Baileys, but a MumsNetter? Surely not .
I can't remember a time when I wasn't allowed a drink if my parents were having one. It was always half a small glass of wine with sunday lunch. DS is still under 5 so not really thought about it yet.
I don't know really, i like a [bottle] glass of wine on a Friday night, and i have given my almost 17 year old a glass of wine with our Sunday Lunch, but i would rather him have a choice rather than coming home pissed (which i know he will )
I don't see the harm in giving children a sip of beer or wine when they are little, or a small/watered down drink when they are 12ish and up
I had sips of beer and hated it.
My own small bucks fizz at NY, or an aperitif of my parents had friends over for dinner (mine with soda water and cassis more than wine) and I remember liking it because it meant there was a special occasion and I got to be a part of it. Suppose I would have felt the same of it ha been an entirely non alcoholic drink made up in a special way tho.
From the age of 16 or 17 I would join my mum in a glass of wine with dinner in the holidays.
I got v drunk and v sick on a school trip to Spain when I was about 14.
I got v drunk and sick at a NY party when I was 15.
Both because I hadn't appreciated that when you et the 'fun feeling' and carry on drinking you've had way too much!
Live and learn.
I also got accidentally quite drunk when I was about 15 at a family friends Xmas drinks party (day time). The host kept topping up my wine glass and I didn't realise how much I was drinking. Got in the car to go home and I was mortified to admit to my parents that I thought I might be drunk and needed to lie down when we got in! Mum laughed and said shed drunk more than she realised too as her glass kept being topped up.
I love the taste of wine and if I'm making a nice dinner I'll often have a glass with my dinner. Usually at work now until late so do that a lot less.
Don't like being drunk and I'm a massive light weight so tend not to drink of we go out clubbing and stick to high-energy sprite.
So basically I'm saying I was allowed alcohol, it didn't stop me from experimenting and getting sick, but it didn't turn me Into a raging alco either.
I certainly never drank in parks, nor was I going out on a Friday or Saturday bing drinking ever.
The good thing about my parents attitude was that I was never afraid to ring them and ask for help. At the Ny party wjere i got v sick I rang and they came and got me and didn't tell me off just put me to bed with some water and said "be careful next time, watch how much you're drinking".
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